While there are many osteopaths, chiropractors and physiotherapists who use social media in Sydney, in most cases they do it inadequately. Did you know there are micro-business social media marketing and management providers who specialise in helping small health practitioners and clinics to get an early foothold on social media, target the social media marketing to their local area, and to then keep their audience educated, informed and entertained? Health doesn’t always have to be a dry and dull subject. In fact, on social media, it rarely is – it’s vibrant, welcoming, catchy, celebratory, life-affirming, and optimistic.

Let’s take for example the clinic Balmain Osteopaths which has a very established practice in Sydney’s inner west, and whose home page photo we’ve featured here. The message of the photo is apparent immediately – “we are a patient-focussed practice” – which is very much what most people with back pain, shoulder dysfunction and the dreaded plantar fasciitis require.

However as the below graph shows, Balmain Osteopaths are not much in need of social media – or as is becoming apparent, it’s not their schtick. Because they got in with a high quality SEO provider some years ago, and have a look at their excellent rankings:

Indeed a #3 ranking across Sydney for the single term “osteopath” is a total winner. Yes it’s nice to also be #5 for “osteopaths” (260 searches per month) but the #3 for “osteopath” fills a lot of their bookings. Naturally during these challenging Covid-years, which may yet go on for even a couple more years, what practitioner doesn’t want more bookings?

We can see from the above that Google is very selective and increasingly clear around geography. Balmain Osteopaths hoped to rank for “osteopath Sydney CBD” and in fact the CBD is just across the bay – not even a kilometre away – but Google was having none of it. It dished out a magnificent #3 for “osteopath” but was not magnanimous with “osteopath Sydney CBD” giving stubbornly low rankings between #52-62.

You don’t always get what you want, but if you try some time (eg a few years of SEO, never stopping), you get what you need.

So, the question remains totally unanswered, who out there in the local Sydney health scene is doing social media really well?

For a start, a prebiotic fibre known as Kfibre is going well on Instagram after starting a few months ago with the small business agency Sydney Social Media Managers.

Hooman and his team at Complete Chiro were going really well using the same social media agency but have now been losing likes to a minimal level on their Instagram profile. So what looks healthy is now drooping. These Sydney chiropractors used to have great posts delivered by their agency such as this one.

And Mona Vale natural products company Pharma Botanica look popular on Instagram, but in fact they bought a lot of fake followers – this kind of behaviour is bad for brand credibility. Especially when you’re a health brand, the matter of trust is essential for your company’s future.

One of the best social media operators on both Instagram and TikTok is Joanna Baker from Essential Nutrition. Her profile The Gut Health Dietitian has 27,000 real followers who are very much into her subject matter.

Here’s the thing with social media – individuals usually succeed at it better than brands – for example let’s look at physiotherapist Nate Chan who has a cool and inspirational Instagram profile – and compare it with Sydney Physio Group who are limping along or Sydney Physiotherapy who clearly have no idea.

Having a strong profile also attracts social media influencers to your brand. Of course they’re out to flatter you for money, so be wary – but with the right attitude of give-take and mutual respect, you can barter with them for health treatments in exchange for coverage. Most influencers achieve little in terms of revenue for the brands they seduce and manipulate to pay them – and you can tell them that from us – but if they’re in the local area where your health clinic is located, then they likely can add an extra bit of sway in your local community. Remember one post is never enough. You need to have seven touch-points with a potential patient or client before they’ll consider you part of their psychological family and will be ready to purchase your goods or services. The seven touch points in 2021 we recommend are: 1. Instagram once; 2. Instagram a second time; 3. Facebook – advertise locally so you pop up; 4. Local newspaper – ideally an article but if need be a regular ad for a while; 5. Word of mouth – this is essential – this will seal the deal; 6. Either TikTok, LinkedIn or Twitter – shows you’re comprehensively social; 7. Flyers in the letter box with a “call to action”. Others might be radio or TV but most small health clinics can’t afford those forms of promotion.

Next week we’ll have a look at how dentists are using social media, digital marketing, specialised dental news and dental SEO to win greater market share.