Best Practices for Therapist Marketing on Social Media
Social media studies have reported that there are 3.2 billion social media users in the world today – that’s about 42% of the entire population! – and this number continues to grow every single day. With that kind of data, there’s simply no denying that social media is now a major source of entertainment, news, and information for people all over the world.
So why not take a piece of the pie for your own private practice?
Social media marketing can be a powerful boost to your practice’s online marketing strategy and give you a valuable edge over your competition. In this article, we’ll outline the best practices for therapist marketing on social media to help you maximize your audience engagement (clicks, comments, likes, and shares) so that you can attract even more new clients for your practice.
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There are a common set of best practices you will want to follow in order to achieve social media success for your private practice:
- Really get to know your ideal client – this will be your target audience
- Identify which social networks will be most beneficial for you
- Create content that interests and engages your target audience
- Make sure you’re posting on the best days at the most optimum times
- Make sure you’re posting frequently and consistently
- Invest in a social media automation tool to save you time and money
We’re going to go through each of these points in further detail below. But if you’d like to jump straight to a specific section, simply click on it from the list above!
The first step to any social media marketing strategy is to learn everything you can about your ideal client. Knowing as much as possible about the demographics of your target audience will not only dictate when and where you post on social media, but also how and what you’re posting.
The content you post is going to be dependent on who your ideal client is and the audience you’re trying to appeal to. For example, if you’re trying to attract more adult clients struggling with ADD/ADHD, post content that they will find interesting or helpful, such as a free download to help them keep on schedule with their daily or monthly tasks.
Once you’ve determined who you’re posting for, it will be much easier to determine what to post.
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There are so many different social platforms out there and, while some have become fairly mainstream, many still attract different audiences. Obviously your practice doesn’t need to be on all of them. So your next step should be identifying which social media platforms your ideal clients are using and which platforms will be the most beneficial for you.
To help with this decision, here’s a quick rundown of who’s using each of the most popular social media platforms:
- Facebook: As the #1 most engaged social network, this is usually the obvious choice for private practice owners and individual therapists alike. In today’s digital world, Facebook is used by 68% of all U.S. adults. Of its 2.4 billion monthly active users, 35% are under 25 years old and 30% are between the ages of 25-34.
- Twitter: With 330 million monthly active users, this is another platform commonly used for therapist marketing on social media because of its popularity. However, this particular platform has a much higher average activity level than its competitors, and your followers are likely going to expect more out of you on this network.
- LinkedIn: With 25% of all U.S. adults using this platform, it is a particularly good fit for therapists’ social media marketing because the benefits are two-fold. (1) You can network with potential clients, and (2) You can network with possible referral sources (doctors, coaches, and other therapists).
- Instagram: Being the 2nd most engaged social network, this is another good option for engaging with your ideal clients. Instagram is used by 35% of all U.S. adults and has 1 billion monthly active users – 500 million of them logging in at least once a day. It comes with one major drawback, though – it’s a mobile-only platform. Always has been, and likely always will be.
Once you’ve decided who you’re going to connect with online and the platform you’re going to use to reach them, you will have a much better idea of the type of content you will need to be posting. The key to engaging with your audience on social media is sharing content that interests and/or helps them.
Are you publishing new posts regularly to your website’s blog? If so, make sure you’re sharing links to those posts on all of your social media accounts. Any content that is relevant to your services is going to be relevant to your ideal client as well, so share it!
When creating social media content, it may also be helpful to make a list of some of the questions you’re asked most often by clients. Then you can create posts that answer those questions in advance for new potential clients or even other existing clients who may not have asked them yet. For example, if you primarily work with women struggling with depression during and after pregnancy, create posts that answer questions like “Do I have PPD?” or “Are antidepressants safe during pregnancy?”
To really connect with a large audience on social media and create what is now known as a ‘viral’ post, you’ll need to create content that can crossover from your niche into another. The more people your content applies to, the greater your reach will be. Following the same example, you could write a blog post about how depression during pregnancy can be minimized holistically with certain exercises. Then reach out to a local gym or personal trainer to let them know about your post and see if they’d be willing to share it on their social media pages.
Be careful though – if your post topics are all over the board, your audience likely won’t be interested in most of your posts and you may lose them as followers. Make sure you’re writing for your ideal clients first and then try to include something that another audience may be interested in also to reach even more people.
To optimize the amount of people you reach with your social media posts, it’s important to make sure you are posting at the right times. You should be publishing your posts during the times when traffic is highest throughout the day.
To determine when the best times are, you could spend hours looking through your analytics to see when your posts are sending the most traffic to your private practice website.
Or, you could save yourself some time and follow our recommended posting schedule. We took a deeper look into the science of social media and, while the recommended days and times may not be ideal for literally every therapist out there, came up with a good general posting schedule for the mental healthcare industry.
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to post on each of the most popular social media platforms.
There’s a delicate balance between posting too little and too much. You want to make sure you’re posting enough that your clients stay up-to-date on your services and offerings, but not so much that they’ll feel as though their news feed is consistently being bombarded with unnecessary updates from your page.
The exact frequency varies from one practice to another and you should always do some testing of your own to figure out what it is that works for you, but here are some general suggestions for posting frequencies by platform:
- Facebook: 2-3 times per week (no more than once a day)
- Twitter: 1 post every other day (1 post per day is ideal)
- LinkedIn: 1-2 posts per week (no more than once a day)
- Instagram: 1 post every other day (1 post per day is ideal)
By now you’ve probably realized what the biggest cost of social media marketing is – time!
Social media automation tools allow you to schedule out your posts in advance across multiple platforms. However, most of these tools still require you to find or create that content yourself which doesn’t save you as much time as you’d think.
Ramp up your private practice social media presence with Social Genie:
- Browse our library of over 1,000 pre-written posts, including articles, quizzes, podcasts, inspirational quotes, fun facts, & more
- Choose your favorite posts to edit or customize, then add them to one of our pre-created campaigns
- Schedule your campaigns to post to your favorite platforms on the days & times of your choice
- Post to Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn all at once with one click
- Choose a high-resolution image for each of your posts from our integrated Unsplash photo library, or upload your own
- Increase brand awareness by uploading your logo and have it embedded in the corner of all your posts’ featured images
- Drive traffic to your website by specifying your website URL to include in all of your posts
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