The Natural Path to Social Media: Assessing the Implications of Social Media in Relationship Management and Audience Engagement for Naturopathic Doctors
Keywords:cial media, naturopathic medicine, health communication, communication management, relationship management,
Naturopathic medicine struggles to receive equal recognition to allopathic medicine. As a result, naturopathic practitioners must break through stigmas in public perception to create successful clinics. Public relations theory suggests the best way to change perceptions is through relationship management and dialogue. Consequently, the study investigated how social media can be the catalytic tool to assist in building relationships and dialogue, which in turn, brings in more clientele. The study utilized a combination of interviews with industry leaders, literature review and observation/secondary sources to derive a conclusion. It found that there is a legitimate role for social media in terms of practice management when used to engage and promote, specifically, if two-way dialogue is used as the strategic medium of communication. However, further follow-up to this study is needed since social media is still a relatively new communications tool. Therefore, it currently cannot replace the role of face-to-face communications but rather it must act as a supplementation.