Using Social Media as a Marketing Tool for Your Practice

Billions of people across the globe use some form of social media every day. Chances are, you’re at least familiar with platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for your personal use. But, have you ever thought about how social media might be able to help your practice? 

Guest post by: Katie Brenneman. Image Source: Unsplash

As a therapist, you undoubtedly understand the importance of marketing, especially in the digital space. Having a solid website and knowing how to utilize SEO are essential practices. While social media might not immediately scream “professionalism,” it’s becoming the norm for businesses that want to engage with and connect to their target audience.

Mental health services are in high demand. We might be entering a post-pandemic society, but people are still looking for help dealing with toxic work environments, relationship issues, societal fears, and so much more.

While the industry might be stretched thin, it’s still important to outshine and out-market your competitors. Using traditional marketing methods can help, but if you’re able to humanize your practice and make potential patients feel comfortable before they even make an appointment, you’ll be off to a better start.

With that in mind, let’s dig deeper into how you can use social media as an effective marketing tool for your practice. 


Why Social Media is Crucial for Growth

Traditional marketing techniques aren’t “dead” by any means. However, if you haven’t entered the digital landscape, you’re missing out on a completely new audience. Digital marketing is beneficial in many ways, including: 


  • Cost-effectiveness;
  • Measurable results;
  • Higher engagement;
  • Greater interaction;
  • Increased visibility;
  • Increased credibility;
  • Targeted marketing;
  • Personalization.


Going beyond a website, social media hones in on nearly all of these benefits and gives you the opportunity to give your practice a personality online. That’s something a billboard, commercial, and even a website can’t always do.

Even if you’re starting from scratch, you can build your social media audience quickly through targeted ads. Using Facebook, for example, allows you to create advertisements based on location, age range, and even interests. By combining the power of social media advertising with great content creation, you’ll attract the right audience to your brand and build a loyal following relatively quickly.

From a growth standpoint, using social media platforms can improve your overall reach. Everyone in marketing knows that “word of mouth” advertising is worth its weight in gold. That’s still true, even when it’s done digitally. Social media content is shareable content, making it easy to build a community and foster patient loyalty. 


Building a Community

Can you really “build a community” online? Absolutely!

Think about your practice’s website. It likely has plenty of information about you, what you do, any specialty areas, and more. You might even go the extra mile and provide a weekly blog or provide mental health resources people can use for free. But, aside from a “contact” section, a website is a one-sided conversation. Most traditional marketing solutions are also one-sided.

Social media opens up the conversation and allows your audience to get involved. That’s important in every industry, but it’s especially crucial when it comes to mental health.

Unfortunately, there are still some stigmas surrounding mental health, and plenty of other reasons why some people are hesitant to see a therapist even when it would benefit them. Some of the common reservations include: 


  • Fear of judgment; 
  • Fear of the unknown;
  • Resistant to change;
  • Concerns over the efficacy of mental health treatment.


Whatever the case, breaking down barriers and fostering a community are some of the best ways to encourage people to get the help they need. As stated above, social media tends to “humanize” brands, engaging people in conversations and helping them feel more comfortable. If you’re unsure about what you should be posting on your platforms, take a community-focused content approach.

Community-focused content is meant to target a particular community. In this case, you should create content that appeals to your audience. It should include how your services could add value to someone’s life, or why mental health, in general, is important. The more you open up your conversations by providing engaging content with valuable information, the more you’ll build trust and loyalty online and in person with your clients.


Getting Others Involved

You don’t have to tackle social media marketing on your own. Unless you hire a contractor or marketing team for your practice, chances are you want to spend most of your time focused on treating others, not sitting at your computer or scrolling on your phone trying to come up with creative content.

One of the best ways to not only get started with social media marketing but to build trust and form relationships quickly, is to work with influencers or experts in the field.

Influencer marketing has seen huge growth in recent years. Some of the benefits of this type of marketing include:


  • Increased reach;
  • Better credibility;
  • Long-term partnerships;
  • An enriched content strategy.


By working with an influencer, you’ll also save time trying to come up with content that fits your brand. Of course, it’s important to find an influencer that makes sense for your brand. There are countless mental health influencers on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. Consider reaching out to some of them. Or, connect with a specialist or fellow therapist who might already have a strong social media following. When they promote your practice to their followers, you’ll grow your audience instantly, and they’ll trust you almost right away based on the opinion of the influencer. 


Using Tech to Your Advantage

You can use social media for so much more than just general marketing practices. It’s always good to link back to your blog or website and encourage people to make appointments. But, you should also be utilizing social media to show your audience how easy it is to take care of their mental health.

A perfect example is telehealth. Telehealth services aren’t necessarily new, but they saw a huge rise in popularity throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth/teletherapy is often more cost-effective for patients. It’s inclusive, accessible, and allows people to get the help they need from the comfort of their homes. For someone with a serious mental health condition like anxiety, that can make a huge difference.

If you offer telehealth services, digital marketing is a great way to advertise them. Social media, in particular, is already great for building relationships with current and potential clients. Promoting your telehealth services takes those relationships to the next level.

If you’re not currently offering telehealth services, it’s something to consider as you bring more technology into your practice. Nowadays, telehealth software is safe and secure, HIPAA compliant, and allows you to set up video calls with your clients from just about anywhere, so you can work around each other’s schedules. 


As someone in the mental health profession, you know the stigma that still surrounds this type of care. Obviously, the goal of marketing your practice is to expand your reach and bring in new clients. But, by using social media as a marketing tool for your practice, you can do much more than that. Put in the time and effort to build a community on your social platforms, and you’re likely to reap the rewards sooner than you think.



Mark Munroe is the Creator and EIC of ADDICTED. He's ADDICTED to great travel, amazing food, better grooming & probably a whole lot more!