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The Best Social Media Platforms to Grow Your Integrative Medicine Practice

Guest Post courtesy Glenn Sabin, FON Consulting

tree-200795_1280I am often asked: What are the best social media platforms to grow an integrative or functional medicine practice and position a brand?

The simple answers are:
1. The ones where your current and prospective patients and clients spend the most time.
2. The social media networks that you like the most, and can fit into the daily mix of priorities (yours or your staff’s).

There are hundreds of major, active social media platforms. However, companies that attempt to engage with too many, especially all at once, dilute their efforts and fail to make an impact.

Relax, you do not have to be everywhere!

I am a proponent of going deep, then wide. A clinic or brand does not need 37 different social media profiles. Even some sizeable companies limit their social media presence to a select few platforms to create a significant, focused presence.

Going deep allows you to utilize social media for that which it’s best designed: listening, engaging, and sharing with your community. It establishes trust around your brand, thus converting fans, likes, and followers into patients and customers

Social Channels I Use

For FON, my go-to social media site is LinkedIn because FON is a business-to-business consultancy and LinkedIn is the largest professional network. In addition to my personal profile, FON has a LinkedIn Group and a business page. A number of clients originated from LinkedIn, most often those who read my articles on the site.

I also use Twitter and Google+, with the latter mostly for SEO purposes. Google’s search algorithm features Google+ profiles high on its search results pages.

The combination of LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+ best supports my business goals and FON’s brand recognition. Perhaps YouTube or Facebook would work well for FON, but I have no strong indication that my clients and prospects spend time searching for integrative health business-related matters.

Use the Best Platforms for You and Your Unique Situation

Solo integrative and functional medicine practices, clinics, and centers are consumer-facing. Though everyone on LinkedIn is a consumer, I do not think a business professional network is the place to attract local patients and clients. More often than not I recommend the quartet of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+ as the core social media mix.

It’s not that Instagram, Pinterest, tumblr, and other major platforms are not viable; dependent upon your unique brand and situation, one or more of these may be a better match than my suggested core mix. Test the waters to see what works best for you.

Do What You Enjoy

If you are a busy practitioner with plenty to say and teach, but the thought of investing a few hours each week writing blog articles makes you shudder, then don’t. Instead, consider creating short audio podcasts or two-minute ‘explainer’ videos.

Prefer writing micro-posts or commenting on news findings? Twitter or Facebook might be your best fit. In a practice that features cooking classes and programs, Instagram or Pinterest may be a terrific match to show off images of your healthy, artful cuisine.

Leverage the Strengths of Your Team

If you have an inter-professional staff of integrative practitioners, get them involved in your overarching efforts from a content creation and social media engagement standpoint. Be sure to keep everyone laser-focused on the few media platforms for which you have decided to establish a brand presence and build first.

Now’s a good time to revisit all the social profiles you may already have collected and refocus on the few that can best lead to growing your community around your integrative health brand.

Your mileage may vary among the platforms you ultimately choose. Putting solid energy and attention into fewer networks will lead to added engagement, further social sharing, more followers, and ultimately—with a sustainable strategy in place—new customers to grow your enterprise.

About FON

FON is a leading business development and consulting firm delivering customized solutions to integrative health organizations—focused on growing patient volume, program and product sales—driven by innovative marketing, messaging and branded storytelling, all rooted in fiscally viable business models that work.

Contact us today to schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your career strategy or business development needs.

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