If you are a self-employed therapist or own your own therapy business, social media is most likely something that you already use as a key marketing tool and a way to connect with your present and prospective patients. The current coronavirus epidemic has now claimed the lives of 24,871 deaths and has infected 550,530 people globally*. This number is thought to be much higher due to the majority of cases going untested and therefore unreported. We are in the midst of a global health pandemic, with most countries of the world currently living under some form of lockdown. Many people have now lost their jobs and the global economic impacts of the pandemic are expected to be huge.
At a time like this, thinking about marketing strategies for your therapy business can feel ridiculous and even pointless. How can your social media efforts stand a chance at being heard and seen, let alone noticed? Statistics have shown that social media use is actually up but engagement is down across the board (source). Here we share some top tips on how to adapt and improve the effectiveness of your social media marketing in these turbulent times.
Rethink your main social media channels
Interestingly, compared to Facebook and Instagram, Twitter’s engagement decline is not as high (source). This may be because social media users are turning to Twitter for news and updates as it feels more ‘instant’ and direct than Facebook and Instagram.
Re-consider your tone of voice
As a therapist in the health sector, it is important that your tone of voice is calm, reassuring and empathetic. Avoid feeding into the panic and remain a source of respite for your followers. Post relevant self-care-based content and health advice. Focusing on tips on how they can care for themselves mentally and physically during the lockdown is a way to remain relevant.
Be aware of how much you are posting
All brands will find it difficult to compete with breaking news, don’t see this as a need to post more than you usually would and bombard our followers with a stream of content in a quest to you’re your brand visible. Instead, you should prioritise quality over quantity and spend more time creating trust content.
Focus on creating trust content
Trust content refers to long-form content such as helpful articles, podcasts and YouTube series etc. This type of content allows you to connect with users in a meaningful way and build trust. With a decrease in business, now is a good time to start putting resources in place that will help you to bounce back when the crisis is over.
Avoid appearing insensitive
Imagine that you are a user looking at shocking statistics and global updates on the virus, how will your post appear displayed next to these? Will they appear insensitive? Try to avoid the heavy sell, and tread carefully around jokes or using humour in relation to the current crisis or your daily routines, etc. It may be OK for celebrities and influencers to get away with this but as a complementary therapist or alternative healthcare provider, this could be perceived negatively. The last thing you want to do in these financially turbulent times is cause offence and damage your brand’s image.
Promote online therapy services
Online yoga classes, counselling and therapy services are now being conducted from home via the internet. Try to find alternative ways to deploy your services as a replacement for face-to-face experiences and use social media marketing to promote these services.
Respond in a timely manner
Social media provides great channels to interact directly with clients, through direct messaging and posts. You may have had to shut your doors but you can use this time to build brand awareness and successfully increase engagement across your social media channels. If a social media user reaches out to your brand, try to respond in a timely manner. This will help you to build up a list of face-to-face appointments for when social distancing restrictions have been lifted.
* Figure recorded at the time of writing on 27/03/2020