If you measure success in terms of number of patients walking in your practice and expecting quick results then this article is not for you.. I believe that Facebook is a platform that can help to build reputation & add value to your practice. You can leverage this platform and use it as Connect between your practice and patients.
Won't you like to have a warm and welcoming Facebook presence for your existing as well as potential patients? If your answer is yes then go on reading...
Here are some Do's and Don'ts that you should follow on Facebook
A. FACEBOOK PROFILE Vs PAGE
Would you ever like to mix your personal and professional life? I'm sure you won't, then why not have a dedicated Facebook Page for your practice? Facebook Pages are for business, simple to create have several advantages over a profile and absolutely FREE!
1. A Facebook profile has limit of 5000 friends whereas there's no limit for friends/followers on a page.
2. If you try to approach unknown people via your profile, you will get blocked on the contrary with a page you can reach people who you think can be your potential patients without getting annoyed.
3. All your on page activities are measurable. You can even get accurate analysis for people who saw/clicked or visited your website which helps you to understand what kind of content your audience like. This feature is not available for Facebook profiles.
4. With a Facebook page you can delegate responsibility of sharing updates. The same page can be managed by multiple profiles and different responsibilities can be allocated to them. Your receptionist will be able to do this job easily with simple training and you will be able to track all her activities on page.
B. LIKES Vs ENGAGEMENT
You might think that Page Likes are important but as per my experience the emphasis should be on user Engagement. Here's my explanation for what I have said.
We all know that one can buy Facebook Likes for page. Suppose you got 10,000 paid likes; now you will expect that whenever you post on your page it will be notified to all the 10K people who have liked your page.. but here you go wrong. As per the current Facebook algorithms your update will be shown in news feed of only 1/10th of your total likes.
This means you will have to pay further Facebook in order to reach remaining 9K people who have liked your page. You will have to spend in the ratio of approximately 10:1 for Like: Engagement. So isn't it a better idea to focus on Page Engagement for which it takes only 10% of your budget?
The target audience differs from practice to practice based on its location, age group, class, specialty etc. While targeting you have all the options to target the post to a particular group of people.
In fact you can target your ad specifically to a custom audience by updating your database of either mobile numbers or email address.
When you spend on Facebook Marketing; make sure you hit audience that matters to your practice.
Just like your profile you can share images, links, videos or even blogs on your page. As per the current algorithms Facebook gives priority to videos and it is shown in news feed of maximum users who have liked your page.
When you share an update be careful, people are too busy, they don't have time to go through long articles or videos; instead share short links of your articles or blogs just like I did for this blog. If patients like what they see, they’ll click to read more just like you. Also never scare your visitors by posting images/cases with blood field.
One more important aspect about sharing an update is the frequency, well that completely depends on you. You can share a post every day or every week as per your convenience but be consistent and avoid overdoing.
You can also schedule posts for a particular day and time which will make your job simple...
If your patients or say potential patients are going to take the time to post comments and ask questions, you should take the pain to respond to their questions in a timely manner. If a non dentist is handling your page and the person doesn’t know the answer, then he or she should get the correct information from you and respond.
F. CALL TO ACTION
At the end of the day you will be doing it all either to add value to practice or to get more patient appointments. You have to decide what your goal is and place a call to action button and direct your visitors to respective place such as your blog, website or appointment booking widget.
You can place widgets on your Facebook page for online appointment, You tube channel, Twitter, Blogger etc. Widgets will help to engage your visitors further.
Online things change so fast that I can't deny the possibility that this article would get obsolete tomorrow morning. So I would request you all to keep your knowledge updated so that you can have strategies as per changing Facebook algorithms.
And One Last Serious TIP:
Do not invite your dentist friends to like your page
Because they are not going to be your patients ever!
Dr.Pranav Agale is director of Viva LifeCare Pvt. Ltd. and DentistFriend.com is his brainchild. He is an MBA & holds experience in branding and marketing.
Cover Image Courtesy: Google Images