Social media is the perfect tool for mental health marketing. The wide variety of platforms means that you can target your preferred audience, use the whole range of digital media, and build brand loyalty. Even better, you can do most of this for free! In this post, we’ll explain our five top tips for making sure your social media presence is as good as it can be.
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1. Choose your social media platform(s)
There are so many social media platforms these days that choosing which one to use for your mental health marketing strategy can seem like a daunting task. They are all different, and the demographics that use them mean the differences are important. Ultimately, the platform you choose will inform the audience you are able to reach.
For example, Facebook is still the biggest platform around, and it has loads of useful features for businesses, but its user base is getting older. If you want to target a millennial audience for your mental health practice, you might do better on Instagram. If you want to target even younger audiences, you’ll want to be looking at platforms like TikTok. The challenge with the youngest social users is keeping up with whatever platform is fashionable right now!
The audience is not the only factor to consider, however. Different platforms also lend themselves better to certain types of content. In some cases this is obvious – for example, YouTube is for videos – but in others, it might be less clear. Instagram is for photos, right? Well, it can also be a really good platform for short video. Meanwhile, LinkedIn, with its focus on B2B, tends to be used more for text than other platforms. This is important to consider when trying to place your marketing efforts.
Read more: Telemedicine is booming in mental health
2. Mental health marketing needs consistency
This is something that sounds obvious, but which many people overlook. If you want your mental health practice to have a successful social media presence, you need content. Just creating an account won’t do anything. You need to be posting at least weekly, and we’d suggest more regularly if you can. The real advantage of digital marketing has over traditional marketing is that it’s so easy to put out large amounts of content to lots of people. Unfortunately for you, everyone else is doing this too. The more they put out, the more you have to put out in order to just be noticed. Social media may have democratized mental health marketing, but it’s also increased the work you have to do to keep up.
So, if treating social media like a billboard or newspaper won’t do, then what will? Well, as we said above, post content! Post it as often as you can, post every time you write a blog on your website, post every time you offer a new service, post every time you change something about the way you practice, post every time you attend a mental health conference, or a new study comes out that changes the way you work. You need to be putting content out there if you want this to be worthwhile.
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3. Community building on social media
We’ve got quantity out of the way, now for the quality. What we call “community building” in mental health marketing is really just a different way of saying building brand loyalty. The great advantage of social media is that you can build brand loyalty in people who haven’t even visited your mental health practice. This means that if in the future those people do find themselves in need of mental health services, they’ll already have a preferred provider in mind, you!
There are many ways of building a community online, and each successful business has its own. Here, we’ll just give a few tips that go a long way. Obviously, the first is in what you post. Your content should be friendly, human, and show people that your team is made of real people, not just a corporate account run by some faceless person in an office block. Just as important is that way you interact with people who comment on your posts. Social media posts aren’t just “fire and forget” marketing; they’re two-way. If you reply, you can build rapport with the comments, and everyone else who stops to read.
The way you reply is possibly even more important. Having a good in-person reputation is hard when your social media is badly managed. If people are posting criticisms on your platforms, you need to be able to respond politely. It may sound obvious, but it’s not uncommon to see businesses respond to negative comments badly, and it can be more off-putting than the original comment.
Remember the golden rule of social media: everyone can read what you write!
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4. Branding is key to mental health marketing
This is related to our previous section but goes a little further. Not only is it important to remain courteous, but also to keep the tone of your posts consistent with the mental health service you’re trying to sell. There is a certain tone of voice that is appropriate when posting about children’s services, but a very different tone might be needed when talking about crisis prevention services.
It all comes back to your brand. Who are you? Why are you in business? What matters to you and why? What is your purpose? Figuring this out right at the beginning means your messaging will be consistent across all of your social platforms, as well as the way you treat your patients in real life. Consistency is essential in mental health marketing because it helps people get to know you, so they know what to expect when they engage your services, and they can feel confident working with you.
Read more: What makes a good mission statement?
5. Mental health marketing needs visuals
Visual marketing has become really important in mental health marketing. This isn’t really news, because images have been used in marketing for as long as marketing has existed, but we’ve never before had the ability to include video quite so easily. Previously, you’d have to pay big bucks to produce television commercials, but now you can just pull out your phone and do a Facebook live. This is a great way to let people meet you, see your practice, and invited them to come and visit.
Video is a great way to convey information. Humans absorb and retain data best when they are able to hear and see someone telling them, so this is the best way to get your message across – second only to talking to someone face-to-face. Video is also much more friendly, and less intimidating, than a wall of text. If you’re interested, you can learn more about video marketing here.
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