Social media has become an indispensable tool for promoting businesses of all types, including private practices. The vast majority of people are active on social media platforms, making it an ideal way to connect with potential clients and build a strong online presence. And if your private practice isn’t on social media yet, or if you need a reminder of just how important it is, here are some stats to put it all into perspective:

  • 3.196 billion monthly social media users in the world (We Are Social, 2018)
  • 11 new social media users every second (We Are Social, 2018)
  • 71% of customers who have a positive service experience via social media more likely to recommend that company (Ambassador, 2013)
  • 1.45 billion daily active Facebook users on average for March 2018 (Facebook Newsroom)
  • 2.20 billion monthly active Facebook users as of March 2018 (Facebook Newsroom)
  • 80 million small business pages on Facebook as of May 2018 (Facebook Newsroom)
  • 800 million monthly active Instagram users (Instagram, 2017)
  • 25 million+ business profiles on Instagram worldwide (Instagram)

Understanding that social media is essential for business, it can still be challenging to know how to use it effectively. In this post, we’ll explore effective strategies and best practices for utilising social media to promote your private practice successfully. Whether you’re new to social media marketing or looking to refine your existing strategy, these tips will help you to reach your target audience and grow your practice.

For more in-depth tips for private practice social media marketing, read our post,  Social media marketing for private practice: Tips and tricks.

 

Understand what you’re trying to achieve.

First and foremost, you need to understand why you’re on social media. Everything you do for your private practice needs to have a precise goal. And that includes using social media to promote your business.

Your goal isn’t to “get a lot of likes”. Instead, try to get to the bottom of what you’re actually trying to achieve by getting those likes or views. Is it website visits? Downloads? Calls? More appointment bookings? Online course sign-ups?

It’s challenging to create a social media strategy without a specific goal in mind. Without a goal, not only is it difficult to decide on the type of content to post and where, it can also be unclear which social media metrics to track. For example, if your objective is to increase website visits, then measuring retweets is less important than tracking link clicks. It’s crucial to be clear and specific about what you want to achieve to ensure that you are measuring the right metrics from the beginning.

 

Choose the right platforms.

After identifying your social media goal, it’s essential to select the appropriate social media platform to achieve that goal. With the plethora of options available, it can be overwhelming to manage all accounts and decide which platform is best suited for your practice.

When deciding on the platform, first determine where your target market spends their time and focus your energy on those platforms. For instance, if your client base is mainly made up of young adults, platforms like Instagram may be more appropriate than LinkedIn.

 

Provide value.

Social proof is not only enticing but also important. It’s a phenomenon where people’s behaviours are influenced by others’ behaviour and is at the core of viral marketing, product endorsements and testimonials. So, it’s understandable that many business owners would want to focus on building social proof for their own businesses. And that means lots of social media following and engagement.

However, social media success is not solely determined by the number of shares and likes. And more often than not, social proof or virality is not a relevant measure of success for social media marketing in the allied health industry.

Instead, providing value on social media is essential for private practices as it helps establish a strong relationship with the audience. As social media users have a wealth of information at their fingertips, they tend to engage more with content that is relevant and useful to them. By offering valuable information such as educational posts, helpful tips, and timely news, you can position yourself as a trustworthy source of information in your allied health discipline.

Providing value on social media can attract new clients who are seeking professional guidance, as well as serving as a way to stay connected with your existing clients. By providing consistent value, private practices can keep their audience engaged and build a loyal following of clients who trust and value their expertise.

 

Use visual content.

According to Social Media Examiner, 60% of marketers use video in their marketing. And 74% of social media marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing.

Visual content can help your posts stand out as people scroll through their feeds. It increases the likelihood of your audience viewing and engaging with your content, as well as remembering the information contained in it. Moreover, videos (and live videos) are becoming more and more widely used on social media by businesses.

With the added advantage of technology, it’s now easier than ever to use visuals to promote your private practice more effectively. Use platforms like Canva to create your own attention-grabbing graphics, or try sharing short videos of yourself giving some helpful tips.

 

Don’t over-promote.

Keep in mind that your social media posts should not solely serve as promotional material. Constant and blatant advertising can quickly become tiresome for your audience as they’re not getting value from your content.

Of course, promotions can be acceptable, but use them sparingly and only during special occasions (such as offering 20% off for early-bird sign-ups to your new online course).

It’s not about denying your practice’s need to make money; it’s about recognising what your audience wants to see.

 

Create a social media calendar.

So far, we’ve covered that it’s important to post high-value content on the right social media platforms in order to promote your private practice effectively. However, simply posting content haphazardly is unlikely to achieve the desired results. This is where creating a social media calendar becomes useful.

A social media calendar serves as a plan for what content will be posted on each social media platform and when. This allows you to better organise your social media marketing efforts, ensuring you remain consistent with your messaging and goals. By mapping out a content schedule in advance, you can also ensure that you don’t miss any important dates such as holidays or observances that are relevant to your industry.

Another important benefit of a social media calendar is that it allows you to save time. Not all private practice owners can afford to hire a social media marketing manager, which means streamlining your social media marketing efforts is crucial. By planning out content in advance, you can avoid the last-minute scramble to come up with content and can instead focus on creating high-quality posts that align with your goals. Additionally, it can help you to track your progress and evaluate the effectiveness of your social media campaigns over time, making it easier to adjust your approach as needed.

Do some research first before planning out your social media content release timeline. Then, sign up with a platform like HootSuite to schedule your posts to publish automatically.

 

Listen and engage.

Social media marketing doesn’t end at posting content. It’s just as important to be present on your accounts and actively participate in conversations with your audience.

According to SproutSocial, 1 in 4 people are annoyed when brands don’t respond to them. And as 71% of customers who have a positive service experience via social media are likely to recommend that company (Ambassador, 2013), it’s clear that monitoring audience interaction and responding promptly and effectively is vital.

People use social media for all sorts of reasons, including gathering information, giving feedback and complaining. So, be active on your chosen social media platforms and engage with your audience in meaningful ways.

 

Be consistent.

Last but not least, remember to be consistent with your social media marketing efforts.

Do all the above things consistently by having a proper social media strategy in place. Consistently provide valuable content, creative visuals, high-quality photos and videos, and communication.

Without consistent effort, social media marketing can easily become a distraction for your private practice instead of being an effective way to increase awareness for your brand.

 

Not sure what you can post about on social media? Download our 50 Social Media Content Ideas below.