Mark Sanna, DC, ACRB Level II, FICC

No practice marketing strategy can neglect social media. The number of potential patients connected to each other through social media rises every day. If your practice isn’t connected to your community with social media, you can be sure that your competition is. Social media is one of the most powerful and cost-effective ways of increasing your brand awareness. However, social media platforms and how users engage with them is an ever-evolving process. The social media landscape has significantly altered, and we’ve witnessed the rise of social media “influencers”, the increase from 140 to 280 character limit on Twitter, and drastic shifts in the Facebook algorithm. This means that the approach your practice takes to social media must change as well. So, how can your practice leverage the power of social media? The following tactics should form the foundation of your digital marketing strategy.

Tell Great Stories

Consumers disengage when they are bombarded with impersonal messages and spam, so posting generic content is far from effective. What resonates with people most on social media is social storytelling. Story-based posts that don’t have a “call to action” or link included can foster a conversation, are a great way to get people interested in your practice, and generate lots of action in the comment section. Storytelling content is popular because it has a much better chance of appearing in your followers’ newsfeeds. Social media algorithms are demoting promotions packed with links. People also relate to stories and view them as messages that carry meaning and not as marketing spam.

Express Your Personality 

Aim to be genuine on social media. Consumers are savvy to constructed stories and are drawn to authenticity. Examine the brands that you follow. Most likely they have a personality that relates what is special or unique about them. Most successful practices have defined their mission and values. Be sure that your social media content connects with those values.  It’s not simply about showing off the services and products you offer to patients. The brands with the best social media presence are focused on communicating that they share a common point of view with their customers.  As more and more people are seeking alternatives to pharmaceutical-based healthcare, the time is right to share the message of natural health and wellness provided by chiropractic.

Tag Influencers in Social Media Posts

A great tactic to capture more exposure for your social media posts is to tag other people. Just like posts with hashtags, tagged posts are a bulletproof tactic on every major social media network. With tactical tagging, you tap into someone else’s audience without effort. Tagging influencers in your community and in healthcare is an easy way to increase your visibility. If you are not sure who to tag, is an influencer marketing tool that can help you identify potential tagging targets and relevant hashtags.

Include Live Video 

Without a doubt, video is the most popular type of content in terms of user engagement. The advent of live video has helped to push its effectiveness to the highest level. Facebook advises brands to utilize their Facebook Live feature. Due to a change in Facebook’s algorithm, live videos get six times the number of interactions as traditional videos. Instagram Live and Instagram stories are also growing in popularity with hundreds of millions of users. This phenomenon results from consumers’ desire to be addressed directly. Live video can be more cost-effective than regular video as viewers have decreased expectations of a polished production. Live videos are especially compelling as they are viewed when they are presented and can’t be left for later viewing.

Make Use of Geotags and Check-Ins

Geotagging your practice location is a sure way to increase your local following. When you tag your location it is a signal that you are part of your local community. This engenders greater affection from local consumers, who prefer to engage with businesses and brands in their own back yard. Asking your patients and practice team members to check-in or tag your practice when they are there also provides social proof. When potential new patients see photos of their friends who have visited your practice, they know that you are the real deal.

Be Committed to Building Your Following

Building a strong social media following requires you to be active in your efforts. When you follow other people on social media, a percentage of them will follow you back. Make a habit of following people and interacting with them on a regular basis. Like and share their posts and they will do the same to yours. This process takes time, but once it picks up momentum, the results are steady and solid. Look for active users in your community, check the hashtags they use, and follow those who use them. If you attend a local event, following the people you meet in person on social media can mean more for the opportunity to develop an ongoing relationship than asking for their business card.  Initiate conversations and be approachable and sociable. Trends in social media are constantly changing and these strategies will help your practice stay on top of the latest. Review these tips and try using them to master social media for your practice.

Dr. Mark Sanna is a member of the Chiropractic Summit and a board member of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. He is the president and CEO of Breakthrough Coaching (  1-800-723-8423).