Clients are hard to come by and anything therapists can do to get new clients that doesn't take up too much of their time is surely a top priority!
With so many people using social media now, it is almost certain that potential clients are plugged in to one or more social networks.
A well maintained social media page with regular posts and consistency in tone, look and quality is a very important element in your marketing program. And it’s easier to achieve than you think!
So how can social media benefit the private practice therapist?
1. Brand Building.
Your brand is what differentiates you from other therapists and helps people to choose you. Apart from your website, any communications you engage in with the world at large is adding to your brand. So think of social media as an opportunity to build your brand.
The great thing about social media is that, unlike the radio or black and white print, it allows you to operate in full colour with sound and visuals, and you can fully control these elements to portray your brand in its best light. This helps you to imprint your brand in people's mind and help them to remember you when needed.
2. Social Credibility.
Before potential clients make the big decision to contact a therapist, it is almost certain that they will research the therapist online to see if they are a good fit. Many therapists have great websites, but sadly lack a good social media presence. Think about the last time you were looking up a service and you checked the company's social media page - isn't it a disappointment when you find that their page has few followers, features only a few posts (of poor quality), and hasn't been updated in months or longer?
Companies strive to achieve social credibility with active sites and social media pages so that they are viewed as contemporary, active and on top of their game. This is important in building trust, which is absolutely necessary for a sale.
3. Thought Leadership.
To build credibility and trust, many therapists publish articles in respected journals and publications, and with Internet these can be published on their website and promoted on their social media. It has the important effect of establishing them as an authority in their field. You can do the same: you would be amazed how much content for blogs you own from your previous works, and these can be revised, updated and adapted for use on your website and promoted via your social media.
4. Communicating your message.
Social media is an ideal medium for you to communicate to your local audience things about your specialities, techniques and the various mental health issues you treat. You can use the platforms to instill confidence, engage, inform, educate, encourage and uplift people in your community. Whether your audience are your patients or not, this will reflect well on you.
5. Advertising for clients.
To build an audience on social media nowadays requires some advertising costs - but this can be kept very low and yield great results. You can select a very specific audience for your local area (e.g. women aged 30-65, Sligo town and surrounds +15km) so your audience is finely targeted and none of your budget goes to waste. Rather than relying on people to search you out, here is your opportunity to reach out to those in need of your services, who otherwise may not find you.
6. Building an audience.
Building an audience over time is important. Though most of your audience won't be your clients, they may someday seek your help, or they may know someone for whom they think you would be a good match, and they can just instantly share your post with them. Over time this audience will grow and become a solid source of referrals.
7. Getting found on Google.
Your website will be the foundation stone of your private practice marketing, but social media helps amplify your web presence considerably. With a professional-looking Facebook page and a good LinkedIn profile, a Google search of your name will display links to your website and the social media pages you operate. So don't hesitate to get your name out there, as the more you populate the Web in different places, the easier it will be for people who need you to find you.
What to post?
Zen Social Galleries contain hundreds of ready-to-use social media graphics specially made for therapists and counsellors, and we’re updating and adding to these all the time, so you have enough social media post material to keep you going for years to come.