How Social Media Will Boost Your Practice
Plan Your Presence
Your first step might be to take some time and define your business. Ask yourself questions such as what your goals are, where you see yourself in 5 years and who your ideal customers are. According to these factors, you should define a "voice" that should always stay authentic, consistent and true to your values. Look at what your competitors are doing if you are unclear about your direction and get some inspiration from the leaders in your field.
Choose Social Media Platforms
After you know who your ideal client is, find out on which social media platforms you may find them and at what time they are online. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are definitely good to start with. If you are not familiar with these social media platforms yet, learn the basics and spend some time having a look around and finding out what other professionals in your field do. According to the information you gather, open profiles for your business on these platforms and make them look professional. Great descriptions and images will add a lot of value to your presence.
Once your social media profiles are set up, the next step is creating a consistent plan. For each platform, you should set yourself a number of posts you are going to publish each week. Including photos and videos is crucial nowadays and gets much more engagement. On average, 2-3 posts a week on Facebook works well. Twitter users post much more regularly, often various times a day. Don’t worry if you don’t start with that many posts right away. Start with the basics and with time you'll learn how things work on each channel. Another important factor to consider is the type of content you post. A good approach is making most of it informational or emotional (posts that educate or entertain), and a smaller amount of promotional content (anything that advertises your business). A good proportion of both and consistency will work wonders. Don’t forget to use relevant hashtags to get more exposure.
Grow and Engage With Your Audience
Once you have built your presence, you can expect your first followers. Make sure to listen to what they have to say and build a meaningful relationship with them. Social media is a lot about listening and then offering your audience what they are interested in. Don’t just post on your profiles; follow other people relevant to your industry and engage with their content by liking it and leaving meaningful comments. Get creative and think of ways to find and engage with potential clients. Make sure your website and social media channels point towards each other, together forming an active, credible and knowledgeable online presence.
Consider Different Ways to Get Noticed
Besides managing your profiles and pages, there are many other ways to be seen on different platforms. One method is to find relevant groups related to your industry and posting there or directly messaging members, as well as engaging with what others are posting. Paid ads are another option. Each platform offers means of promoting your content which can be tailored to your budget. Before choosing, make sure you have your goal in mind. What results are you trying to achieve? As an example, Facebook lets you build ads that attract people locally. There are many other options; explore the opportunities and choose wisely.
Be Patient, Use Analytics and Keep Learning
Growing your business on social media takes time and dedication. Be patient and slowly but surely build a community that is interested in what you have to say. Use tools like Google Analytics to measure the effects of each platform and distribute your efforts accordingly. Stay up to date with social media trends and best practices and follow others in your field for inspiration.
Which platform works best for you? Share your tips & tricks in the comments below!