Facebook remains the largest social media platform in the world and one of the best tools for holistic therapists and practitioners to reach new and existing clients. While most businesses now have a Facebook page, the site has undergone quite a few changes over the last few years.
With more and more members and advertisers, it has also gotten more competitive. If you want to get the most out of Facebook today, you need to make use of the very latest trends and features.
What's New on Facebook?
Facebook itself needs no introduction. However, the world's largest social media platform isn't quite the same as it was a few years ago. Here's an overview of some of the biggest changes.
- Changes in the newsfeed algorithm. In 2017, Facebook announced changes to the algorithm with a shift towards favouring social over business content. This was done partly in response to accusations that deceptive political content had influenced the 2016 election in the United States. The changes, however, apply to users worldwide. The main consequence from the standpoint of businesses is that it's now harder to get your sponsored content seen by your followers.
- The growth of Stories. The Stories feature was introduced by Snapchat and later picked up by Instagram and Facebook. Stories have become one of the most popular features on both of these sites. As TechCrunch recently reported, Facebook Stories now has 500 million users, a significant chunk of the site's overall membership. There are now a variety of advertising options that can help you get the most out of this feature.
- Updates to Messenger. Some of the recent changes to Facebook's popular Messenger app are especially relevant to therapists and holistic practitioners. There's a new booking appointment interface that will make it faster and more seamless for customers to book sessions. There are also more options for advertising on Messenger.
- Changes to video ranking. Videos make up a growing percentage of Facebook's content. In May, Facebook announced changes to the video ranking algorithm. They will continue to prioritise original videos over those shared from other sites. Along with this, they'll favour videos that keep viewers engaged and that are at least 3 minutes long.
Tips to Profit From Facebook
Here are some of the best Facebook marketing strategies to connect with your clients on Facebook.
As noted, Facebook Stories have really exploded recently. This feature is also a way to leverage Facebook's algorithm as Stories are displayed at the top of the page. People are far more likely to notice your Story than ordinary timeline posts.
Make sure you have an active Facebook Page for your business, as you need this to post Stories as a business.
- Post Stories frequently. Keep in mind that they're only visible for 24 hours so the more often you post, the more you'll be visible to your audience.
- Focus on timely content. Talk about your latest offerings, tips, and upcoming events. You might also present an inside look at your business.
- Post from interesting places. You can create a Story wherever you are whether it's a coffee shop, the beach, a busy city street, or a special event.
- Switch between points of view. Stories let you switch between front-facing and rear-facing cameras for variety.
- Use filters. Facebook provides filters you can use to make your presentations more compelling. Both Instagram and Facebook now have a nice selection of AR filters.
Groups aren't new but they remain a powerful and often overlooked marketing strategy. A group can be especially compelling for businesses in fields such as health, fitness, and holistic living as users are quite passionate about these topics and love to share their views and ask questions.
- Join popular groups in your niche and contribute regularly.
- Avoid directly promoting yourself. If you answer questions and position yourself as an authority people can find your business link by clicking on your profile.
- Start your own group. This takes a certain amount of time as you need to post to your own group, invite members, and answer comments. However, it's a good way to build trust and get your name more widely circulated.
There's no faster way to get targeted traffic on Facebook than to advertise. As with other aspects of the site, advertising options have evolved quite a bit recently. Here are some of the main features and guidelines to keep in mind.
- Create custom audiences. With custom audiences, you can focus on presenting ads to people who've already interacted with you in some way. Of course, you also want to reach brand new people as well.
- Advertise on Messenger. Facebook Messenger ads are a good place to find new leads.
- Use the Facebook Pixel to measure the effectiveness of your ads. This flexible tool helps you identify your most responsive audiences and measure the results from your ads.
- Stay within your budget. Facebook (and other types of paid advertising) can be effective at finding new leads and clients. At the same time, it can drain your bank balances quickly if you're not careful. Create a sensible advertising budget, test your results, and scale up when you find a strategy that's working.
Be a Problem Solver
This is less of a specific technique and more of an overall strategy that you should keep in mind whenever you're on Facebook whether you're posting to your timeline, Facebook page, in a group, or creating a Story.
As a therapist or practitioner, you have to walk a fine line between building your credibility and not coming across as too promotional. As a general rule, never overlook an opportunity to share information and point people in the right direction even if it isn't likely to provide you with an immediate benefit.
Answer questions directly when you can. Otherwise, recommend books, websites, or other resources that are likely to help your clients and potential clients. This helps to build your authority so when people are looking for help in a relevant area they're likely to think of you.
Don't be afraid to offer assistance to people who might even be your competitors in a certain sense. For example, if you're an experienced massage therapist, you might offer tips to people considering massage therapy as a profession. This helps you connect with more people, lets you display your knowledge and shows that you're committed to helping people and support the natural health industry as a whole.
IICT (International Institute for Complementary Therapists) is Australia's largest community of natural therapists and practitioners with a combined reach of over 146,000. Learn how you can advertise with us.