Top Reasons Why Athletes Should See a Sports Medicine Doctor

The life of professional athletes isn’t easy. They have to participate in intensive exercises and training activities constantly to deliver maximum performance in front of an audience.

While these activities are crucial for athletes to stay in shape, they can also damage their body.

Sports medicine is a growing healthcare field dedicated for treatment of injuries related to sports and exercise like fractures, dislocations, sprains and strains, tendonitis, overtraining syndrome and degenerative diseases.

Besides injury treatment, it also focuses on helping the athletes improve their performance prevent future injuries.

Despite being a relatively new medical specialty, it has become essential for athletes thanks to its ability to address their specific needs and concerns.

Who is a Sports Medicine Doctor?

A sports medicine doctor is a licensed and trained individual who focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of injuries related to athletic activities.

These specialists treat their patients using physical therapy, orthopedic surgery, massage therapy, exercises, and other techniques so that they can return to their desired activity level quickly, safely and successfully.

They also teach the athletes on nutrition to help them maintain an optimal level of health and fitness and achieve their sports performance goals.

The sports medicine team includes sports physiotherapists, sports massage therapists, sports orthopaedic surgeons, sports podiatrists, athletic trainers, sports dieticians, exercise physiologists and sports biomechanists.

Common Sports Injuries:

Some common sports injuries athletes suffer on the filed include ankle sprain, groin pull, hamstring strain, knee injury, tennis elbow, Achilles tendinitis, concussion, shoulder injury, hip bursitis, quadriceps strain and shin splints.

They can also experience the exacerbation of pre-existing health problems like diabetes, asthma, allergies and arthritis.

Reasons to Visit a Sports Medicine Doctor:

There are many reasons for an athlete to see a sports physician.

Let’s take a look at some of them.

(1) Customized Care:

Sports medicine doctors are specially trained healthcare professionals who have an in-depth understanding of what could be the impacts of an exercise on their patient’s body. They collaborate with physical therapists and orthopedic surgeons to develop a customized treatment for their patient.

(2) Injury Prevention:

Sports physicians can provide the athletes with expert advice on the how to prevent injuries during the practice or play and how to reduce the likelihood of resurfacing a previous injury. They also conduct pre-participation physical exams of their patients to determine whether they are fit enough to resume sports activities.

(3) Pain Management:

Sports injuries may lead to several orthopedic issues that often cause chronic pain, making it difficult for the athletes to return to the game and carry out their activities.

While the primary aim of sports physicians is always to diagnose, treat and resolve the injury, they also use pain management therapies like electrical stimulation, spinal decompression, prescription medications and injected medications, to help their patients prevent or defer the need for surgery and continue their daily activities without any hindrance.

(4) Rehabilitation:

For an athlete, a return from an injury can be a complicated and lengthy process. If you find yourself sidelined by an injury, a sports physician can help you restore your movement and function and return to same or higher level of fitness quickly.

(5) Improving Athletic Performance:

Sports physicians diagnose and treat uncomfortable conditions to help you deliver your maximum performance, both on and off the field.

They also suggest you exercises and techniques to improve your strength and balance that contribute to your success as an athlete.

(6) Improving overall Fitness:

Sports physicians help athletes prevent muscle sprains, strains and tears to keep their bodies in shape.

They also conduct full body and musculoskeletal examinations to help them maintain their overall fitness.

(7) Non-Surgical Treatment:

Sports physicians try to avoid surgery in less severe cases and instead focus on treating injuries with non-surgical methods like physical therapy and acupuncture.

These treatments are often non-invasive and require shorter recovery time.

(8) State-of-the-Art Surgical Treatment:

In the cases where surgery is indispensable, sports physicians use advanced surgical procedures, like arthroscopic ACL repair, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, hip arthroscopy, stem cell therapy and rotator cuff repair to restore the function of injured areas.

 

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Social Media Marketing, Truth and Lies

The best thing that ever happened to social media marketing was the hacking of the 2016 US election of Donal Trump by the Russians. Why? Because it laid bare what many in social media marketing has known for a long, long time: that social media platforms are a joke, their valuations are based on imaginary users, and their integrity lies somewhere between Lucifer and that guy who eats people’s faces in the movies.

For marketing consultants such as myself, recommending existing social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram has been increasingly difficult, because -quite frankly- many of us don’t trust the metrics.

And why should we? Facebook doesn’t.

This is from Facebook’s 2017 SEC filing (emphasis mine):

The numbers for our key metrics, which include our daily active users (DAUs), monthly active users (MAUs), and average revenue per user (ARPU), are calculated using internal company data based on the activity of user accounts. While these numbers are based on what we believe to be reasonable estimates of our user base for the applicable period of measurement, there are inherent challenges in measuring usage of our products across large online and mobile populations around the world.

The largest data management company in the world says it doesn’t really know if its numbers are accurate. Estimates? What marketing professional wants estimated results after the fact?

It gets worse. Emphasis mine:

In the fourth quarter of 2017, we estimate that duplicate accounts may have represented approximately 10% of our worldwide MAUs. We believe the percentage of duplicate accounts is meaningfully higher in developing markets such as India, Indonesia, and the Philippines, as compared to more developed markets. In the fourth quarter of 2017, we estimate that false accounts may have represented approximately 3-4% of our worldwide MAUs.

Let that sink in. Facebook is admitting that “approximately” 10% of its monthly active users are fake. Interestingly, they don’t mention what percentage of their daily active users are fake.

And that’s the problem with social media. You don’t know what’s real and what’s fake anymore.

Social media hasn’t been real for a while.

As marketers and advertisers, we pride ourselves on accuracy. In the olden times of marketing and advertising, we obsessed over rating numbers of tv shows, readership for print promotions, and delivery success rates for direct mail.

In all cases, the platforms of the day were heavily audited. You knew, with fair certainty, was the audiences were for any particular medium or channel because there was usually a point of review somewhere for the numbers.

Traditional media such as radio, TV, and print had been around long enough that there were thousands of case studies one could study the success or failures of individual campaigns. Because these mediums were part of the public record, it was easy to work backward to see what mix of media and budget worked and what didn’t.

As an industry, we could quickly establish benchmarks for success – not just based on our personal experiences- but in the collective experiences of very clear strategies laid bare for everyone to dissect.

Well, that all went out the window with social media.

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram’s numbers were always a joke.

In days of yore, company valuation was based on revenues, assets, and human capital, and performance.

That all changed when someone came up with the concept of “daily active users.”

The race to gain users became the driving force for social media platforms in a way that we’ve never seen before. Now, the obsession with user growth opened the door to advertising and marketing fraud on a scale that just wasn’t possible previously.

Let’s get something clear: any platform that allows for people to create thousands of fake profiles so others can buy likes, followers, retweets, or shares is toxic to advertisers and brands alike.

Now, I understand that the word “allows” is doing a lot of work in that sentence, so let me expand a bit what I mean.

I don’t think I’ll get many arguments when I say that -regardless of what I think of them- the most successful social media platforms on the planet are also some of the most sophisticated technological enterprises on the planet. They have -arguably- some of the best AI around, as their entire business models revolve around being able to crunch numbers, facts, and obscure pieces of data millions of times a second.

They are also massive corporations, with an army of lawyers and IP bulldogs waiting to protect their brand against any hostile outside forces.

So explain to me, how is it, that even after all we have seen in the news people can still buy Facebook likes, or Twitter followers, or Instagram fans?

The reason: it was always a scam. And we got conned along with everyone else.

If your company is valued on your number of users and the activity of those users on your platform, what do you care if they are fake or not? If you did, you’d hire an armada of auditors to ensure the integrity of your userbase. I don’t believe they ever did and will never do this.

Social platforms deploy their honey trap.

Initially, social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter lured brands and companies onto their platforms with promises of free marketing and advertising. The ability to quickly grow a fanbase and follower base, without the need of hiring marketing shmucks like me. Why waste time on hiring a professional when you can do it all yourself for nothing?

At first, I was a supporter of this. I believed that marketing and advertising was often something that only larger companies could afford, and that small business marketing was being left behind. Social media marketing allowed for even a mom and pop shop to compete online.

So many businesses spent countless hours and thousands of dollars in human resources to grow their followers online.

Having lured them into their honey trap, social media companies then held followers and fans hostages. You had to pay to have access to the userbase that you built up and cultivated.

Suddenly the numbers didn’t make any sense. You had to pay to promote or boost posts when previously it was free. The result was disastrous for many businesses. The ROI’s didn’t add up, but with so many of their customers on these platforms, they had little choice but to continue to try and get whatever value they could for them.

Moreover, the move to such promotions opened up the Pandora’s box to further abuses. The drive for revenue seemingly caused social platforms to continue to look the other way on fake profiles and social media bots because they drove ad sales. Personal data was harvested and manipulated in ways that users could not fathom and did not agree to.

Mostly, it did something to marketing that I’m not sure we can recover. For many digital marketing firms and marketing agencies, it forced us to down the Kool-aid with everyone else. People that should have known better doubled down on social media marketing for our clients when we knew -for most of them- it was unnecessary.

Marketing and advertising agencies became accomplices after the fact.

Like I said earlier, marketing and advertising agencies and consultants are supposed to obsess with accuracy. We want our clients to have the very best ROI available.

However, like professionals in any business vertical, we’re self-serving.

One of my favourite examples of how people who would know better will say anything for a buck is real estate agents.

Have you EVER heard a real estate agent tell you it’s a wrong time to buy a house? In all of my days, I have never read an article by a real estate agent saying that people should hold off on a purchase. House prices going up? A great time to buy; you’ll make your money back immediately! House prices going down? It’s a buyers market! Lock in your savings now!

Marketing and advertising professionals did something similar with social media marketing.

We saw the platforms’ rise in popularity and didn’t want to get caught in a lurch. The buzz was building behind them, and clients were often demanding us to help them. So -even though Facebook and Twitter were mostly unproven with little to no actual case studies to speak of- many firms told their clients to throw money into the black hole of social.

What was the result? The majority of social media campaigns are disasters. I only know of a fraction of companies that continue with any seriousness on social media compared to the rates companies did with traditional advertising or even SEO and non-social digital ads.

You see it in the positioning. When digital marketers talk about social media, they discuss it regarding “reach,” “exposure,” “presence,” “awareness.” That’s code word for “throw your money away.” Do an online search of the effectiveness of social media, and you will find the results filled with SEO and social media marketers praising the platforms and the strategies.

Real marketers talk about ROI. Impact on sales, and impact on lead generation. You can’t pay the rent on brand awareness. I’m saying this as someone who builds brands for a living.

And it’s not just me saying this. One of the largest brands in the world, Proctor & Gamble, gutted their ad budget and walked away from a host of agencies because of digital advertising and marketing fraud.

Social sharing has been automated to death:

According to Buzzsumo, average social shares per article had declined by 50 percent in 2017 in comparison to 2015. Their data also shows how fast most hot topics become saturated with articles, leading to only a relatively few winners getting the majority of the societal shares and hyperlinks.

Another found that, that bots automate nearly two-thirds -66%- of all HTML links posted on Twitter.

Again, if social media platforms truly valued their user-experience and cared about social being social, they would have banned such practices years ago. No more social automation. If you want to engage with your fans and followers, you have to be there for them. You have to be live, online, ready to connect.

However, bots are good for business. They boost their daily active user accounts; they make their platforms look more popular than they are. Bots post content, bots like content, bots share content, bots follow people, bots message people -it’s endless.

Bots account for an ungodly 52% of internet traffic in 2017. That number is only set to rise further as social media continues to be an arms race. Caught in the middle of all of this are businesses who think their digital marketing metrics have any meaning.

Your Influencer isn’t that influential.

I’m a firm believer in influencer marketing because I believe it is a natural extension of relationship marketing. People will buy from people they trust and will accept the suggestions of people they like.

However, with the growth of online influencers, things have taken a turn for the surreal.

First off, many fans and followers of social media influencers are as fake as anything. Social media bots follow celebrities as a means to spam their pages and/or a means to scrape a list of people to spam later with content.

Secondly, as marketers and advertisers, we are supposed to care about accuracy. But the ability to verify the fan base of an influencer is almost impossible within the platforms. You have to go to third-party apps to try and get any real understanding of the legitimacy. Moreover, even then, you are at the mercy of the third-party to provide you with accurate data. Should Instagram decide to shut down the API to these applications, you will have no idea how popular your influencer is.

The future of social media: live, direct, and transparent.

The way to solve the social media problem we’re facing today is simple: social media was great when it was social and personal. A return to the basics is needed.

 

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The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Great Social Media Manager

A great social media manager is, as Ron Burgundy would say: “The balls“.

It’s an undisputed fact that every business needs to be active in social media. The ever-changing demands of the modern day consumer requires brands to think fast and adapt quickly in order to stay one step ahead.

The role of a social media manager has appealed to the mass generation of socially-active internet users. It’s hard not to. Especially when some might think that you can earn big bucks from posting Facebook updates. Hardly.

Being a social media manager is kind of like being a stand-up comedian. You have to quickly understand your audience and your engagement with them is vital. In order to accomplish this, you need to know if the audience is laughing at your jokes and you need to know this in real-time. If you can do this, then you have already won the crowd.

So, how do you become a social manager? More to the point, how do you become a great social manager?

The answer will be surprising to some. Firstly, you have to want it. Second, you have to love it. Third, you have to learn it. And even if you tick all these boxes, you should ask yourself: “Am I a social person?” If the answer is no, then becoming a social media manager is probably not for you…

So let’s take a look at the stats.

  • LinkedIn shows 57,910 results for “social media manager”
  • Social media has now overtaken porn as the number 1 activity on the web
  • 97% of all consumers search for local businesses online
  • 71% of consumers receiving a quick brand response on social media say they would likely recommend that brand to others
  • 93% of marketers use social media for business
  • In terms of difficulty of execution, nearly half (49%) of B2B marketers put social media marketing at the top, followed by content marketing (39%), SEO (26%) and mobile (25%)
  • 77% of B2B marketers use a blog as part of their content marketing mix
  • On average, 25% of marketing budgets are now spent on content development, delivery and promotion
  • 78% of small businesses attract new customers through social sites
  • When asked to rank their company’s social business maturity on a scale of 1 to 10, more than half of global business executives gave their company a score of 3 or below

But the statistic that is most relevant to this article is:

  • Just 12% of those using social marketing feel they actually use it effectively.

Being a social media manager brings with it some key benefits within a freelance setting. The most recognisable being the fact that you are your own boss. You make the decisions and answer to no one. You send the invoices and you set the policies. Heck, you could sit in your underpants all day on the computer if you wanted to.

The other is money. It is an in-demand role, but one that companies are still struggling to come to terms with. Some companies realise and understand the value social media could bring to their enterprise and are willing to invest heavily in robust social media campaigns. Being your own boss, you can decide how to set your costs and price accordingly.

Another attractive reason is the low barriers to entry. With low start-up costs and plenty of online resources (like this one!) to rapidly decrease the learning cure, anyone can launch a freelance social management business within a short space of time.

I’ll tell you my story shortly but first, let’s explore the essential skills you’ll need to become a great social media manager..

Fundamental Skills:

Marketing Knowledge

You should have a good grasp of the basic marketing principles. Some education in marketing would be beneficial, but otherwise you can find many quality resources online.

Experience

Your experience doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to life experiences. Have you managed your own social media profiles for a while? Do you know how to effectively maintain your own social accounts and understand what clients expect?

Sociable

I touched on this at the beginning of the article. If you are not a sociable person – someone who doesn’t like communicating much and isn’t very outgoing, then becoming a social media manager just isn’t for you. Sure, you can hide behind a keyword and monitor for a while, but clients will usually want to meet, speak on the phone, or have Skype sessions at some point.

Project Management

You don’t have to have a Prince2 certificate, but you do need to be able to manage projects and your time well. It’s typical for social media manager’s to work with multiple clients at any one time. Keeping tabs on everything is important so that it doesn’t get overwhelming.

Technological

Social media exists online. Therefore, you need to have a certain degree of computer literacy. Having good knowledge of social technology will enhance your services and ensure you are keeping up to date with the latest social trends and developments.

Interpersonal Skills:

Communication

It kind of goes without saying that if you’re going to be representing a company and engaging with their customers, then you will need to have strong communication skills.

Personality

Companies tend not to want to hire people with no personality to act on behalf of their brand. It doesn’t resonate well with them, or their audiences.

Responsiveness

I’ve touched on this a few times – social media is very fast-paced. Imagine if one of your social assignments was largely focused on customer service and you didn’t respond to customer complaints or queries for weeks. People online want rapid responses. Being able to fulfil these needs can stand your client (and you!) in good stead.

Entrepreneurial

To become a social media manager in a freelance capacity, you have to be a self-starter. You should be willing to go the extra mile and take a few financial risks along the way. If you don’t land a job that pays enough in one month, how will this affect you?

Multitasking

A great social media manager must be able to effectively carry out a wide range of tasks.

Organisation

You should always be very well organised when delivering social media management services. I use all kinds of traditional tools like calendars, white boards and task lists to keep myself organised. I also use many online organisational tools, such as: Thunderbird for accessing all my email accounts in one place, Dropbox to easily share documents with clients and bookmarks to keep track of all the websites I frequently visit.

Strategic Thinking

Being able to think campaigns through before they happen and sometimes thinking outside the box when needed, are great asset to have as a social media manager. Clients tend to want to know how you will do something before letting you do it, so being able to present a clear and concise strategy is essential.

 

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