Are you struggling to connect with your clients or trying to find new clients? I don’t know of many practices that would say, “No, I really don’t need any more clients, I’m too busy now and have a waiting list of folks to see me.” Since I have only heard that once in 20 years of marketing, I will work on the assumption that everyone reading this would like to have a better relationship with each of their clients, as well as continue to grow their practice to get more clients.
Have you considered the power social media has to connect and engage with existing clients when they aren’t on your table, as well as introduce you to new clients every second of the day?
For any social skeptics, please consider this: over one billion (yes billion) people use Facebook each month. One hundred and seventy million people use Google+ each day. Over 400 million tweets are sent every DAY on Twitter, and six billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube! The world uses social media. In fact a recent Nielson survey found that 46% of online users count on social media when making a purchase decision. People trust what is being shared on social media sites about a company, more than they trust the company’s website. But, with all this information shared online and social platforms, how are you going to ensure your voice is heard?
You don’t need to talk to all one billion users on Facebook. In fact, you really only need to connect, engage, and convert those who are your IDEAL clients for your practice, right?
How do you find them? Do you know where your favorite clients are hanging out online? To optimize your social media marketing efforts, it’s important to know who your IDEAL clients are and on which social networks they spend their time.
One of the first questions I always like to ask is, “Who is your IDEAL client?” Some of the answers I’ve received include: women, people with back pain, men, employees who have been injured, pregnant mothers, or my personal favorite “everyone.” While these answers may be true for you too, they won’t help you find your audience because they don’t help you prioritize where to spend your time. When you try to speak in such broad terms to capture everyone’s attention then the fact is, no one listens because you aren’t speaking directly to what they prioritize and care about most.
So, how do you cut through the noise with content that connects to your perfect client?
You’ll want to start by creating a fictional persona of your IDEAL client to the point of naming her, knowing how many kids she has, or what she does on the weekends.
The clearer you can identify your IDEAL client, the easier it is to find people on social media who resemble the persona. You will craft updates and content or ads that speak directly to that type of person you most desire to have in your office.
And if you are sitting there saying, Stephanie, my clients are not on Facebook. Then hey, I challenge you to survey your customers. If you’ve been in practice for any length of time, you have customers you can survey. For the purposes of optimizing your social media campaigns, wisely spending time crafting content to use, or investing in ad dollars, you need to know where your audience hangs out online. As part of your survey, ask your current clients the following questions:
- What social media site do you regularly use?
- What website do you visit for information on _____ (weight loss, knee pain, migraines, or fill in this blank with whatever is appropriate for your practice)
- Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which ones?
- Do you regularly read blogs? If so, which ones?
- What people do you follow or pay attention to online?
You can do this manually in your office, or use free tools like Survey Monkey or Google Forms to collect your answers. You can also research online behavior.
What do you do if you’re just starting out, your client base is too small for meaningful results, or you’re expanding into a new territory?
In cases like these, or simply to supplement your survey results, you can search online behavior. You can utilize research data on sites like Pew Research Center that provide an excellent breakdown of basic demographics of the audiences currently using various social media sites. Basic demographics like sex, age, education, and income are listed on this link.
Once you get your results from your survey and research, it is time to put that knowledge to work on the social media platforms that best matches with your type or types of IDEAL client(s).
You can connect with them and their friends and followers organically (this means without paying for reach) through your content.
Remember to keep the majority of your content (80%) focused on providing educational and informational answers and solutions that spark conversation around massage therapy and bodywork. Then 20% of the time, incentivize them to visit your website, blog, or clinic to get to know you and your practice better.
Once you have given them a reason to want to get to know, like, and trust you, now you have earned the right to ask to do business with them. That is how social media works. It’s relationship building, and as Massage Therapists and Bodyworkers who take a genuine interest in caring for your clients, you have an advantage over other businesses.
You are already in the relationship business.
Stephanie Beck, Owner of SRB Solutions, is an Educator and Advocate for the online marketing success of health and wellness practitioners for over a decade. Stephanie has served as a published columnist since 2003 and is a THREE time Best Selling author of Social Trigger Points, Business Trendsetters Volume 2 and Social MisAlignments. She has been featured in over 230 national media publications and consulted with some of the TOP names in the Massage and Chiropractic Profession. Stephanie is creator of Social Media Laptop Workshops, Social Content Creator for Chiropractors and is renowned for creating social synergy specifically for health and wellness practices.