Beacon Media + Marketing was awarded Best Logo, Best Marketing Campaign, and Best Website in the AMA Alaska Chapter Prism Awards!

Mental health marketing

How to Market Your Mental Health Clinic on Social Media

Originally published on August 23, 2019. Updated on December 6, 2021

Mental health is a sensitive topic. It’s not exactly easy for people to talk about how their depression is so severe they couldn’t get out of bed in the morning or how trauma from their childhood is still affecting their day-to-day life. However, social media has opened the door for people to talk about mental illness more openly.

And as a mental health professional who is trying to market your practice on social media, your voice can make a real difference in the lives of people living with mental health issues. The impact of mental illness is deep: 1 in 5 adults in the US have a mental illness in a given year, affecting 52.9 million people, their families, and their communities. There are many people who need your help, and social media marketing is an effective way to reach them.

Knowing how to effectively market your mental health clinic on social media starts with knowing who your audience is, understanding where they spend their time online, and using the appropriate language and content to encourage them to reach out to you.

Want to grow your mental health practice and connect with clients on social media?

Social Media Marketing Can Gain You New Mental Health Clients

Before we dig too much deeper into the nitty-gritty of what an effective mental health social media marketing plan looks like, we want to show you some real-life examples of mental health professionals who saw massive growth in advertising mental health services online.

Social media hits many of the checkmarks you need to successfully reach your target audience and convert leads into actual clients:

  • You can grow brand awareness
  • You can provide genuinely helpful information
  • You can connect with new potential clients
  • You can maintain relationships with current clients
  • You can communicate with people directly
  • You can marry visual and written content
  • You can set goals and track your progress
  • You can link posts to your website, blogs, and other content
  • You can utilize both organic and paid content to gain leads

With the right social media marketing plan in place, advertising mental health services online can bring in real, measurable results.

Take our client The Center for Grief and Trauma Therapy for example. We designed them a new, conversion-driven website and filmed several videos that captured the heart and mission of their practice. Next, we created targeted social media ads using these videos to drive new clients to their website. They saw 80 new quality leads come in the month following their launch and saw a 20% rate of leads into new patients. In fact, our client saw so much growth she needed to find a new office location and expand her staff, and she was able to add on more services to help clients in her mental health niche.

center for grief and trauma facebook ad
Here is an ad we ran for the Center for Grief and Trauma that resulted in 84.750 impressions, 67,970 video plays, and 1,465 link clicks.

Want to know how you can see results like this for your practice? Read our full case study on The Center for Grief and Trauma.

What Social Media Platforms Are Best for Mental Health Marketing?

There are over a hundred social media platforms out there, so how do you which one is best for your marketing? Your ideal client is out there, and the key to reaching them is marketing on the social media platforms they frequent the most.

If you’re not a total social media guru, you might not know which platforms are best for your practice. Here is a nice visual we put together to help break down the strengths each social media platform offers.

social media guide for marketers infrographic

Mental health is a subject that affects everyone, so you can see some success in posting on any (or all) of these platforms. However, there are a couple that are essential to your success. Next, we’ll break down how Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn benefit mental health clinics and private practices. 

An Overview of the #1 Social Media Platform: Facebook

We’ve all heard the chatter: “Social media users are leaving Facebook.” Although this may be true, even with the loss of an estimated 15 million users within the last two years, Facebook still has the lion share of users at 85% of internet users worldwide (excluding China). This makes Facebook the top social media platform in the U.S. despite bad press, a drop in the stock market, a loss of users, and ever-growing competition.

Because Facebook is a popular platform for everyone, the content that performs best is based on shared humanity. The voice of your mental health clinic on Facebook should be personal yet professional — but not cold and stuffy. Seek to draw ties and make connections with your followers and followers to be. And always use imagery to complement the content in your post, which can include a short video, photography, or a graphic. That said, do not share the personal names, faces, and details of your mental health patients. Do this with your staff instead (with their permission) or by sharing anonymous stories that no one can make inferences from.

You can also accomplish this by providing mental health education to people in a way that is not cold but conveys the importance of the information to their everyday life. Here’s an example from our client Holistic Couple and Family Therapy to show what we mean.

Holistic CFT mental health post

Notice how the content in this post is informative and conversational, and the graphic is eye-catching and calming? That’s the ideal combo you’re shooting for when crafting Facebook posts for social media. You want to make sure you’re not sharing information that poses itself as helpful but really isn’t – if you can provide something that is truly insightful or helpful to someone, they’re more likely to share that information on their own page.

Why You Should Be Using Instagram for Your Mental Health Clinic

Instagram is Facebook’s product that performs best with a younger demographic. A recent study showed that 65% of Instagram’s1 billion users are between ages 18-34. For this reason, if many of your mental health patients are millennials or generation z, you should be using Instagram.

Instagram’s share of the marketplace is 63% of internet users. This makes Instagram the #2 social media platform in the U.S. (not including YouTube). Instagram is a visual media-oriented platform with posts based on pictures first before text. It’s like Facebook, only flipped on its head.

Instagram does not allow for sharing and demotes messy-looking memes and images that would perform perfectly well on Facebook. The content that performs best on Instagram is composed of clean, artistically angled photographs with creative, thoughtful, poetic, or witty copy.

Your voice on Instagram should not be too different from Facebook with one exception. You can experiment more with the artistic side of personal expression and social justice around mental health on Instagram. The best way to think of Instagram is as an art gallery. When creating your social media posts, it’s not just about each individual post but the big picture. This is where having a strong mental health brand is important. Take Holistic CFT’s Instagram for example.

Holistic CFT Instagram overview

The Value of LinkedIn Among Social Media

Although LinkedIn is very important for one particular niche audience: B2B. If much of the marketing of your mental health clinic is directed toward other practices and organizations for referrals, you should be on LinkedIn.

Your voice on LinkedIn should lean more on the professional side than personal, although a clever mix of personal and professional is what typically performs best. People use LinkedIn to find business connections, but they also want to know that the people they are working with are in fact, people.

LinkedIn is a great place to share your practice’s values and provide important updates. Here’s an example of a post we did on LinkedIn for our mental health client Dana Group Associates:

Dana Group LinkedIn Mental Health post

Post Ideas to Help Your Mental Health Clinic Thrive on Social Media

What is the best way to help your mental health clinic thrive on social media? Plan posts ahead of time and lay everything out in an editorial calendar. (Note: we made a downloadable social media calendar to get you started.)

Nailing the voice and posting schedule for a particular social media platform is one thing, consistently coming up with creative content to those ends is quite another. Even the best social media writers struggle to produce brilliant images and copy when put on the spot.

Here are a few post types you may want to consider:

1. Education About Mental Health

It is only recently that people have begun openly talking about mental health. And there is still work to be done to break down the stigma and encourage people to learn more about how to stay mentally healthy. In short, there is a lot of opportunity for education in your field.

Include posts in your editorial calendar that use powerful statistics about mental health and explain what is really going on that people might not expect. Try not to sound condescending with educational posts. Your goal is to lift people up — so keep your tone positive.

However, this doesn’t mean you need to neglect the negative aspects of mental health. For instance, topics like suicide, drug addiction, and trauma are heavy, difficult topics to talk about. But broaching these topics lets people know they are seen and heard and shows them that you are a trustworthy, knowledgeable source on the subject. Best of all, it shows them that they aren’t alone and help is available.

Dana Group educational mental health post

2. Blog/Article Shares to Social Media

Another great way to educate is through linking to a blog on your website. If you’ve invested time into writing a blog on a topic, social media is a great way to share it and get the information in front of as many people as possible. Plus, you get the added benefit of encouraging people to visit your mental health website where they’re much more likely to press that contact button and make an appointment with you.

You can also share curated content on social media. This is a great way to fill in your editorial calendar and pose yourself as a thought leader in the mental health industry. Just make sure to add your own perspective on the article in the post.

In general, blogs and articles perform better on Facebook and LinkedIn than on Instagram.

NYC mental health blog post

3. Testimonials

This is perhaps the most important post type we can discuss today. Social media is meant to be social, so people respond incredibly well to faces and stories. And when people are willing to share their testimonials, it serves as social proof to others that your practice makes a real difference in people’s lives.

As much as you can, without ignoring HIPAA and while protecting your patients, share mental health stories that will make people’s hearts melt. This post format works well across all three platforms.

Dana group testimonial mental health post

4. Behind the Scenes at the Mental Health Clinic

Although you are limited in what you can show “behind the scenes” at a mental health clinic, there are still ways you can creatively show your staff at work to make things happen every day.

The importance of behind-the-scenes posts is that they communicate transparency.

They allow your followers to see who they will be engaging with and in what environment before they become a patient or register one of their patients or family members.

Holistic CFT staff social media post

5. Lifestyle Social Media Marketing

Lifestyle social media marketing is a brilliant way to tie your services into the lifestyle that your patients (or their referrers) would like to achieve.

A lifestyle post shows people in the same demographic as your target audience happy, smiling, and enjoying the benefits of your services.

The best lifestyle posts are not in your clinic but out and about in everyday life — showing how when people use your services, their entire life is impacted for the better.

NYC Therapeutic lifestyle post

6. Video Posts

Video is the most easily consumed format of media available, making it the most engaging post type we can recommend.

Consider recording video of you or your staff talking about mental health issues and the importance of treatment. Or maybe create something more artistic that walks through the life of someone struggling with their mental health.

You can also use stock videography instead of photos to draw more attention from users as they scroll by.

Dana group video post

7. Event Marketing

Does your mental health clinic participate in community events or put on events for the community? An event is an excellent opportunity to create great content for social media.

You could live-stream the event or create a video highlight reel of key moments. Or set up a selfie booth that allows your event participants to do the content creation for you. The sky’s the limit when it comes to event content.

Dana group event post

8. Mental Health Infographics

Mental health infographics are easy to reference and share. They offer a few tips and can serve as quick guides or checklists that resonate with potential and current clients. Infographics are great for your overall content marketing strategy as they can be used on any of almost any social media platform and in your blogs.

Holistic CFT infographic post

9. Call-To-Action Posts

While informative and helpful posts should make up a bulk of your posts, sometimes you need to be direct in urging people to take the next step in your mental health journey. While people can glean some helpful information from your content, they need to see you to reap the benefits of therapy.

A call-to-action post is a more sales-oriented post focused on what makes your practice different, who you serve, and how people can get started. These posts are also great for boosted posts (but more on that later).

Dana group CTA post

10. Messaging Campaigns

The world of mental health is full of misconceptions and a lingering stigma that get in the way of people getting the care they need. We’ve all heard them before. “I don’t need therapy” or “I’m too broken to get help.” And people simply feel embarrassed about their mental health issues.

Messaging campaigns are something we put to use whenever we want to tackle a negative perception about our industry or business or create a positive one. You could create a series of posts that reinforce this particular message to make sure it sticks in people’s minds.

Holistic CFT messaging post

An Intro to Facebook Boosted Posts

Have you ever wondered what that little, blue “Boost Post” button was for at the bottom of the posts on your mental health clinic’s Facebook page?

Juneau Youth service boost post example

This is where you can pay to give your post a reach beyond your immediate followers (the people who have liked your page).

If you want to grow your following and target new people for your mental health clinic, you will have to “pay to play.” It is simply the way that Facebook for businesses works.

When you click the “Boost Post” button, you are given options to create an audience, pick a budget, and schedule a timeline for your post to run as a paid advertisement.

We highly recommend that you give this a try if you want to see significant results from your social media marketing, however, it can take some learning and adjustment.

Facebook advertising is best managed through Facebook Ads Manager.

Beacon Media + Marketing: Your Social Media Mental Health Marketing Partners

There’s a lot that goes into marketing your mental health clinic on social media, but these tips are a great start. Now, you are equipped with a few post ideas that you can implement right away, in the right channel, at the right schedule, using the right voice.

Implementing a social media posting schedule and nailing your social media brand can make a real difference in your overall marketing strategy. Our mental health clients at Beacon Media + Marketing have brought in more leads, increased their client base, and created a brand they love.

We can help you achieve this for your mental health clients. It all starts with taking the first step and reaching out.

Ready to start this journey with us? Schedule a free consultation today.