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Watch Out for Red Herrings
In clinical practice, when one condition mimics another, it makes it difficult to obtain an accurate and timely diagnosis.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
News in Brief
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (a medical doctor, no less) proclaimed October 2014 "Oregon Chiropractic Health and Wellness Month" in an official proclamation signed Aug. 25, 2014.
How to Find Your Ideal Patient – and Help Your Ideal Patient Find You
Just imagine: You're at the front desk looking at the scheduler and a smile creeps across your face. Row after row, name after name, hour after hour; you're blessed with an entire day of ideal patients. Every day should be like this, you whisper. Exactly!
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Take Care of Your Skin: Tips to Pass on to Your Patients
Many of our patients are not aware that the largest organ in the human body is actually the skin. Accounting for 16 percent of total body weight and covering up to 22 square feet of surface area, the skin is more than just a "covering," as originally thought.
From the Other Side of the Table
People come to us to gain freedom from pain, to feel better, to live better. As D.D. Palmer stated, "We Chiropractors work with the subtle substance of the soul." Therein also lies the rub.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Your Patients' Best Health Resource
There is nothing as powerful as information. The right information has won wars, saved lives and changed hearts; lack of information has led to hesitation, poor decisions and unintended consequences.
Detoxification for Athletes: The Key to Winning Performance
One of the most dangerous culprits that affects an athlete's ability to perform at an optimum level also happens to be one of the most elusive.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
The Life & Legacy of James Sigafoose, DC (1933-2014)
Surrounded by his family and closest friends, Dr. James M. Sigafoose passed away quietly on Thursday, July 3, 2014. With his wife of 60 years, Patsy, along with his children, Tina, Daun, Kieth, Selina and Carey – all chiropractors – at his side.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Don't Forget About the Performers
Donald Petersen Jr.'s recent article, "Your Chance to Go Back to High School" [May 1, 2014 DC], focused on the injuries incurred by high-school athletes and the subsequent opportunities for the chiropractic profession.
Building the DC-MD Bridge
From MDs practicing integrative holistic medicine to the family internist, many DCs are enjoying unprecedented attention from their allopathic colleagues.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Decompression-Traction: A Core Treatment Method in Chiropractic's Future
We're all competing for new patients. We're competing for new patients with physical therapists, massage therapists, medical specialists and hospital fitness centers. We're even competing with side-effect-ridden medications that quit working every four hours.
Ringing in a Fiscal New Year With a Recommitment to Cost-Effectiveness
Back when the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research was in its heyday, I used to send out New Year's greetings and virtual noisemakers to some close friends on July 1 – the beginning of our new fiscal year – wishing for prosperity in the year ahead.
June, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 06
Marketing Your Practice: Fixing the Facebook Algorithm
By Stephanie Beck
What is a Facebook algorithm and why should I care? Facebook decides which posts/updates to display on your fan's newsfeed through a complicated formula called EdgeRank that includes roughly 100,000 different indicators.
No one really knows for sure (outside of Facebook of course) what all the indicators are, but they do tell us that some of them include:
This is why, in past articles, I have shared the importance of using a variety of types of posts, to post one to three or more times a day depending on how many fans you currently have and to respond and like your fan's comments and shares in a timely fashion. These, along with many other strategies I have shared, have been essential to achieving success with your social media campaigns. However, Facebook has made some significant changes to the shared posts/updates. These changes have reduced the number of organically shared status updates in the last 24 months from 17% to around 6.5%. Some marketing experts believe that Facebook will reduce the organic shares to 1%, or even less. That has left many of us wondering why? Facebook claimed the reason for the tighter restrictions was to increase the "quality of posts," but many of us believe the real reason is to push advertising as an alternative.
So what exactly has happened with the Facebook algorithm? Many of you have invested time and resources into developing and nurturing your ideal Facebook audience organically. In fact, there have been many articles and blog posts on how to attract your ideal audience organically. Since August 2013, Facebook has released a series of changes to its newsfeed algorithm which determines which content is displayed to users. I have shared many updates of ways to keep your engagement high like sharing relevant and valuable content, using hashtags and how to change settings for page notifications. These are just some of the ways you can and should implement to organically keep in contact with your fans. Then, on December 2, 2013, Facebook announced changes that were supposed to be tailored to feature more high quality articles, enhance discoverability of related content and to increase the prominence of posts with high comment volume from friends. Facebook went to great lengths to share the difference in friend-posted and page posted content interaction and its intent to deprioritize text status updates from branded pages.
The impact on businesses made a significant change; according to analyses from many social marketing sources, since December that reach has fallen in some cases to as low as 2% reach for businesses with a large fan base. Facebook claims the reason for this change is supply and demand, in other words, the amount of content being produced exceeds what users can consume and as they attempt to optimize the Facebook user's experience, many page posts do not make the cut when it comes to showing up in the newsfeed. To offset these changes, Facebook offered a couple of suggestions. One of the suggestions was to focus efforts on "link share" posts and the other was to invest in ads.
More recent announcements from Facebook have included that posts with calls to action (CTAs) such as "like this page" or "share this post" rarely received engagement and, in turn, will be shown less within the new feeds. They even went as far to say that in some cases, brands posting this type of content were penalized after users were given the ability to report spam within news feeds. The good news is that photos and videos still tend to perform well, as they are more likely to earn a "like" or "share" without being asked.
Know Your options
If your practice is still putting all its eggs in Facebook's basket, you might want to consider altering your strategy. Since going public, you need to understand that Facebook cares first and foremost about its business, not about your brand. In fact, many marketing and financial experts are saying that Facebook's growth is based on how well they monetize their existing user base, since it has reached 60% global penetration and doesn't have a whole lot of room left to grow organically. Think about it, it's a commonly known marketing cycle, as you reach market saturation; you have to either find a new market, add another product or both if you want to continue growth. In this case, Facebook has chosen to incentivize businesses to "pay to play."
So, what are your options? First, engagement rules the house so be sure you are sharing informational and educational content that is relevant and valuable to your fans. You have to share things that are worthy of attention. That means you need to improve the quality of your posts.
Second, I know I'm going to hear some grumbling about this, but you need to "pay to play." Consider Facebook advertising as part of your overall advertising budget. I know for many of you the thought of having to pay for advertising on a free social platform is disconcerting. I understand, but the fact is, social media advertising is the most affordable type of paid advertising available and you are able to track all results. It's a bargain compared to traditional advertising costs and you have a huge opportunity to really target your audience. These social networks are huge databases of every kind of interest and personal buying habits of all your ideal clients. The better you understand your ideal client, the less paid advertising will cost you. When you can dial in your offer to those ideal clients that want and need your services the most, your return on investment surpasses any costs. Online advertising, unlike offline advertising is 100% trackable, measurable and flexible. You are able to adjust your message and costs daily, even hourly, to increase your results. Facebook has been sending out a lot of $50 to $100 advertising coupons lately encouraging businesses to try it. I encourage you to consider this option, but have a strategic plan for what you want to achieve and incorporate a way to capture their email addresses so you can continue to connect with them off of Facebook.
Third, start building community on other social networks like Google+, Twitter or Pinterest. If you've not started your Google+ page, now is a great time. They have more than 1.15 billion registered users and 201 million active mobile users on a monthly basis. If you are concerned about creating extra content, know that you can repurpose your content from Facebook on other social platforms so it doesn't have to mean you are creating a lot of extra work for yourself. There are programs out there like HootSuite and SocialOomph that will post your updates on multiple networks for a minimal fee or hire someone to manage your content for you. However you choose to implement it is up to you, but I do encourage you to get away from having all your eggs in one basket. Diversification is a good word to remember when it comes to social media campaigns.
Fourth, work on building those online relationships by being open, remember the 80/20 rule: 80% business and 20% personal and don't be afraid to show the real you. Also, make sure you are accessible, when people comment, respond or ask more questions in a reasonable time frame. Be positive and offer good customer service so you make the experience enjoyable and your fans will want to interact with your page. Assure your fans that they are important to you by showing them their concerns are important. Make them feel that you care about them and show an interest in them.
Fifth, engage in your local community with questions either on your page, or better yet, the local community pages. Share original, behind-the-scenes photos of you and your staff or hobbies or pets.
And finally, don't measure your marketing success on uncontrollable factors. Social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube do not owe brands exposure. They make the rules, so instead, spend more of your resources to get the social users to the items you do control like your website and blog. Use the social sites to build your email and blog subscriber list so you can engage with them in an environment that you own. You still will need to offer them educational and informational content so they will stay with you.
In my opinion, Facebook is still fun and profitable. As long as you are sharing good content that your fans are engaged with, continue to use it but just know that the organic "free" ride has drastically changed for a lot of businesses. Facebook can still be very helpful for building your practice, you just have to be aware of the changes and adapt your strategies so you can maximize your results.
Click here for more information about Stephanie Beck.
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