Last night was our very first mentor meeting of 2017 and boy was it good! The topic was “Social Media and Your Doula Business,” something I’m sure we all can appreciate. It is basically impossible to have a successful business these days without a strong online presence, and this can no longer be accomplished with just a website. Social media has given marketing and advertising a whole new face and it’s imperative to understand at least the basics.
I, for one, am grateful that the Utah Doula Association shows how much it values its members by having monthly mentor meetings. The UDA wants to support you as you build and grow your doula business. These meetings are a fabulous opportunity to learn from the more seasoned doulas and – in this month’s case – learn from Social Marketing pro April de Haan.
With her adorable Australian accent April explained how she actually knew very little about what a doula is and what we do. But you would never know that with how beautifully she presented information to us on branding, best times to post, how many characters are recommended and even how many hashtags are appropriate. Who knew it was such a science? After studying and working in social marketing for 12 years, April certainly knows the ins and outs of social media.
She made us great little pamphlets to take home. The first few pages went through Instagram and Twitter. (Did you know retweeting too often can be a bad thing? Yea, neither did I.) Image sizes are crucial to your posts as well, which was well covered in the Best Practice table. This table featured Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Image size, text length, frequency of posts, links/hashtags and videos were all covered in one convenient little page to reference.
Clearly, in order to post anything you must have content: something to talk about and engage your followers. It’s not always easy to be creative, but taking time each week to brainstorm is so important to always have new data. Your followers and potential clients want to see that you are active. They want to see you posting, informing, creating dialogue and engaging.
With this in mind, April outlined the content pyramid for us. The base of your pyramid is information. You want to be posting in this category about 3 times/week. Next is conversation; aim to start discussions 2 times/week. The third tier is entertainment, which should be done weekly. Funny videos or memes are perfectly acceptable and encouraged! The fourth tier is sales. Limit this to 1 or 2 times a month. Let potential clients know about any specials you’re offering, but don’t bog them down. And finally, at the top of the pyramid is teaching. Are you in a position to teach a monthly class? Can you give a presentation at an expo or Positive Birth meetup? These are great ways to let people know you are active and passionate in your field.
All of the social media channels offer insights into your page. How many views are you getting? Who is the majority of your audience? How many clicks to your website? Learning how to use these tools can be invaluable when it comes to attracting the right clients for you.
Ask any of the doulas who attended this meeting and I am sure they will all tell you how excited they were to go home and work on some of the things we learned. Be sure to join us at our next mentor meeting on Saturday, March 4 where we will have an experienced doula panel to answer all your questions about doula work! Learn more here.
If you are interested in getting in touch with April de Haan:
(435) 640-5030 firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @apesicles LinkedIn: au.linkedin.com/in/aprildehaan
Melissa Olson- Birth Doula Bundles of Joy Doula Services