Every medical practice needs a Facebook marketing strategy — but there’s a right way and wrong way to go about setting it up.
The notion that Facebook is an important marketing channel isn’t exactly breaking news — the platform’s 1.94 billion users and projected 39.1% share of the total U.S. display ad revenue in 2017 kind of say it all.
But for physicians and other medical specialists, just getting a Facebook presence up and running (properly) can be a real challenge. If you’re considering investing in Facebook marketing for your practice (or want to revamp your current approach), here are a few tips and tricks to help get you started on the right foot.
Build Your Practice’s “Company Page”
Within the medical community, using a personal Facebook account to represent your brand is often viewed as unprofessional — you’ll want to build an official company page, which will serve as your primary channel for interaction and engagement on the network.
Of course, Facebook outlines the basics of creating an account in its Help Center, but here are a few healthcare-specific tips that will help boost the efficacy of your page:
- Make your contact info clear and easy to find: be sure you include your phone number, typical hours of operation, address, and a link to your main website, just like would on a business directory listing or your site’s “Contact Us” page.
- Include photos and videos: Facebook users prefer visual-based content. Be sure to provide compelling images and videos that highlight your facilities, staff, and general expertise in your field.
- Calls to action (CTAs) are key: the primary goal of your page is to get patients to visit your website and/or call your offices directly. Make sure you’re giving them plenty of opportunities to do so by including clear and highly visible CTAs throughout your page.
Start Generating Content
Before you start promoting or inviting people to your page, you’ll want to make sure it’s well-populated with an interesting array of content. Good Facebook posts typically include a visual element like an image or infographic (as I already mentioned, visual posts tend to outperform text-only ones). If you do include text, try to keep it short and digestible — you don’t want your target audience’s eyes glazing over from a long-winded, technical explanation of a condition or treatment.
A good workaround for this is to use Facebook posts to promote longer-form, onsite content, such as a blog post, interview or podcast. This approach comes with the added benefit of sending more qualified traffic to your site, where there’s an increased chance for conversion.
Connect With Your Target Audience
Start growing your practice’s Facebook fan base by leveraging existing networks — invite current patients, colleagues, and friends to “like” your page so you have a solid foundation of followers Now start linking some of your other on- and offline marketing efforts to your new page. For example, start promoting your Facebook page in your email signature, on your website, and even on informational/promotional brochures.
You can also join and start posting in Facebook groups largely made up of your target patient demographic (for example, if your practices specializes in sports medicine, you could look for local running or health and fitness clubs). Just make sure you’re not being overly advertorial — coming across as “spammy” will likely do more harm than good.
Invest In Facebook Advertising
If you want to boost your Facebook marketing strategy to the next level, you should consider investing in Facebook advertising. Facebook’s advanced ad platform allows you to target patients based on key demographic information (e.g., age, gender, ethnicity, geographic location, language, income, and more), as well as their interests (e.g., interests they list on their profiles, specific Pages they like, and other ads they’ve clicked on in the past).
Of course, seeing a positive ROI will require a properly designed, implemented, and actively managed campaign. Just like Google, Facebook’s primary objective is to provide a positive experience for its users, so it’s constantly updating its algorithms and capabilities in accordance with consumer feedback and shifting preferences. In other words, there's no such thing as a set-it-and-forget-it approach. That said, the potential returns on a Facebook campaign make it well worth the effort and investment — you just need to make sure both are being spent in the wisest way possible.