7 Ways to Use Social Media to Grow Your Audience
Social media is a strategic way to connect with current and potential clients, offer value while building a relationship and mark you as the go-to expert. And now is the time to act because while therapists on social media should be standard practice, it’s not… leaving the field wide open.
If you’re nervous or unsure about ‘putting yourself out there’ I want to share a simple graph. According to Pew Research Center, 69% of Americans are social media adopters, with growth still on an upward trend. If you opt not to capitalize on these platforms you’re choosing to make practice success much harder than it needs to be.
Graph: Percentage U.S. adults who use social media platforms
Credit: Pew Research Center
How do you maximize social media to grow your audience?
I’m glad you asked!
Let’s take a look at 7 important ways to easily harness the power of these cyber platforms to fill your practice books, boost your profits and help more people.
1) Choose and optimize your practice social media accounts carefully
Okay, so with dozens of potential social media platforms to choose from, where do you begin?
I hope by now you have an inclination into who your ideal client is? (If not, this podcast will help ). Knowing your ideal client will enable you to choose the social media platform or platforms that best suit your practice.
You can choose your social media accounts based on the demographics of your ideal client to give yourself the best access to those people and the highest chance of gaining practice growth traction.
Table: Percentage of U.S. adults and the social media platforms they use
Credit: Pew Research Center
If your niche is women between the ages of 18-29, one could mount an argument for Instagram. Women of any age? Pinterest must be in consideration with an estimated 45% of women who are online having an account there. College graduates? LinkedIn might be a worthy choice. But…
—>PS still not sure about your ideal client? Take our Ideal Client Worksheet to find out who your ideal client is and get tips on how to reach them via social media <—
As you can see, Facebook is the biggest player and with your ability to:
– Communicate and engage directly with your audience
– Schedule posts
– Create campaigns
– Target your exact niche
Plus the fact it’s still growing…
If only one private practice social media option is chosen this should be it, although I’d recommend two or three.
Great, so you’ve now completed your research, made your decisions and set up your accounts (if you’re not sure how to do this, a simple YouTube search will yield step-by-step video tutorials).
Next, it’s important to optimize these pages.
For Facebook, complete the ‘About’ section, add a professional timeline picture, choose and implement a call to action button, use one #keyword per post and link to your Facebook page from your website.
Note: If you don’t yet have a website you’re halting practice growth and hemorrhaging profits. We’re affordable (yes, our prices will stun you in the most wonderful way), professional and our websites are beautifully crafted and perfected specifically for therapists like you. Take a look at our plans now.
Need advice on how to optimize other social media sites?
Google: how to optimize (social media)? Read several posts and get started!
2) Set an informed schedule for what you want to achieve
A mistake we see practices make often is to set up a poorly optimized social media account and then start posting for the sake of it.
Take a few hours to decide on the goals and aims of your account. A little time spent in research and planning upfront will save pain and frustration down the track. What do you want to achieve?
State of Social 2016 statistics provide insight into what other companies are doing, which may ignite your imagination. Remember also that these stats can bring awareness of somewhere you can excel. With only 21% of companies providing customer support through social media, what a great opportunity to WOW your clients and set you apart from your competitors!
And talking of aims, if you are to harness the power of the social net you must focus on…
3) Post regular high-quality content
You might notice our blog is full of insightful articles. We love providing value and helping therapists, just like you! But if we only shared this information on our website, we’d miss out on connecting and engaging with current and potential clients. This is where social media forms an integral part of the business puzzle.
See, great content takes time to create. And to be successful with private practice marketing it is a requirement, an absolute must do. So maximize your reach, share your content on multiple platforms and respond when people engage.
Speaking of responding and engagement…
4) Remember: Social media is social
It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day practice of practice. Having created and scheduled valuable content, don’t forget to check in on how it’s performing. Your social media platforms are, well, social. People respond, like, share because they have an opinion on your article, video, thoughts. They want to be heard and engage with you so tweet, reply, engage, and in a timely fashion.
5) Share in more ways, more often
The cold hard fact is that not everyone will see your post.
It’s impossible with each social media platform having their own strategies, plus competition, combined with frequency and varied interest from your followers. One easy way to be seen by more eyes, more often, is to post the same content more than once. We’re certainly not advocating for spam, this is a good way to kill a great business. Instead, build appropriate repetition into your social media schedule.
This can be simplified by using social media tools, including many that are free.
And as with offline life, we all love a personal recommendation with word-of-mouth referrals packing a persuasive punch.
This translates online when people share your posts.
With the chances of going viral impossible to predict and the actual event being highly unusual, it is best to focus your time on likely ways to increase your share-ability.
Ask! Sometime we overlook the most simple approaches and private practice marketing can be as easy as asking.
Write compelling headlines. Anyone who’s waiting in line at a grocery store will have had their eyes unwittingly drawn to the front page of some glossy mag. The power of a great headline is magnetic.
Include photos in your posts and err of the side of positivity.
Want some other ideas? This article by PracticalEcommerce provides good insights into how to boost shares.
And if one of your posts does go viral (Round of applause!)? Be pleasantly surprised and take advantage while the spotlight is upon you.
6) Add your most active social media account links, everywhere!
People choose to consume their media in different ways and this can vary based on mood, content type, personal referral, or even forgetting their Facebook or Twitter login details (it happens!)
You’ve gone to the trouble of setting up and maintaining private practice social media accounts, so provide options.
Insert links to your different social media accounts from your website.
Include the links to your most active accounts on your business and marketing material, including your business cards.
Display these on your practice noticeboard and on client forms.
If you guest blog, ask if you can include your links in a bio below your article.
Where else could you share your social media links? Get creative!
7) Be yourself
Authenticity is key. Potential clients can smell falsehood in the wind and pretending to be someone else is both unnecessary and exhausting. Don’t do it.
As we mentioned above, one of the keys to social media is engagement. To assist you to cultivate the art of engagement, we’ve written 6 Social Media Tips to Increase Engagement.
Enjoy, and let us know what else you’d love to kick your social media into overdrive!
Download our social media infographic, and if you absolutely love it, leave a comment, share it with your friends, and come back soon for more private practice marketing advice.
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