Beyond the Basics: You've Graduated from PT Social Media 101, Now What?
Happy Friday to all of our hard working PTs out there! Over the course of this past week, we’ve highlighted why and how to use some of the basic social media tools for PTs. Today we want to wrap up our week with some next level tools for your benefit.
Below you’ll find our list of best-of-breed tools and why you may choose to use them.
Twitter and Facebook
I’ve set up a Twitter Account and Facebook page, but how am I going to manage/maintain the conversations?
How: Consider using what is called a “social media aggregator.” These tools do exactly what you think. They pull all of the information and communication from all of your social media “channels” into one place. Efficiency is key, right? Consider creating an account with either Hootsuite or TweetDeck. The initial setup will take just a few minutes (you’ll need to connect with all your different accounts) and then you’ll only have one login for all future conversations. Remember, social media is all about building relationships through conversations.
I’d love to blog, but I don’t really have time to write long articles. Is there an easier way to share photos and short blogs (more like paragraphs) with my PT community?
How: You’re a busy, on-the-go therapist AND you want to participate in social media. We get it. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Consider starting small with Tumblr or Posterous. These sites allow you to quickly post just about anything (text, photos, quotes, links, dialogues, audio, video, slideshows). These sites also auto-post your content to your social media channels like your clinic’s Facebook page and Twitter feed for you (read our lips: less work!). And of course they are both free.
I’m part of a small clinic (or even one-man) clinic without a great website and not a huge IT budget. How can I better build my brand and help my prospective patients find me online?
How: In addition to creating a Linkedin profile (see our post earlier this week for more Linkedin info) you should set up an about.me site. This is a great way to put all aspects of your web presence in one place. An added benefit of creating an about.me page is that you’ll be able to track analytics. You’ll see where people are coming from and the traffic volume.
I’ve heard of PTs creating demonstration videos and creating a YouTube channel. What is that all about?
How: YouTube is a social media outlet for sharing videos. A channel is similar to a profile dedicated to your clinic. Individual can “subscribe” to your YouTube channel and view all the videos you create all in one place. If you’re a social media rockstar and you believe videos are the best way to build your reputation online (and educate others) a YouTube or Vimeo account may be the way to go. The APTA’s MoveForward PT initiative has a great YouTube channel full of instructional/educational videos for the public. You can also check out our videos posted to Vimeo. The choice of platform is really up to you. Also, it may surprise you to know that YouTube is the Internet's second largest search engine (after Google).
Just keep in mind that engaging via social media does not need to be overwhelming. Start small. Carve out 15 minutes a day. The tools that we’ve shared with you today are intended to help you build relationships with real human beings. That’s the whole point.