Operating a private practice grants you absolute freedom over how you approach the handling and promotion of your business, and this can feel both engaging and intimidating. As wonderful as it is to let your creativity run wild and make a marketing case that truly represents you, it’s easy to be worried about the consequences.

What if you make no impact? Worse still, what if you get noticed for all the wrong reasons? These concerns are particularly troubling when entering the capricious world of social media. Companies have been made and destroyed within the crucible of Twitter alone, so you need to be prepared. Here are some tips for running effective private practice social media accounts:

Get your brand information everywhere

The entire purpose of your social media accounts is to push people towards using your private practice, and whenever one of your posts sparks that interest, you need the reader to know how to take action immediately — otherwise, their interest will fade soon enough. This is partially achieved through including a website link in every social profile, but you also need branding.
At a minimum, you should use header and post images to display your details, including your fees, your opening hours, and your contact information. Even though they’re using social media, plenty of people still prefer to make inquiries over the phone, so just sticking to a web link is wasting some solid opportunities. Be mindful of image formatting to avoid having your details cut off: here’s a sizing
guide to follow.

Document everything you offer

Since you’re offering a type (or types) of care, it’s essential that you include images to document your process and how people enjoy it. But the point of your imagery shouldn’t be to sell your followers on specific aspects of your service: instead, it should give them an idea of the breadth of your business, reassuring them of your general expertise and operational versatility.
Include some behind-the-scenes photos and videos to give deeper insight into what you do and why you do it. The nature of your practice will lead prospective patients to seek information about the people in charge, after all, so be prepared to share it with them.

Use hashtags (very carefully)

Jumping on trending hashtags is a fantastic way to get some easy attention, but you need to do it extremely delicately. Take your time, review the full context of every hashtag, and reach a sensible conclusion. If you take it lightly, you could end up in a similar situation to that of DiGiorno following its pizza blunder in 2014.
That’s not to say that you should be panicked and fearful about getting things wrong, because it isn’t that likely, and excessive reluctance will work against you through blunting your creativity to a damaging extent. Just be cautious, and get second and third opinions when in doubt.

Automate whenever possible to save time

Small and big companies alike can struggle with making the most of social media feeds, because they move incredibly quickly — even a perfectly-timed post will disappear from view within minutes, ostensibly requiring you to go back to the production phase. But that isn’t the only way to expand your social media activity.
Another option is to use automation tools to not only customise generic posts for distinct platforms (shaping source material to fit Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) but also recycle used content on a steady basis. For the former, you can use anything like HootSuite: here’s a good list. For the latter, I suggest MeetEdgar (you can also use it for general scheduling, but it doesn’t support every social media platform, so keep that in mind).

Show your personality

Lastly, something you’ve likely noticed on social media is how boring most accounts are. Plenty of individuals and businesses alike get into the habit of posting numerous times each day, often with animated GIFs and hashtags, but never show anything approaching unique personality (and never engage in conversation). It makes them come across as generic and unmemorable.
So when you take to social media, try doing something distinctly in keeping with your preferences and personality. Want to share haikus with the world? Offer recipes? It’s up to you. Provided it doesn’t interfere with the main brand-centric content, the sharing of your idiosyncrasies will endear you to people, making them more likely to reach out.
Social media can be frustrating and exhausting, but it’s a great way to engage with people directly, so don’t overlook it. Just use these tips to ensure that you use it effectively, efficiently, and safely.
Author: Rodney Laws – Editor at Ecommerce Platforms