resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The CDC came out with a report in March 2013 that suggests 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum – significantly higher than the 1 in 86 figure that came out in 2007. What does this mean moving forward, particularly for children?
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
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.