Last night I attended a talk on trust between a panel of founders and designers from the startup websites AirBnB, Getaround, Facebook, Lyft and Postmates. Each one of these companies offer a product or service that require a large level of trust from users, like renting your house or car to a stranger online. Needless to say, these companies have spent extensive amounts of time working to gain confidence from their customers, some going as far as working to pass legislation to make their service safer.
Establishing trust from customers is an obstacle in many industries, Physical Therapy included. Attending a therapy session is a fairly intimate act, both physically and mentally for patients. Bedside manner, of course, plays a crucial roll in making a client feel comfortable. However, another important part of the equation is the patient’s trust in a PT’s ability to help heal them.
Think of the last new patient you treated- how did they find you? Chances are they probably searched for your services online. As practice management guru Dennis Bush points out in our PT TV episode on referrals, the majority of younger patients, who often do not have a primary care physician, are turning online to find healthcare providers. Even those patients who are referred by a doctor will do a quick Google search to size up their suggestion. And informed patients in direct access states are skipping the prescription all together and searching directly for you.
Needles to say social media has become a very important aspect of a successful PT career and practice. Social media platforms are increasingly powerful networking tools, giving you a tremendous opportunity to build your practice, source new patients, score your dream job and manage your online reputation. Here are some tips to help you boost your visibility and build brand and credibility
Be Alert. Be Proactive.
Ignorance isn’t bliss for PTs online. It is critical to pay attention to and improve how you are being represented online. Even if you are not very active on social media sites, content about you and your practice is likely on the internet. You can protect your reputation by ensuring that patients and doctors who search for you find good information rather than negative reviews and comments. Here’s how to get started: