It's Not Who You Know, It's Who Knows You
Time for New-School Marketing: 3 Ways to Connect With People
By Perry Nickelston, DC, FMS, SFMA
Old-school marketing used to focus on who you know, the circle of influence and names of people in your local community. New-school marketing via social media has completely turned this upside down. Now you can reach millions of people you might never physically meet, but who can still impact your business significantly.
Never take for granted the power of human connection via the Internet. Social media has changed the world. For better or worse, it's here to stay, so you'd better learn to embrace it or get lost in the noise.
The key word in "social media" is social. Too many businesses look at social media as a venue for selling and promoting their brand. Wrong! You must develop a connection with someone before they are ever going to purchase your product or service – especially in the professional health care arena.
Think about it: How do you talk with a friend? Do you change how you talk and listen when you are with that person? Yes. You must transfer that into your communication on social media. People are hungry for meaning and connection. They are tired of being "sold to," "talked at" or relentlessly bombarded every day with thousands of messages. It all becomes noise.
How can you separate yourself from everyone else? That's easy. What's different about you? The answer: you. To bridge the gap and connect with people, you must be authentic; you must be you. Here are simple ways to help you do just that on three popular social-media platforms.
Instagram: A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words
You are on Instagram, right? If not, join today! (After you finish reading this article, of course.) Instagram is a powerhouse monster in social media. It's one of the fastest-growing platforms in the history of social media. Personally, Instagram is my favorite platform and the primary way I communicate with my friends. Notice I said friends – that's how I think about everyone who follows or interacts with me.
What do I like about Instagram? It's quick and easy to post information, and there is a high sharing rate of content. People love pictures. Human beings are visual creatures and we learn easily via pictures. What's the old saying? A picture is worth a thousand words. So true. You don't have to add a ton of text and content after the picture to make it engaging and relevant.
When people say they don't have time to post on social media, it's a lie. There is no excuse now. Snap a picture and post it. The key is to post pictures that capture the essence of you and your brand. It's best to have two separate accounts; one for personal and one for business. You can intermix the two once and awhile, but they require different approaches.
On the business side, you should post content to teach and inspire. Every so often, you can post a personal picture with friends or family, because your followers like to see you are a real person, too. However, you don't want just personal pictures. Start slow and post once a day; then work up to two or three.
Twitter: Educate in 140 Characters or Less
"Twitterverse" changed how we communicate. It forced us to tighten up our message: 140 characters to get it right. No fluff. No fill. It's the "elevator speech" with every post.
Twitter was the birth of the #hashtag, or as we used to know it, the pound sign. Twitter is the perfect place for sharing educational information. Blog post links are highly effective on Twitter – reposting your own, but more importantly, someone else's. When you see a blog post or article that inspires you, use that opportunity to share it with others. Virtually every post on the Internet has a "share" button for Twitter. Just one click does the job.
It's important to keep your social media branding under the same name. Whatever "handle" (user name) you use for Instagram, also use it for Twitter. (Instagram also has a "share" feature in the program. After you post a picture on Instagram, share it to your linked Twitter account. Instagram picture shares on Twitter have high rates of retweets.)
You can form "lists" on Twitter to enhance communication with select followers. Think of it as having a conversation with a certain group of friends at a party. A list is a curated group of Twitter users. You can create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by others. Viewing a list timeline will show you a stream of Tweets from only the users on that list.
Twitter has changed dramatically over the years, becoming a top source for real-time news sharing. It's an ideal platform for mobile users, and it's easy to share all sorts of multimedia content via tweets. One of the most exciting ways to use Twitter is for real-time updates when you are attending an event associated with your business. For example, when you are at the next continuing-education workshop, snap pictures of the action and post educational quotes that keep people updated on what you are learning. Your followers will love knowing you are continually trying to improve your ability to serve them.
Periscope: "Go Live" at a Moment's Notice
Relatively new to the social media scene, but oh so fun and interactive, Periscope is a live streaming-video mobile app purchased by Twitter in 2015. It can be a bit intimidating for those new to the platform, because it involves talking in front of a live "audience."
Simply put, Periscope enables you to "go live" via your mobile device anytime and anywhere. The app enables you to become your own "on the go" broadcasting station, streaming video and audio to any viewers who join your broadcast. Periscope takes advantage of the mobile platform, incorporating notifications and location, as well as social sharing on Twitter, live discussions and feedback.
A Periscope broadcast is a truly interactive event. You communicate in real time with your audience and they can ask questions you see posted directly on the screen. You can have a conversation. Once your broadcast is over, others can watch a replay, and even provide feedback, within Periscope for up to 24 hours. After that, the broadcast is removed from the app.
There used to be a time when you had to host a live event at your office and lecture to people who registered to attend. Now you can have hundreds of people streaming live and interacting with you. The overhead? There is none. It's a free app. The only overhead is your time.
The secret to being successful on Periscope: Be yourself. Don't try to sell or do canned speeches. If you are not authentic on Periscope, it shows quickly.
Make an Impact by Sharing Your Message
It's time to put yourself out there and share yourself with the world. It can be intimidating and awkward at first to open yourself up. There will be "haters" and "trolls" who don't like some of the things you say and are quick to respond. (These are terms to describe people who attack others and their views, particularly on the Internet.) That's just part of life. Ignore them and concentrate on your positive message and the intention of changing the world.
The world is crying out for healing. Use social media to share the power of chiropractic and your message. We are waiting for you. Start now!
Click here for more information about Perry Nickelston, DC, FMS, SFMA.