Social Media Strategy: What Therapists Can Learn from Zuck

Close your eyes for a minute, and try to think back 9 years ago. The year was 2004. Back in the day when we communicated with email forwards and an occasional photo if our internet connection was fast enough. It was a simpler time, when we used telephones to talk to our friends and traditional websites to look up information about businesses.

That all changed a year later when Facebook landed on the scene. Starting as an online hangout for college students (remember when you had to have a .edu email to get an account), Facebook has revolutionized the way we use the internet and the way we interact with each other virtually.

We now have global virtual communities, a chance to share our stories with the world, and the ability to stay connected with our friends and families online. This change has created tremendous opportunities for businesses to create online communities of supporters. This is particularly useful for psychotherapists. Using social media gives us the opportunity to connect with our communities, while still allowing them anonymity. It allows potential clients a sneak peek into our personalities and the way we work. It takes the fear away of contacting a therapist.

A had a new client last month who said to me, “When I was looking for a therapist, I saw that you and I both posted the same quote within minutes of each other on Facebook. That’s how I knew you were the right therapist for us.” Is that the best way to choose a therapist? Probably not. But it was a coincidence that gave her a connection to me. She felt a shared sense of values that enabled her to trust in entering into a therapeutic relationship.

Frequently new and existing clients will comment on my Facebook page, which reminds me of how important that presence is. The value I’ve seen in my own practice is what prompted me to launch “The Complete Facebook Marketing Solution” for therapists seeking to build their own pracctices last year. The feedback I’ve gotten from therapists has shown me that this is a valuable tool for their practices as well.

Because so much of my time these days is spent helping therapists with social media marketing and practice-building. I always have an eye open for what’s new in Facebook. And I stumbled across a new book: “Think Like Zuck: The Five Business Secrets of Facebook’s Improbably Brillian CEO Mark Zuckerberg” by Ekaterina Walter. The title’s a bit of a mouthful, but the content of the book delivers on the name. Walter is one of the mastermind’s behind Intel’s amazing social media success. To see her work, check out www.facebook.com/Intel¬†– they have over 16,000,000 fans!

Okay, so none of us is likely to ever see our practices grow that large, right? But there is a ton they you can learn by reviewing their page and noting how they build interaction and community. If you want to learn more about her methods, stay tuned for a future blog post, or grab yourself a copy of her book.