I think there’s a paradigm shift going on here that many of us are starting to figure out. For every new social media platform that emerges, you’ll notice the trend of the exponential growth of increased posts regardless of the number of users. This seems like great news for therapists when it comes to their advertising, but when taking a closer look, it’s not as helpful as it appears. I have a hunch that social media platforms are excessively helpful as they promote awareness for mental health and recognition that you have a business that can help with that. But, is it enough to make a Facebook or Instagram post and call it a day? You already know the answer.
If you have the temperament where you find it fascinating to really involve yourself with advertising: staying up-to-date with local trends in the marketplace, making changes with each visual you post, and staying constantly engaged with your audience, then, by all means, disregard this post. But, if you’re like me and have tried over and over to engage your audience and have only achieved a share or two, then keep reading.
Disclaimer: I have no problem with therapists using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or even Snapchat to engage their audience, I still do. If it works, why fix it? But, I have noticed something about these platforms recently — they are utterly saturated with information that the human brain is just not capable of conceptualizing in a single gulp. This is why I think using social media is a great start for any business; however, I believe the power of a search medium is a necessity for those who’d like to stay current, and for the long haul.
Here’s a quick list of 2019 stats (and when the company started) of the ratio of users/ number of posts to give you an idea of what’s going on:
Facebook (2004): 2.38 billion monthly active users/ 400,000+ posts per minute
YouTube (2005): 2 billion monthly active users/ 300+ hours uploaded per minute
Twitter (2006): 330 million monthly active users/ 500+ million tweets per day
Instagram (2010): 1 billion monthly active users/ 100+ million photos/videos uploaded per day
Snapchat (2011): 300 million monthly active users/ 3+ billion snaps created per day
Posts on social media, according to the numbers, seem short-lived as they often last for minutes (or seconds) because users are mind boggled by other flows of information. This is what many call going down the rabbit hole because they are swiping their finger on screen for hours with information overload. Perhaps, even enough overload to overlook your advertisement.
So then, what’s the alternative?
Answer: Google (1998): 3.5 billion searches a day
The difference here is autonomy. Social media is helpful in understanding your target audience, but often misses what they are thinking about in the moment. A search medium like Google fixes that as it doesn’t really know who your target audience is, but if you know what your ideal clients are thinking about, you can optimize it in a way that regulates ongoing traffic to your business, forever.
People search for what they want, simple as that. Once you understand the power of SEO and how it helps businesses like private practice in the long haul, you might find yourself using social media platforms less often. This makes it easier for your ideal client to find you rather than using your own time fishing for them on different platforms all day.
Now, that’s client empowerment.