Why You Need a Social Media Plan for Your Private Practice

social-media-marketing-for-therapistsOur last few blog posts have been dedicated to therapists and the use of social media. We told you why you should be using social media as part of your marketing strategy. We gave you information, facts, and figures on the best social media platforms for therapists including Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest, Twitter and Linkedin.  By now you realize that you should be using social media, but you might not know where to start. Don’t worry. We are here to help you!

We have created two very important FREE documents for you: A social media marketing plan designed with therapists in mind, and a social media content calendar. Simply download them, fill in the blanks, and you will be miles ahead of your competition.

social-media-content-calendar

social-media-marketing-plan-template

What is a Social Media Marketing Plan?

A social media marketing plan is the summary of what you intend to do and what you want to achieve for your private practice by implementing the use of social media. This important plan will help you take a look at your position on social media today and help you set goals for where you want to be in the future. It is a living document that will keep you on track and take you in a positive direction, or help you to identify when you have gotten away from your social media strategy.

Having this type of plan in place will help you gather your thoughts and ideas, organize your social media profile information, set some goals, analyze your target audience and your competitors, and brainstorm and locate relevant sources of content for your niche. Take a few minutes to create this plan, and your social efforts will be much easier for you.

Let’s take a quick look at what the social media marketing plan includes. Don’t forget to download and print the plan, so you can fill it in as you read through this post. You’ll be glad you did!

Social Media Network Review

To start, it’s important to gather and document your social media profile information, profile URLs, mission statements, and passwords for each of your social accounts. Not only does this help to keep you organized, it allows you to see a clear picture of your practice’s social media presence.

Document the social media network name, the URL to the profile, create a mission statement for each network, and store your passwords all in one place.

Mission Statement

You should create a simple mission statement for each network. Just a brief description that outlines what you want to accomplish on each social media channel, since every channel has its own unique types of users.

Here is an example:

I will use LinkedIn for building up my professional network and to help to establish myself as an expert in Addiction Recovery.

Quick Tip:

It’s important that all of the names you use to brand yourself on social media are consistent. You don’t want to be known Central Counseling on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Plus, but be known as ILoveRoses on Twitter. Brand/name consistency is important. If you find that your branding is not consistent across all networks after you have performed your social media network review, it might be time to delete and/or create accounts.  Take this time to straighten everything up!

Also, if you have always wanted to join a certain network, but haven’t had the time, set up your profile right now!

Business and Social Media Channel Goals

After you have gathered and centralized all of your social media account information, it is time to create and set some goals. It’s important that each piece of your social media strategy and marketing plan relates to and serves the goals that you set. You have to KNOW what you are working toward. What are you trying to accomplish by using social media as a marketing tool as part of your private practice business plan? You need to consider and document business goals as well as the goals for results you want to see from each individual social network.

Audience and Competitors

Before you start to share information on social media, you need to know your audience. Who are you trying to relate to and what social media networks do they most likely use? These are important questions that need to be answered, or you will be wasting your time.

Not sure where your audience is? Check out your competitors! What social media channels do they use? Do they have engagement? What types of content do they promote? Is it working? These are all good things to know because you can build upon what is already working for someone else and keep clear of things that don’t seem to be working well. By keeping an eye on your competitors, you can more easily set yourself apart from them.

Content Creation and Curation

Social media allows you to share the great content that you have created and content that you have curated, or found from other relevant and interesting sources. When you take the time to complete your social media marketing plan, you will have documentation of the various types of content you want to share. This is important because you need variety on social media.

As you create your plan, you’ll also determine the best sources to find relevant content in an organized fashion. No one can create great content every single day!

The FREE 2015 content calendar will help you organize your social media sharing. Use the calendar to ensure that you consistently share high quality information. It’s easy to get distracted and skip a few days of social media marketing. The use of this calendar will also remind you to keep important keywords in mind as you schedule and post your content and save you time.

Benefits of a social media content calendar

A content calendar will allow you to plan your social media shares for weeks and months in advance. Using the content calendar will help you to avoid random and inconsistent posting. If you use the calendar we have provided, there are reminders to use your keywords, a list of holidays, a place for notes, etc. This social media calendar will help keep you organized and directed.

Consistency and Engagement

Social media requires consistency. By setting up your plan, you are planning for success. Make it your goal to add value for your audience everyday.

In order to get results on social media, it’s important to participate on social media! You have to do some social networking. Set aside at least 10-15 minutes each day to read your social media timelines and feeds. Respond to comments. “Favorite” Tweets. “Like” statuses and pins. Your audience wants to engage with you, and you should want to engage with them, too.

Measure and Analyze

It’s important to track your performance on social media. You need to know what is working and what is not working! Most social media networks, such as Facebook and Pinterest, have their own built-in analytics tool in place that track and measure your performance on the site. Check them frequently!

Also, be sure to check Google Analytics to monitor traffic on your own website. There you will find information on traffic that is driven from your social media efforts. You can determine which social media channels are working best for you.

Review your numbers regularly. Make adjustments for whatever is not working and keep on doing what is working!

Reassess/Revise/Rework

Always remember that social media is fluid! Since that is the case, it’s important that you have some flexibility, too! Don’t be afraid to make changes when something isn’t working. Try new things! Take some calculated risks! Have fun with this part of your private practice marketing plan. Social media doesn’t have to be boring. It’s your chance to communicate in a very different way. Pay attention to what is working, revise strategies that are only giving you lukewarm results, and rework things to make them better.

Get Started!

So there you have it! You now have two free tools to get you organized and started with your social media marketing. If you were “filling in the blanks” as you were reading this post, you now have some useful information and strategies you can use NOW! Start populating your new social media content calendar, and start posting on your social media accounts!

Please let us know what you think of these FREE gifts to you! Will you use them? Did they help you? We would love to hear your comments.

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