Engaging on Social Media as a Therapist or Counselor

Social Media Marketing

Although social media is often overlooked by traditional marketing efforts, it can actually be one of the most powerful tools a practice can use to create results. Social media has many uses, whether it be to build a brand, remind your audience of your presence, or to create traffic to your website. In this blog, we’ll talk about the reasoning behind using social media and how it can benefit your marketing strategy!

Why Social Media?

Many businesses have realized that using social media to market their brand is not only recommended, but it’s now required. Social media has not only become a useful tool in spreading the word about your practice and its services, but it has become the most powerful platform that companies can use to quickly update their followers or get a pulse on what the industry is doing.

For example, this article features an infographic that lists out several surprising statistics that can be leveraged to improve your efforts on social media. 42% of people around the world are using social media frequently, and it’s been found that companies that advertise through social media actually receive an ROI of 119% on average.

Not only do companies advertise their services through social media, but it’s also an excellent place to share branding content. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are the largest social media channels and it’s important to put out content that lets users know who you are and why they should care. 90% of companies use social media to promote brand awareness because it is a low-cost alternative to traditional media and it actually has better results than many other methods of branding. 

80% of accounts on Instagram follow a business account because they’re interested in the brand and what they’re offering, and choose to stay up-to-date on the brand’s ongoing marketing efforts. With over 80% of users interacting with businesses, the possibility to create leads and potential clients through Instagram is very high. You will need a social media strategy that capitalizes on these users and shares your brand’s story.

Basic Tips For Counselors

Keep it Professional

Just because this is on social media doesn’t mean that client anonymity and professionalism go out the window. This is the time more than ever to reinforce those values that keep the client/therapist bond strong. Which actually, makes social media easier to manage than some other types of businesses. Interaction between you and other followers on social media can be dicey and is a little in the gray when it comes to confidentiality, so often it’s best to play it safe and be upfront about this channel being a way to share helpful resources, not necessarily hold a public therapy session.

Therefore, keep this separated from your personal account. If you haven’t already, make sure any personal accounts are private and keep this business account public and 100% professional.

Create a Channel People Want to Follow

Many businesses make the mistake of thinking this is a great way to get new leads and start immediately “asking” or quite possibly “begging” on social media for free consultations or for people to come in for a session. No one wants to follow a channel like that. Therefore ask yourself again, “What am I an expert in?” And “What would other people find interesting” Where those 2 answers meet is your answer to a content strategy.

It’s a great “middle funnel” approach

Not everyone who finds you online is ready to book today. People have busy lives or tight budgets and might not be ready to start weekly sessions but are totally willing to follow you for free on social media. For those people who just aren’t ready to make the jump, this is the step you’re providing to them. They will be super grateful for the free resource that you are providing and then the moment that they are ready to make the step towards therapy you are the one they are calling because some of the initial relationship-building has already begun.

Provides Value Outside the Session

Think back to the client therapy journey. This is a great way to provide more value outside of a session to those who have already booked a session with you. This reinforces your expertise and value as they write that check every session. This also gives your “clients” an easy way to become your “champions” by sharing your posts with friends and family—your potential future clients.

How to Create a Social Media Strategy

A content strategy is how you determine what type of content you are going to be posting. Have a plan that is thought out and strategic. The best way we found to go about this is to again look from a broad perspective and decide on your “ratios”. Choose a set of broad topic points, audiences, and formats and how often you want to post them. 

  1. Deciding on a platform - where does your ideal audience spend their time online? Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter? 
  2. Topic points - do you want to highlight particular counselors in your group practice? Discuss parenting tips? Ways to beat addiction? What are your focus areas of your dream client and think of what type of topics interest them. Create a list of types of topic points along with a ratio of how often you want to post about them. Mix it up using short quotes that are easy to like and share along with longer posts that show off your expertise and training in a relatable way.
  3. Audiences - Think about who you want to be speaking to or what type of audience do you want to grow on your channels? Speak directly to them! Maybe it’s one specific type of person or a few, but choose the ratio that makes sense for your goals. Try not to speak to everyone, because then you might not be heard.
  4. Formats - Sure, you can get away with just stock photos. But find easy ways to also integrate graphics and video. Graphics can make you look more professional by showing an extension of your visual brand and effort that’s put into your channel. While video can be the best method in showing you. People are able to meet you before they even call. For those new to graphic design, platforms like Canva is a great free resource for making graphics that allows you to choose from designs, update it to your color scheme, and even upload your logo.

What’s the Bare Minimum?

I’d say it’s better to have some online presence than none at all. When it comes to a personal service like therapy, there is a good chance people are looking you up not just on Google but also on social media to see how legit you are. Consistently posting on your social media channel only helps cement your reputation.

If you hate social media and cringe at the thought of using it, figure out what works for you and your schedule to at least create some basic posts & videos from the years of training and practice you’ve had in your field. You have a lot to say, so take advantage of that! Of course with this strategy, you get out of it what you put into it and it won’t be the best for explosive growth, but it’ll be good for your overall presence online for the people that search you.

Next Steps

Creating a social media strategy and implementing effective techniques can be time consuming and challenging. If you’re looking to create an exceptional social media strategy, but don’t have the time to implement it, Theory About That can help! Our team blends dedicated counseling professionals with marketers to make a perfect strategy that can provide results for your practice or center. Visit our website to learn more about how we can help build your brand awareness!

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