Using social media to market your speech therapy practice is one of the tips from our Guide to Marketing your Private Practice. BUT, so many channels of social media, how to choose? As a private practice, you cannot maintain an active presence on every channel (without outsourcing). Most advise to choose 1-2 channels to focus your marketing energy.
3 Factors in choosing social
Where are your ideal clients?
Consider your geographic location, as well as your demographic? Are you targeting Millenials or Boomers? Business professionals or parents?
Which channel do you understand and use?
Join, claim your business name, then explore and observe. Take some time to learn about the social media option that you are considering. How do you use it? What types of things do people post? What types of posts are engaging?
What are your goals?
To increase visibility? – Consider where your competitors are, as well as where they aren’t, but shouldn’t be. To demonstrate your expertise? To gain referral sources or to directly solicit clients?
Which is the BEST Social Media for Speech Pathologists?
Target Audience: Everyone
Purpose: Subtle marketing is key here. Join groups that are filled with your target clients, and wait. Interact socially, answering questions when you can, so that you start to become familiar. Then when there’s a topic that falls into your niche – showcase your expertise. Be generous with your expertise, but careful not to diagnose or treat – refer to a local SLP (and be easy to find online when they google search) If the poster (or others) are interested, they will click on your profile and find your business, or they may ask you more questions, message you, or google search your type of business in their area (your private practice should come up. If it doesn’t, work on your online presence!) AVOID overtly advertising or soliciting – you will quickly be booted from most groups. The exception is some groups offer a weekly thread for self-promotion – these are fantastic!
Target Audience: Millennials
Purpose: Brand Recognition, showcasing your expertise in a more casual setting.
Target Audience: Business Professionals, Referral Sources
Purpose: Networking, showcasing your expertise in a business setting
Target Audience: Large market areas. If you sell a book or product, or if your speech services are available over a large part of the country. OR if your local ideal clients happens to LOVE Pinterest.
Purpose: Drive traffic to your website, brand recognition
Purpose: Visibility, Showcase your Expertise, increase your comfort with videos
Purpose: Showcase your expertise, Branding
Why should Speech Pathologists use Social Media?
An online presence is essential to any business. It helps a private practice be found online, but it’s also a strong marketing tool – similar to newspapers, radio, billboards and local community bulletin boards. It’s also FREE (though time-intensive, so consider outsourcing). Social media is a way to showcase your personality and expertise. It’s a great opportunity to practice public speaking with posting videos on Facebook, Youtube, and TikTok and practice crafting your professional messages and explanations. Consumers tend to choose to work with (and refer to) companies and people they know and like. Consumers also often need multiple introductions to an idea before they will purchase. Social media offers a way to develop that familiarity and relationship to nurture your client pool and referral pipelines.
What are the ethics of social media in Private Practice?
As business professionals, we need to be careful when using social media – from posting on our personal page, to interacting in professional and social online groups
ASHA provides guidance about interacting in the online world, while adhearning to our code of ethics on a variety of topics including: general do’s and don’ts, whether or not to “friend” clients or co-workers. Consider ASHA’s Code of Ethics when interacting.
Tips for your social media presence
Claim your business name on all social media channels.
Choose 1 channel to start.
Once you are comfortable and have an efficient way to stay consistent, considering adding a second. Usually 1-2 social media channels are enough without having to outsource.
Give yourself time.
After a few months of interactions, if you aren’t getting a return on your investment, then shift your focus to another option. For example, if you start on Instagram, but aren’t getting clients, then consider adding Facebook or LinkedIn.
Consider your audience and purpose.
When you interact, are you posting for referral sources or clients directly? Or is your goal to increase visibility and demonstrate professional expertise?
Use Images to show up in the feed
Images draw attention to your posts and help referral sources and potential clients get to know you and get a feel for your brand. Learn more about how to use images and where to find them.