Facebook for Therapists

The success of your therapy business will likely depend on how many clients you can help: If you can attract more clients, you’ll be able to help more clients and as an added benefit, you can make more money too.

But how do you find these clients in the first place?

Well, that’s totally down to you, your business and your strategy, but with over 1.55 billion active users on Facebook every month, many therapists and small businesses are finding Facebook a great place to search.

So what is Facebook and how does it work?

Facebook is a popular, free, social networking website that allows users to create profiles, send messages, upload photos and videos and keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues. If you wanted to tell your friends what you had for tea, (and many people do:-) you’d just write about it on your personal timeline and your Facebook friends would learn all about it.

Sounds great doesn’t it? And it can be, but if you’re trying to sell something and generate business, you probably need to attract more than just your friends!

3 Types of pages

Which one(s) you choose will again depend on what you’re trying to achieve.

Personal pages

Personal page

Before you can do anything on Facebook you first need to create a personal account. These are free and normally just used as personal accounts, where you can chat to friends and family, share family photos, have the occasional rant and be yourself.

Because of this, they’re not the best place to attract clients and do business. It’s lovely to hear that your cat is well but do potential clients really care? Is that kind of stuff relevant to them? Also, there is no way to target clients. The only people you’ll be able to reach are your page friends and they’ll probably already know what you do and expect your help for free.

I’ve also heard that Facebook can change, suspend and even remove personal pages that are used for commercial gain. BE WARNED!

Group pages

Group page

Group pages can be open or closed and tend to be used to gather similar minded people. They can be a great place to communicate with people where together you can keep in contact, share news and views etc. For example, there may be certain things that you’d share with students that you wouldn’t want clients to see. With group pages, you could have a student page and a totally separate client page where you can talk freely to each group.

Again, group pages are limited in what they can do and rely on people knowing that you exist. You still can’t target new potential clients.

TIP – There are lots of therapy themed Facebook groups out there that tend to attract lots of therapists. This can be good for keeping up to date with what’s going on but are you really going to find any clients there?

It will depend on what you do and have to offer but they’re still not a place to constantly talk about your products & services. Selling is prohibited on many groups.

Business pages

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Business page

Just like the other pages, a business page is free to set-up and it’s where Facebook wants your therapy business to be; on your very own, social media hub. And YES, as well as giving you more options (video on your main page, analytics and link options) it also allows you to target potential clients, which is where the money is.

Now this sounds great doesn’t it? And it can be, but getting the most out of it will come at a cost. Let me explain…

If you have 100 friends on a personal page and post a message, 100 friends will potentially see your  message.

If you have 100 members in a group and post a message, 100 members will potentially see it.

But if you have 100 fans on a business page and publish something, at times, only 10 of them might potentially see it!

What?

Yes, you read that correctly. On a business page, Facebook now limits your post reach.

In fact, the number of people seeing your posts from a business page may be nearer to 2% which can seem outrageous at first, but here’s the thing; you can pay to reach more people and when you do, Facebook gives your business page a number of advantages that the other pages can’t compete with.

Where’s the Advantage?

So why would you pay to share a message when you can do it for free from your personal page?

Well my friends, the whole purpose of marketing is to reach more of the right people and it’s BIG business. Everybody knows that if you can reach more of the right people who want to buy your products and services you’re going to make more money. The secret though, is investing in the right marketing at the right price to achieve a high return on your investment.

Steve Jobs could have told all his friends about how great his computers were, (for free) but I doubt it would have had the impact he was looking for. Instead, his company invested heavily in marketing to reach more of the right people and made a profit. Up to now, a $733 billion profit!

Apple ad, Naughton

The pioneering 1984 advert by Apple

In short, Apple paid to share their message and received a return on their investment.

Now, your goals might be a little smaller, but if you work as a therapist, just like any other business, you still need to attract interest, share your message and have new and regular clients paying for your services. If you only share your message with friends you’ll be limited in how many people you can help and subsequently, limited in how much you can earn. Not good for business.

If however, you pay (invest in marketing) and boost a post from your business page, Facebook will help you to access a totally new and much greater audience; an audience that can be highly targeted so you see a higher return on your investment. In other words, Facebook helps you to reach more of the right people, and if done well, at the right price.

 A Greater Return On Investment (R.O.I.)

What’s more, unlike traditional marketing (such as leaflet drops or newspaper adverts) where you pay a set fee and have no idea how many people will see your message or if they’ll even be interested in it, with Facebook advertising, you only pay when a interested party clicks on your ad. So if your ad pops up in someone’s time line and they don’t read it for whatever reason, you don’t pay. You only pay when a targeted person engages with your post which increases your Return. (you can read more about targeting clients here)

In comparison, if you produce leaflets that aren’t read and just thrown in the bin, it has cost you money. You have paid for something that produced no return. A poor return on investment.

 My Therapist/Facebook Experiment

To test this, a few months ago, I ran a little experiment.

Over the course of a few weeks I published several therapy themed posts from a business page that averagely reached 37 people. Not that great by anyone’s standards.

Then, as part of the experiment, I chose one of the posts to boost. I selected my target audience (which, like most therapists was very local to me) and decided to promote the post over a week. I then left it to do its thing…

Over the next 7-days, my post reached 1,623 new potential clients who were local to my chosen area and fitted the criteria I had selected. In other words, they were my ideal clients.

How much did it cost?

Well I hope you’re ready for this…It was much cheaper than a newspaper advert, far less than a leaflet drop and way lower than some rubbish business cards!

In total, I paid just £7. So each day of the campaign I was able to averagely reach 231 potential and local clients, for only £1.FB stats

Now that grabbed my attention.

But what got me excited was the potential, because the post I promoted wasn’t optimized. There was no copy to it, no deal and no call to action. In effect it was just an empty post that offered nothing, solved nothing and did nothing apart from maybe look good. What if I was promoting something; a special deal, product, service or event and I did it well?

Based on the figures above, if I only managed to convert 1% of the people I reached, I would have 16 new clients. How much would that be worth to you and your business?

And if I only managed to convert 0.0625% people (that’s just one person) I’d still achieve a great return on investment as long as I was charging more than £7. (The average therapy session being around £50)

So Is Facebook Right For You?

Well, as I mentioned at the start, that’s going to depend on you, your business and overall strategy however you’d be wise to seriously consider it. Compared to other forms of marketing, especially traditional forms, it can help to put your message in front of many more potential clients and do so at a fraction of the cost.

But there’s more to it than just posting messages and inviting people to book with you. Having a plan, creating the right ad and having everything in place before you start can make a BIG difference.

So if you’re willing to invest some time, money and effort into Facebook advertising, it can be a great way to attract interest and drive clients to your therapy business. If not, you might be better off focusing your efforts elsewhere.

Now this is just an introduction to this topic and for those who are interested, I’ve got more to share with you including future posts, training events and individual coaching.

FB-f-Logo__blue_1024But for now, feel free to join us on the Holistic Websites Facebook page (click the symbol), say hello and take a look at what we do. You’ll find more tips, advice and information on how you can boost your therapy business and we can have a chat there too:-)

And if you’re happy and you know it (as well as clapping your hands:-), please like and share this post and the page with your colleagues & friends because it really does encourage us to share more.

Until next time,

Keep well. X

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