The biggest complaints I hear from practitioners about social media are these:
1) It Takes SO Much Time: Between planning WHAT to post, posting, checking your posts to see who liked them, getting distracted and seeing what other practitioners are posting, checking your post again, re-posting…hours a day can be spent on your social media feeds.
2) It Does Nothing for Their Practice: You’ve heard you “should” have it but you don’t see why because you have few followers, no engagement and certainly no new clients or patients from it.
Can you relate? You’re not alone.
Social media CAN BE amazing when used effectively and consistently for it’s primary purpose: a traffic and lead generation tool.
It’s one of many tools you can use to get eyeballs on you and your work and generate leads (not customers).
It’s a way to reach people (and them to reach you), connect, grow your community, and help people get to know you better…so you can grow your practice.
It can also be the most popular and distracting “shiny object” in today’s business landscape. It’s fun to post pretty pictures and rack up those likes but your time is valuable.
Your time is meant to be spent helping people, not double tapping in the HOPES it brings you some business.
If you’re going to use any tool or business strategy, you must know WHY you’re doing it and that it’s going to get you results (without somehow sucking up half your day).
I’m going to show you the exactly how to put together your social media strategy that does all the above.
First, there are 2 things you need to know.
SOCIAL MEDIA WORKS IF 2 THINGS ARE ALIGNED:
1. It’s right for YOU and your practice: As in, it’s what is going to help you authentically connect with your ideal clients and patients.
– Is social media the best traffic building tool for YOU? And which platform is best? Snapping pictures, posting off the cuff videos and writing pithy comments is not for everyone. If it’s something you dread, doing it just because “you think you have to” is not going to work for you.
If you’re going to use social media, choose platforms you enjoy spending time on and contributing to.
2. It’s where your ideal clients are: If you’re going to connect with them online then THEY have to be there too.
– Where are your potential patients and clients hanging out online? If you primarily work with seniors still kickin’ it on a flip phone, who are you talking to on social media that is going to be coming in to see you?
Choose platforms where your ideal clients and patients hang out.
Connection is the basis of social media and an authentic connection is what will set you apart and reach YOUR people so consider these things before you jump in to any posting (or you’ll end up wasting your time and my uber efficient brain can’t handle that).
Now that the foundation is covered, let’s dive in to 1) building out your social media strategy (so you actually get results) and 2) planning out your entire month in 4 hours or less (so it doesn’t steal your every waking minute)!
CREATING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY:
(You can create your entire strategy here with my Social Media Strategy Checklist)
Your social media strategy is made up of 4 key elements. You want to get crystal clear on THESE aspects first before you design a single post:
1) Platforms: These are the actual social media platforms you will have a presence on. There are A LOT today and you do not need to be on all of them. Choose 1-2 to start with, get consistent with these and if you decide to add on after 3-6 months go for it.
Choose your platforms based on where you can authentically show up and where your ideal clients are hanging out (hopefully the 2 intersect!)
2) Frequency: How often do you plan to post and be present on those platforms? Consistency is key to success with social media so decide on a frequency upfront that you can stick with long term.
Here are the average recommended posting frequencies:
• Facebook: 1x per day (max 2x/day | min 3x/week)
• Twitter: 3-30x per day
• Pinterest: 10-50 pins per day (10 originals and up to 40 repins)
• Instagram: 1-2x per day (max 3x per day)
• LinkedIn: 1x/workday (max 1x per day | min 2x/week)
• Snapchat: 1x per day (max 5x per day | 4-5x/week)
3) Goals: This is one of the most overlooked elements of using social media (or any business tool). What are you trying to achieve with social media?
Knowing WHY you are using each platform and WHAT you want it to do for you will help you determine the best types of content and things to post to best connect with your IDEAL CLIENT.
You can have multiple goals for each platform and platforms can have different or overlapping goals. These are not hard and set goals. It is simply so you have some PURPOSE behind what you’re doing (don’t want you wasting any of your valuable time!)
4) Content: Your content is WHAT you are delivering, what you are saying and doing. It must be valuable, interesting and engaging with your ideal client, so they want to get to know you more and are excited about how you can help them. The best way to do this is by connecting with them on an emotional level.
To do this: Make a list of your ideal client’s problems as they relate to you (including their feelings around these problems, symptoms, how it’s impacting their life) and solutions you can provide (including benefits, feelings, impacts, etc). These problems and solutions can form the basis of an infinite number of posts and you know will resonate and be valuable to your ideal clients.
There are also the types of content you want to include. In the beginning, it is easiest if you choose a few types of content you will deliver consistently. Series or regular/monthly themes also make it easy to continually come up with content ideas.
Some content ideas are:
– Tips and How-to’s
– Industry statistics
– Recipes and meal plans
– Links to blog posts or other content you have created
– Quotes and motivation
– Testimonials, reviews, case studios
– Monthly themes or weekly series
– Promotions (limit this to 20% of the time MAX)
Create your strategy by filling all the above out in your Social Media Strategy Checklist.
NOW it’s time to plan all your posts for an entire month to save you a TON of time each day.
Step 1: Grab a calendar – Take a look to see if there are any major holidays or events you can create posts for as well as any major promotions, reminders or items you want people to know about.
Note them on those calendar days (Tip: I like to color code my different platforms, so I can easily see what is planned for each platform on each day. Some posts will be on all the platforms, others not)
Step 2: Fill it in – Based on the frequency you chose and some of the types of content you are going to be posting about, fill in the rest of the calendar with what you’ll generally be posting when.
I like to start with any series or monthly theme posts and then work my way down to smaller miscellaneous or personal posts last.
(Tip: If you have anything you’re promoting over the month…even a blog post or video, think about how you can lead in to the promotion in the days ahead with related topics or teachings)
By the end you should have a calendar that has all the general posts you’ll do for each platform and when
Total time: Approx. 1 hr
Step 3 – Write ‘em out – Now that you know when you’re posting and generally what, it’s time to actually create the posts.
I like to just pull up a word document, start at the first post, write out EXACTLY what you’ll say and work your way through all the way to the last day of the month (or last post for the month)
Note on there: which platforms it’ll go on, any photos you need for it, and any links you need to add. Highlight elements still needed (i.e.: sometimes I like to take a real time photo for a post I already wrote so I’d highlight that I still will need a photo for it on May 8th for example).
Total time: Approx. 1-2 hrs
Step 4 – Create the images: Obviously if you’re using Instagram or Pinterest you’re going to need images, but other platforms are shown to get better engagement with images (or better yet videos).
Create all the images you can in advance using Canva, PicMonkey or apps on your phone. Feel free to use stock photography that’s made to be used on social media. There are plenty of companies that create images and ready made social media posts SPECIFICALLY for the Health + Wellness industry (Healthinomics is a great one).
Un-highlight anything you’ve created.
Total time: Approx. 30 min – 1 hr
Step 5 – Schedule it: The final piece of the puzzle is scheduling everything to post on the days you want it to. You can use Hootsuite or Buffer for most platforms. Tailwind is great for Pinterest and Instagram.
You’ll simply copy and paste what you’ve written, attach the image, link or video and schedule for the day and time you’ve chosen!
Total time: 30 min – 1 hr
Now depending on the rest of your content, you may have a few posts to add throughout the month that are about real time events, spontaneous personal posts or blogs/content that have yet to be written.
Set reminders in your calendar to create those and post those. You’ve already written the posts so its just a matter of finishing the content and scheduling it.
Success – You did it!!!
You now have your social media complete for an entire month AND the strategy to back it, so you see results for your hard-earned efforts.
Do this before each month and see how social media can be the incredible (and free) traffic generating tool everyone says it is!
(If you missed it before, you can create your entire strategy here with my Social Media Strategy Checklist)
As always, if you have questions about this or about using social media to build your thriving practice, leave a comment below or jump on over to Facebook and let me know! You can reach me there 24/7!