It's no surprise that more and more brands are taking their business online. In fact, marketing experts from Maryville University state that digital marketing is on the rise, sparking a demand for content creators and social media gurus. Nowadays, brands can no longer afford to ignore their online presence if they want to stay competitive and reach their target customers. This finding holds true across all brands — from fashion shops and nail salons, to cupcake stores and gyms. Of course, therapists can also find value in social media, but the rules are a little different.

While most businesses leverage their websites to promote discounts and lure customers into buying products, the ethics of these engagements are questionable for therapists. After all, you're dealing with mental health. Nonetheless, mental health providers can still use social media to increase their practice's visibility, and in turn, help more people. Here are some tips.

Utilize as many platforms as possible

Social media strategist and professor Ruben Quinones from the NYU School of Professional Studies argues that success via social media is a numbers game. More posts across different platforms increases your visibility, which can then lead to greater conversion. You should always remember to end each post with a call to action (such as "Book now" or "Contact us") in order to be truly effective.

For each platform, do a quick search to find out what’s being tagged under psychotherapy and hypnotherapy. This will help you gain a better understanding of what’s already being said, allowing you to differentiate yourself. You will then have to run a series of tests to see which campaigns perform best and optimize accordingly.

Understand the different types of posts

Each platform carries its own etiquette, which you’ll need to understand. While Instagram allows for lengthy captions, typing out long advertisements may not be as effective since people use Instagram for photos and videos. Facebook posts are often the best place to flesh out your services and provide detailed descriptions, which you can then break down into bite-sized Tweets. You may even want to post short videos detailing what a typical session looks like for potential clients to get a better feel of your work.

Personalize your posts

Our Wellness Institute post on building your website emphasizes the importance of creating a personal connection with clients. Psychotherapy and hypnotherapy may sound intimidating to some, which is why you need to take the time and talk about the benefits that this practice has on your patient’s overall wellbeing. The rule of “them first, you later” can help you write posts that tackle points that a potential client might raise, thus making you seem approachable and understanding.

Take your cue from brands like Airbnb and DirecTV, who happen to be excellent at using social media for storytelling. Their strategies include showcasing their community, and building a lifestyle.

Build your network

Word of mouth is still one of the most effective marketing tools, and social media can amplify that. Reaching out to therapists in your area provides you with a network of peers who can endorse you and who you can also learn the best practices from. Having endorsements from other therapists can be especially helpful once you’ve found your niche, as this allows you to widen your reach even when you’ve narrowed your focus. While you may want to reach out to other psychotherapists and hypnotherapists, it’s also a good idea to connect with as many different kinds of therapists as possible to expand your network.

Author’s bio:

Phoebe Layla is a digital marketer and freelance writer who is passionate about online communication and marketing. She spends her days helping clients boost their SEO ranking and social media presence, and her nights writing for a wider online audience. When she’s not reading about the latest digital marketing trends, you’ll find her relaxing at the local park with her labradoodle, Roxy.