:dropcap_open:C:dropcap_close:hiropractors now have access to a broad range of powerful social media marketing tools, the same tools that helped topple dictatorships in the Middle East. What Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube did and are doing for social causes and concerns worldwide, they can do for your practice in terms of marketing and acquiring new business. Thanks to the Internet, social media offers unlimited marketing opportunities at very low cost. The only real limits are time and imagination.
Your practice’s website is the foundation for your online presence and all your social media marketing activities. When a new visitor (and potential future patient) arrives at your website’s home page, it’s as if that person was walking through your office front door for the first time. You want to make a positive, professional, lasting impression. There are several key strategies for creating such an experience.
First, a well-designed and inviting home page captures your visitors’ attention and interest. “Content is king” is a time-honored principle of Internet marketing. Your site’s internal content – informative, useful articles that add value to user experience – causes your visitors to return again and again to your site. The ultimate result is brand loyalty. In other words, your visitors become loyal to you – and when your site visitor or a family member has a health problem, he or she will think of you and your chiropractic services.
You want to speak clearly and directly to your visitor’s perceived needs. Key content items include a succinct professional biography; your practice’s location, hours of operation, and contact information; treatment recommendations for selected common conditions such as headache, back pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome; and important value-added content such as exercise protocols and nutritional guides. Content must be compelling, unique, and specific to your region. For example, an article on preventing surfing injuries would not be suitable for practices located in Kansas or Nebraska. Similarly, content offering tips on staying fit throughout cold Northeast winters would not be helpful for visitors based in southern California. You get the idea.
Search Engine Optimization
It’s important to consider where your visitors are going to come from before you begin creating your site content. Some of your visitors may be current patients and others may visit your site after having been given your business card. Others will arrive via Google search, provided your site content has been “optimized”. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the term given to activities that raise your site in Google search rankings and possibly cause your site, over time, to be listed on the first page of search results.
The most effective SEO activity is to focus on one or two “keyword phrases” and include either or both in every content page posted to your site. As a basic example, if you want to be found by people searching for a chiropractor in San Diego who treats sports injuries, include the keyword phrases “San Diego” and “sports injuries” in your text. Over time, as you con sistently increase the number of content pages on your site, your position in Google search for those keyword phrases will consistently improve.
Facebook, Google+ and Twitter have become powerful social marketing tools and can help increase your brand awareness and patient base. By providing truly valuable and unique information on a consistent basis, your Facebook, Google+ and Twitter feeds will attract new “friends” and “followers” and your brand (your practice) will become recognizable and familiar. Over time, many of these contacts will convert in one way or another into patients in your office.
“Internet time” moves very fast. A human “generation” is 25 years, but if an Internet industry has a lot of buzz, generations can turn over in 6 months or less. Media marketing is such a phenomenon. A not-so-new platform is YouTube, but even though this service is ancient from the perspective of Internet time, its importance continues to grow. YouTube is constantly expanding its reach and upgrading the organization of its listings. You can post numerous content-rich videos featuring all aspects of your practice. Now that HD cameras are affordable, YouTube provides the opportunity to reach a targeted audience with professional-quality video.
Building a website. Creating valuable, useful, entertaining content. Managing your Facebook, Google+ and Twitter accounts. This sounds like a great deal of work. In fact, social marketing is notoriously time intensive. Luckily, outside firms are available to manage your social media presence and help maximize your connections to targeted Internet communities. When you hire such a company, you’re hiring the equivalent of decades of experience and expertise in social media and social marketing, helping ensure that your Internet presence turns into increased volumes of new and repeat business in your thriving chiropractic practice.
Dr. David Lemberg has a decade of experience in Internet content development and marketing. He fondly remembers the long-ago days of DOS-based Internet email and iconic UNIX Internet tools such as archie and gopher. For additional information on how to create an effective social media marketing program for your practice, please contact [email protected]