Last week, we talked a lot about digital marketing; of course, with a specific emphasis on how to leverage digital marketing and physical therapy. This week, we’re continuing this digital marketing blog series leading up to WebPT’s Ascend Event with more on digital marketing… primarily on the social media side of things. Today, we start off with social engagement.
With the onset of social media, one may have thought and said that digital socialization and doing the same in person are rather different. However, as social media has become more prevalent… and, perhaps more salient than our in-person-interactions, the lines have truly blended and it is important that business, particularly physical therapy practices fully leverage social engagement to future proof their companies.
5 Keys To Social Engagement
1. Engage in Discussion.
As with many things “social,” there are “norms,” there are “dos,” there are “don’ts,” and as with many things, there are definite taboos. In the framework of social engagement, discussion is always welcome. One might go on to say that is the entire point of social media; to share, discuss, exchange ideas, and have some healthy conflict… from time to time.
However, be very cautious when it comes to disseminating information. Shouting information across a hall is about effective in “real life” as it is over social media platforms. If a handle is simply spewing out information; that is as good as spam. However, if the content is useful, relevant, actionable — AND — causes constructive thought and engaging conversation, well… now you have something valuable 😉
2. Ask Questions.
The only way you can engage with people in the ways they want, is to ask. Don’t TELL them what they want. Unless you have Luigi’s Italian charm #Sarcasm. (from Pixar’s Cars movie):
3. Give. Give. And, Give Some More.
Don’t take from your community. Give. Something that can, guarantee to sabotage your social media footprint is to be a taker rather than a giver. People don’t like leeches. People don’t like those who are selfish or self-centered. People like those who deliver value first, then ask nicely.
If you wish to be socially engaging, be sure to continue to deliver the value FIRST. THEN, when the time is right, kindly ask your social circles to support whatever you have in mind for MUTUAL benefit.
And, trust me… if what you are asking for is not mutually beneficial, people see right through this. This is an important point! We are in an age of millennial culture. More and more people are identifying with a millennial mindset; beyond the age people hail from. For this cultural mindset, it is important that collaborative efforts are placed in the forefront rather than uni-compartmental siphoning of people’s time and resources. Speaking of collaborative…
Don’t compete. In a classic blog post I wrote on Competition vs. Collaboration and how we tend to get in each other’s ways when we compete. However, we tend to lift each other up, when we collaborate. John Nash, popularized by the movie “A Beautiful Mind” had his Nobel award winning theory paraphrased in the movie as:
“The best result will come from everyone in the group doing what’s best for himself, and, the group.”
It’s not about what’s best for YOU. It’s about you… AND the group. You can watch this in cinematic action, right here in this clip. All to say, collaboration requires another important mindset: Unity.
A while ago, I felt compelled to speak out about certain forms of negative engagement. I was rather disturbed by how willing people in healthcare, not to mention physical therapy, are in tearing each other down. Being negative, destructive, or vacuous is a terrible thing. It’s not good for you, it’s not good for your colleagues, and it is terrible for our profession!
Rather, I’d highlight that the some of the most beneficial social engagements have occur & continue to occur due to their very nature being CONSTRUCTIVE. Building each other up, and, even building yourself up is a wonderful way of elevating the overall value of a professional community — and therefore — a societal ecosystem at large.
When it doubt, be constructive. People, will appreciate it.
Just remember: If you’re not engaging your audience, you’re probably enraging them… or, at the very least, being pretty much white-noise-annoying. Therefore, it is important that your digital footprint is walked in such a way that people feel engaged, valued, and appreciated.