As the number of social media users has grown, businesses worldwide have turned to social media for marketing and communication purposes. In 2020, 3.6 billion people were using social media!
Social media marketing has usurped traditional marketing methods by a landslide. As a mental health professional, you might feel that social media isn’t the right tool for you. However, it’s estimated that 70% of U.S. healthcare organizations use some form of social media.
Social media for therapists and social media for psychologists is actually an important part of your business. Health care organizations, hospitals, patient advocacy groups, mental health professionals, and more use social media and digital marketing strategies for many reasons.
These include timely communication, increasing visibility for the business, sharing promotional material, education, fundraising, and marketing.
If you’re a mental health professional without a social media presence, or if you have social media but want to improve your visibility, follow these social media tips.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing (or SMM) uses social media to promote products or services, using tailored content to drive engagement and further your business or practice.
This means paying attention to what you post on social media to ensure it’s relevant to your mental health practice and your patients. The goal is to attract people interested in your services with relevant and valuable content and information.
The most popular social media platforms for mental health professionals are
These platforms have a huge audience base and allow mental health professionals to communicate effectively and professionally with patients, potential patients, and other healthcare professionals.
Why is Social Media Important For Mental Health Professionals?
While social media can feel intimidating or unnecessary to some mental health professionals, The Psychiatric Times called social media a
“key component to the psychiatrist’s practice.”
Social media can help you to
- Increase your practice’s visibility
- Educate your followers
- Connect with other mental health professionals
- Increase referrals
- Gain more patients for your practice.
Increase Your Visibility
One of the significant advantages of social media for mental health professionals is that it increases your visibility by building an online presence.
There are many people in your area looking for a mental health professional, but they may not be aware of your practice. Marketing yourself via social media means more potential patients will be able to find your practice online and decide if it’s right for them.
Don’t forget to share important information on your social media, like what kind of mental health you specialize in, as well as your rate (if you advertise your rate), hours, and location. This will help convert people who find you on social media into your next patient.
Educate Your Followers
Social media is an excellent tool to educate your followers with valuable resources in a timely way.
Unlike information shared on your website, your social media followers will see your updates directly in their social media feed. This is a great way to share educational resources as well as information about your practice.
All types of healthcare professionals can use social media to
- Give updates on new services offered
- Introduce new medical professionals who have joined the practice
- Answer questions from patients
- Inform about changes to office hours, location, policies, etc.
- Share valuable information on public health
For example, if you need to take a personal day, you can tweet this to your followers, so no one shows up at your office. Or, you can share your thoughts on October 10th to acknowledge World Mental Health Day.
Use social media to stay in touch with your followers and build trust in your practice.
Connect With Other Mental Health Professionals
Just like your social media will help current and potential patients find you, you can use social media to find and connect with other mental health professionals.
Building a network of other mental health professionals on social media is a useful tool for your career. You can work collaboratively with other mental health professionals in your area to share important information with your community.
And connecting with other mental health professionals on social media means finding others who aren’t in your area and benefiting from the valuable information they share with their own community.
When you connect with other mental health professionals, you increase your likelihood of receiving referrals. When healthcare professionals and practices work together, they can refer patients to the right place based on what service the patient is looking for.
Suppose you specialize in child and adolescent therapy, and other mental health professionals in your area know this. In that case, they may refer families to you if they don’t offer this service themself. And if you have a request from an adult looking for a mental health professional, you’ll have a qualified network you can use to make your own referral.
This collaboration benefits yourself, other mental health professionals, patients, and future patients and builds strong connections within your community.
Gain More Patients With Social Media Marketing
If you use social media marketing correctly, you can gain more patients. Build trust by sharing valuable information, easily communicate with followers, network within your community, and increase your referrals.
Social media marketing allows patients in your area to find you. If someone is looking for a mental health professional in your area, your increased visibility online will help lead them to your website. And regular posting and engagement on social media will help that potential patient get to know you and the services you offer.
This helps build trust with your potential patient and makes it easier for them to identify which services will work for them, and how to contact you. Having easily accessible information for potential patients once they find you will help convert people looking for a mental health professional into your next patient.
So now you know the benefit of social media, what social media platform should you use?
Facebook is the largest social media platform out there. According to the latest data, Facebook has 2.60 billion monthly active users and reaches 60% of internet users.
Facebook is a great platform to share longer pieces of content. If you have a blog on your website or write articles on mental health, share them on Facebook!
Facebook lets you engage with patients and others interested in your specialty and your services. This is a great platform to increase engagement: where people can respond to the content you post.
Your Facebook page should always list up-to-date information on your business and direct people to your website.
Twitter is another extremely popular social media platform, with 330 million monthly active users. On this channel, you cannot share long-form content. Twitter has a maximum 280 character limit.
Unlike Facebook, you can’t add business hours or long descriptions. Instead, use your Twitter profile photo, banner photo, and description to let people know who you are and the services you offer.
While you can still share links to blog posts and articles, Twitter is better used to update followers on important and timely information. Is your office closed over the holidays? Twitter is an excellent place to share that information.
Only share information that’s important and relevant, or you may lose followers. And don’t forget to use relevant hashtags so people can find you on this social media platform.
LinkedIn is a social media platform for professionals to connect. Currently, LinkedIn has over more than 260 million monthly users around the world.
LinkedIn allows you to outline your professional experience, post in your social feed, and connect with other professionals on the social media platform. This is another great platform to connect with other mental health professionals.
Outlining your professional experience on LinkedIn is also helpful in building trust with potential patients. If someone is interested in your service, they may choose to look you up on LinkedIn to see your past work experience.
Therefore, it’s important to keep your LinkedIn profile updated and only share professional, appropriate information related to your career as a mental health professional.
If you publish blog content or articles, LinkedIn, like Facebook, is a good place to share these links.
Get Started Today
Now that you have a basic introduction to social media, it’s time to get started. Once you establish yourself on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you can start working on what kind of content you’ll be posting, how often you’ll be posting, and building an online image for yourself and your mental health practice.
Social media is essential for mental health professionals, but it can be a lot of work. If you’d like to increase your visibility, have better communication with patients and other medical professionals, and gain new patients, but you don’t have the time to manage your social media platforms, contact Collide Digital.
At Collide Digital, we help you grow your business on every major platform. With a variety of plans, you can choose the option that’s right for you, whether you want to focus on social media marketing, Good Ads, website design, email marketing, or Yelp Ads.
Collide Digital has helped our clients gain 80% more social media followers, book 94% more patient appointments, and increase paying customers by 140%. Our expert team will help you meet and succeed your marketing goals. Contact us at [email protected] or (925) 679-5781.