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AAAOM: Facing An Ultimatum
On the heels of the growing discontent with leaders of the AAAOM, the Council of State Associations (CSA) recently took it upon themselves to present the organization with an ultimatum: for all board members to resign from the board and turn the organization over to the CSA or they will proceed on their own to become the primary representative of the AOM profession.
Dry Needling is Acupuncture: Anatomy of a Legal Victory in Oregon
On January 23, 2014, the Oregon Court of Appeals overturned the Oregon Board of Chiropractic Examiners "dry needling" administrative rule, which allowed chiropractic physicians to perform acupuncture after only 24 hours of training.
Socializing In My Slippers
When I graduated college, I had grandiose dreams of becoming an amazing acupuncturist. I wanted to build a great practice and make a good living. For four years, 13 semesters to be exact, I had a spreadsheet.
News in Brief
In Remembrance: A Moment of Silence for Dr. Dick Versendaal; NYCC Named Chiropractic College of the Year by ACA; National University Partners With Indiana VA Facility.
San Zhen Protocols Part II: Case Studies
In my last article, I presented a collection of three-point acupuncture combinations which can provide effective clinical results.
Are You Driving Patients Toward Dependence on Big Pharma?
Over the years I have had the opportunity to talk to doctors of chiropractic about health promotion, wellness and preventive care in chiropractic practice.
How Much is Enough?
One of the primary arguments used against acupuncture care is the overuse of treatment. Some people say, "once you go, you have to go forever."
Evaluating Prenatal and Pediatric Automobile Injuries
Often in a family practice, one of your patients or an entire family is in an automobile accident and you are sought out to provide care for their soft-tissue injuries.
Chiropractic Management of Sports-Related Tendinopathy
Tendinopathy is increasing in prevalence and accounts for a substantial percentage of sports injuries. Despite the magnitude of the disorder, research on chiropractic treatment is limited.
Enhancing TCM with Enzymes
Herbal formulations are an integral component for most Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners. One of the best ways to enhance their effectiveness is the addition of plant-based enzymes.
Making Sense of Chronic Inflammation
Inflammation is big business, evidenced by not only the laundry lists of medications patients bring me aimed at managing inflammation, but also the never-ending stream of advertisements for anti-inflammatory supplements that constantly find their way to my desk.
Colorado to Have the First Acupuncture Medical Reserve Corps in the U.S.
In the summer of 2012, Colorado was on fire. Literally. Many acupuncturists from around the state, especially those who had received disaster response training through AWB, wanted to help those affected by the fires as well as the first responders and tireless state and local officials, with the healing and stress-relief of acupuncture.
Dietary Supplement Research: Contradictions, Bias, Misinterpretation and Confusion
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Your Chance to Go Back to High School
As the father of a student who recently entered high-school sports (soccer), I have come to recognize an untapped opportunity for the chiropractic profession.
Alternatives to the Rainy Day Fund: Better Things to Do With Your Money
Google "rainy day fund" and you'll find the predominant and traditional advice given today is that you need to have three months of living expenses saved for an emergency. Some even recommend six months or more.
We Get Letters & E-Mail
Shouldn't the Pentagon Know More About Chiropractic Care? Office Flow: Have You Reviewed the Patient Experience Lately? Let's Stop Confusing the Public About Chiropractic; Cutting Down the Cherry Tree.
The Recliner Test
"Hi, Bill, how are you?" "Oh, I'm OK, Doc. I've got pain down the leg again, so I thought I would stop by and get you to check it."
No Whining on the Yacht
This admonition – no whining on the yacht – may sound familiar to you. Many claim its origination.
Revisiting the Neurological Exam
In spinal trauma or disease, the neurological exam chiefly aims to determine whether one (or more) of three basic neurological conditions is present: myelopathy, radiculopathy and peripheral nerve disorder.
Chinese Herbs Debut at the Cleveland Clinic
Chinese herbal medicine is now being prescribed at the Cleveland Clinic thanks to a trailblazing team of people.
Shoulder Strategies: Reduce Pain, Improve Function With Proper Taping
Shoulder pain / dysfunction is a common problem for chiropractic patients. Clinicians who utilize elastic therapeutic taping as part of their treatment approach know it can be effective for a variety of shoulder problems.
Anti-Aging: Educating Your Patients About The Skin
We know that cosmetic acupuncture works but what then? Education is a key part to the practice of Chinese medicine and when you practice cosmetic acupuncture, facial rejuvenation, etc., it is time talk about skin with your patients.
Arch Height and Running Shoes: The Best Advice to Give Patients
Because runners with different arch heights are prone to different injuries, running shoe manufacturers have developed motion-control, stability and cushion running shoes for low-, neutral- and high-arched runners, respectively.
The Right Idea at the Right Time
On Feb. 28, 2014, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe appointed David Brown, DC, as new director of the Virginia Department of Health Professions.
Environmental Toxins: Cause of Modern Illness (Part I)
Environmental toxins have created burdens on the human body that put demands beyond our evolutionary development. Modern diseases that historically did not exist to any great degree have been rising sharply in the last 40 years.
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Clients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with them? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you will want to know more about this one little symbol: #.
The # symbol, which I always lovingly referred to as a number or pound sign, has taken on new meaning in the last few years. With its use and popularity on social platforms, it is now commonly known as as a hashtag. Although Twitter was the pioneer and leader in using hashtags, other platforms such as Instagram (owned by Facebook), Pinterest, Tumblr, Vine, Google+, Flickr and as recent as June 2013, Facebook added the hashtag option for their users. But social media platforms weren't the ones to invent using the hashtag. Actually, Stowe Boyd was the first person to use the word in 2007 to track topics on online forums.
Today, you would be hard pressed to watch a television show, sporting event or listen to the radio without a reference being made to hashtags. From the national news to late night television, hashtags are mentioned through prime time, especially if you recently watched any part of the Olympics or Super Bowl. You would have noticed the # proceeding a word or series of words near the bottom of the screen. The official description from Twitter explaining hashtags states, "the # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages." You might be wondering what hashtags are? Or you understand what they are, but you aren't sure how best to use them for your massage practice? Let me share with you the importance the #, some basic uses and how best to use them.
As mentioned before, a hashtag is a word or term that is preceded by a # symbol. There are no spaces or special characters (!@$%&-"?) between the # and the word(s). For example, I created #AllianceforMassageTherapyEducation and #AFMTE when the organization wants to share massage education information. This automatically creates a hyperflink that people can click to find all the posts and updates from the organization or members who have used the hashtag to talk about the organization.
Hashtags work a couple of different ways on Facebook. First, when you click on a Facebook hashtag, whether it's on a personal profile or business page, a box will open up showing other people and pages within a user's network that have recently used that hashtag in chronological order. You should also see contributions from other users as long as those users have set their profiles to be public. Therefore, even if they are outside your network, they could show up if they have also publically used the hashtag.
Secondly, you can also search for a hashtag in the Facebook search bar at the top of the page. If you wanted to see what people are saying about massage or back pain, you can type #massage or #backpain and click on the results that populate below the search bar. You can select pages and news feed posts within your network and other public profiles that have recently used that word or term. Also note: when you click to contribute something, that hashtag will automatically populate your post.
Twitter lends itself to be more of a "public soapbox" for the majority of the users. Because of this, you are able to see all kinds of data from the content Twitter users share. What this means is, if you click on a hashtagged word, it allows you to view any other message that contains the same hashtagged word or phrase. That way, you can see what others have to say on that particular subject. Because these are so wildly popular on Twitter, many businesses will sponsor a trending topic. That means a business pays a fee to Twitter to get bumped to the top of the list, giving huge brand visibility to its sponsors.
In general, hashtags make it easy to search and track ongoing conversations, Twitter users are more about sharing with the universe. Facebook added hashtags so friends and brands could create conversations with each other. And unless shared publicly, only friends and can participate, whereas on Twitter anyone could participate.
With more than 1.5 billion users between them, Facebook and Twitter are still the undisputed leaders when it comes to social media. The environments are about as similar and different as a PC and a Mac: we use them to achieve similar things, but they look, feel and in some cases work, quite differently. I think it is safe to say the two networks have a fierce rivalry and it seems the developers are intent upon differentiating their cyber-scapes from each other as much as possible. This fierce rivalry has created severe loyalty in both user camps. To the die-hard Facebook fan, Twitter will often look like a confusing jumble of weird code. To the loyal Tweep, Facebook can seem like it requires too much maintenance and time.
Hashtags have always been an important and vital part of the Twitter universe. But in spite of their popularity, many people who spend their time on Twitter don't use them properly and end up getting their content filtered from search results. With the addition of hashtags to Facebook, we suddenly had millions of people who were clueless as to what they were and essentially clueless about how to communicate with them. Let's start with the basic benefits of hashtags and why you would want to use them. It's important to keep in mind the following:
The differences between the Twitter and Facebook hashtags are:
Some people have questions about the @ symbol and the #. Both are referred to as tagging but they perform differently. The difference between the two symbols is that a hashtag links to all other instances with anyone who mentions that specific hashtag, whether you "follow" them or not. Something to note: although Twitter automatically shares publicly with Facebook's closed nature, you have to set your post to public to have the hashtag shared to people other than your friends. Also, anyone can see a hashtag you create for your business page because the business pages are public to begin with.
Just remember that on Facebook and Twitter, you tag your friends and fans with the @ symbol and tag topics (or brands) with the # symbol. Essentially, the main reason for hashtags on any social media network is to encourage users to engage in a public conversation by using the clickable #hashtag word or phrase. Using the hashtag on photo sharing sites such as Tumblr or Instagram helps push your message further.
I recommend searching similar hashtags to inspire fresh content for blog posts as well. The purpose for hashtags on Facebook is similar. They want users to be able to find useful content in an easier way. And, it's worth noting that hashtags have also morphed from just a filter and finding conversations into a way that has helped save lives in disasters or forming and coordinating revolutions.
You may have ventured into using hashtags on one of the many networks. Here are a few helpful tips for using hashtags effectively and ultimately assist with brand engagement and awareness. Limit the number of hashtags you utilize in your posts and tweets. I recommend 2 to 3 hashtags max in your tweets and no more than six on Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr or Facebook. When using hashtags, select one(s) that are relevant to your topic. You can see how a hashtag is being used simply by clicking on it. You want to make sure that your tagged addition adds relevant content to the conversation.
To best use hashtags effectively, they should be used consistently across the different social media platforms. If you're going to do a social media campaign on Twitter for #AFMTE you should continue using #AFMTE on Instagram, Vine, Facebook, Pinterest, etc., to relate it back to your specific campaign. This helps establish the use of the hashtag and increase your brand exposure. Try jumping into a conversation on a topic – meaning use a hashtag that's already trending or running a contest or promotion using hashtags.
When hosting an educational program, attending a tradeshow or webinar, encourage topic participation on your social networks with special hashtag words. This is helpful for building brand engagement success. You can also create a hashtag ad campaign specific to your brand. Be sure to TEST your hashtag first to see if other people are using it for a different purpose.
Things NOT to do with hashtags:
For Facebook, type the hashtag into the search bar and see all the most recent posts by you and others that have your hashtag and see how many likes, comments and shares you are receiving. This is a great opportunity to for you to comment on your fans and friends posts and it allows you access to new threads that you might not have ever known about had they not used your campaign hashtag.
I love it when we are able to integrate different forms of technology. Using hashtags across multiple social media networks, onto websites and into blogs is a great example of how to cross-feed each other. This creates a greater possibility of results for everyone, as long as we are using them correctly, respectfully and sensibly. The proper use of the # isn't for you to invade your potential customer's online world, but rather a way for you to invite them into yours.