Today’s blog post comes from WebPT copywriters Charlotte Bohnett and Erica Cohen.

Like us! Follow us! Nowadays most clinics have a Facebook and/or a Twitter. With everyone vying for customers’ attention on their newsfeeds, how do you stand out? How do you make your posts, tweets, and page more than just standard business promotion? Let’s talk about impact, emotion, and education. This week, we’ll discuss four ways to use social media beyond the standard and instead, use your online presence to market yourself and the profession.

Become a Thought Leader
According to an article in Inc., “a thought-leader is someone who is willing to step into the spotlight and voice their points of view, innovative ideas, and potentially controversial opinions. He drives conversation and peppers the Internet and other outlets with his insights, ideas, and expertise. She inspires others to follow their dreams and teaches them to think big, solve problems, and face their fears.”

Sounds like quite the undertaking, eh? It actually isn’t so tough, especially when you’re becoming a thought leader on your greatest passion. Consider these:

  • Share; don’t sell. How do brands create a loyal following? Conversations. Social media is a conversation—not an ad—platform. Starting a discussion or providing up-to-date information about your practice, your staff, or yourself will help you create a following based on interaction and education. Engaged followers mean better clinic business. In fact, 50% of Facebook fans and Twitter followers are more likely to buy and recommend services after becoming a fan or follower, according to a CMB consumer research study.
  • Become a true therapy expert. Got an opinion? Back it up with research. As Inc.explains, “learn to speak about your ideas with passion; become a storyteller. Your passionate disposition will recruit followers and other leaders who respect and appreciate your insight. These folks will spread the word!” Marketer Geoff Livingston concurs: “Develop true domain or vertical expertise that empowers you to accurately forecast the trends of now, or the immediate future”—or simply speak convincingly and intelligently on your profession.
  • Embrace platforms. “Step onto the stage, speak to live audiences, upload videos that teach and inspire, write, write, and write some more,” says Inc. “Guest blog, invite others to blog as your guest...Promote yourself to podcasters and broadcasters who speak to the same or a similar audience.” Speaking of uploading videos, consider the power of video. After Google, YouTube is the Internet’s second largest search engine, so it makes sense to establish a presence here (or on Vimeo). You can “subscribe” to specific channels (like the APTA’s MoveForward PT initiative) and view all those videos in one place. In addition to viewing, you can also favorite and comment on what you watch.
Become a Thought Leader on Social Media

Ultimately, to truly become a thought leader, you must remember that your voice matters. As Inc.puts it: “Not all thought leaders will affect the world in Seth Godin or Mari Smith fashion—nor do they need to...That's the beauty of this leadership opportunity; it can be as big or small as you desire it to be.” You never know how your tweet, video, speech, blog, or podcast may touch and affect the life of another. Give voice to what matters to you because it probably matters to many others who are searching not only for inspiration, but the assurance that their own voice matters.

Are you a thought leader on social? What advice do you have? Share in the comments, and stay tuned for part two of “Beyond Social” tomorrow.

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