Grow Your Practice Through Social Media Try these four tips to drive your social media traffic—and attract clients. Get Social
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Get Social  |   November 01, 2015
Grow Your Practice Through Social Media
Author Notes
  • Tara Roehl, MS, CCC-SLP, owns and operates Speechy Keen Speech Therapy, a private telepractice clinic in Colorado focusing on social cognition, executive function and the use of technology in treatment. She is an affiliate of ASHA Special Interest Group 18, Telepractice, and she blogs at Speechy Keen SLP. tara@speechykeenslp.com
    Tara Roehl, MS, CCC-SLP, owns and operates Speechy Keen Speech Therapy, a private telepractice clinic in Colorado focusing on social cognition, executive function and the use of technology in treatment. She is an affiliate of ASHA Special Interest Group 18, Telepractice, and she blogs at Speechy Keen SLP. tara@speechykeenslp.com×
Article Information
Telepractice & Computer-Based Approaches / Get Social
Get Social   |   November 01, 2015
Grow Your Practice Through Social Media
The ASHA Leader, November 2015, Vol. 20, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.GS.20112015.np
The ASHA Leader, November 2015, Vol. 20, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.GS.20112015.np
Speech-language pathologists and audiologists take a leap of faith when they start a private practice—and usually many leaps after that first one! One of those leaps involves getting clients in the door. Most people market their small business online, but the rise in social media and mobile technology changes the Internet “game” drastically for business owners.
Five to 10 years ago, a private-practice owner’s digital focus included creating a webpage with good search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure being near the top of a Google search. Although being found on Google still holds sway, social media now offer greater online influence.
To begin generating your social media presence, start with a Facebook page with a complete profile—contact information, services provided, your credentials and so forth—so potential clients learn about you. However, once a page is created, many private practice owners get “stuck.” Now what? What’s the point?
The point is to drive traffic. You want to attract two types of traffic: “cold” traffic—or new people—and “warm” traffic—people who already visited your professional page and who you re-engage. Both are important! You can gain this traffic either by dispersing your content through paid ads or via organic outreach.
These tips for generating well-crafted content will help generate both types of traffic.
Identify your ideal client
Visualize your target audience—and actually make a visual! What gender, age, income, level of education and demographic, and do they have children? Write out the description, find a picture to represent your “avatars” and name them. Do you want to reach more than one type of audience? Each one needs an “avatar” you reference when creating your content.
Next, fill in the following sentence for each avatar: “We help [avatar’s name] do [these benefits] [better] than [competitor or common wisdom].” This will be your guiding light for each and every post you share across social media platforms.
Do some market research
Find your competitors and follow their social media accounts. This process means looking up the other clinics in the area, as well as clinics around the country that serve a similar clientele. In addition, find companies serving your target avatars in other areas of their lives.

Find your competitors and follow their social media accounts. Don’t copy them—learn from them.

Once you find them, search for their most popular posts. These are the ones with the most “likes” and shares, so watch those numbers at the bottom of each post as you scroll through the page. Don’t copy them—learn from them. What do their followers like, share, retweet or pin? Can you find a theme? For example, if another private practice received a lot of traction on a post about its top /s/ intervention strategy, what great single treatment strategy should you share with your followers?
Make your content count
Catch your followers’ attention quickly—literally in seconds. Don’t waste a single opportunity! The first step is to create easily consumable content. Don’t go for the latest gimmicks. And no need to impress with big words, bore them with lengthy details or use lame posts to meet an arbitrary deadline. Create posts that are simple, short and serve a crucial need of your avatar. Everything you share on your social media needs to be valuable to your viewer. So, before every post, ask yourself, “Will [avatar’s name] want to read this?” It really doesn’t matter if you found it funny/helpful/pretty. It’s all about the people who you want to serve.
Include a “call-to-action” on every post
I see this error from my competitors. You have your readers’ eyes, now tell them what to do with the content you provided. Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter, call for a free screening or set up their first appointment today? Then tell them to do that and provide information to make it quick and painless. A link to the appropriate page can make all the difference in catching a future client—or watching them swim right past.
A social media presence makes or breaks a private practice in today’s world. Use these tips as a stepping stone to help you transform your social media presence into a business-growing machine. You can take these ideas further by searching online for more tips on using social media in business. Even the smallest steps can make a real impact on your practice. I wish you luck!
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FROM THIS ISSUE
November 2015
Volume 20, Issue 11