:dropcap_open:S:dropcap_close:o what is all this hype and talk about facebook? Is it here to stay? Do you really have to have a business facebook page? What will happen if you do not? Let me answer these important questions. In 2013 there are many social media outlets thrown at us, and if you are like most people, you have heard of Twitter, LinkedIn, Yelp, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and facebook. If you are like most professionals, you think that you should be using social media for your business but have no idea which ones to use and where to begin. All social media is very powerful and needs to be used by businesses if they want to prosper and grow in our high-tech, fast-paced world. Certain social media avenues better fit specific businesses. If you were a promoter for a band or a young teen clothing store, then it would be optimal to have a Twitter account and even a Keek account, which is a platform for creating and sharing short videos. I am going to break it down to what would be most beneficial for a chiropractic office. Studying all the demographics for various social media outlets is time consuming and can be overwhelming. I have spent a great deal of time researching this to find out what would be the best, most optimal way to use social media to grow a chiropractic practice. Hands down it is facebook. The other social media outlets are good for different types of businesses, but facebook blows the rest away when matching up the demographics of a good chiropractic patient. The end result is if you want to help more patients and streamline your time, effort and cash flow, then facebook is the answer.
Allow me to explain why facebook is best to grow a chiropractic office. I would like to start out by saying that I do not work for facebook. I simply researched, studied and put time into figuring out this overload of social media information. Facebook use in the United States has grown by 11,000,000 users just in the past six months. (http://www.socialbakers.com/facebook-statistics/united-states
) The time to introduce and grow your business facebook page is now. I know this task seems overwhelming for doctors who are already stretched to the limit with paperwork, ever changing insurance guidelines and a competitive market. So I am going to share with you five helpful tips, from creating your business page to getting new “likes.”
- Go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php. Choose a category and a page name that represents your business/practice. Pick a professional photograph of the doctor or doctors that people associate with your practice to use as a profile picture. Write a sentence about your business so people understand what you do. Choose a memorable web address for your page that you can use for marketing material to promote your presence on facebook. Choose a cover photo that represents your office. Remember, the cover photo is the first thing people will see when they visit your page.
- Talk with your patients about your facebook page. This step is so simple yet often ignored. Put a notice up in your office announcing your facebook page.
- Use a script to invite patients to join you on facebook. For example: “How did we do today? Great! We have a facebook page for Dr. Smith, and it would really make her day if you left a comment for her there.”
- Post regularly but not too often. Remember, this is social media, so people do not want to read lengthy, boring articles. Keep it light and fun!
- Use printed materials to remind patients to share a comment and help them easily find your page.
Whether you implement some or all of the above tips, note that in the race of marketing, social media is slow and steady; that is what wins the race. You probably remember how long it took to grow your email list; that is not any different than inviting patients daily to comment on your facebook page.
:dropcap_open:With a well-run, high-energy facebook page, your practice will see greater patient retention, more referrals and new patients.
Lastly, I would like to explore what exactly facebook can do for your individual chiropractic office. Patients that “like” your page will continually receive valuable chiropractic information and education. People in your community will know that you are there, have an opportunity to see photographs of you, your office and staff and feel comfortable before they even walk in your door. Facebook puts your face in front of many people’s eyes several times a week and gives your practice and the field of chiropractic credibility. With a well-run, high-energy facebook page, your practice will see greater patient retention, more referrals and new patients. You will see the best results when you have 400 legitimate friends or more.
Teri Kanan is CEO and founder of Connections Social Media Marketing. She has given presentations throughout the country to numerous associations. She has a master’s degree and earned her specialist degree in 2006. She has spent the last 25 years marketing chiropractic offices and managing hundreds of facebook pages. Teri Kanan can be reached at 586-703-3074 or http://www.facebook.com/ChiropracticSocialMediaMarketing.