Did you know that more than one in eight people on this planet use Instagram each month? It’s true. According to Statista, more than a staggering 1 billion people use Instagram each month1 … and that number is growing.
So, if you own a physical therapy clinic and you’re not on Instagram, you’re likely missing out on some big opportunities.
Instagram provides a unique, image-centric way for you to interact with your clinic’s patients. You can feature photos or videos to show off your practice and provide your audience with an inside look at physical therapists in action.
You can share back exercises and healthy recipes. You can introduce your new on-site massage therapist. You can educate the masses about physical therapy through videos and infographics. The sky’s the limit.
But, you have to execute. Keep reading to find out how.
Leveraging Instagram for Physical Therapists
Instagram is a social media platform, so think “social” first (also, don’t be overly promotional with your posts).
Instagram (specifically posting) is mostly a branding strategy, so your focus should be more about building awareness about your clinic and rehab therapy services. Your goal is to provide visual posts that encourage engagement and organic promotion from your audience.
Applicable Tips for Physical Therapists on Instagram
Below are some Instagram posting tips by the Net Health outpatient therapy marketing team:
1) Tag People. Tagging people is a great way to get others involved with your posts. Keep in mind that if you tag patients, then you’ll likely want written consent.
2) Add Location. This is basic, but very important. Always add your office as a location. This is key to confirming to your audience that you’re a real business. It’s about credibility.
3) #hashtag. Use appropriate hashtags for each post. When choosing a hashtag, we encourage you to think of both relevance and volume. This means to always choose a hashtag that’s relevant to the media and description of your Instagram post. Then, choose a hashtag that many people use.
Pro Tip: Creating your own celever #hashtag is cute, but it likely will not help with engagement.
4) Show off your employees. Physical therapy is a service that is provided by people – real, interesting, educated and dynamic people. This adds a level of human touch and puts a human face behind your clinic’s brand.
Pro Tip: Don’t introduce people through long-winded bios. Adding personality or humor to your employee features will heighten interest from your followers.
5) Show off your services. Did you know that we treat [FILL IN THE BLANK]? Shockingly, most people do not fully understand what physical therapists do. This is a great way to educate your audience and expand mindshare within your community.
6) Show off patient results. This is a great opportunity to show the value of your services. Before and after images are great, and patient success stories are awesome, too! Again, though, be sure to first get the patient’s consent.
7) DIY Tips. Similar to showing your services, provide value to your audience by offering some DIY tips that relate to your ideal patient demographic. Along with offering value, this establishes professional credibility while helping educate your audience about physical therapy.
Pro Tip: Self-management, exercise, and stretching tips are content gold for PTs.
8) Video. When it comes to engaging content, video is king. Keep them short and sweet, and quickly get to the point because you have 60 seconds for a post and 3 to 15 seconds for Instagram Story videos. For videos in your Instagram timeline, all tips above are highly recommended.
More tips for PTs using Instagram video:
- To maximize engagement, quickly get to the point in your video. You have about 3 to 5 seconds to capture someone’s attention, otherwise they’ll keep scrolling through their timelines.
- Most won’t be judging you on videography. So, don’t let the fact you’re unable to produce a 60-second James Cameron-quality video stop you from sharing your own content. It’s the content that matters, not the production quality.
- Creativity is your biggest strength. Adding variety to your video posts can keep your audience wanting more. Typically, having more than one admin is recommended as this provides versatility of your video content.
- Use Instagram Stories Video. 500 million-plus users view Instagram Stories each day.2 These videos have a one-day lifespan, so they add a level of urgency. Plus, they’re located at the top of the Instagram feed!
Again, Instagram posts are all about building your clinic’s brand. Do this consistently, and you will build audience, increase engagement, and get people interested in your clinic and services.
This doesn’t happen overnight, though. Just like any content marketing strategy, consistency over time is key to growing your instagram following and clinic. So, make it part of your daily or weekly routine, and you’ll certainly find the effort pays off in the long run.
Other Physical Therapy Social Media Ideas
Beyond Instagram, there are other social media platforms that rehab therapists can leverage when promoting your physical therapy clinic. Whether that is Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or even TikTok, all have their own unique strengths and user demographics. All can be valuable for physical therapy practices and clinics.
Here are some additional tips for physical therapists to leverage social media:
1) Share Expertise and Provide Value: Use your social media platforms to share your knowledge about physical therapy. This can include health tips, insights into common conditions, explanations of different treatment methods, or even simple exercises that people can do at home. The more value you provide, the more likely people are to follow you and engage with your content.
2) Build a Community: Social media is a powerful tool for building a sense of community around your clinic. Encourage your followers to share their own experiences, ask questions, and engage with your posts. User generated content has especially high engagement. This not only increases engagement but also fosters a sense of camaraderie and support among your followers.
3) Promote Positive Patient Stories: With the patient’s consent, share success stories and testimonials. These stories can inspire others and provide tangible proof of the value of your services. Social proof is central in the psychology of persuasion and gaining credibility. People will trust what a third party says about you more than traditional marketing messaging.
4) Stay Active and Consistent: As said above, consistency is key for rehab therapists on social media. Post regularly and respond promptly to comments and messages. This not only keeps your audience engaged, but also shows that you’re active and responsive.
5) Collaborate with Other Professionals: Collaborate with other health professionals in the physical therapy space or influencers in your area. This can help you reach a wider audience, and also provides opportunities for cross-promotion. Social media channels offer endless opportunities for this kind of marketing tactic.
6) Utilize Paid Advertising: Social media platforms offer targeted advertising options that can help you reach a wider audience. Many physical therapists and physical therapy practices do utilize this paid access to a large audience. Consider using these options to promote your rehab therapy services or special events.
7) Professionalism and Compliance: Always maintain a professional tone in your posts and interactions. Also, ensure you’re complying with all relevant privacy laws and professional guidelines when posting patient information. Marketers must be especially careful in the healthcare-related social media space.
8) Use Analytics: Most social media platforms provide analytics that can help you understand your audience better and refine your social media strategy. Pay attention to what types of posts get the most engagement and try to create more of that type of content.
9) Host Live Q&A Sessions: Live sessions on platforms like Instagram or Facebook can be a great way to directly interact with your audience. You can answer questions, give a tour of your clinic, or demonstrate some simple exercises.
10) Highlight Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP): What makes your rehab therapy clinic stand out from the rest? Highlight these unique aspects in your social media posts to attract your target audience.
Concluding Social Media Ideas for Physical Therapists
In conclusion, social media platforms, including Instagram, offer physical therapists a powerful tool to connect with their audience, share their expertise, and promote their services. However, successful social media marketing requires a strategic approach, regular activity, and a focus on providing value.
Want to learn more about social media, Instagram, or your digital marketing? Get in touch with us to learn how we can leverage these tools to bring business through your door.
How Patient Engagement Drives Your Rehab Therapy Business
Improve outcomes, lower costs, and increase efficiency through high patient engagement.
1 Statista, “Instagram – Statistics & Facts,” February 21, 2021
2 Instagram for Business, “Did You Know 500M People Interact with Instagram Stories Every Day?,” July 24, 2021