Do you use social media to promote your therapy business? If the answer is no, you could be missing out on a prime promotional opportunity. There are a great many benefits to social media for therapists’ use.
A therapy business is the same as any other type of business, in that it exists to service clients. Without these clients it doesn’t exist. Social media, when used strategically, can enhance your other marketing efforts. It allows you to engage in “real time” with both existing and target audiences and showcase your business, your knowledge and expertise. Not only this, social media allows you to “listen” to what others are saying about your practice. By acting on this information, you can improve your customer service and the general perception of your brand and services.
So, how do you succeed on social media?
Social Media For Therapists – 5 Top Tips
1. Know Your Audience.
If you understand your target audience, the issues that they face, you can tailor your social media content to providing a solution. This solution could be as simple as an ear to listen or an understanding of a symptom, but don’t underestimate the value of this to your client. Very often they may have exhausted every other avenue before they come to you. Use social media to demonstrate your understanding and start to build the “know, like and trust” of a successful online relationship.
The therapy market is as crowded as any other marketplace. In creating a successful online presence, you need to distinguish yourself from your competition. What is your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)? Whats sets you apart from others and what can you offer your prospective client that is different to what they might get elsewhere?
2. Get the Mix Right.
Variety really is the spice of life! By including a variety of content on your feed, your audience will stay longer and visit more. The longer they stay in your presence, whether on social media or on your website, the longer you have to persuade them to use your services.
The analogy I use with clients is that of a shop with a sale on. When you, the customer, first visit the shop, you may spend some time there. Novelty value is high, but on your second or third visit, if the contents haven’t changed, if the sale stock remains the same, then there definitely won’t be a fourth visit!
Social media for therapists is no different. Roughly speaking, 80% of your content should educate, inspire, entertain and convince your audience. The remaining 20% should be promotional. If you have a thorough understanding of your target market, you will know their areas of interest outside of your services. What do they do in their spare time? What are their interests outside of work? It is this “extra” content that will keep your audience coming back for more and encourage them to share your content.
Post content that demonstrates your knowledge and reinforces your professional “branding “. You need to be regarded as the Go-To by your potential clients.
3. Business – v – Personal
Always, always protect your boundaries by setting up a proper business page, separate to your personal profile. Facebook offers a number of templates to fit most business-types. Ensure the privacy settings on your personal profile are set to private. To set up a business page,you will need a personal profile. However, you don’t want to start receiving friend requests from clients on your personal profile, neither do you want to risk the credibility of your practice page by allowing access to your family and personal photos and posts.
4. Which Platform?
This largely depends upon your niche or specialism and your target audience. It is important to remember that your primary aim in using social media is to create visibility for your business, so it’s important to go where your audience are.
Here’s a whistle stop tour of each of the main platforms:-
Linkedin – If you want to attract a B2B, or corporate audience, then Linkedin is a natural fit. Linkedin is great for boosting credibility and professional standing. Ask clients for endorsements or to recommend you on the platform.
Facebookh– Quick and easy to use and appeals to a wide client-base. Rather than simply posting to your business page, use Facebook strategically. Join groups containing your target client, or start your own Group and get engaging! Comment on others posts and make your presence known!
Twitter – Allows “real-time” conversations with potential clients. It allows them to get to know you before starting to work with them. Bear in mind, however, that the average life of a tweet is just 18 minutes,meaning that you will have to be consistent and regular in tweeting to get noticed. Remember, as with any platform, it’s not all about you and, instead,take time to retweet and share others content. Twitter is great for location-specific marketing. Utilise the many Twitter hours that exist for not only geographical locations, i.e. “#Somersethour”, but also specific hours dedicated to general areas of interest, for example “#WellnessWednesday”. By including the relevant hashtag in your post, you will appear in the stream of every follower of that hour.
Pinterest – Exists as a conduit to other sites. If your aim is to direct more traffic to your website, then Pinterest could be a good choice for you. It is also very visual, relying heavily on the images accompanying each pin.
Instagram – Statistics show that 75% of Instagram users take action (for example, visiting your website) after seeing a post. Our brains process images some 60,000 times faster than written text. Instagram could be the perfect platform for your therapy businesses.
5. When To Post
Lastly, let’s address the question of when to post content. There are countless articles on the internet detailing the best times to post. The aim of the game is always to gain as much engagement on your posts as possible. This means any new content needs to be broadcast to as high a proportion of your existing audience as possible.
Facebook, for example, gives you all the information you need via its “Insights” tab. Here, you can discover the days and times when your audience are online, as well as which of your posts have received the most attention. This valuable information allows you to tailor future content accordingly. Third party apps that provide this information for most of the other platforms are also available.
However, if you want to experiment with timings, think about when that target audience might be online. Take a look, for example, at all those using public transport for their commute to and from work. How many of them are glued to their phones? The evening commute may be a good time to post. Many will be tired after a day’s work, perhaps in need of your services!
Social Media for Therapists – Conclusion
So, social media for therapists – Yes, social media takes time, yes it takes discipline, and no, you won’t see immediate results. It takes time to build a reputation and it also takes time to build a presence on social media. It is all about consistency in posting, about building momentum and then riding that wave. It’s about variety in content and about knowing who you are targeting. About appealing to their interests as well as their needs. But it can offer you real opportunities to connect, converse and engage with potential clients.
Are you using social media for your practice?
Which platforms do you use and which works best for you? I’d love to read your comments below.
Would you like more information on social media for therapists? Or help navigating social media for your business? Maybe you would like to learn more about using social media and would like some 1:1 training? Then please get in touch. You can now book a 30-minute discovery call with me here.