Tapping into Social Media

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Nicola Griffiths By Nicola Griffiths

Social Media myth and magic

Social media is a great way of interacting with clients and potential clients. It allows your personality to become known and thereby build that all important therapeutic rapport before you’ve even met someone. For therapists this is a great way to promote your business and it’s free!

However, it’s not true that with social media you can just share a few posts and the business will magically start increasing. You have to be active on social media, so it takes time and a strategy.

If you are consistent then the benefits can be good. Social media marketing increases exposure and traffic to your website. More than half of marketers who've been using social media for at least 2 years report it helped them improve sales and by spending 6 hours per week, 66%+ of marketers see lead generation benefits with social media (source: Social Media Examiner).

There are so many social media platforms to choose from, starting with the big ones such as Facebook and Twitter, through to ones that might visually appeal more like Pinterest. There are some newer kids on the block such as Vine (video) and Snapchat (instant messaging). So before you start you might want to have a quick trawl and see which one appeals to you most.

How to get Social Media working for you

Remember, it’s best to get to grips with just one social media platform first. Maybe one you feel happier with.

Start as you mean to go on i.e. make regular posts, be human and be consistent. If you can go on once a day, even if it’s only for 10 minutes, that would be wonderful. Two or three times a week would be fine.

When talking about your work, explain the benefits of your therapy, link to articles you find, or write a paragraph on how your therapy works.

A really important point is to socialise with others, don’t just sell your services. A rule of thumb is to talk about your therapy once in every 7-10 interactions. The rest of your contributions should be talking about the weather; what’s been good today; Christmas (or whatever season we’re in); general health information. On our social media download we give you ideas on this, and one of those ideas is to consider what you’d talk about to a friend or colleague you’ve just bumped into.

Each time you visit your social media account, try and ‘follow’ or ‘like’ a few additional people to build your interaction.

Keep it professional, don’t use swear words and remember your social media is a reflection on what you do. Therefore being negative will give the impression you’re a negative therapist! Whatever your therapy, people will want to come to someone cheerful.

Brainstorm with a colleague what you can talk about on social media and list those topics in a spreadsheet that you can refer to when in a rush rather than having to reinvent the wheel each time.

This is a huge subject, so we’ve dedicated a filming session to it with a live audience and created our Social Media for Therapists download. Click here for more details!

And remember, what’s ideal these days in marketing generally? Well to have your website climb the rankings of search engines. One of the ways to do this is to encourage more visitors to your website, social media is a great way of getting people to click across and view your site.

Like it or loathe it, Facebook can be a powerful free way of promoting your services. Used properly, you can make a clear distinction between your personal life and your business profile, and make this powerful social platform work for you.

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