For Therapists
September 23, 2020

Pranav Harish

How Therapists Can Use Social Media for Their Private Practice

Often, you hear that being active on social media will help businesses attract new clients while continuing to engage their current customers. It is no different for private therapy practices. Social media is one of the best marketing strategies for therapists.

Simply having a website for your private practice is not enough. Your presence on social media is crucial for the growth of your business. Take full advantage of social media and attract new clients.

Why does my practice need social media?

The benefits of being active on social media are - increase in website traffic, exposure to new clients, engagement with current and loyal customers.

1. Get found online

More than 70% of people search for mental health-related topics and therapists online, which is why it is crucial to have an online presence. Using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you could expand your clientele. Be active on social media, get found by prospective clients, and stand out from the competition.

2. Connect and engage with clients

Social media is a great way to connect with your clients and foster a good relationship. It allows your prospective clients to search for you and your private practice.

Regularly write blogs, then connect your social media accounts and promote the same on all platforms. Post content that is useful and informative. Any content relevant to your niche and practice will be relevant to your clients and will attract new followers.

However, there are concerns regarding what you share on social media. So, keep in mind to ensure that the personal social media accounts are separate from the social media account of your private therapy practice. Do not disclose or share anything and refrain from engaging in confidential conversations on social media that may lead to HIPAA violations.

3. Monitor your online presence

Monitoring your social media activity allows you to figure out

  • what your clients are talking about
  • what is it about your service they like
  • what can you improve

It allows you to stay ahead in the game and improve your online reputation. Respond to both positive and negative comments from clients and engage with your customers.

4. Referrals

Social media is where you could have your first interaction with a new client. Social media drives as much as 35% of referral traffic to your website. Good online visibility will improve your engagement with potential clients. You could regularly promote blogs, videos, and other content, as well as post promotions, offers, reviews, and client testimonials.

Related: How can Therapists Increase Referrals for their Private Practice

Social media marketing for therapists

Social media marketing can boost your marketing efforts. Prioritize on creating original and relevant social media posts. It's imperative to consider the right social media platforms to market your private practice. Otherwise, it could backfire, leading to a loss in engagement. Some of the best social media platforms for therapists are:

1. Facebook

Facebook for therapists is a place to connect with people and businesses. It is one of the best platforms to promote and market your private practice. With nearly 2.45 billion users per month, it the most used social media platform.

Create a Facebook business page for your practice. Produce and publish your content and keep your audiences engaged. You could choose to run advertisements and marketing campaigns for your audiences. Your ideal clients will find you, learn about your private practice, and contact you.

Post a lot of content, but don't disclose any personal information. Facebook is an extension of your private practice. Responding to likes and comments will increase your social reach. However, it doesn't prove a therapeutic relationship or break confidentiality.

2. Twitter

Twitter is a great way to have mini discussions, and give away bite-sized information that doesn't require your customers to spend a lot of time.

Open a twitter account specific to your practice. Retweet interesting conversations relevant to your niche and practice. You can tweet and share inspirational quotes, your thoughts, and experiences, and share some helpful articles related to your niche.

However, avoid direct communication with your clients. Reveal your personality on Twitter, but stay as professional as possible by not going overboard.

3. Instagram

Instagram is not a place where your potential clients would go to search for therapists directly. It is a place to build a brand and get followers who could be your prospective clients.

Know who you are and what sets you apart from other therapists. Use this to brand and market your practice to reach clients. Use hashtags for your posts that are relevant to your niche. People will find what they are looking for using hashtags.

Build connections with similar accounts, engage, and share conversations. Replying to comments and DMs will build credibility.

4. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a vital tool for therapists to build a network with other professionals. Great for both group therapists and single practitioners, you can use this platform to connect with other therapists in your industry and location.

You can share your content as well, and become known as an expert in your field. You can join different groups and networking events to build referrals.

Depending on your customer research and clientele demographics, you could choose other social media platforms like YouTube, Pinterest, WhatsApp, and Snapchat.

Ethical issues related to using social media

Therapists have to pay attention to ethics and confidentiality when using social media for their practice. You must follow HIPAA social media guidelines. Unlike other professions, the approach to social media marketing and rules of social media engagement is different for therapists.

Consider the following:

  • If your clients send friend requests to your private Facebook account, do not accept it. Some clients may take offense to this. You could explain your social media policies at the beginning of the therapy session.
  • Never expect or demand your clients to follow you on social media. They may feel that the therapy treatment could depend of them following you online. Many of them wouldn't want their friends and followers to know that they are seeing a therapist.
  • Never discuss anything about a client over social media, even if you choose to remove your client's name.
  • Do not send DMs and personal messages to clients over Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. None of these platforms are HIPAA secure, and you would be violating therapist-patient confidentiality.
  • Avoid having clinical consultations and discussions on social media.

Figuring out when and how to use social media to your advantage might seem a bit difficult. Ultimately, social media is the place for you to showcase your expertise, brand your practice, connect with clients, and educate audiences.

You should interact and engage with people, but never assist or treat clients, or discuss anything related to therapy sessions on social media. Remember, your client's privacy and safety take precedence over anything else.

More from Butlr Health

Latest trends, tips and news for a healthy mind