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5/10/2011

Using Social Media to Build and


Maintain a Successful Practice,
Connect with Clients, &
Advocate for Mental Health

Nathan C. Gehlert, Ph.D. , LPC


Imago Center of Washington DC

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Presentation Topics
• Importance of social media in advertising
• Shift in the activities of our clients online
• Define social media and contrast it with old forms
of advertising
• Review the different forms of social media
• Steps you can take to start using social media
• Template for using multiple social media platforms
• Ethical considerations
• Future of social media in the mental health
profession

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How social media is changing the world

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFZ0z5Fm-Ng

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What is social media?


• “an umbrella terms that defines the
various activities that integrate
technology, social interaction, and the
construction of words, pictures, videos,
and audio.”

~ timetogetsocial, youtube.com

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Why should I care?


1. Social media is the #1 online activity
2. 2/3 of the global internet population visits social
networks.
3. Time spent on social networks is growing at 3x the
overall internet rate (accounts for 10% of time)
4. The internet is the most influential source in helping
consumers make purchasing decisions
5. Your competition is already doing it.

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Why should I care? (cont.)


6. Because the next 3 billion consumers will access
the internet from a mobile device.

7. Facebook is now the operating system of the web.

8. Twitter will have 1 billion users by 2012.

9. One-way marketing is dead.

10. Almost all social media is free.

~ timetogetsocial, youtube.com

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e-Patients
• individuals who are equipped, enabled,
empowered and engaged in their health and
health care decisions.
• health care ought to be an equal partnership
between e-patients and health professionals and
systems that support them.

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e-Patients: Some Statistics


• 93% said that it was important that the Internet
made it possible to get the medical information
they needed when it was most convenient for
them.
• 92% said they found useful medical information.
• 83% said it was important that they could get more
health information online then they could get
elsewhere.
• 81% said that they learned something new.
• 72% searched for medical information just before or
after a doctor’s visit.
• 70% said the information they found influenced their
medical decisions http://www.e-patients.net/e-Patients_White_Paper.pdf

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An Obligation to
Participate
• Only 25% of people searching for health information
online verify the reliability of the source and 58% of
people will make a self-diagnosis from online
information . (healthdialog.com)
• Proliferation of inaccurate health information online
• Mental health professionals need to:
a. Share and create reliable resources
b. Address misleading claims
c. Help clients understand issues accurately

http://www.softwareadvice.com/articles/medical/social-media-can-improve-healthcare-
but-are-doctors-holding-us-back-1030411/

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E-Patients: Emerging
Opportunities for Mental
Health Professionals
1. Social media represents an opportunity for mental
health professionals to market themselves and
advocate for their ideas
2. There is a need in social media for relevant,
credible, and accurate information about issues
relating to mental health

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Types of Social Media

http://y-
desygn.com/ydesygnblog/
?tag=social-media

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Facebook

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Twitter

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Differences Between Static


Website & Facebook / Twitter
• People have to find and visit your website
• With Facebook and Twitter your content is delivered
right to the user.

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Youtube

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Squidoo & Wikipedia

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Patients Like Me

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Old Model

Storytelling

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Old Model vs.


Seth Godin’s Model

www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/seth_godin_on_the_tribes_we_lead.html

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Seth Godin on the tribes we lead


• Tribes: it’s about leading and connecting people
o They are everywhere
o They are becoming more global

• Key Features:
o Create change because the people in them
want to connect around an issue
o Not about mass products or messages
o Made up of “true believers”

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Benefits of Building a Tribe


Builds Trust
You can Offer your services because you are the
Perceived expert
Gives you Outstanding visibility
Increases Familiarity
Makes you credible
Increases referrals
Builds New relationships
Demands higher prices

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Benefits of Building a Tribe


Builds Trust
You can Offer your services because you are the
Perceived expert
Gives you Outstanding visibility
Increases Familiarity
Makes you credible
Increases referrals
Builds New relationships
Demands higher prices

~ UpsideDownIceberg, youtube.com

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First Steps
1. Start Small
2. Find interested people (your Tribe)
3. Provide quality content
4. Capture their information
5. Stay in touch

Remember, “pick yourself instead of waiting to get


picked.”
- http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/03/reject-the-tyranny-of-being-
picked-pick-yourself.html

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Advanced Step
• Purchase target ads
o Google AdWords
o Facebook Ads

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Building Referrals
Multi-pronged approach
• Develop content that people find when searching,
googling online… want to be found by people who
would fit into your tribe.
• Develop content relevant to other professionals in
your field.

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Connecting with Clients


• Develop content that is relevant to your tribe.
o Book reviews
o Links to articles
o Blog posts written by you
o Community resources

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Advocacy
• Use social media to get information in front of all
your networks.
• Connect with (aka follow) stakeholders to increase
visibility of yourself and your message.
• Connect with decision makers for the purpose of
direct advocacy.

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9 Tips for Quality Content


1. Make your opinion known
2. Link like crazy
3. Write less: 250 words is enough
4. Make headlines snappy
5. Write with passion
6. Edit your post
7. Make your content easy to scan
8. Be consistent with your content and style
9. Use keywords

http://www.problogger.net/archives/2005/12/30/tens-
tips-for-writing-a-blog-post/

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Social Media Template


• Professional-looking website: THE HUB
o With blog… aim for one post per week.
• Facebook professional page.
o 1st invite everyone you know to follow you.
o Add Facebook details to marketing material and
invite clients to follow you (be sure to explain
how professional pages work)
o Great for micro blog posts
o Link to your website every time you post
o Use pictures

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Social Media Template (cont.)


• Twitter account, configured so that your Facebook
posts are automatically posted to Twitter.
• Up-to-date Linkedin Profile
• Bonus:
o Create your own Youtube channel
o Get active on community listservs
o Write articles for Wikipedia or Scribd

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Ethical Considerations
• Separate professional and personal personas and
use appropriate privacy settings
• Address social media guidelines in your privacy
policy, and /or personnel policies
• Inform clients upfront that you will not accept
“friend” requests from them. Explain that this is to
protect the counseling relationship and confidential
client information
• Don’t post inappropriate pictures or information on
your personal social media sites

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Ethical Considerations (cont.)


• Avoid defamatory remarks online about anyone
• Don’t document information from the client’s online
profiles/information without their consent
• Consider the ethical implications of looking at
clients’ online information without being invited
• Whatever appears online should be considered
permanent – it may be there forever!
• Social media advances faster than guidelines

~ Bertram & Wheeler , 2011

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What’s Needed in the


Mental Health Field
• Clearer ethical guidelines
• Training on use of social media
• Embrace social media in education programs
• Greater participation from counselors

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The Future of Social


Media in Our Profession
• Emergence of new tools to help health professionals
communicate with each other
• Reviews of health professionals (similar to Yelp)
o Enable consumers to make informed decisions
about their treatment
o Increase level of accountability for health
professionals
• Proliferation of mobile apps for:
o e.g. Symptom & treatment management

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Conclusions
• Social media is THE technology shifting how mental
health professionals need to market themselves
&their ideas
• E-patients turn to social media for health
information which informs their medical decisions
• Mental health professionals can utilize social media
to connect with prospective and current clients and
to advocate for the counseling profession
• Most social media is free, and developing a social
media presence takes little time and little ongoing
commitment – it’s fun!

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