An independently owned physical therapy and rehabilitation practice in Florida wanted to boost employee engagement and attract new patients.

Management knew that employees play a critical role in medical practice marketing, and the experience a patient has with any staff member affects their overall perceived experience at the clinic.

Bottom line: engaged and inspired employees deliver better experiences, are less likely to leave their jobs, and translate into engaged and loyal patients.

“We operate outpatient physical therapy clinics in Florida from coast to coast,” says John G., vice president of operations. “We were looking for a unique idea to boost social engagement, employee team building, and instill in our folks the mindset of how social media can affect our business in a positive way.”

Management did not have time to plan and design employee engagement strategies and did not know where to start when it came to using their employees to stimulate and increase their online fans (people who already knew and loved them) while simultaneously reaching potential patients in their surrounding clinic service areas.

About the Practice

The independent physical therapy and rehabilitation practice has more than 20 office locations throughout the state. They provide one-on-one, physical therapy, occupational therapy, certified hand therapy, sports performance and athletic training. Because the practice is in Florida, it can provide these services without a physician referral.

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The Challenges

The practice experienced significant growth over the past few years, opening new offices throughout Florida. Managing the rapid expansion took center stage as management was focused on the task of running a growing business. Fast expansion, while exciting, can often be accompanied by increased stress, heavier workloads, decreased employee morale, higher turnover, and loss of essential knowledge as staff leave. Building and maintaining organizational culture can suffer during this critical time as employees may feel less connected to the business.

With the unemployment rate under 4%, employee retention is a big issue, and good people can quickly bounce from job to job. Replacing and retraining a team member is expensive and costs between 50-60% of an employee’s annual salary.

Another marketing opportunity the practice needed to capitalize on was the fact that Florida does not require a physician referral for physical therapy. Therefore, the clinic needed to shift its target marketing from providers to individual consumers.

Social media is one of the first places a patient will research before scheduling an appointment. The practice wanted to create a social media initiative that would engage its employees while at the same time allow them to realize how important they were to the practice’s marketing efforts.

Management also wanted to reach out and engage with their existing and potential patients; however, they weren’t sure how to go about getting the results they wanted.

With more than 20 offices spread out across Florida, it was difficult for the practice to find someone in-house with the necessary time or marketing expertise to develop and implement an employee engagement strategy and plan.

Social Media Analytics Increased By:

0%
Engagement
0%
Impressions
0%
Awareness
0%
Clicks

The Solution

The physical therapy and rehabilitation practice knew that engaging employees was necessary to grow its social media presence and its business, and engage existing and potential patients moving forward. The practice decided to partner with Insight Marketing Group to outline goals, create and implement an employee-focused social media plan, and develop key metrics to help the practice reach and engage current and potential patients throughout the region.

In 2018, Facebook announced they would change their post ranking algorithm to prioritize personal posts over business page posts in the News Feed. On average, less than 5% of one’s followers see a post organically – unless it has more engagement. A key part of the change is that Facebook now uses “meaningful engagement” as an important signal that a post should be prioritized. Therefore, using employee posts to drive social engagement and interaction would lead to increased visibility and reach.

Working with Insight Marketing Group, the practice developed a Front Desk Social Engagement Contest — a clinic-wide social media contest where staff would create their own content. Over six weeks, employees at all 20 clinics were asked to submit a fun and creative social media post. Proposed ideas involved:

  • A workout/rehab tip (series of still photos or 30-second video)
  • Photo(s) with patient
  • Video patient testimonials (30 seconds)
  • Team video tours, introducing each member of the team (30 seconds)
  • Team photos at the office

Each office was asked to submit a social media idea for review that would be posted on the clinic’s Facebook page. The office whose post had the best one-day performance would win.

The post dates were randomly generated or chosen, and then assigned. Engagement was measured and tracked each day (post reactions, comments, shares, etc.) against engagement for every other contest day. (Example: February 3 vs. February 4 – if a post on February 3 had more engagement, it would win.)

Grand prizes for the contest included:

  • Paid day off
  • Restaurant gift card
  • Day Spa certificate

Specifically, the social media strategy included:

  • A social media engagement contest for employees at all 20 offices
  • Original digital and physical content (custom posts, pictures, graphics, and videos) created by the employees themselves
  • Social listening/measurement
  • Ongoing monitoring and adjustment

“Everyone on the team thought this was a really fun way to build morale and have a friendly competition among our locations…”

“Everyone on the team thought this was a really fun way to build morale and have a friendly competition among our locations,” says Noi K., front office coordinator lead. “It gave us a chance to show the personality of our office and engage our staff and patients in a new way. Looking forward to the next time we do this!”

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Get Your Free 2020 Marketing Strategy Template & How-to Guide

Take the first step to successfully attract and retain patients in 2020 with a detailed plan for getting your practice in front of the right patient, in the right place at exactly the moment they are looking for you.

Download Now

Get Your Free 2020 Marketing Strategy Template & How-to Guide

Take the first step to successfully attract and retain patients in 2020 with a detailed plan for getting your practice in front of the right patient, in the right place at exactly the moment they are looking for you.

Download Now

The Results

Managers at the physical therapy practice were thrilled with the numbers over the six-week period. With zero dollars invested (no money was used to boost any of the posts on social media), the practice saw:

  • +612% in engagement across the board (3,030)
  • +427% in awareness (Mentions and Shares)
  • +255% in impressions (138,671)
  • +221% in clicks (2,364)
  • +143% in appointment requests/contact forms filled on the website (199)

With regard to the increase in appointment requests/contact form fills, a majority of the increase was a result of website users beginning their conversion journey on organic search (+125%) and direct (+289%) traffic. A bulk of the increase was attributed to seeing the posts on social media, leaving an app/platform, and heading to a web browser to engage the practice.

Not only were the employees inspired and passionate about the contest, but that enthusiasm spilled over onto the patients who were swept up into the fray. The result was a wave of passion and that spread from staff to patients, and then back to the practice.

“The contest was impactful not just for business coming through the door but also for how our employees feel about our company…”

“The contest was impactful not just for business coming through the door but also for how our employees feel about our company and the teambuilding that you can do across multiple locations,” says John. “It was well worth the time that we put in.”

By employing an employee engagement strategy through the use of a social media promotion, the practice saw a triple win in terms of:

  • Employee engagement went through the roof
  • Social media reach and engagement delivered on all fronts
  • Patient appointments increased

“We obtained benefits beyond social media clicks and online referrals,” John continues. “We got our team completely engaged, competing from one clinic to the other, and had a ton of fun. At the end of the day, it was one of the most successful marketing campaigns we’ve ever had in ways that we weren’t expecting when we started it; and, it’s going to be something that we do here a couple of times a year going forward.”

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