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The App Advantage: Get More for Less
You may have noticed the list of "app-exclusive" articles in the directory on the front page of the print issue and in the Table of Contents on page 4. You can't find these articles in print or even in our online archives.
Helping to Create the Healthiest Generation
The imperative to create the "Healthiest Generation by 2030," envisioned by the American Public Health Association (APHA), was in full force at the APHA's 142nd Annual Meeting held in New Orleans from November 15-19, 2014.
Fight Colorectal Cancer With Folic Acid
CRC is the second most common cause of cancer mortality in the U.S. and Canada. Although genetic susceptibility plays a role in the etiology of CRC, dietary factors, including certain vitamins, have also been shown to influence the development of the disease in various studies.
How to Use Online Video as a Tool to Market Your Practice
Health care practitioners, including chiropractors, should consider online videos as a key element of their Internet marketing strategy. In the next three years, videos are expected to account for nearly 70 percent of all consumer online traffic, according to Cisco.
The Way of Zen Performance Enhancement
Working with elite athletes and implementing various techniques to keep athletes focused and at their optimal performance for a sustained period of time includes incorporating various meditation techniques that counterbalance their sport-specific physical and mental demands, which is an important element of success throughout the years.
We Get Letters & Email
Rethinking Our Approach to Immunization; Coming Together for the Good of Our Patients.
AWB Makes a Difference in the Yucatan
We are in the sleepy town of Izamal, located about an hour from the Merida airport where our group arrived last night. Later that morning, on a bus winding through the dusty roads of the Yucatan, fourteen acupuncturists, two facilitators from AWB and two tour guides make their way to the small rustic town of Popola.
Two for One: The Cervical Distraction Test
In today's healthcare system, diagnoses and treatment plans follow a western medical model - especially if you work with attorneys or insurance companies.
Chiropractic Research in Review
Occupational LBP in Primary- and High-School Teachers; Treating MVA Complications With Chiropractic Care; Neck Pain: Immediate Effects of Active Scapular Correction; Taping Benefits Stride, Step Length in Fatigued Runners.
Ringing in the Billing New Year
What are the new modifiers that replace modifier 59? Will they allow doctors of chiropractic to be paid for 97140, manual therapy, when done with chiropractic manipulation?
Right Back Where We Started?
More than 25 years after Judge Susan Getzendanner issued her historic opinion in the Wilk v AMA anti-trust case, evidence suggests that despite increasing collaboration between doctors of chiropractic and their allopathic medical counterparts, when it comes to organized medicine, we may be right back where we started.
Show Up and Show Respect
I was recently asked about my chiropractic philosophy. My answer surprised my questioner.
Acupuncture and its Place in the Integrative Healthcare Practice: The Need to Move from Modality to Profession
Acupuncture and oriental medicine (AOM) has grown and flourished from its inception thousands of years ago in China. In surrounding regions of Asia, AOM developed as a response to differing cultural, pathological, health and wellness care needs.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing: Importance of Opening the Sensory Portals in Classical Chinese Medicine
The Chinese medical classics are not just clinical guides. They give advice; ways we can awaken more fully into conscious awareness.
Professionalism and Evidence-Based Health Care
Today's chiropractors are facing a conundrum with the Affordable Care Act and its health care reform requirements, including evidence-based practice and health technology assessment.
Animal Acupuncture Gaining in Popularity
We have just finished the year of the fire hoarse and now it is time to spend some time alone, daydreaming and thinking outside the box in terms of where our profession is headed. The sheep person is well organized and creative so this should not be difficult to do.
Trouble Down Under: San Zhen Therapy for Lower Jiao Issues
In the last several columns, I have discussed many clinical options for utilizing San Zhen or Three Needle Therapy. In this installment, I will continue this trend and discuss several foundational patterns which can be found in several very common clinical presentations.
Age and Fertility: Why We Should Worry Less About Age and More About Overall Health
Recently, on one of the acupuncture alumni forums, the topic of age and fertility came up when a practitioner posted a question regarding a patient that was about to turn 40-years-old.
Movement Assessments: The DC's Sphygmomanometer
I think back to when I was going through chiropractic school outpatient clinic. I was embarrassed to have my family and friends come in for treatment because initial evaluations took three hours to complete.
News in Brief
While indignation may be your immediate reaction to H.R. 5780, the Protecting the Integrity of Medicare Act of 2014, the American Chiropractic Association suggests the legislation is just what the chiropractic profession needs.
Environmental Toxins: Cause of Modern Illness, Part 2
In Part I of this article, we detailed the variety of environmental toxins assaulting our bodies. These include pesticides and herbicides; plastics; preservatives; cosmetics; gasoline additives, solvents and glues; and heavy metals.
The Static Postural Pelvic Exam
I include a static postural analysis in my evaluation routine whether you are a patient in pain or an elite-sport athlete in training. In my day-to-day practice, I require patients to stand still while I "just look" at them.
Taking the Freeze Out of Adhesive Capsulitis
Adhesive capsulitis or "frozen shoulder" is a relatively common condition resulting in severe shoulder pain and global loss of glenohumeral joint range of motion. Incidence of the condition is approximately 3 percent in the general population.
I Felt it in My Fingers First
I'm not afraid to say it. Massage therapists make better acupuncturists. I'll tell you how I know, but first I have a question: What do a microcurrent device, a laser and a hippie massage therapist have in common?
Three for One: The Cervical Distraction Test
Taking the time to do an exam is important, but it is time spent. The exam serves as a way to physically validate your clinical impression following a history and clinical consultation.
Don't Let Your Massage Therapy Friends "Like" You to Death
Everyone seems to be trying to get a handle on the whole "social media thing" and the reality is it isn't some great mystery, magic bullet or the "be all end all" to your marketing. It is a tool, be it a very powerful and helpful tool, when used effectively for growing your practice. However, the majority of people are misusing it. Similar to trying to use a screw driver to hammer in a nail, you might get the job done, but at what cost?
In general, people are always looking for the "quick fix" and the same goes for business owners. Practitioners who don't really understand social media are getting sucked into a really BAD decision. The following is a real case study to help you avoid making the same mistake.
Red Flag #1
If you are a regular reader of my column, you know I spend a lot of time discussing marketing strategy, identifying ideal clients, search engine optimization, websites and social media. I've shared before how important it is for you to know who your target audience is and the importance of getting quality followers as opposed to a large quantity of followers. This example I'm about to share is the reason why.
A massage clinic owner asked for help in boosting the results of their social media, specifically their Facebook and Twitter business pages. On the initial analysis, it appeared to be normal with more than 400 Facebook fans, less followers on Twitter but obviously they had been investing some time and effort into building it.
They were posting approximately one post or tweet a day, but the concerning part was no engagement. No likes, no shares, no comments – in all fairness there might have been one or two comments on a very rare occasion but, in general, we are going to say basically no engagement. Once in a while, there would be two to three days of no activity and then maybe a day of two to three posts, then nothing. So, the first red flag is consistently posting three times a day is key to growing your social media market.
Red Flag #2
I dug deeper and evaluated the content. It was pretty heavy on the promotional side. Most of the posts were "get an appointment" or talking about how great the clinic was. So, the second red flag to notice: people are not using social media platforms as a "buyers and sellers" market, they are looking for information and education and connections with people. You really need to incorporate the 80/20 rule: 80% informational, educational and business/professional and 20% of the posts/tweets promotional and personal.
This example is typical when evaluating most social media. The practitioner wants to treat Facebook or other social media like eBay and thinks that people are jumping on Facebook to "buy" things. They proceed to always talk about how wonderful their practice is, when they have openings and how much their treatments are, instead of trying to make connections, share relevant information and start or participate in conversations that their clients or potential clients will derive some value from.
The fix for this is simply to plan your strategy and use the tool the right way. Use social media as a "social" tool to connect with current and potential new customers. Create topics and content that appeals to your target audience and sparks conversation around how they benefit by working with you. Create a weekly social media agenda and integrate your marketing plan into the mix to create a nice balance of informational and education content.
Red Flag #3
Here's where we get to another huge problem that I see beginning to snowball in a much bigger catastrophic way. It might even be an epidemic to many practitioner social media pages. Okay, too dramatic? Perhaps, but it is serious and can end up costing you a great deal of money to fix, so I would advise you to pay attention.
Every business owner and internet marketer is discussing how much the engagement has fallen on Facebook. It's true. Facebook, as well as all the rest of the social media networks are big data mining programs. What that means is they track every single movement a user makes on their program, including all interaction with friends, businesses, organizations, entertainment, political and public figures for every user and how often and how much time you spend logged in and participating. The main reason they do this is so business owners can target very specific key elements for advertising. Also, because there is so much sharing and so many people using social networks, they are evaluating the type of content you are sharing and the type of followers you have. If your content isn't something that the computer program (known as an algorithm) deems as something that the majority of your followers have engaged with (liked, commented, shared, etc.) previously, then even though they have "liked" your page, NONE of your followers will see the updates.
If there is a conflict of the keywords, hashtags, descriptions, content being shared with the type of fans/followers you have, according to the social networks, your updates/content will not be "prioritized" as they call it. Which is a polite way of saying, your updates will not be seen by your fans.
"Liked" to Death
In this example, the practitioner worked and invested some time into getting more than 400 fans and obviously had invested time in creating content and trying to utilize social media to help their practice but it was all for not. Here's why. Even after creating the right agenda and sharing some content for one or two weeks, there wasn't a change in the engagement. I soon realized the issue was much bigger than consistency and content. More than 95% of the fans on the Facebook page and 100% of the Twitter followers were all the owner's massage friends! When I approached the owner to confirm who the target market was for the clinic, they confirmed they were looking for consumers within their city and shared the other demographics and pain points. The audience they were hoping to attract was the complete opposite of the type of fans and followers both pages had.
When I asked how they had acquired the fans, I was told that they had used the "let's share each other's Facebook pages" posts in various social media groups on LinkedIn and Facebook and the hundreds of posts of therapists sharing their links to their Facebook pages to get other therapists to "like" them. Basically, the owner created the situation where their massage therapist friends had "liked" their page to death! I'm not being overly dramatic here, especially with the recent changes all social media platforms are making to their algorithms, they are coming down hard on what they determine are "fake" fans. Why are the social networks doing this? Because three years ago it was all about getting huge numbers of likes and followers to get the most engagement and the pages with the most likes or followers always had the top spots in the newsfeeds. Big brands were investing big money into getting the most likes and followers and didn't care where they came from. The social networks saw the amount of engagement dropping because it allowed big brands and few small brands to "spam" the newsfeeds.
To try to correct the issue, the social networks have been adjusting the algorithms to deter this type of behavior to increase the amount of time users were spending on the social network. One of the benefits is that this is supposed to correct and create a fair environment for smaller brands, too. Unfortunately, when practitioners are participating in these "Let's share and like each other's pages" and go out there and are liking pages they have no interest in or ever intend to participate on that page ever again, it can mean certain death to a page. But there is hope. A page can be "resurrected" and here is how to get the process started:
Yes, this means a little more work, but that is sometimes the price you pay if you try to take shortcuts, make "quick fixes" or use the tool inappropriately. Even if that wasn't your intension, most shortcuts in life really aren't the best thing. We all know that popular saying about the direction a certain "road paved with good intensions" is headed right? Let's just avoid that path to begin with. Unless your target audience is other practitioners/massage therapists, you aren't being a good friend by "liking" their page, but you are actually committing them to a slow and almost certain death.