This is the first blog post of many I am writing to talk about social media and physiotherapy. I will explain to you everything you need to know about social media and digital marketing, to make you be able to get the most out of all internet tools..
The answer to the question of this blog post is very easy “YES”. Nowadays, you can find anything on the internet, from the acupuncture course you were looking for months to the most recent scientific articles. Everything appears first on social media and then on paper or in your postbox.
Why should I use social media?
- You can meet phytherapists or other health professionals to share ideas and debate. Examples of where you could interact with physiotherapists and other health professionals are groups on Facebook or/and Linkedin and communities on Google+.
- You can find a job or even a job could find you. Linkedin is the best example, it has become a recruitment agency itself. It is the professional social media platform with more users and one of the main ways of finding workers by many companies. We could say that Linkedin is a large archive of curriculums that are constantly changing, which also lets you demonstrate your skills and knowledge by participating in discussion groups and adding your own papers (for instance, scientific articles) or social media work (for example, a link to your blog) to your curriculum.
- Social media platforms are a great source of information. You can find interesting articles from blogs written by health professionals that are a compilation of the latest scientific articles topics that might interest you. You should be able to differentiate between relevant information and “copy and paste” sort of information.
- It is an inexpensive way to advertise your practice and to show your professionalism to your patients or future possible patients. Physiotherapists usually decide to dedicate our lives to this profession to help people (as a vocation), but we have to eat, so to sell ourselves a bit is not a very bad sin.
- Social networking is a great way to interact with your patients or users in general (potential patients), receiving feedback and, therefore, keeping improving.
- You can be an exceptional physiotherapist or another health professional, but if you’re not on social media platforms, you are limiting yourself comparing to those guys who have been using them for a while. Nowadays, we all look for answers to our questions or problems on the internet. Note that in 2014, for instance, Facebook reached 1350 million users (25% of this amount in the United States and around 30 million active users in the UK).
What social media platforms to use?
I think that all health professionals that have there own practice (let´s focus on physiotherapists and physiotherapy clinics) should be on Linkedin, Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. I’m sure you are thinking “how will I manage to find time for that?”. You have three options: ask for help from a professional on social media, share the task with colleagues or employees of your practice or focus on fewer social media platforms. The most important platforms, because of their amount of users or/and impact on google rankings are Google+, Facebook and Twitter. It is worth saying that having a good website is necessary to link everything together.
Also, I think that social media has become have become something that everyone “knows” about. We have a very cool say in my province, in Spain, “everyone gives advice on football and medicine”. Add social media to this equation and now there are three things that everyone thinks to know about, although only a few people are actually knowledgeable on the subject.
In future blog posts I will talk about the different social media platforms, the above-mentioned and many others, and how to get the most out of them in the easiest possible way. I hope you become an expert in social media and that way your practice increases its patient flow. Note that when you start you cannot stop, social media is an addiction.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog post. If you would like to share your experience on social media or have any questions, leave a comment below or contact The Physical Therapy Southampton Physiotherapy.
Also, you can read the Spanish version of this blog post Soy fisio ¿tengo que estar en las redes sociales?