Throw Back Marketing

Last issue I talked about the shift in marketing away from text to images. If you missed it, here is a recap: Pictures of carrot cake being made caused me to get up off my couch and drive down to a local farmer’s market to buy it even though I am not that crazy about carrot cake. Pictures are where it is at. That is fantastic!


Elizabeth Mansfield

Orthotics and prosthetics, as a field, is made for pictures. So get your smart phones or your old-timey digital cameras out and start snapping away. While you are taking new pictures, have someone else head to the basement or the attic and have them dig up all the old pictures they can find. It does not matter how long you have been in business, you have “old” pictures. What to do with all the pictures?

Find your platforms

First, figure out what platforms you want to use. Facebook, of course, because you know how to use it and it is so easy to put the pictures into albums. Kids, pets and high tech are album categories you absolutely should being using. Everyone loves kids, pets and cool gadgets. If you do not believe me, go take a look at Facebook. Instagram is huge and growing exponentially. There are more than 40 million users. Thousands of pictures are being shared every second. Instagram photos can be shared on Twitter and on Facebook. You can kill a lot of birds with the Instagram stone.

Throw it back

Second, get nostalgic. Everyone loves “Throwback Thursday.” Here is where those old photos are useful. Who does not like seeing guys in short shorts and knee high socks or girls with sky high ’80s hair? Throwback is fun. That is why it is a trend. I know of many O&P patient care facilities that are second, third or even fourth generation. If you are a first generation facility, it does not matter. Start a “this time last year” album. Remember, everything does not have to be work-related. You can just throw back to your past. School pictures. Wedding pictures. Prom pictures. You know you have throwback photos. Start throwing back.

© Shutterstock

Source: © Shutterstock

Before and after

Third, use before and after photos. O&P is all about changing people’s lives and bodies. Before and after pictures are easy pictures to take and the results are obvious to see – patient in a wheelchair, patient with running leg, patient running. You can also show a patient with severe plagiocephaly, patient with helmet and patient with beautifully shaped head. Another option is a patient with Charcot ankle collapse, then a patient with orthoses. I do not have to tell you what makes for great before and after photos. You do it every day.

Share and share alike

Fourth, do not be stingy. You do not need to create new content for each platform that you want to use. Use the pictures for both. More importantly, make sure your “users” can share their content with you, too. If you have got an Instagram-addicted mother who just loves taking pictures of her baby with a Spiderman cranial remolding helmet on, it would be a shame not to let her share her photos. Many hands do make light work so do not feel like you have to do it all by yourself. Friends, family, patients, coworkers can all help lighten that marketing load. The entire concept of social media marketing revolves around sharing so do not make it harder than it has to be.

Elizabeth Mansfield is the president of Outsource Marketing Solutions. She can be reached at

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