Tell me more about Facebook marketing for PT’s!

I’ve been lucky enough to work with a lot of great physical therapists and their brands. At BuildPT, we work with PTs of all levels — from those just out of DPT school to long-time private practice owners — who are looking to revamp their marketing efforts, breathing new life into clinics with potential to grow. In my daily conversations with clients, one of the most common questions I get is this: “What should I be doing for social media?”
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The short answer is this: Facebook is the best place for you to start.

[INFOGRAPHIC] A Physical Therapist’s Guide to Reaching Patients on Facebook

Facebook for physical therapists [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Yes, there’s a lot more to social media than Facebook. But you’re not a trendy online retailer or Instagram fitness sensation (yet), and I’m pretty sure the bulk of your paying clientele is over 35. So let’s start where your audience is…and chances are, they’re on Facebook. So what works on Facebook? Who’s on it, and what do they care about? What kind of content should you be posting? Here’s a short and sweet guide to reaching your patients on the world’s most-used social network!

Everyone and their Mom is on Facebook

No…like, for real. Moms are on Facebook. And that’s great, because women make approximately 80 percent of health care decisions for their families and are more likely to be the caregivers when a family member falls ill. And it’s not just women on Facebook. 72% of all online adults in the U.S. are on it, and a huge percentage of each age group are active. And good news for PTs in urban, suburban, and rural areas: no matter where you are, your patients are likely to be active on Facebook. Here’s what I love the most about FB: it’s where the 65-and-over crowd has the biggest presence. In fact, 48% of online adults over 65 are active on Facebook. That should matter to you, PT. You’re a movement expert and the perfect candidate to educate this population on active aging. You may have heard the rumor that younger people are leaving FB. True, growth in this demographic has slowed, but 82% of 18-to-29-year-olds are still on Facebook. Takeaway: FB by far has the most diverse audience of any social channel out there.

Facebook users log in ALL THE TIME…and they share content like crazy

Have you ever had a friend announce that they are “quitting Facebook,” only to reappear a week later? They aren’t alone. 70% of Facebook users log on daily, including 43% who do so several times a day. What are these people doing on FB so much? Sharing content! Half of users say they want to share “useful content.” And which demographic is most likely to share? Baby Boomers! They are 19 percent more likely to share content compared with any other generation. Overall, women are 26 percent more likely to share than male counterparts. That’s your cue! If you’re wondering what type of content to produce, a good place to start is topics of interest to female boomers and the people they care for.

When it comes to Facebook content, visual (especially video) is king

You don’t have to be a marketing expert to know that visual conten t– especially video — is wildly popular. Posts with images are 2.3 times more likely to be engaged with. (Engagement = sharing, liking, or commenting.) If you really want to produce valuable content, do not shy away from video. Just marinate on this statistic: between April 2015 and November 2015, the amount of average daily video views on Facebook doubled from 4 billion to 8 billion.

Physical therapy is all about movement, so it makes sense to produce video content

Video content is intimidating to PTs for a lot of reasons, even if you’re not camera shy. Embrace this motto: Doing is better than perfect. You do not to hire a professional videographer to make a 90-second video on the correct way to perform a deep-knee squat. The only thing you need to worry about is being focused and keeping your videos short and sweet! “How-to” and tutorial videos should be between 45-90 seconds long, while testimonial and “talking head” videos should be no longer than 2 minutes. Any longer than that, and chances are you’re rambling. Here are 5 ideas for your first video:
  • A 90-second explanation of shin splints
  • A quick demo of a correct kettlebell swing
  • A 1-minute testimonial from a patient about how you helped them reduce foot pain
  • Demo three at-home exercises an older patient can perform using the back of a chair
  • Explain-it-challenge: Give yourself 60 seconds every week to answer a frequently asked question. For example: why do so many female soccer players tear their ACLs? (Hint for keeping content short: remember, you’re just giving people a preview of what can be covered in PT. The call to action should always be something to the extent of, “So now you know that corrective movement can actually prevent ACL injuries in young soccer players. Bring your player in, and we’ll conduct a free 15-minute movement assessment. Don’t let injury keep her sidelined!”)

To some extent, you’ve gotta pay to play on Facebook

You’re a business. Facebook knows it, and they have a paid advertising model that is a great place to dedicate a small digital marketing budget. It’s true that “boosting” your posts — paying a few dollars to give them a wider audience — can yield better results than waiting around for a bunch of people to like your page. A few great reasons to advertise on Facebook? 1) It’s relatively low-cost (you can boost a post with a few bucks), and 2) you can target the hell out of your audience. Thanks to all of Facebook’s data on its users (let’s be honest, it’s pretty creepy), you can specifically advertise to people of any age, sex, town, religious affiliation…the list goes on. With the right parameters set, a small budget can go a long way. Read more here: Why Small Businesses Should Use Facebook Advertising. Wanna dip your toe in paid advertising? We suggest promoting a well-optimized post that links back to your blog. If you’re putting cash behind a post, it should include:
  • A nice featured image that will display alongside your blog post title in people’s timelines
  • A shareable image within the blog post
  • A call to action once people are on your website (e.g.: “Call us to discuss this condition and your phone number.”)
Social media for your physical therapy practice doesn’t have to give you a headache. I’d love to chat with you about your marketing and help you get a sustainable plan in place! Shoot me an email at [email protected] or a call at (866) 896-0181. In the meantime, happy Facebooking 🙂
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