Are you a natural health therapist who finds the idea of using social media for their practice overwhelming (or underwhelming)?
You are not alone – by a long shot. So it’s not surprising that the question “Do I really need social media?” crops up at Ethical Practice forums and coaching sessions time and time again. The answer to this question is: “It depends”.
Every practitioner & practice is different
It depends on what your practice needs as to whether social media would be useful to promote it. It also depends on whether your ideal client uses social media. And, if so, which platforms do they use? Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat, Pinterest? Because if you want to be useful in your communication, then it means getting into the shoes of the people you would like to attract as clients. Your ideal clients.
It can be incredibly helpful for them
There is no doubt that social media – particularly Facebook – can be a very useful tool in getting the word out about you and what makes your practice special. It also can raise your level of ‘helpfulness’ in your community (whoever your community may be). Because social media is all about information sharing. So keep in mind that social media is a very powerful educational tool, as well as a marketing one.
What do I do?
Information about how to best use social media is endless. In this post, we have five steps to managing social media – while staying sane.
#1. DIARY LOCK-IN SCHEDULE
Get your diary out and dedicate a certain amount of time to social media. Here’s what we suggest:
- 2 hours p/week for relationship building (read more in #5)
- ½ day per month for gathering + scheduling content for the next month (read more in #3 & #4)
#2. POST STRATEGY
We recommend aiming for one post per day. Three is great. But one post per day is usually more manageable for practitioners. “What would the content be for these posts?” you ask. See below:
- 1/3 posts – Information related to your practice, your modality
- 1/3 posts – Sharing content created by someone else (an article, video or podcast) that might be relevant to your ideal client (e.g. stress management, stretching, diet, etc.)
- 1/3 posts – Image with a quote (if yours: include your website address), for some reason inspirational quotes get serious traction on social media
So that is ten posts per month per category. This might sound like a lot – but not if you approach using steps #4 and #5. Read on…
#3. GATHER CONTENT
Gathering content can be done in that half-day per month that you have scheduled in your diary. A post can be a handful of words and an engaging, relevant image to match. Or it could be an article, a short video, a diagram/infographic, or podcast link. Where do you get content form? Here are some ideas below:
- From your own practice
This could be self-care tips, new staff introductions, helpful products that you sell, info about different conditions that you treat and how you generally treat them, changing opening hours, info about health insurance rebates, etc. Take you own photos with your phone or find images on library platforms (images you are permitted to use, and aim for images that don’t need attribution to the photographer if you can. We often go to pixabay.com first to check out the free options, otherwise platforms like istockphoto or shutterstock are popular.
- From others
Source and share posts from:
- Businesses (particularly local): natural food stores, cafes with a health bent, product suppliers, etc.
- Other practitioners (ones you want to build a relationship with): other natural therapists, psychologists, local GPs, etc.
- Google Alerts: create an account (free) and type in keywords that you would like to receive posts on, they will be sent as a helpful list to your inbox. Watch Jeff’s video on Google Alerts to understand more.
- Healthinomics: for a monthly subscription fee, you receive a bundle or two of health-focused social media images (look out for their special offers)
In that half a day per month, schedule a month’s worth of posts in one sitting – post once automatically across multiple platforms. A great time saver. We use Hootsuite (free for up to three social media profiles). Watch Jeff’s video:Setting up a Hootsuite Account
#5. RELATIONSHIP BUILDING
Connect with local business (e.g. hairdressers, cafes, natural health food stores, local practitioners) and other health professionals you want to support. Remember to:
- LIKE other people’s pages & posts
- SHARE other people’s posts (and tag the poster, here’s a video to show you how)
- COMMENT – note: as a personal profile not your business page profile (see why it is vital in this video)
Is that enough to get you on your way? Let us know if this is helpful and how you go in the curious world of social media – feel free to comment on this article on our Facebook page, Twitter page, Google+ page, or LinkedIn profile.
Note: Ethical Practice does not receive any commission from recommending any product or service mentioned in this post.