Facebook’s wide reach makes it a strong marketing platform for many businesses--including your therapy business.
I’ve found that many therapists hesitate get into marketing--and I totally understand. And some might thing that Facebook is too personal. But if you use it well, you can build a positive community and gently find new clients from your practice’s FB page.
Facebook was originally set up to connect people, at first personally, and then in good, constructive professional ways. Your use of Facebook could create a new safe space for people to form that type of community, and it will give you a chance focus on people in your area--on boosting the niche your practice may be in.
I think if you look at it as creating an opportunity to share information on your area of expertise, and not on promotion, you’ll be able to invite people to contact you.
Facebook can connect you with two major audience.
First, you will connect with people who are aware of your practice. They’ve “liked” your page. But because they already know you, they might be less willing to share your page--I think that people are, unfortunately, still hesitant to give the impression that they’ve looked (or been in) therapy.
But many people may not yet be aware of your practice, and they are the ones you want to bring into your caring community on FB. They may be people searching for therapy themselves, or thinking about the issues your practice might raise.
If you want to use Facebook to your best advantage, these five best practices will help you get there.
Facebook has a lot of communities, and your goal is attracting those who might be potential clients--or people who know them. Establishing your niche in your area will give people the sense that you are focused on them, whether you work with people struggling with PTSD, or married couples handling empty-nest or child-rearing concerns, or whatever other niche you have found for yourself.
You could pose a “Question of the Week”--and create the opportunity for online deep discussions. Ask key questions about your niche--or in the neighborhood of the niche--and invite people to respond to them; you could even ask about therapy in general.
As people respond, engage with them, creating a good, solid conversation about the topic. Boost the post on Facebook to increase its visibility, and you can create the community which Facebook can be about.
Obviously, you will not be violating client confidentiality on Facebook. That said, your therapy experience will provide you with a strong grounding in a range of issues, and how they can be addressed.
Just as therapists who speak to community groups--whether about eating disorders or addiction issues--can speak without violating confidentiality, so too can you speak on Facebook.
You know best how to incorporate your experience-based insights into anything you present in public--you may already have experience doing that.
Sharing your insights, however, will boost your practice.
Therapy marketing is a specialized business, because therapy is based so much on the individual. You want people to come to you--and so much advertising and marketing is impersonal; it can chase people away.
But if you do it gently and carefully, using the advantages that Facebook provides, you can find ways to reach new clients with low fuss and low stress.