Social media marketing is a must for everyone in business. Mental health professionals are no exception. Whether you’re marketing for yourself, your private practice, or for an agency, you need to understand social media marketing.
Like it or not, social media is extremely popular in the United States. About 223 million people use social media, and the number continues to increase. So, it makes sense to use this medium that’s right at your fingertips.
It’s also a good idea to think about the age at which most people have mental health concerns. The research shows that 75% of mental illness begins in a person by 24. This information becomes vital when you realize that about 84% of people ages 18-29 use social media.
The numbers tell us that social media is key to marketing to people most likely to need your services.
Tips to Get Your Started
You’ve recognized how valuable the social media market is for your mental health practice. But how do you use social media to engage with potential clients? Here are some ideas.
- Offer Value – Ultimately, your goal with social media marketing for mental health is to attract more clients. Your social media should offer value to these potential clients, not just provide a highlight reel of your accomplishments. Post content related to your area of expertise. Sprinkle your qualifications in with the benefits of counseling.
- Set Boundaries – Social media content for mental health is not a replacement for counseling services. Be sure you’re clear about what services you offer via the internet and which ones you don’t. Even if you provide telehealth services, it’s a good idea to remind your social media community that your direct messages are not where therapy happens.
- Be Consistent – Your audience is more likely to engage if you post consistently. Regular posting doesn’t mean you have to share a different post every hour of every day. But you do need to show up regularly. Find a schedule and pace that works for you. You might find it easy to post on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Perhaps weekends work better for your schedule. Whatever works for you, sticking to a posting schedule communicates that you are consistent and reliable. It also increases your engagement with potential clients.
- Create Community – There are several ways to build community through social media. Building a social media community can help increase your engagement and even inspire you as a mental health professional. The mental health community on Instagram and Twitter is a great place to start. If you have specific expertise, search for established accounts or groups around that topic. Note what hashtags they use and what kind of content is most engaging for the community. Then jump in and engage with them as you build community on your accounts too.
Choose Your Channel
How do you know which social media channel is right for your business with various platforms to choose from? Know your audience and your goals when deciding which platforms are suitable for you. The key is to spend your time and social media efforts where your potential clients already gather and where you can best represent your business.
- Facebook – Facebook is the leading social media platform. People use Facebook to maintain relationships with people they don’t frequently see in person, so it is an excellent choice for social media marketing if you’re looking to build loyalty to your mental health business. But it might not be the best option if you’re starting out and looking to acquire new clients. You’d likely need to place some Facebook ads to get your services seen and you should consider whether the clients you’re attempting to target with your messages are on Facebook. Younger people may not use the platform as much.
- Instagram – Instagram is a visually-driven platform popular among young people. Instagram is a good option for building clients through hashtags and specific communities, such as the mental health community. You could consider using typography and graphic design on Instagram, as it is more of a visual platform. If you can’t show up regularly with great visuals, you’re unlikely to succeed on this platform.
- Twitter – Twitter is a great platform to see what’s trending and build awareness. For example, if you’re looking to build awareness of your mental health services and #mentalhealthawareness is trending, you’ve just unlocked a great way to advertise your services and contribute your professional thoughts to the movement. While Twitter is a great place to build community and establish your expertise, getting new clients from the platform may be challenging. People use Twitter to engage, not shop for products or services.
- LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a platform used by professionals to build their network of colleagues, peers, and industry leaders. People join LinkedIn to search for job openings and see inspiration from other professionals. You can cultivate a larger network of mental health professionals and specialists from other fields on the platform.
- TikTok – TikTok has grown in popularity among teens in the past few years. It is a platform for creating video content. You can create short, easily-digestible videos to introduce mental health topics to younger audiences. In the process, you’ll increase awareness of your business.
There’s no such thing as a perfect social media platform for growing your business. But it’s almost guaranteed that your potential customers already use some (if not all) of these platforms. Decide your goals and where your time is most productive, then jump in!
Increase Your Impact
There are many ways to increase your impact through social media marketing that apply to multiple platforms.
- Pay for an Ad – Nearly all social media platforms allow you to pay for advertising in some capacity. For example, on Instagram, you can pay to have your posts “boosted” or shown to specific groups of people. Paying for ads is an excellent investment to amplify your message and services.
- Share a Blog Post – Have you written a blog post or an article about a topic related to mental health? Share them on your social media platforms! Sharing can help establish credibility to your audience. It also allows you to make connections and boost your online presence. Don’t forget to share smart things from others in your community too.
- Hashtags – Use hashtags across platforms to categorize your content. If you have a specialty, hashtags can help connect your content and services to the audience seeking them. Remember to research and follow the rules and expectations of hashtags on each platform. Otherwise, you may turn people away if you misuse them.
Implement Your Social Media Marketing Plan Successfully
Social media use is a must these days, regardless of your profession. This post is a good start for anyone looking to build their social media marketing plan for a mental health practice. The ins and outs of social media marketing can be tedious, but it’s well worth it.