When there are so many high-priority responsibilities to attend to as a business owner, it’s easy to place your social media marketing plan on the back burner. But in today’s world, social media marketing for small businesses is essential.
Unlike other marketing avenues, like pay-per-click or print, social media marketing gives clients the opportunity to directly interact with you, which helps them build a relationship with you before they even walk through your office door. Social media marketing helps nurture prospective and current clients by building trust and loyalty, which can ultimately improve client retention.
James Guay, LMFT is a private practitioner in West Hollywood, CA who has found success using social media to market his business. In addition to Facebook, he started using Instagram a couple of years ago where he shares 30-second video reflections, meditations, quotes, selfies, and inspirational content. Practitioners, especially therapists, tend to shy away from online exposure, but Guay says being a ‘blank slate’ can actually hinder practice growth. “There’s a level of professional responsibility to be genuine. It’s the whole ‘#moderntherapist movement,’” he says. “The more we show up—and clients can relate to us—the more clients show up to do the work. This is a different mentality than before.”
Marketing content, including social media, should be primarily about the client, Guay specifies. “You need to speak to the ways they’re feeling. You need to make it obvious that you ‘get’ them and can provide solutions,” he adds. Many health and wellness professionals cite concerns about confidentiality and privacy. But it’s possible to use social media in a way that is both ethical and effective. And it doesn’t need to be difficult. In fact, it can actually be quite simple. Leverage these fool-proof social media best practices to curate a professional social media presence that will resonate with your audience.
To form your social media marketing strategy, think about the demographics and backgrounds of your target audience. This influences which social media platforms clients and followers will most likely engage with on a regular basis. Learn which platforms your client base uses, so you have the best opportunity to create stronger connections. It also prevents you from spending too much time and energy on a platform that your clients are less likely to use.
It’s best practice to use the same handle across all social media networks, if possible.
The name of your practice is the most obvious choice, but what if that handle has already been taken? Keep in mind that some social media networks do not allow you to purchase usernames.
Once you know what handle you want to use, check to see if it’s available on the platforms you plan to use. When you’re ready to set up your accounts, make sure you choose the correct account type. Many social media platforms allow for personal and business accounts, including Facebook and Instagram. The business account option is best suited to attracting clients to your practice.
Figuring out what to post may be the hardest part of your social media marketing plan, so here’s how to find inspiration. Subscribe to blogs, magazines, and newsletters that are relevant to your field. Follow inspirational community and business leaders. Sign up to relevant news outlets. Read through the stories and topics that come up often. And if you see an interesting story, post about it.
Particularly, if there’s a widely-discussed topic trending on social media that you know a lot about, take an educated perspective and express your own opinion on the subject. This’ll showcase you as a thought leader because of your subject-matter expertise. By doing this, you can generate more interest, which leads to more followers—and ultimately more clients.
Social media is a fantastic platform to raise awareness and celebrate events that matter to you and your followers. On social media, there are almost daily celebrations for all different kinds of holidays, anniversaries, and more. Aside from nationally-recognized holidays like Mother’s Day or Halloween, social media users celebrate days like ‘National Financial Awareness Day’ and ‘World Listening Day.’
It’s important to acknowledge and post about events that are relevant to your practice and your audience on social media. For example, if you’re a therapist who specializes in LGBTQ+ mental health, you may want to post about Pride Month and share relevant resources for your community. Things like this help with discoverability on each social media platform.
Take a look at your calendar and see if you have any upcoming special occasions. Maybe you’re attending a professional seminar soon. This would be an excellent opportunity to share some insight on something you may have learned. This will also help personalize your social media presence.
To learn more about how to make social media work for your practice, download this free ebook today.