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Monday, 19 December 2016

How to use social media for your new hypnotherapy business

Just starting out on Facebook and want some ideas about what, when and how to post? PR consultant Helen Kitchen offers some tips on how to use social media to promote your new hypnotherapy business.

Congratulations on your decision to set up as a hypnotherapy consultant! Starting a business is exciting and scary at the same time – you are your own boss, but at the same time, you are solely responsible for finding customers and generating income.
You probably have a huge list of things to do, and I’m hoping that promotion of your new business is near the top of that list. Getting the word out about your new business, and how you can help people in your local area, should be something that you invest time and money in, especially in the early days. Getting people talking about your business should be your ultimate goal. As Oscar Wilde famously said: “There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”

So where are people doing their talking these days? Well, a lot of them are talking (or at the very least listening) online – did you know that in the UK adults spend almost 2.5 hours every day using their phones and tablets! And young people spend more time using mobile devices than they do watching TV!

Now I don’t know about you, but I know that a lot of people spend a huge amount of time and energy on Facebook, keeping up with what their friends are up to and in return giving them a glimpse into their own lives. Even if you're not a big fan of social media yourself, many of your potential clients are: if you're not convinced, have a look at this article.

Anyhow, social media represents a huge opportunity for businesses who are hoping to get people talking about their experience of products and services, effectively recommending them to their friends.

So how can you get people talking about your business on Facebook? Here are my suggestions to get you up and running.

But first, a word of warning…

Be wary of unprofessional conduct on Facebook – both on your personal profile and your business page (more on that later).

Many professionals – from doctors, to lawyers and teachers – now choose to interact with their contacts using social media platforms such as Facebook. They all have a duty to protect their contacts’ confidentiality just like you. As a hypnotherapist, you are bound by professional standards in terms of how you conduct yourself. If you use social networking platforms as one of the ways you establish your professional identity, or to attract, connect or interact with potential or current clients and colleagues, your social media presence has become part of your professional space. This means that legal and ethical provisions may apply to your online activities.

The General Medical Council has produced guidelines which you may find useful.

You must be clear from the start about what people can expect from you if they connect via Facebook. Have a look at how Yorkshire Hypnotherapy Training’s founder Debbie Waller makes it clear on her website what people can expect from her in terms of communications via social media.

Now, let’s get started on what you really want to know about… using Facebook to promote your hypnotherapy business!

#1 Business not personal

Using a personal profile for business is against Facebook’s terms and conditions, and you risk having your profile shut down and losing the ability to use it at all. It’s easy – and free – to set up a Business Page from your personal profile – and Facebook Help provides a step-by-step guide that’s easy to follow.

#2 Build your page

It’s important that your page gives visitors (and Facebook) as much information about your business as possible – information including words, photos and films if possible. This makes it easy for people who tell Facebook what they’re looking for (using FB search for example) to find your page, and it makes it easy for Facebook to show your page to people who might be interested in what you have to offer (in their recommendations for pages to follow, for example).
As a minimum, make sure you have a profile picture (which appears next to your posts in people’s news feed) and cover photo (which appears on your page) that make it clear what you offer.
Complete the “About” section with as many of your keywords as possible – this will make it easy for people to find your business.
And don’t forget to choose a call-to-action button – Learn More with a link it to your website (if you have one) or Send a Message which triggers a Facebook Message to your page. 
Here’s a great example.

#3 What to post?

Give people information they find helpful, that they’ll share with their friends, that will make them think, that will make them laugh, that will make them glad they like you. If you were in a room full of people you didn’t know how would you get their attention, and how would you keep it?
You can post links to articles online written by other people on topics relevant to your business and to your community. Post quotes to motivate people, tips to help them cope with the stresses and strains of everyday life, photos to inspire them to do things. You get the picture! Be interesting, and every now and then show an interest in your community by asking them what they’re thinking, or just thank them for being part of your network.
You can occasionally post links to your own website – but don’t “sell” too much that’s not what people are there for.

#4 When to post?

There’s no right and wrong time to post on Facebook. You need to have a good idea about when the people you’re trying to reach might be using Facebook. For example, busy mums may be more active after their children have gone to school, or later in the evening so that’s usually a good time to post. First thing in the morning before people go to work is also worth considering.
Facebook provides insights into when the people who like your page are online. Check the Insights Tab on your page, and select “Posts” from the menu on the left side. The graph shows when your fans are most active – so it’s worth checking this to make sure you’re posting at the best time for your audience.
You can also schedule posts so you don’t have to post “live” – which is perfect for busy business owners like you! When you write a post, next to the Publish button there’s a dropdown menu where you can select “Schedule” and then set the time and day you want the post to be published. Simple!

So that’s it! Now you can get started – good luck and remember to have fun! If you’re enjoying Facebook, so will your fans!

If you have enjoyed this article, please use the buttons on the grey bar (below the author details) to share it with others who might enjoy it too. Thank you.

Blog Author: Helen Kitchen is a freelance PR and social media consultant based in Leeds, an expert at helping you to grow your Yorkshire-based business through creative, intelligent and consistent communications.

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