Social media has evened the playing field for small therapy practices, making it much easier to find new clients without a substantial increase in marketing expenses. Because social media sites give therapists an opportunity to share their message with more people in less time, they’re one of the most valuable marketing tools available. Keep reading to find tips on social media marketing for therapists.
Have a Plan
Like other forms of content marketing, social media only works well if you have a well-defined strategy. Before you set up your first social profile, think about the type of client you want to serve and the type of therapy practice you’re trying to build. Do you want to work with children, teens or adults? Would you prefer to work with clients in crisis, or is your focus on helping clients improve their mental health before they need crisis intervention? If you think like a marketer, you’ll be able to develop a strategy that helps you get new clients while positioning yourself as an expert in your field.
Choose the Right Social Media Sites
Not everyone in your audience uses the same websites, so you’ll need to set up social media accounts in several places. At minimum, you should have the following types of accounts:
- Facebook page: Facebook has the most users of any network, so it’s a good place to find potential clients.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is ideal for connecting with other professionals in the therapy field, making it a good source of referral business. LinkedIn also makes it easy to share professional publications and make potential clients aware of your credentials.
- YouTube: YouTube enables users to upload videos on almost any topic, making it an ideal place for therapists to find new clients. Uploading short videos on mental health and wellness is a good way to share your expertise and show clients can trust you to be compassionate and listen to them without passing judgment.
- Twitter: Twitter is a good place to share links to your publications and post short-form content related to your therapy practice.
Plan Your Content
A content plan is one of the most important components of a social media strategy. If you take the time to plan your content, you can market your therapy practice strategically instead of posting content and hoping someone reads it. Developing a content plan also makes it easy to bring together several elements of your digital marketing strategy, such as blogging and search engine optimization (SEO), ensuring that your message reaches as many prospective clients as possible.
Before you develop a content marketing plan, think about the following:
- How much time do you have to devote to content production each week?
- Will you be creating your own content, or will you hire a professional copywriter or videographer to help you?
- What are your goals for each of your social media accounts?
- What is your current position in the market? Is your practice new, or do you have an established client base?
Publish Content Consistently
One of the most important tips on social media marketing for therapists is to be consistent. Posting new content every few weeks won’t give you the momentum you need to capture attention from prospective clients and drive traffic to your website. Publish new content at least three times per week to reach as many people in your target audience as possible.
Due to HIPAA regulations, you can’t share anything that would identify one of your clients, but you can publish content on topics related to your therapy practice. Here are some topic ideas to get you started:
- Symptoms of common mental health issues (e.g., depression or generalized anxiety disorder)
- Tips for managing stress
- General wellness tips
- Types of therapy (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy) and their benefits
- Tips to help people improve their mental health
- Setting boundaries
- Tips for gaining self-confidence
- Mental health advice for specific groups (women, teens, parents of children with ADHD, etc.)
Safe Use of Social Media for Therapists
HIPAA isn’t the only safety concern associated with the use of social media marketing for therapists. When using social media, you must also consider how to keep yourself safe and preserve your professional reputation.
Keep It Professional
Anyone can see the posts on your social networks, which is why it’s important to make sure your content remains professional. Refrain from posting personal photos, political messages and other content that’s not directly related to mental health and wellness.
If a client sends you a friend request on Facebook, it’s best to reject the request and let the client know you need to maintain a professional boundary. Accepting the request would give you access to anything the client posts, which could create an ethical dilemma at some point in the relationship.
Adjust Your Settings
Facebook allows you to change your privacy settings so other people can’t send you private messages. If you want clients to contact you via telephone or email instead of via Facebook Messenger, consider activating this privacy feature.
Social media marketing has many benefits for therapists, including the opportunity to reach more people without a significant increase in marketing costs. If you’re having trouble getting started, Lead to Recovery can help. Contact us for assistance with blogging, content development, SEO and social media for therapists.