In today’s changing world, more and more dominated by millennials, social media for therapists is a necessity. Word of mouth is one, but a limited way of attracting potential patients to your practice. And, wait for it…. PsychologyToday is not the only site you need to be listed on. As therapists, it’s time to face the fact that more and more potential patients research their medical providers online and usually sign up for services that way. I’m sure most of you reading this article now do the same thing. So how come you are expecting your potential patients to do something different?
The times of purely relying on referrals via networking at conferences, parties, and giving free talks is over. And, when you take the time to think about it those older ways of attracting referrals, although still helpful, limit the scope of potential patients you could actually reach.
In an effort to increase the scope of your potential patient reach us therapists need to change what we include in our marketing arsenal. Now you’re probably wondering how do you go about choosing which social media platform is best for you without feeling overwhelmed?
Choosing the Right Type of Social Media
The easy answer is that you should be on all social media platforms, right? No, simply put my advice to therapists is to choose a social media platform that best suits the population you are attempting to attract and your expertise. The top four social media platforms are Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.
Each social media platform has a lot of potential for therapists again depending on your population and expertise. For example, let’s take a closer look at Pinterest. Pinterest is a great platform. With over 200 million monthly users, mostly women, and over half of the users are millennials. This is a great platform for those both in private and group practices. As well as those that work with children, parents, and families. And those mental health professionals with a more creative bent. So take some time amongst the multitude of tasks you have to accomplish and reflect on which social media platform would be best for you and the patient population you are aiming to obtain.
The greatest thing of all you don’t have to do it all alone. There are so many sites out there where you can get folks to help you with social media content posting. A great resource is to reach out to your local colleges and universities and hire a social media intern to do that work for you. So, what’s stopping you now? Go get started!
Aaron Skinner-Spain, LCSW is the Founder and Director of Clinical Services of NYC Affirmative Psychotherapy LCSW PLLC. NYC Affirmative Psychotherapy is a community-focused, sliding scale group practice with a special commitment to serve queer communities of color. Besides working in his group practice Aaron provides clinical supervision and consults with other therapists who want to start private practice, group practices, or those launching other types of new businesses.