Top Tips for Your Small Business on Social Media
Social media allows us to connect with our clients like never before. With just a click on Facebook, Twitter, G+, or Youtube, we are able to speak directly to our market, chat with clients, and hear feedback almost about our business instantly.
But the quick and fast connections can definitely have a dark side. Unprofessional, hurtful, and even derogatory tweets, or lack of professional boundaries/conduct can negatively impact your clients and business, greatly influencing your reputation and your liability online and off. And it s not just small businesses that feel the online backlash of unfortunate social media actions. Many large companies, like Kitchen Aid and StubHub, have made major public and embarrassing social media snafus. We recommend you get you “Standards of Practice Guidelines” from your licensing body and get clear before even setting up your accounts to better understand your limitations.
Fortunately, with a good social media plan, industry consideration and conscious minded business foresight, it is easy to keep your social media activity professionally appropriate and respectful to both your clients and your industry. We’ve gathered a few social media tips to help make your Private Practice online networking a breeze!
Don’t be too promotional or too sales oriented. We are NOT selling, we are helping. Social media isn’t the place to do a hard sell. In authentic marketing, you likely wont have to do a “hard sell” at all. The goal of connecting online through social media is to do just that: connect! Engage, and share relevant information with your audience (aim for about 70% to 30% promotional content). These posts can include infographic charts, retweets, and other people’s content. You can do this with your business goal in mind, and without your professional boundaries as spelled out in your unique Standards of Practice guidelines.
Accept criticism with grace and humility. People are likely to say something negative about you or your business at some point along your social media career. Treat these complains like you would face-to-face and be gracious, professional, and kind. It’s easy to forget that real people are behind the screen, especially when you are facing criticism for your work or Private Practice. It’s also a good place to practice your own leadership and be accountable as appropriate. This is how we achieve self mastery and learn!
Separate the personal from the professional. This may seem obvious as a practitioner, but many practitioners fail to properly divide their accounts. You may be the face of your Private Practice business, but that doesn’t mean the business is YOU. Be professional and remain a Practitioner at all times. Fans and followers for your business don’t need to hear about your hangover, your new relationship, your child’s toilet training, or what you had for breakfast. But they do want to hear your opinion on important events in the industry or world, and advice or personal experience you have on pertinent topics that relate to your areas of expertise, philosophy, products and services or niches. Before you post, ask yourself if it is related to your business or target audience. Ask yourself if you are acting in your “practitioner” role when you post and if not, don’t post it.
Have a goal to be CURIOUS, SUPPORT, ENGAGE, INFORM and RELATE as the first step and doorway to building rapport. There is no value in talking just to talk or posting just to fill up blank space. 93% of communication is non-verbal. Clients or fans will know when your posts are “hollow”. That is, you are motivated to just “SELL, SELL, SELL.” They want to know if you are authentically interested in their life and their problems. You want to relate in a way that shows that your services may actually be a bridge to helping their current life issues. Your entire practice is about improving quality of life. Also, letting people know how your services may be uniquely positioned to do assist them, should they desire help and if it is an authentic fit.
But, it’s critical you start with recognizing that social media should be only one spoke within the wheel of a larger marketing plan. It can’t function properly if it doesn’t actually carry out your larger networking and marketing goals. If you as a practitioner and business owner are not clear on what your specific goals are, you are likely wasting your time. Additionally, if you are leaning too hard on your social media, as a safe and somewhat indirect means of reaching your target audience, often at the cost of other marketing or networking efforts, you may very well be avoiding the larger marketing picture and crucial need to diversify your efforts.
If your business is more than just you, designate one TRAINED person to operate your social media, under your guidance. Take time to create criteria for your social media activity and conduct. Ultimately you are responsible. It is your creditability, rapport and reputation that will be impacted if there is inappropriate conduct on your social media platforms. Too many chefs in the kitchen can spell disaster, and the same thing goes for your social media accounts.
Social media for Private Practice small business can truly be a great way to meet your target audience or alliances as well as strengthen these relationships. By following these guidelines and MANY others tips that our programs teach to Mental Health and Wellness Practitioners, you’ll be engaging and networking like a pro!
Learn more conscious minded Social Media and Marketing ideas for your Private Practice Business by visiting our website or email our team of Private Practice Business experts for a free consult at firstname.lastname@example.org