Q: How can I use the Internet, along with social media, to gain more visibility for my private practice?
A: For private practitioners who know how to tap its riches, the Internet has become an abundant source of referrals. I know this firsthand, having gotten at least 50 referrals a month to my group practice from online sources for the past five years. In the old days—say around 2008—getting online referrals to your practice involved learning how to play the search-engine game and posting profiles on a few well-chosen therapist directories. However, the effectiveness of that strategy is now being compromised by three recent trends that have changed the face of Internet marketing, referred to collectively as the SoLoMo revolution—Social, Local, Mobile. Understanding them can help you take advantage of the opportunities they present to generate steady referrals. Best of all, much of what you need to get on board with SoLoMo is absolutely free.
In the past three years, social networking sites have overtaken search browsers as the most popular online activity, with four major services leading the charge. The leader of the pack, Facebook, passed Google in overall web popularity in 2010. User-generated content shared with friends has proven to be an addictive formula for more than 800 million people worldwide. An astonishing 30 billion pieces of content are…