In this week’s episode of the DrMarketingTips Podcast, Corey and Jennifer discuss exactly how one practice increased online appointment requests by 143% in only six weeks without spending a single dime.

Faced with a steadily growing practice plus a bunch of new hires that usually come with growth, the owners of this physical therapy practice were looking for an effective way to engage and train their employees across remote locations.

Tune in to discover how this physical therapy practice used social media to engage its employees, attract more patients and achieve these staggering results:

  • +612% in engagement across the board
  • +427% in awareness
  • +255% in impressions
  • +221% in clicks
  • +143% in appointment requests/contact forms filled on the website

Check Out the Full Case Study
Discussed in this Episode

Free Healthcare Awareness 2024 Calendar

Nearly every month of the year has a health holiday or observance, and there are also a number of awareness months that your patients and staff would love to know about. You also don’t want to miss chances to celebrate with your practice’s followers.

Free Healthcare Awareness 2023 Calendar

Nearly every month of the year has a health holiday or observance, and there are also a number of awareness months that your patients and staff would love to know about. You also don’t want to miss chances to celebrate with your practice’s followers.

Transcript Notes

Speaker 1: Dr Marketing Tips. Paging Dr Marketing Tips. Dr Marketing Tips, you’re needed in the marketing department. Welcome to the Dr Marketing Tips podcast, your prescription to the answers you seek to grow your medical practice easier, better, and faster. This show is all about connecting practice administrators and medical marketing professionals with peers working in practices, learning from experiences, making mistakes, and sharing successes. Let’s get started.

Corey: Hey guys, and welcome to the Dr Marketing Tips podcast. My name is Corey.

Jennifer: And I’m Jennifer.

Corey: Today we wanted to share with you how one physical therapy clinic boosted engagement by over 600% and increased appointment requests on their website by over 140% just by doing this little contest we’re going to tell you about, so let’s jump in.

Jennifer: Yeah. We have this rehabilitation physical therapy practice that we’ve been working with for a handful of years, and in the last couple of years, Corey can attest to this, they have been growing by leaps and bounds. I think when we got involved with them a handful of years ago they might have had five, maybe seven clinics and now they’re upward of 20 clinics and they’ve done that partly through acquisition, partly through kind of organic growth and then they had a partner come in and do a partial buy-out on their side too.

Jennifer: So just a lot of expansion and a lot of changes that are taking place and I don’t know about our listeners, but at least where we’re sitting, which is at a conference room table right now, one of the biggest challenges that all of us are facing is how can we attract and retain quality employees right now, especially as it’s an employee market and that coupled with the idea of once we even get these quality employees, how do we engage them? How do we get them to stick around past their first 30 days if they’ll even make it past lunch?

Jennifer: So really that’s kind of the climate that we were looking at related to this physical therapy clinic is rapid expansion, huge cultural changes that were taking place across all of these clinics because they’re at no point under one single roof and really an employee driven market right now.

Corey: Yeah, and then on top of that, we know that the clinic has a much larger footprint than they had just several months ago, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they had a larger marketing budget, so what we wanted to do was come up with a solution that can not only engage the employees like Jen was just saying, but would also really kind of help bring awareness to the clinic.

Jennifer: Yeah, absolutely. As they were recruiting new clinic managers, they might meet once a month with all the clinic managers to give them information about the day to day of the practice, but the clinic managers were really responsible for engaging staff, engaging and hiring staff down the road and so when it’s kind of disconnected like that, that’s when it’s super tough. Plus, I believe that there’s some changes on top of that, there’s some technology changes that have really changed the way that we market practices and we’re kind of seeing the collision of a perfect storm coming together at the same time.

Corey: Yeah. Right when we were putting this together, Facebook was changing the way that the newsfeed works. So when you’re on your phone and you’re scrolling, what you’re looking at is the newsfeed. Basically what they want to do is they want to put more emphasis on the things that you as a user typically want to see, that’s photos and updates from your friends and your family, unless there’s something that is really engaging from a business or a brand that you follow.

Corey: So what we did is we came up with a plan that was not only to engage the clinic managers and the staff, but also to grow the engagement on Facebook because on average less than 5% of your practice’s followers actually see a post organically, so if you’re not putting money behind it, then less than 5% of the people that follow you are seeing it, again, unless there is some really high number of engagement. So we came up with a contest and what we wanted to do in this podcast was kind of walk you guys through step by step what we did so you can take that back and implement it at your practice.

Jennifer: If you like what you’re hearing and need some help marketing your medical practice this year, be sure and check us out at, that’s insight, M as in marketing, G as in group, dot com. Don’t think you’ve got a budget for this kind of stuff? Think again. We’ve got you covered. Make sure you schedule a free consult today.

Jennifer: Yeah, and before you even go into the contest, you’ve got to think too that this is a perfect storm because not only are they growing rapidly and is social media, Facebook in particular, changing these algorithms, but at the same time now, patients, the very first place they’re going are these social media channels to look for those reviews and recommendations from their trusted friends and advisors and people they know in the community for making those healthcare choices.

Jennifer: So John, the owner of the rehabilitation clinic, he sees this and he can see kind of around the corner the way things are going and he wanted to put something in place to truly engage folks, really get their best foot forward, and at the same time use it as a recruitment tool for potential employees, but also for patients.

Jennifer: Let’s go right into the contest, Corey, because I think that the numbers speak for themselves.

Corey: Yeah, absolutely. So what we did was we created a clinic wide social media contest where staff would essentially be responsible for creating their own posts. So what we did was we said over this six week period, the front desk or the staff within the clinics is going to have a specific day that we’re going to dedicate to putting their post up. We’re not going to boost or create any sort of inflated engagement. They knew in advance what day on the calendar they were going to have a post and it was up to them for what they wanted to do.

Corey: We kind of outlined this and then gave a few ideas on certain types of posts, like for example we said a photo with a patient always works really well, especially if you have a photo release, you always need that. Video patient testimonials, you can do a workout tip or a rehab tip or a series of still photos, a video tour, photos at the office, kind of whatever the staff wanted to do, we let them do. Some of them actually did incredible posts. There was a couple where they actually coordinated staff-wide dance offs basically.

Jennifer: They did great.

Corey: They really were. They were fantastic but we didn’t put any limits on their creativity, what they could or could not do. The only thing that we said was this is going to be the specific day for your clinic. Once that post date was randomly generated and assigned, we went ahead and measured the engagement and we tracked each day, so we were looking at post reactions, comments, shares, and we were sort of comparing those from clinic to clinic over the course of the six week period.

Jennifer: Yeah, and we use… our portion of this was to present the guidelines for the clinic managers of what they could and couldn’t do, to give them some loose guidelines, but like Corey said, we didn’t limit their creativity and then our job was they didn’t post it directly to social media, they would send it to us.

Corey: To us.

Jennifer: And then we would post it on their scheduled day and make sure that it was legit and it was authorized and there was nothing wrong with it, no HIPAA violations or any violations against policy, because you never know.

Corey: Right.

Jennifer: Then we used our software that we use to track social media to measure things that we knew we could quantify, but with that said, anybody that’s listening to this could use the measurement tools that are already available in Facebook, which are free, to quantify and to set kind of those measurable goals. I think that’s important is that if you’re going to do something at your practice, you have to set how you’re going to measure it from day one and everybody needs to know how that’s going to work so that that doesn’t change over time.

Corey: Yeah, because those employees, they’re going to come asking.

Jennifer: Yeah.

Corey: Especially if you’re going to incentivize them and have some sort of prize or giveaway or something at the end, so at this particular clinic, what they did was for the clinic that wound up with the most engagement on their specific day once we were all said and done, that front desk staff member got a paid day off. They also gave them a restaurant gift card and I believe they gave them a certificate to a day spa as well so it was sort of like a day off on us to show how much we appreciate your efforts.

Jennifer: Yeah, and what it did outside of just generating a great return for the practice is it allowed for an opportunity to do some real team building with a lot of newer employees to instill a culture that was fun and kind of leading edge. It also helped train the employees and the managers how the practice uses social media and how they may use social media to be better employees or just better at it in general. It just covered so many different bases and it was fun and they were excited and it allowed for friendly competition, which within this environment, that is something that these practices seem to thrive on.

Jennifer: Hey there. Replacing an employee can be expensive, upward of 50% of that employee’s annual salary. Did you know that only 33% of your employees are actually engaged at work? What if you could invest in engaging and training your employees for as little as $8 per month with training that’s specific to the challenges you face in your medical practice, like customer service, patient experience, communicating across generations just to name a few. Well, visit us at to find out more about how our employee engagement and training platform can help you strengthen employee retention, develop patient service mindsets, and give you peace of mind when it comes time for annual reviews, all without creating any additional work for you and it’s only 8 bucks a month. So check us out at insight M as in marketing, G as in group dot com. We’ll be waiting for you.

Corey: Yeah, and I will say it checked a lot of boxes that we wanted it to do and it also… we’ve seen that it has increased the numbers of photos and posts that we get from the various clinics. What we also did is once the contest was over, we said, “Hey, if you guys ever have anything you want to send to us, then either send it to this email or text it here or whatever and then we’ll schedule it,” and we continue to get stuff to this day so it kind of brought that to the forefront and the practice continues to see the benefits from that.

Jennifer: Yeah. We talk about it all the time, especially in some of the talks that I do at some of the big conventions, the big conferences. We talk about this difference of being on social media versus being in social media and this is somewhat of an example. Every one of you that’s out here listening, chances are your practice is already on social media. You have what we refer to as evergreen social posts, where the evergreen posts are going up three days a week and once you set them and schedule them they’re out there and then once in a while you might have an opportunity to get something that’s more of an in the moment post.

Jennifer: This is a promotion that ran that was nothing but in the moment posts that then also checked the box for engagement contest, true engagement from a patient standpoint, SEO value, organic search value, everything else that goes with it.

Corey: Yeah, I wanted to mention the patient standpoint there because I think it’s important to note that obviously the employees were kind of excited and passionate about this idea, but that enthusiasm spills over a little bit into the patients as well because some of the clinics, a lot of them actually, they were also… they would submit something and it would include let’s say an athletic trainer with a patient that just completed their rehab or what have you. We got some really great pictures of little 90-year-old Mrs. Jones that just got back to standing on her own or whatever the case was, so obviously that does really well from the organic and the digital side, but if you think about it from Ms. Jones in that clinic, she feels like a rock star. She’s a hero at that point. She becomes the hero of her own journey and all the other patients that are in there at that time, they see what’s going on and how the staff is interacting with this patient and it really does sort of create this great environment, not only for the patients but also for the staff.

Jennifer: Absolutely. Let’s talk about the results.

Corey: Yeah. Managers at each clinic, they were super happy with the numbers. Remember, no money was used at any time for this and we saw a 612% increase in engagement across the board for this six week period. That’s huge. That’s likes, comments, shares, 612%. Four hundred and twenty seven percent increase in awareness, 255% in overall impression, so while we were going through this six week period, over 138,000 in the trade area saw these posts.

Jennifer: And you go back to the engagement increase, the 612% of engagement, if you recall what we were saying before is Facebook changed the algorithm, and the algorithm now focuses on your engagement scores and awareness. It’s not so much your impression and clicks because that’s what potentially you could put dollars behind, but this is the organic stuff and this is the stuff that gives you the extra juice with social media.

Corey: Right, exactly. So as more people are commenting and sharing, Facebook looks at it and goes, “Oh, well people really like whatever this post is. Let’s show it to more people,” and it snowballs from there. They had a 221% increase in clicks during the six weeks from Facebook to their website which resulted in 143% in appointment requests and contact forms filled on the website.

Jennifer: Those are great numbers.

Corey: They really are. Of note, in regards to the increase in appointment requests and the contact form fills, a lot of what we saw were people beginning their journeys sort of on organic search, that was 125% lift. So basically if I had to break that down, what that means is we can see if someone saw something on Facebook and then went over to their browser and said, “Oh, let me type in the name of the rehab clinic that I just saw on Facebook.” They go there, they see where the locations are and we can sort of track all this through Google analytics so we can say they went from social media to organic search, to location page, and scheduled an appointment. It’s fantastic.

Jennifer: And we know that when they go to search because we’re so focused on getting reviews online, that they’re seeing those four and five star reviews for the practice and that is social proof and it’s all kind of tied together and you can track every single one of these things.

Corey: Yeah, it works so well and I think the bottom line for this is that by creating and inspiring these engaged employees, it turns into engaged and loyal patients, and if the patients are engaged and loyal, that means, one, you’re going to have better outcomes. Two, they’re going to sort of evangelize the brand. They’re going to go out there, they’re going to lead these reviews, they’re going to tell their friends and family about this cool contest that they were in. Ms. Jones goes around and I’m sure she’s telling everybody she knows and overall it creates not only a good lift, but again, we spent zero dollars doing this.

Jennifer: Absolutely and now we’re talking about it and they’re using it. They’re trying to figure out what the next thing they’re going to do is because it was such a great opportunity to engage their employees, to train their employees, and to get people focused on the overall patient experience and just overall helping the practice from the left side to the right side, from the top to the bottom.

Corey: Yeah. If you guys are interested in doing this, we’d be happy to share any sort of notes and recommendations that we have and how we did it, but essentially the starting point is just picking the timeframe that you want to focus on and then determining if you’re going to do this either by location or by department and we’d be happy to send you over the rules and guidelines that we gave with this clinic and help in any way that we can.

Jennifer: That’s a great point. So with that, I’m Jennifer.

Corey: I’m Corey.

Jennifer: We’ll see you next time on the Dr Marketing Tips podcast. Thanks for joining.

Corey: Thanks guys.

Speaker 1: Thanks for listening to the podcast. If there’s anything from today’s show you want to learn more about, check out for our podcast resource center with all the notes, links, and goodies we mentioned during the show. If you’re not already a subscriber to our show, please consider pressing the subscribe button on your podcast player so you never miss one of our future episodes, and if you haven’t given us a rating or review yet on iTunes, please find a spare minute and help us reach and educate even more of our medical practice peers. Thanks again for listening, and we’ll catch you next time. Doctor’s orders.

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