Social Media to Market and Engage with a New Generation

man holding phone

Find your audience

By Tracey Pugliese, PT

Social media has become a digital arena that places marketing as the gladiator of the show, fighting for attention and favor from society in an endless battle. Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and YouTube are some of the leading arenas for all ages across the lifespan. While these platforms began as a way for everyday people to connect, it has also evolved into a toolbox for marketing. With so many options, it can be very overwhelming to consider which social media platform would best suit your business needs. It has become crucial for marketers and small business owners to understand current social media trends and evolving behaviors on these platforms as a way to reach their intended audience.

According to an article by Forbes, 4.9 billion people globally access a form of social media and have up to an average of 6-7 platforms,1 creating that desire for a multi-platform approach to social media marketing. Time is money and users spend an average of 135 minutes per day on social media in the United States.2 This makes it essential for companies and brands to adapt and evolve strategies to keep up. In order to do so, it is important to understand how to effectively engage with audiences across the different platforms and understand the demographics you are interested in reaching (Table 1).


Finding how to target your demographic can be a challenge, but with social media it can be made a bit easier. If you are looking for a younger demographic and are willing to do the work to stay on top of trends, TikTok is a great way to get your name out there. As quickly as people can rise to fame on TikTok, they can also be part of yesterday’s trend just as easily. If you are looking for the middle age demographic and connecting to the community on a more personal level, Facebook will be the best route to take. Despite any statistics or current trends out there, social media platforms are constantly evolving and changing. What is considered relevant today may be dramatically different tomorrow. Social media, just like the profession of physical therapy, is constantly evolving and adapting to new trends and relevant research. Things may come and go, but patients making recommendations through word of mouth based on quality care and a fantastic experience with a clinician is the one thing that will remain constant.


  • Pick your social medial platform based on what audience you are trying to reach.
    • Facebook for baby boomers/millennials or TikTok for Gen Z/millennials
  • Focus on one or two social media platforms, no need to try to keep up with all of them!
  • Trends come and go, focus on providing easy-to-digest content that will spark engagement with your audience.
  • Add pictures or videos to provide helpful visuals.


  • Some websites offer in-depth analysis of social media platforms that dissect topics like what time of day engagement is best/popularity of hashtags/predicted audience reached etc, which could be beneficial to invest in.
  • Differ the content you post based on what platform you are utilizing.
    • On Facebook, a picture of the office space with video demonstration of certain exercises and how it can promote it’s intended goal.
    • On TikTok, coming up with a dance and naming the muscles used during the movements. (Don’t be afraid to be a little silly!)
    • On Instagram, sharing (with permission!) a client’s inspirational story and how PT facilitated their recovery.

1Belle Wong JD. “Top Social Media Statistics and Trends of 2023.” Forbes. Published May 18, 2023.,least%20one%20social%20media%20site.

2Barnhart B. “Social Media Demographics to Inform Your Brand’s Strategy in 2023.” Sprout Social. Published April 28, 2023.

3Lin Y. “How Much Time Does the Average Person Spend on Social Media?” Oberlo. Accessed June 12, 2023.

Tracey Pugliese, PT

Tracey Pugliese, PT, is an APTA Private Practice member and recent graduate from Neumann University in Aston, PA.

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