Social media marketing can be an exciting and effective way to grow your practice. A $0 marketing method that can directly touch the daily lives of your ideal customers is a really strong sales pitch!
However, if you’re not emphasizing the social part of your social media marketing, you are simply not getting the most bang for your buck. The power of your business’s social media page comes from the relationship it fosters with your audience. Neglect human-to-human communication on your social media platforms, and you’ll end up pouring endless time into your social media marketing and feeling frustrated that “nothing seems to be working.”
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To see the most success from your social media marketing presence, it’s paramount that you keep your focus on your audience’s needs and desires, before those of your business. Your potential clients aren’t visiting your social media account in hopes of being sold something – they’re looking for help, understanding, and maybe something uplifting.
Let’s run through a few different ways to build a more personable social media marketing presence that draws in and keeps more clients.
Keeping the “Social” in Your Social Media Marketing
Respond to Their Engagement
When your audience engages with content on your business’s social media page – leaving a comment or retweet, “liking,” or interacting in a manner of other ways – their desire is to feel heard.
If you want your followers to continue reaching out and engaging, it’s important to reward that effort with some of your attention. Make sure you thank people for any kind words, and if you feel that there are negative comments that need a response, respond thoughtfully but calmly. Offer help for those asking for it, and be sure to respond to all of your private messages in a timely manner.
Prompt Your Audience to Engage
A great way to maximize the socialization potential of your social media marketing is to directly ask your audience to interact or engage with you. Start creating content that explicitly asks for a response or comment. (“Leave a comment below,” “Retweet with your questions,” etc.)
For example, you could hold a weekly Q&A session on Facebook or Twitter where you encourage your audience ahead of time to send in their questions. Then you could spend an hour or two answering those help or guidance questions publicly during a time and date that you advertised ahead of time.
Simply make sure you’re clear ahead of time about the public nature of the event so people will be aware their questions will be shared with your audience. It won’t keep people from asking questions, but it will keep the wrong kind of questions from being asked.
Content like this that puts your actual audience members front-and-center is very popular with users; just like people love to see themselves on the news, they also love seeing themselves “on the net.” Even just knowing it could be them is an endearing thought, and that endearment towards you and your practice will pay off big time.
Fill Your Social Media Page with Value
On Brighter Vision’s blog, we like to talk about making sure your therapist marketing content has “value,” but let’s look at what that word really means in this context.
When your content is “valuable” to your audience that means it’s content that your audience – otherwise known as your potential clients – either genuinely wants or needs.
You can’t convince your audience to be interested in something you only wish they wanted, and you can’t lie to them by claiming they really need something that won’t end up being helpful to them. Your customers will always find out the truth in the end.
This is partly why it’s so important to determine who your ideal client is so you can target your audience’s specific wants and needs more precisely. It might seem a little counter-intuitive but it’s important to remember if you try to appeal to everyone, you’ll end up appealing to no one.
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It’s important that you keep the “value” of your content in the front of your mind as you plan your social media marketing schedule. The good news, however, is that the valuable content doesn’t necessarily have to be yours.
Directing your potential clients towards content made by a well-reputed source (for example, a Psychology Today blog post) that you think they’d find genuinely helpful or interesting is a wonderful, time-saving way to provide real value to your audience. (Especially if you turn it into an opportunity to ask them to respond critically to a question, or another engagement prompt!) Just be sure to be open about the fact that you didn’t write the article, which can be as simple as saying where you found the content.
Also remember that you can’t rely on other people’s content entirely. Brighter Vision suggests making sure your social media maintains at least a 4:1 ratio of linked or outsourced content to your own original content. That means for every three posts you make that link out to another article, quiz, etc., you should be sure to have one piece of your own content on the schedule.
Keep Most of Your Content Social
When planning your social media calendar, it is tempting to squeeze in as many prompts as possible to “Call Now,” or to buy your new e-book, or to become a customer in any other way. However, while posts that sell something are obviously important to your business overall, they’re not great for building a relationship with your audience. And as we discussed at the beginning of this article, if you neglect building a good relationship with your audience the efficacy of your marketing will suffer. Your social media page will empty out faster than you can blink and you’ll be left pitching your services again and again to an empty room.
So how do you avoid over-saturating your social media with service or product pushes?
A commonly agreed-upon recommendation you’ll hear around the web is that at least 80% of your social media posts shouldn’t be trying to sell anything.
Planning a marketing schedule that is flush with that much valuable content and light on selling can take time and effort, but you’ll find that it’s more than worth the elbow grease. Your audience can recognize when effort and care has been put into a project, and they’ll reward you for it with their attention and customer loyalty.
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