Have you noticed how many orthotic/prosthetic and pedorthic (O&P) industry manufacturers, distributors, content publishers and member organizations have launched social media applications over the past few months? Just flip through the latest issue of The O&P Edge, O&P Business News, or browse a manufacturer’s website. It’s exciting to see the industry grow with the popularity of applications such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogs.
A Social Media Experiment…
In 2009, Tamarack Habilitation Technologies launched its’ Inside Tamarack blog and created the Tamarack Habilitation Technologies group on LinkedIn to strengthen its networking capabilities with materials suppliers, industry manufacturers, customers and content publishers. Why both putting energy into social media? Because the inherently social aspect of Twitter and Facebook make it almost essential these days for companies to strengthen their brands, collaborate with business partners and communicate with customers online. Hand-written letters, personal visits and phone calls certainly haven’t lost their value. These tools have simply been strengthened by the creation of social media tools accessible to anyone worldwide. Tamarack may be just a small family-owned company, but with the use of a few social media tools, it’s able to build a knowledge base over the internet to educate customers about new technologies and product offerings, available to anyone, anytime, and anywhere across the world.
Other O&P industry members who have already jumped on the social media train include the American Orthotics & Prosthetics Association, The O&P Edge, O&P Business News, Grace Prosthetic Fabrication, Ohio Willow Wood, and Otto Bock. It’s a pleasure to see these companies coming together to improve the speed and quality of educational material and product content online.
So what’s the real value of using social media applications to promote your business? Sign up for Twitter and Facebook, and/or roll up your sleeves to set up a company blog and see for yourself. The social media experiment is alive and kicking – even in the O&P industry!