Should Your Private Practice be on Social Media?
If you’re like the majority of Americans, you already have a profile on at least one social media platform, whether that’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or LinkedIn. YouTube also counts.
Sure, you use social media to keep tabs on your friends and family and share cute cat videos, but is it a good idea for your private practice? Can you really leverage social media to grow your private practice?
The answer is a resounding yes.
Social media can effectively engage your current clients and help you reach new ones. How I love social media. Let me count the ways:
Everyone is on social media these days
Social media isn’t a passing fad. Chances are great that every client you’re looking to reach has a profile on at least one of the major social media platforms. Did you know that more than half of all Americans will use Facebook at least once this month? If that number alone doesn’t astound you, maybe this will: 70% of Facebook users log on every day. And that’s just Facebook. Consider how many people also log on to Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Social media is a crucial part of your outreach strategy. [Tweet “If you’re a modern private therapy practice, you’ll need to use social media to stay in contact with your clients.”]
Expand your organic reach
Although many social media platforms are leaning towards a paid promotion model, you can still use these platforms to reach your intended audience.
While I definitely recommend optimizing your website for search engine traffic (also known as SEO), you can use social media to get clients, too. Consider this:
Have you ever used Facebook to search for a local business? I know I have, and I’m willing to bet that your potential clients are doing the same thing. Will they find your private practice represented on social media when they search on Facebook for a term like:
“Mental Health Dallas”
Your goal is to show up in the search results, but you won’t if you’re not listed there to begin with.
Gather social proof
Ever heard of social proof? Social proof is the idea that popularity equals quality. As a society, we value the words and opinions of others. If someone else approves of a product, it adds more weight and distinction to that product.
We see social proof everywhere we go. A restaurant with a crowded parking lot is an example of social proof. A celebrity endorsement is another example.
With private therapy practices, social proof often takes the form of personal testimonials and reviews. You can use these testimonials to build credibility with your target audience. Someone with the same background, gender, or pain point becomes instantly relevant to your target customer.
So how does social media play into this? You can use social media to “listen” in on what people have to say about your practice and share it across all of your online platforms.
Let’s say you’ve performed a search on Twitter to get an idea of what people may be tweeting about your private therapy practice, and you come across a tweet of someone who loves your service. Retweet it to your followers, or screenshot it and add it to your testimonials page.
Another option is to post testimonials from your clients onto social media. However, depending on the type of services you provide, it may be a little tricky to find clients who are willing to be on video.
Keep your clients engaged
Do you know what’s more difficult than getting people interested in your private therapy practice? Keeping them interested. That’s where the hard work begins.
Fortunately, social media makes the process easier.
Once a client or prospect follows you on social media, get to work adding value to their every encounter with you.
You can do this in a number of ways:
- Ask daily questions that keep your followers thinking
- Post photos and inspirational quotes that your followers will want to share with others
- Answer questions and respond to comments
- Introduce new team members with a brief, personal bio
- Upload a behind the scenes or a “day in the life” type video of your office
Permission based advertising
Another winning reason to be on social media is that your followers want to hear from you. They’ve given you permission to advertise to them. Don’t go overboard, though. I wouldn’t recommend advertising 100% of the time.
Instead, follow the 80/20 model. Approximately 80% of the time, provide quality content without asking for anything in return. The other 20% can be spent advertising your new services, highlighting awards you’ve received, and sharing special discounts or coupons.
Network with others
Social media is social. Use it to meet potential clients and business partners. Use LinkedIn to meet other business owners who may share your same target customer base. Perhaps you can promote their services to your clients, and vice versa.
You can also promote their posts on your social media channels. With any luck, they’ll do the same with your posts. By retweeting, repinning, or reposting your content to their communities, you’ll receive increased exposure.
Educate on the need for your services
Potential clients may not know what services you provide and how your services will contribute to their wellbeing. A big part of marketing is education. Social media is the perfect place to teach, or at least pique their interest. Here are two ways you can educate with social media:
- Highlight a service and go in depth about what happens during a typical session. Do this type of education on a platform like YouTube.
- Link back to your blog or email course landing page where you provide focused information about a specific topic. Do this often (still following the 80/20 rule) and across all of your social platforms.
Learn from your community
Do you know the answer to the following questions:
- What type of services does your community want?
- What’s important to them?
- How much are they willing to pay for your services?
If you’re not sure, you can use social media to answer these questions. Ask questions of your community and regularly post polls to gauge their sentiment. Feedback from your followers will help you create a stronger private practice that meets their needs.
Over to You
Are you on social media? Share your profiles in the comments below so we can check you out.