Still using the Yellow Pages? If so, you may want to give your marketing strategy a readjustment. The reason is this: people aren’t thumbing through the phone book for a chiropractor anymore. Instead, 70% of U.S. households are now turning their attention online when it comes to searching for a product or service.
So how do you increase visibility in that space? For beginners, a website is an important first step. Whether glamorous or bookish, it will provide you the ‘ticket to ride’ in this new digital age.
But savvy marketers within the chiropractic community already are migrating to a new platform — one that has become so pervasive that words such as ‘friend’ and ‘like’ have taken on a completely new meaning in the world’s lexicon. Their destination: social media.
Social channels such as Facebook and Twitter are forever changing the marketing world. Believe it or not, the average American now spends 37 minutes a day on social media. Not surprisingly, businesses are following in droves. A recent marketing survey found that 8 out of 10 small businesses now use social media to grow their customer base. And more than two-thirds of those businesses say they have acquired new customers because of it.
The question is how to get your brand, your logo and your expertise in front of consumers, especially if you are feeling a little socially awkward to begin with. Although there are social marketing services that could provide you with a needed lift (see Social5 below), we would recommend these five steps for taking your business from socially ‘awkward’ to socially ‘savvy.’
PICK YOUR CHANNEL: The first step to any successful social media strategy is identifying your audience and knowing where to find them. Facebook is a low-risk strategy for the chiropractic community that offers a highly diverse, business-to-consumer audience. Health and wellness are trending topics on that platform. Twitter is another popular option that works best for urban professionals. Pinterest is the dominant channel for women, particularly in businesses that are visually oriented. And LinkedIn serves as a great business-networking tool if you provide employer wellness services. So pick your channel and move to step two.
GO LIVE! Now comes visibility. Create a profile for your business on the social media channel of choice, then fill out the biographical information completely. This information will help with online searchability. Be sure to invest in professional graphics. Just as you would put a fresh coat of paint on your storefront, put a professional touch to your social media appearance. This will be the first impression customers will see when they seek you out.
THINK CONTENT: The most difficult part of social media marketing is content. Unlike a billboard, you need to populate your social channels with fresh and engaging content every week. This content should be ‘social’ in nature. Nothing will make your social marketing strategy fall flat faster than ‘salesy’ content. Dedicate enough time to publish 2-3 pieces of content per week on your social media channels. This predictability of publishing will help you be found online.
BE SOCIAL: Remember that you are marketing in a social environment. No one likes a one-sided conversation. So interact with fans each week. If they comment on a post, reply back with a friendly ‘thank you.’ If they ask a question, answer it as quickly as possible. If there is a neighboring business on social media, like their page. Your interaction with potential customers will increase your standing on social media, improve customer loyalty and lead to audience growth.
REWARD YOUR FANS: This is the best kept secret to social media growth. Rewarding your fans with special discounts or offers can lead to rapid audience growth. Just make sure to people know about it. Send out an email, inviting people to participate. Talk about it within your practice. Run a social media advertisement to target people in your local community. This will build up a following that you can market to in the weeks and months ahead.
Ready for this social media adventure? If you need help along the way, please reach out to our recommended partner, Social5, which offers full-service. Turn-key social media marketing solutions for chiropractors like you. You can visit them online at www.social5.com.