How to unlock the full potential of social media – even the ones you didn’t think you could advertise on!
Social media is a great tool for anyone looking to grow their following and gain “relevancy” in the modern world. Businesses in particular use them to promote themselves and their messages to a wider audience and have their brand name known all over the world. Interaction on social media furthers the reach of these companies by both promotion and interaction with fellow businesses, customers, and would-be customers.
As a therapist you would be completely missing out on an incredibly valuable (and free!) tool at your disposal by not using social media to advertise your own practice and business.
Using Social Media to Advertise
When you hear “advertising on social media” it is possible that your first thought is paying for advertisement slots on websites and apps to promote your business, but I am here to tell you that that is not the case!
Social Media Marketing (SMM) is a form of advertising online that involves creating and sharing content on social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in order to help a company establish their brand, their audience and in the long run, market their product.
SMM includes activities such as posting images, texts, videos, and other easily consumed content that will drive audience engagement and create traffic to a company page or website.
How Can Therapists Utilise Social Media Marketing?
Just as other businesses use social media to attract new and existing customers to engage with their products, therapists can do the same to boost interest in their services and their projects by:
- Developing a brand image – Creating a consistent profile on multiple social media platforms to enforce a public image of you or your practice. This is important, as it sets the tone for your practice and makes it more memorable!
- Humanising “the brand” (You!) – Many people looking for therapists aren’t just looking for a list of qualifications and experience. They need to feel comfortable confiding and putting the trust of their health in you.
Using social media, you can input a little more of your personality into your public profiles to allow potential clients to feel more at ease, and interested in working with you – not just your qualifications.
- Sharing Expertise – The magic of social media is that you can post whatever you want! If you are able to share insights on the therapy industry as a professional you will be demonstrating to potential clients your expertise. You may even attract clients based on the therapies you promote!
- Making Business Connections – When you are on social media, you can start to build connections with other professionals. You never know, you might learn something new, make a friend, or earn a referral!
- Generating Interest – If you’re a therapist that likes to host seminars or share your expertise through journal publication, by sharing links to these events and this content to your social media and having them shared by others, you will be gathering more interest and sharing your expertise with far more people than you would expect.
Which Social Medias Should You Use As a Therapist?
When it comes to which websites you could use, you’re spoiled for choice! But what are the best apps and websites to use when promoting your business?
- Facebook – With Facebook you can create a specific business page for yourself and your practice where you will be allowed insights on how many people are looking at your page. Because people can leave comments, reviews on your services and engage with your page (generating interest) and share with their friends (drawing attention) it is a great place to build a community for your practice.
- LinkedIn – Definitely more useful for building connections with professionals in your field. LinkedIn can inform you of rising topics that other therapists are taking note of, what sort of webinars they are listening to, and what the rising trends in your profession are. You can make a page for both yourself and a page for your practice.
- Twitter – Another short-form social media where you can share a little bit more of your personality! With Twitter you can create a business profile where you can share shorter bursts of information about your practice and your day-to-day as a therapist. Twitter is a great place to engage in conversations with people of all different experiences and backgrounds to expand your worldview and share your own opinions.
While you could use other image-based social media such as Instagram and Pinterest, these platforms don’t offer much in the way of sharing posts or creating engagement with multiple users, and they don’t support lengthy text posts. If you are interested in sharing coping techniques and easily demonstrable advice, these apps are great, but they will not generate the interest that you are looking for when growing your business using social media.
What to post?
So you’ve made your profile. What are the next steps to make sure you’re making the most of it?
- Keep it consistent – Try to use the same profile pictures, banners, titles and usernames across all your platforms to create a consistent brand image that will be remembered by those who come across it.
- Keep it professional – When starting out on social media you may be tempted to post all about your personal life and the first thoughts that come into your head. Leave that for the personal accounts. On your public profile, you want to keep sharing content relevant to the people who are following you: other therapists and potential clients.
- Follow the right people – On certain platforms you are able to curate your home-page by following other accounts. Generally, you should avoid following clients and keep your feed full of relevant content to you: Other therapists, respected professionals and relevant businesses.
- Post regularly – Developing a schedule for posting across your social medias will keep your account and your brand from going stagnant, even if it’s small updates or thoughts on something happening right now, it’s important that the world hears from you, or else what’s the point in even having a public account in the first place?
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Article written by Maisie Violet Wicks, BA Hons, columnist for Private Practice Hub. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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