Your reputation precedes you; your reputation follows you, and once established, your reputation is—for better or worse—tough to shake. That’s why actively positioning yourself and your professional brand is so important. Think of it this way: your reputation is on the line with every tweet, shared image, Facebook update, LinkedIn post, and response (or lack of a response) to a negative review or customer complaint online. Social media doesn’t simply provide you with a convenient way to reach your customers; it also allows those customers to reach out to you, while the whole world watches. That can be a scary proposition, unless you view it as your opportunity to establish your online reputation as a responsive, customer-centric social business.

Know Where You Stand

A great first step to online reputation management is conducting an online reputation audit. Google your name or the name of your clinic and you’ll quickly see where you stand. If you are nowhere to be found on page one results, or worse, if negative reviews or photographic evidence of your weekend shenanigans is what floods the results page, you have some work to do. The good news? Social media sites are high authority platforms when it comes to Google search, so optimizing your social profiles can help you clean up your image. Posting regularly helps, too. If you are a Google+ user, for instance, you’ll notice your latest G+ posts appear to the right of your search results when you Google your name or the name of your business. David Straight of just wrote about this very topic in a blog post earlier this week.

Capitalize on Opportunities

It’s not very likely that you will develop and maintain a reputation for being a flawless person or for having the perfect product. No one expects that. However, it’s far more common for professionals or businesses to develop bad reputations for responding poorly (or not at all) when things don’t go right. No bueno. Each customer interaction (or touchpoint, as some like to call it) is your and your practice’s opportunity to establish and reinforce your reputation as the awesomely responsive social business that you are. Consumers don’t always expect you to fix whatever is wrong immediately or to completely resolve a service issue in 140 characters or fewer. What they do expect is responsiveness. We all want to be heard and acknowledged, and we want to know our concerns are being taken seriously. Social media gives you the perfect platform to listen to your customers, respond in real time, and make a positive impression with each and every interaction.

Resist the Urge to Sell

This might seem counterintuitive at first glance, especially for small business owners who can barely carve out time to spend on social in the first place. It seems that you should maximize the time you do devote to social media, and thus, you should spend that time selling your product to your target audience. That’s half right. You do want to maximize your time and efforts on social media, but that doesn’t always mean selling. Know your platforms. Consider how you (as a social media user, not a marketer) engage on different social media sites. If you think it would be annoying or inappropriate for a brand to sell to you while you peruse pictures from your nephew’s fifth birthday party or while you try to keep up with the lives of your friends on the East Coast, then that’s how others will feel about your efforts to sell to them. One of the most important steps to a successful social media reputation management strategy is identifying the most effective platforms for your messaging. You don’t want to seem overly aggressive or solely interested in making a sale. And you don’t want to look like a noob either, so choose wisely when it comes to selecting which social media sites you spend the time on.

The bottom line is that it’s useful to think of your social media presence and your activities on social media platforms as reputation management, rather than sales or conventional marketing. Now, if you’re your own social media team, PR team, marketing team, and street team, just remember when to wear which hat, and you’ll do great!

So, what do you think? What is your practice’s social media strategy? Let me know in the comments below.

Ditch the Donuts: Referral Marketing Strategies that Actually Work - Regular BannerDitch the Donuts: Referral Marketing Strategies that Actually Work - Small Banner
  • Let’s Face It: We’re Just Not That Interesting! Image

    articleSep 4, 2014 | 4 min. read

    Let’s Face It: We’re Just Not That Interesting!

    One of the biggest marketing challenges facing therapy business owners across the country is that when we advertise or promote our services, we often neglect to create interest and emotional appeal. Instead, we try too hard to sell. We take a 3” x 5” advertising space and pack it with a 12-bullet-point list of services we provide. We spend our promotional dollars simply talking about what we do instead of truly communicating the impact we have on …

  • articleSep 13, 2012 | 3 min. read

    Beyond the Standard: Social Media Tips for Marketing the PT Profession, Part 3

    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’re discussing four ways to use social media beyond the standard and instead, use …

  • [Quiz] Is Your PT Clinic Marketing to the Right Patients? Image

    articleMar 25, 2019 | 1 min. read

    [Quiz] Is Your PT Clinic Marketing to the Right Patients?

    We’ve been talking about the importance of marketing directly to patients for a while now. After all, patient-consumers are taking an even more active role in their healthcare decisions . But even PT clinics that do market their practices to patients often do so without having a strategy in place. And that’s concerning, because if you’re not thinking strategically about how you’re spending your marketing dollars—not to mention your time—then you’re probably not going to see the …

  • How to Get More New Patients Without Spending a Dime Image

    articleAug 18, 2017 | 6 min. read

    How to Get More New Patients Without Spending a Dime

    When you’re trying to get more of the stuff you need, sometimes all you have to do is ask . But shy of affecting a Dickensian persona and approaching referral sources with your hat in hand, you may not know what sort of strategy you should employ to get more patients into your clinic. The fact is, word-of-mouth advertising has been proven to boost marketing effectiveness by up to 54%. The message is clear: word-of-mouth is must …

  • Founder Letter: Changing the Face of PT One Tweet at a Time Image

    articleNov 3, 2014 | 3 min. read

    Founder Letter: Changing the Face of PT One Tweet at a Time

    In today’s healthcare market, consumers have more power—and more choices—than ever. With access to so many educational resources— hello, Google! —they also have the ability to conduct extensive research as they make those decisions. This represents a huge shift in the healthcare paradigm. It used to be that primary care doctors were the gatekeepers to all other specialties. Now, in many cases, patients have the freedom to seek out specialized care on their own. And that is …

  • How to Spend Your Clinic’s Marketing Dollars for Maximum Returns Image

    articleAug 17, 2016 | 11 min. read

    How to Spend Your Clinic’s Marketing Dollars for Maximum Returns

    As author and marketing guru Seth Godin says, “In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.” If you want to stand out in the rehab therapy marketplace—and potentially grow your clinic—then spending money on marketing is essential. But, to ensure a maximum return on investment, you’ve got to carve out—and carefully manage—your physical therapy clinic’s budget. Knowing where to put those dollars can …

  • articleJan 29, 2013 | 5 min. read

    How to Get Started in Blogging

    According to Hat Trick Associates , as of 2010, there were about 450 million active English language blogs. And in Blog Rules , Nancy Flynn explains that in 2006 a new blog entered the blogosphere every second. Even before Facebook and Twitter, businesses were using blogs as a way to have instant, two-way communication with customers and prospects online. So, why wouldn’t rehab therapists blog? It’s a great way to educate the community, give your practice personality, …

  • 4 Ways to Involve Your PT Staff in Clinic Marketing Image

    articleDec 18, 2018 | 9 min. read

    4 Ways to Involve Your PT Staff in Clinic Marketing

    Unless you have a complete monopoly (or run an incredibly niche-based practice), word-of-mouth efforts generally won’t keep your clinic’s doors open. Marketing is an essential part of running a healthy PT clinic, and while many clinics keep a dedicated marketing specialist on staff, smaller clinics might not have the budget to do so. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to leverage existing clinical staff to help with marketing efforts—and they’ll get the chance to flex their creative …

  • 4 Ways to Market Your PT Clinic's Culture Image

    articleApr 10, 2019 | 6 min. read

    4 Ways to Market Your PT Clinic's Culture

    Why do patients drop out of therapy? As we explain in this WebPT Blog post , it can be for a number of reasons ranging from slow results to time constraints. But while the reasons may vary, most of them boil down to one thing: the patient just wasn’t right for physical therapy—at least not at your clinic. So, what’s a PT practitioner to do? After all, if you’re relying on referrals from physicians , there’s no …

Achieve greatness in practice with the ultimate EMR for PTs, OTs, and SLPs.