Top 5 Ways to Use Facebook for Networking

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Knowing how and when to post can help grow your practice.

By Katie Schmitt, PT, DPT

As one of the most popular social media platforms, Facebook is no longer just a hub for kids from Harvard.

With all of the amazing tools and ways to find others, Facebook helps to connect the physical therapy world, enabling us all to share insights and patient treatment tips. Facebook helps you and your physical therapy practice grow in your community as well as develop potential strategic partnerships. Here are five things to do when it comes to networking through Facebook.

Get to Know These Facebook Tools

Facebook has myriad tools that you should be using. If you have ever gone through your newsfeed, you know that it’s about more than just what someone had for lunch or what they did on vacation. Facebook networking tools you should be using include:

  • Events: Schedule an event at your private practice physical therapy clinic or see what is happening in the neighborhood
  • Fundraisers: Run a fundraiser for a local 5K event or for a patient in need
  • Memories: Share photos of past success stories highlighting recovery

Separate Business from Fun

Create a friend list and a professional list if using the same Facebook page for self and business. To do this, click on the friends tab, go to “all friends.” Create a new friend list and create a professional contacts list. Then go to settings for friends and businesses to adjust for who can see what in the privacy settings. Additionally, go through all of your photo albums and create settings by going into the dropdown menu and customizing which people can or cannot see the posts. This will take time; however, it helps you put the most professional foot forward.

What to Post

Posting about what is happening is key to cultivating your social network as well as portraying a sense of your business’s personality. Things to post include:

  • Article Links: For example, those you and your coworkers have written or articles that you like (such as a link to this one and others in Impact)
  • Photos: Photos of your team, of patients graduating (with their written permission), or of community events
  • Videos: How-to videos for certain stretches or exercises, event recaps, or informational videos about certain conditions
  • Hours Updates: If you will be closed for an in-service day or open for holidays
  • Neighborhood Happenings: Promote others to promote yourself

When to Post

Post regularly. Make a habit of posting every week, on the same day and about the same time. You want people to look forward to your posts and the news you share. Having readers get used to seeing you at a certain time is like looking forward to your favorite show.

Promote Others to Promote Yourself

One of the tried and true ways of promotion through Twitter is retweeting. The same idea holds true for Facebook. When you think about it, the same word-of-mouth advertising of others has held true since Miracle on 34th Street. Talk about the great things others have done. Sharing what others do well is not only good karma but will also have them take notice, and perhaps they will share what you do well, too.

Join and share with groups. Go to the search tab, enter the keywords, such as Mulligan therapists, and then click on groups in the sidebar. When deciding to join a new group, browse the members, see where people are from, read the discussion board, and look on the wall to see when the last post was and how many people respectfully responded. Once you have joined the group, introduce yourself, mention what you like about the group, and share what you have to offer.


References:

www.thebalancecareers.com/should-you-use-facebook-for-professional-networking-2062587. Accessed February 2019.

https://mashable.com/2009/08/14/facebook-networking/#R8S5SmWXEqqc. Accessed February 2019.

Katie Schmitt, PT, DPT, is currently working in outpatient physical therapy at Imagine Physical Therapy. She can be reached at drkatiedpt@gmail.com or followed on Instagram @drkatiedpt.

Copyright © 2018, Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. All Rights Reserved.

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