Why is a social media presence important for therapists?
In this digital age, having an online presence is absolutely essential for therapists to reach new audiences. Gone are the days of word of mouth referrals – clients now spend time carefully researching therapists online, reading reviews and examining their web presence, before getting in touch.
Of course, your website is a critical part of this web presence, but it’s also worth thinking about how people are going to come across your site in the first place. Having great content, that has been SEO optimised will be a starting point – and certainly help you to appear on the radar of people using search engines.
However, this isn’t the only way that people search for information. Don’t forget that social media makes up a huge amount of web traffic. One of the most popular platforms, the photo-sharing site Instagram, hit the amazing figure of 1 billion registered users in 2019. It has continued to go from strength to strength, with recent statistics showing that it had 500 million active daily users. Amongst those users, there are undoubtedly individuals looking for therapists who would be a good match for the services you provide.
Things to consider before choosing a social media platform
You may wish to explore various social media channels – and when doing this, it’s quite likely that you’ll find that some gain more traction than others. The most important thing to think about before you start setting up loads of different accounts, is what you are actually trying to achieve. Do some research as to what kind of people tend to use that particular social media platform. Are they the sort of people that you are trying to reach? Do they fall into the typical age range of your clients? Once you think about this, you can decide which platforms are likely to yield the best results for you.
How can I integrate my website and social media channels?
There is little point in your website and your social media channels existing in isolation. They need to seamlessly work together, to make people aware of your services, and encourage them to get in touch. Make sure that your social media posts link back to your website – although not every post should be one that pushes your services, some need to have a call to action, and that call to action should normally be to visit your website.
Of course, if people have found your website through a direct search, it’s also worthwhile making them aware of your social media presence. If you can encourage them to follow or like your social media accounts, they will continue to see your posts – and thus engage with your messaging, even without returning to your main website. You can make this a reality by including widgets and feeds on your website, which display your most recent social media posts, across various channels.
Can engagement on social media ever be genuine?
This is likely to be one of the hardest challenges that you will face when you are setting up a social media presence, as a therapist. Many health and wellness professionals are already using the major platforms to push out content – although many make the critical mistake of focusing on pushing out marketing content, rather than seeking to engage with their audience in a meaningful way.
One of the most important things to think about when you establish your social media presence is how you will encourage people to interact with what you’re putting out there. All content should encourage your target audience to interact with you in a warm, familiar way – sharing their stories and experience. A strong social media presence is not just about pushing content in one direction. Ask questions, encourage people to share, make content informative and interesting, something that social media users will want to share more widely with their friends and social media followers.