Social media for chiropractors is a patient gold mine — if you put yourself out there and see through a patient’s eyes
More than 243 million Americans are active on social media, according to Statista.com. If you do the math, that’s roughly 240 million Americans who use social media, but who do not use chiropractic. In other words, social media for chiropractors is a patient gold mine.
But what does it take to run successful campaigns on social media? Get over your fear or dislike of social media, be persistent and consistent, be creative, incentivize engagement, and let your patients do the talking.
What do potential patients see?
You may own social media accounts, but do you really “own” those accounts? How often do you post? Once a month? Once a week? Daily? Social media platforms must be updated regularly.
When folks go to check you out and there’s not a recent post, the page seems old or irrelevant or they even wonder if you are still open. We have to recognize that most people are going to look at our Facebook page before they visit the office. They may even use social media to find our phone number, so the page needs to have up-to-date, professional information. That means updated pictures and updated hours.
People are judging us and developing first impressions before they even walk through our doors.
Never let a comment or message, particularly a negative one, sit for too long without some kind of response. Of course each situation will require a different message, but be sure to follow up. Maybe that means empowering someone you trust to have access to the accounts, or even using an outside marketing group.
A lack of response to a negative comment can do serious damage to your reputation (how much do you care?), while a response to something positive shows how much you appreciate your patients.
Another good idea for social media for chiropractors is to join community groups online. There are many pages that are set up to for people to ask for recommendations. Be sure someone on your staff is responding to chiropractic recommendations. Ideally, your patients will respond to these posts about their positive experiences. You can even use your networking partners, such as Business Network International (BNI), to be an extended salesforce for you by responding to those questions.
Encourage your patients to “tag” you in their social media posts about the great treatment they received. When the friends/followers of that patient see your name associated with great care, your credibility increases, as does the likelihood that they’ll become new patients. And great social media posts can go “viral,” meaning many, many people will see them. We’ll explore incentivizing your patients later.
Be creative and incentivize
Be creative and encourage activity on your social media channels. We all know when we buy a new car, the salesperson is going to ask to take a picture of you in the car. Do the same in your office. When a new pair of stabilizing orthotics comes in, ask the patient if you can take a picture and post on Facebook. Let them know they’ll be helping others by doing so.
Use your creativity to ID and capture little “moments” in your office and then post to social media. Social media for chiropractors should give the world a glimpse of what goes on in your office on a daily basis. By demystifying your chiropractic office, you’re helping “leads” be more comfortable in reaching out to you for help. In so many cases, chiropractic is new and unique compared to anything they’ve tried before, so putting them at ease with fun yet professional moments can be very valuable in converting them to new patients.
Incentivize patients to be active on your social media channels. A few times a year, run a contest that revolves around some kind of social media interaction (posting, sharing, likes, etc.). Have patients post selfies, share your content, or like a post and by doing so become eligible to win. This behavior on a regular basis creates buzz and keeps patients and leads always coming back to your page to see what is going on. Run a Mother’s Day contest with a free massage as a prize, or a Fourth of July contest with a cooler as a prize. There are so many opportunities to get your current patients and leads involved with your social media channels.
Incentivize your staff to be active on your social media channels, too. During a certain time range have each staff member share your posts, encourage them to get their friends involved, and if you get 100% participation, get them lunch. Extra vacation time, services and cool tech gadgets are always great incentives for your team.
People love to be asked to help with a cause they care about. Your patients already know and like and love you, so give them an easy way they can feel good about showing you off to their friends and family online.
Patients can be your best marketers
Let your patients do the talking. Listen to your patients. When they share a great story with you about how much they love their new pillow, or how great their stabilizing orthotics are, or how they can play golf again, ask them to share that story on your social media channels. Tell them others need to hear their great story. Growing your practice at the grassroots level can be hugely successful when patients tell their story to the world. The patient can tell the story better than you can, and it’s more genuine coming from them.
Remember, these are programs you can run for free on your social media accounts. Don’t forget about paid advertising, too. That can expand your reach. When you do run social media ads, be sure you have a way to track their success. If something doesn’t work, don’t give up, and don’t think social ads are useless. Try a new angle. Social media for chiropractors should include experimentation. Try something new.
With very little investment, social media can help transform your practice. Don’t underestimate the return on investment social media can provide, and don’t forget there are lots of hurting people out there who need your help. Using social media consistently and creatively will help you reach an entirely new customer base. Social media is a great way to tell your story.
AMANDA BLEDSOE, DC, owns Bledsoe Chiropractic in Conway, Ark. She is a graduate of Cleveland Chiropractic College. One of her ultimate goals is to make chiropractic care affordable for all patients.