Many PT practices are expanding their online presence beyond their website and onto email campaigns and social media. But, it can become challenging to keep up with all the different marketing and messages. Your social media marketing alone might include three or more platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. What is the best way to manage your social media without spending ton of money? Start using a social media management software like HootSuite!
Social media management software is a web-based program that integrates across different platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.) and allows for content planning, post scheduling, and analytics.
The team at Practice Promotions has tested several different services for our own marketing. Before implementing our own tool (now available with our website & marketing subscriptions) we used HootSuite as the best free program for social media management. That said, there are more options such as Buffer, or for Pinterest check out Tailwind. Let’s look at some key features to help you choose a social media management program that works for your practice.
4 Key Features for Social Media Management
Integration across major platforms
Most physical therapy practices are active on at least Facebook and Twitter. The ability to connect and manage those accounts from one program is key to effective social media management. Note: some programs may offer a set number of platforms for free (HootSuite offers 3 free) and then may charge for adding more platforms. You can save some costs by using a management program for the maximum number of free platforms and manually schedule posts for others. However, this will increase the time needed to manage your social media. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of budgeting costs versus time.
Advanced scheduling for posts
This solves for much of the day to day work that goes into marketing your practice on social media. Management programs should offer the opportunity to schedule posts for either individual networks (ie. Facebook) or for groups of networks (ie. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn). If you are scheduling three posts per week, you can schedule the entire month (12 posts) in roughly 30 minutes!
This is beneficial for platforms, such as Twitter, that restrain characters in individual posts. Some social media management programs incorporate a tool into the post creation window that allows for URLs to be condensed. For example, if you want to link to your most recent blog post (www.abcphysicaltherapy.com/blog/sports-training) then shorter URL (www.ow.ly/asd123) would be generated—saving characters so that you can increase your marketing message.
Analytics integration and reporting
This allows you to save time pulling stats from multiple platforms. HootSuite allows a certain type and number of free reports and then charges for additional metrics. Even the basic reports, such as Facebook Page overview, Twitter overview, and Link Clicks, can provide excellent insights into how your social media marketing is performing.
If your practice is considering a social media management program, do your own independent research and go ahead and try a couple different ones to see which works best for your marketing. Most programs offer free trials for several months or are free (with conditions) overall so there really isn’t a cost to explore. Our team uses HootSuite and often helps set this up for our website clients as part of their monthly maintenance subscription. Give us a call to learn more!
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