bigstock--131184203The advent of social media brought about some unique challenges as well as opportunities for clinicians in private practice. It appears that more clinicians are starting to utilize social media platforms as a way to market their private practices. While social media is often not ideal as a primary marketing strategy, it can be an incredibly helpful tool in regards to building your personal brand and generating buzz about your services.

As a psychotherapist and individual who enjoys using social media for professional purposes, the following are three quick tips for using social media to market your psychotherapy practice.

1.     Determine the platforms that your ideal client is using.

 It is simply not necessary to be active on every social media platform. Additionally, as psychotherapists, we often have limited time and energy for social media engagement. Thus, it can be helpful to be strategic in regards to the social media platforms that you use professionally.

After you have clearly defined your ideal client, it can be helpful to look at where they likely are spending their time online. For instance, if your ideal clients are teens then you might decide to utilize Instagram. Additionally, if your ideal clients are adolescents, you might consider the platforms that their parents are more likely to use. Parents are more likely to be engaged on Facebook. Whereas, Twitter and Linkedin are great platforms in terms of networking with other professionals.

 I would recommend picking one or two platforms on which to focus your time and energy, rather than spending less time on a bunch of them.

2.     Share content, such as quotes, pictures, and articles, which are aligned with your specialty.

 I’ve spoken with some therapists who are unsure of what kind of content to share via social media. Sharing images and quotes that speak to your ideal client is one way to start to build traction via social media. Additionally, it can be helpful to add value by sharing articles that are pertinent to your areas of specialization.

It is important that the content that you share really resonates with your ideal clients. Many platforms now provide you with data showing your reach and engagement per post. This data can be useful in terms of deciding ideal times to post and the type of content that is gaining traction.

3.     Figure out a scheduling system that works for you.

 Most of us don’t have the time to be posting on social media during a busy day of seeing clients. Therefore, it can be helpful to find a system to schedule your social media content in advance. There are a variety of ways to go about scheduling your social media posts. Facebook even has a built in scheduling system and Hootsuite is a way to schedule your posts across multiple platforms.

 You might also consider searching for a marketing professional or social media guru to assist you in scheduling your social media content.

Tying It Together

 Social media marketing is not for everyone. However, these days it seems as though social media is becoming increasingly integrated into the lives of our clients and potential clients.

 I’ve had numerous professional opportunities come from social media and can personally attest to the value of spending time cultivating your social media presence and engagement.

Of course, it is important to maintain professional boundaries via social media and seek supervision and/or consultation if you are struggling with how to do so.

Utilizing social media to build your professional brand and market your services is a free strategy that you may find to be helpful in propelling your practice towards increased recognition and success.