1.86 billion Facebook users and myself agree: online networking platforms represent one of the best technological advances in recent years.

If you aren’t leveraging the online sphere to grow your occupational therapy network, you may be missing out. However, we all know by now that the online world can be a rabbit hole of dead ends and misadventures. It is, therefore, critical to approach social networking with purpose. 

Here are three steps to help you do just that:

Occupational Therapist Salary Guide - Regular BannerOccupational Therapist Salary Guide - Small Banner

1. Set a goal.

No one has time to throw spaghetti against a wall just to see what sticks. Avoid wasting time in building your OT network by starting with a defined goal in mind.

Of course, a SMART goal is ideal, but a general intention can work as well. Here are some examples:

  • Find a trusted group you can ask for treatment advice.
  • Connect with individuals who have similar career goals.
  • Share frustrations and find encouragement.
  • Find a space to nurture your idea for a new OT endeavor.

2. Find the right network.

This is probably the most difficult step. Social networks are constantly evolving, and what worked a year ago may not be working for you now. Take time to peruse your options.

Here are the three social networks that I believe have the most easily accessible potential value for you. If you’ve mastered these three already, then you could dabble in places like LinkedIn, Quora, Reddit, OT Connections, or Twitter.

OT on Facebook: Crowdsource answers to your questions.

Facebook remains one of the best ways to connect with other OTs. However, the process for doing this has evolved slightly.

Right now, Facebook Groups are where you will find the most engagement. There are dozens of OT groups out there, but here are the ones that have a lot of quality engagement happening on them:

OT on Pinterest: Find inspiration.

If your goal is to find inspiration and generate new ideas, Pinterest is the place for you. The easiest way to get started is to follow group boards. From there, you can start following people who you see posting great content.

Here are some of the most popular OT group boards:

OT on Instagram: Get better acquainted with specific companies and individuals.

Instagram is where you should head if you want to get to know someone better. Perhaps there’s a company you’d like to work for someday or a colleague who inspires you. Following them on Instagram (and hopefully having them follow you) is a great way to start a relationship.

If no companies or therapists come to mind, you can start by exploring some of the hashtags. To do this, go to Instagram, find the search box, and try typing something like “#occupationaltherapy” or “#otstudent.”

3. Be genuine.

Networking online is the same as networking in person. So, the same best practices apply. Don’t try to sell something to someone you just met. Don’t ask too much of them. Don’t be spammy or scammy.

Instead, be yourself and have fun with it. I have met amazing friends and mentors through social networking, and I hope you have the same experience!


Sarah Lyon, OTR/L, created otpotential.com in 2011. She helps occupational therapists find the right OT job and connects them with OT resources to refine their practice.

  • The Bare-Bones Social Media Guide for PT Clinics Image

    articleMay 17, 2018 | 5 min. read

    The Bare-Bones Social Media Guide for PT Clinics

    I’ll admit it: during the first five years of my career, I was extremely opposed to using social media. I felt uncomfortable when patients asked to friend me on Facebook, and I got nervous about employers checking in on my personal life. Along the way, though, I was forced to change my tune. When I launched my non-clinical physical therapy career as a copywriter and entrepreneur, I had to learn the art of self-promotion. As PTs, we’re …

  • How to Use Online Networking to Boost Your PT Business Image

    articleFeb 28, 2019 | 12 min. read

    How to Use Online Networking to Boost Your PT Business

    The prospect of building a physical therapy business can feel daunting, but the advent of social media has made certain aspects of the process dramatically easier—namely, networking. While online networking can seem a bit unnatural to many of us at first, pushing past the discomfort can be the one of the best things we’ll ever do for our personal and professional growth. Whether the end goal is to attract patients to a traditional or telehealth practice, forge …

  • 29 Ways to Remedy Rehab Therapy Burnout Image

    articleJun 30, 2015 | 4 min. read

    29 Ways to Remedy Rehab Therapy Burnout

    As a therapist, you care about your patients (thank you, captain obvious ). But it’s this helpful nature that’s often responsible for stress, frustration, and even career burnout. When things get rough, you might find yourself internalizing patient progress—or lack thereof. Additionally, you might feel like you have to constantly fill the “therapist” role, even when you’re not in the clinic. Plus, you’re under pressure to answer tons of questions thrown your way on a daily basis …

  • The Rehab Therapist’s Guide to Hashtags Image

    articleApr 9, 2019 | 7 min. read

    The Rehab Therapist’s Guide to Hashtags

    Hashtags are here to stay (so long as Twitter and Instagram have anything to say about it), so if you’re not already using hashtags in your social media marketing , now is the time to start. For those of you who already use hashtags on social, kudos! You’re well on your way to becoming a social media savant—if you’re not already. But even savants can use advice from time to time, so before we dive into the …

  • Modern Marketing Decoded: A Guide for Rehab Therapists Image

    downloadDec 5, 2017

    Modern Marketing Decoded: A Guide for Rehab Therapists

    Do you feel like your practice’s website could use a dose of TLC? Are you worried that potential patients aren’t finding you online? Have your attempts at generating online buzz fizzled out—or worse, backfired? If so—and if you want your rehab therapy practice to “live long and prosper”—then you may need to rethink your current marketing strategy. But, venturing into the brave new world of modern marketing can be a lot—especially if you’re new to the game. …

  • How Your Patients are Stalking You Online—and Why That’s a Good Thing Image

    articleMar 2, 2015 | 6 min. read

    How Your Patients are Stalking You Online—and Why That’s a Good Thing

    Did you know the average American spends way more time scouring the Internet for medical information than consulting with an actual medical professional? So says Makovsky, a Public Relations firm in NYC, and Kelton, a global research and consultancy firm, in their article titled, “Online Health Research Eclipsing Patient-Doctor Conversations.” These two companies conducted their third annual US survey in July 2013, polling 1,067 Americans ages 18 and older. The results revealed that the average American spends …

  • How Much Time Should I Devote to Social Media? Image

    articleSep 25, 2014 | 6 min. read

    How Much Time Should I Devote to Social Media?

    We’ve provided a lot of advice about social media on our blog this month, addressing everything from visuals to negative comments. Now that the month’s coming to a close, let’s ask the question on everyone’s mind: “How much time do I need to devote to social media?” I could end this blog post right now and give the safe response: “You should devote whatever amount of time you feel is necessary to achieve your goals.” But that’s …

  • 5 Easy Steps to Create High-Quality Videos for Your Practice Image

    articleDec 21, 2018 | 8 min. read

    5 Easy Steps to Create High-Quality Videos for Your Practice

    As a videographer, I’ve witnessed the far-reaching effects videos can have when it comes to promoting businesses. However, due to cost constraints, many rehab therapists and practice owners feel that hiring a videographer is not within their marketing budget . Still, based on what we heard during the marketing open forum we held at the most recent Ascend conference , they are interested in creating their own videos—but are unsure how to produce high-quality, effective videos. The …

  • 4 Video Ideas to Humanize Your PT Business Image

    articleApr 29, 2019 | 6 min. read

    4 Video Ideas to Humanize Your PT Business

    Video is one of the most—if not the most—engaging types of content on social media. It keeps users’ attention 5 times longer than any other type of post, and it’s also—in my opinion—the best way to humanize your company. After all, it’s in our nature to trust a person over a business . So, if you show your patients (and potential future patients) that your business is filled with genuine people who care about their recovery, they …

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