These days social media can play an important role in a therapist’s business, whether it's marketing for new clients, advertising your services, generating interest or just knowledge sharing to current patients and the public alike, many therapists feel they need to use it.
However, here at Sports Injury Fix we constantly hear from therapists frustrated at the time, effort, and energy it costs them to maintain a social media presence.
Of course, if you're going to do it, we advocate making sure you dedicate an appropriate amount of time, effort, and energy to produce and promote good content, but it shouldn't be something that takes up more time than needed.
So, here's our 10 top tips for making your social media more efficient. This isn't an exhaustive list, but it should serve as a starting point or a refresher for many of you who may be unable to see the wood for the trees as you scratch the surface of social media.
1. Do you even need social media?
This may seem like a strange question, but when we do speak to many therapists their perfect client and target audience doesn't live or exist on social media. Offline marketing, person to person marketing and promotion via existing / previous clients would be a far better use of their time.
Now that's not saying they don't WANT a social media presence, and that’s fine, but it's framing within the right context of how much time effort and energy they should be applying into their social media.
2. Don’t overthink it!
Let's assume you do need a social media presence, the first thing I would suggest is that you don't overthink it. that isn't saying to post on a whim, to post without diligence, care and thought about what you promote, but we see so many therapists at Sports injury Fix who spend so long in the planning, preparation, consideration, and deliberation phase, that they never have anytime in a busy existing schedule to produce anything.
3. Share great content by others.
Here's a really quick and easy win. There are therapists who either spend longer on social media or are perhaps more well versed and experienced in delivering social media content. If you see some of this content then by all means retweet, repost, and tag them into your posts. It gives kudos to those who've produced that content, who may well share your posts, but also becomes a great way to share good diligent content to your audience.
4. Make sure to still be your own brand.
Using the inspiration of others is great, but please produce your own content as much as you can.
As much as we believe in tip 3 above, we are our own brands and it’s important to get that seen to raise awareness, brand recognition and recruit patients.
So, use the inspiration of others but put your own twist on it, if you think content by others is great, think about how your message may be portrayed on the same topic or content. Be careful not to clearly copy or plagiarise the work, simply redesign it in your in your own colours, logos, and words to help the content you produce. Can the same message me interpreted more effectively to reach your audience? One of the biggest mistakes people make in this area is that they feel they have to do things based on algorithms or social media messaging that they may be uncomfortable doing. You may feel pressure to film a video when you don't feel comfortable being in front of a camera, so use whichever content medium that you feel most comfortable with regardless of what the metrics may say you should be using at the time. As you grow more experience and become more confident that can always change.
5. Talk about your patients.
For those struggling to think of which content they should use then look closer to home sometimes. We all treat and help patients on a daily basis, use these patients anonymously or with consent if needed as your content. Talk about a patient that you just saw, talk about a treatment that you've used, talk about some philosophies that you may have that you've implemented with these patients, the content is there you just need to mine for it.
6. Preparation is key.
Many therapists will suddenly find 10 minutes to produce something and feel immediate pressure to do so. It’s really hard to be imaginative in this context. Have some ideas planned, or even a back catalogue of prepared content ready to go when you need it. I take an afternoon each month to pre-record these ideas, this gives me lots of things to fall back on when needed. You need to factor this time in, but it could be worth it later on.
7. Use some time saving tools.
There are many easy to use and cost-effective ways to up your social media game. Platforms such as Canva can be fantastic and simple ways to improve your design, your brand imagery with little thought, skill or talent required.
Social media sharing platforms such as Hootsuite or Buffer can be fantastic ways to manage the content delivery. These can be preloaded, pre-planned, predated to schedule content sharing when you're busy doing the other things that you need to with your business, treating patients or spending time outside work with friend’s family and your social activities.
8. Manage your Social Media time.
Many therapists report that they spend too long surfing social media platforms. Buy back a little bit of your time, rather than looking at other people's content, dedicate ringfenced time to prepare your own. This may seem daunting initially, but you will become effective at utilising this time. Pre-planned time pressures are less stressful than unplanned times.
9. Don’t search for perfection.
It's fantastic to see therapists with so much pride and care in their work, but we can often handcuff ourselves by trying to perfect the work we're getting out. If you make the odd gaff, the odd slip up in your speak or if you have the odd typo, as long as it's not on every social media post that you put out it doesn't matter.
It shows a human touch, if you have the time to review it and correct then brilliant, but if it's just about generating content to get out there then 90% right and getting content promoted regularly is better than 100% correct content that never gets shared.
10. Answer the questions everyone asks.
If there's ever an open goal when it comes to social media, I think it's this. Multiple times each day, each week our patients will ask questions about therapy. Grab a question, give a couple of lines answer to it and you've got multiple pieces of content easily produced that can recruit patients but can also promote your business in general.
In summary, social media can be effective for therapists, but make sure your business needs and it's not just something you want to do It’s fine if it is just something you want to do, but make sure to just give it the appropriate time in that case.
Aim to build a regular drumbeat rather than a boom-and-bust approach – it may take longer to achieve the goals you want, but its more effective and time efficient in the long run. Start simple with the easy to produce and share type content rather than overthinking the process and becoming disheartened due to wasted, ineffective time spent that makes social media a burden on your business.
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog if you'd like to find out more about how social media can influence your business then follow our social media channels (Sports Injury Fix across all platforms) and look out for the new Business fundamentals courses which will be launched soon.