Marketing a Medical Practice on Facebook
5 Methods to Attract New Followers to Your Medical Practice Facebook Page
A successful healthcare marketing plan for any medical office includes a robust social media strategy. While there are numerous social media platforms available for growing businesses, Facebook remains the proven platform to maximize patient engagement.
In fact, Facebook is the most widely used social media platform; it has over one billion active users with five new users added every second.
Facebook users not only enjoy connecting with friends and family on Facebook, but they also use Facebook to find local businesses, read reviews and support the brands that are important to them. As part of your social media strategy, Facebook can help you to expand your relationship with patients outside of your office. It can also help you to acquire new patients through referrals and an increased awareness of your practice.
Many businesses are tempted to pay for followers to grow the number of likes on their Facebook pages. While this may be an easy solution to increase numbers superficially, these followers will not engage with the content you post and will not convert to new patient appointments.
Attracting relevant, engaged followers to your Facebook page takes time but will earn you the most rewards. Here is how you can build your Facebook strategy to exponentially grow your medical practice.
1. Build a Solid Foundation
Whether your Facebook page has been live for years or you are new to the social media scene, the first step to increasing traffic to your medical practice’s Facebook page is to review, add and update your practice information. Accurate information with appealing photos will get you more followers and will boost SEO to your medical website.
Here is a checklist you can use when evaluating your Facebook page information:
- Add your location, phone number, email address and hours of operation to make relevant practice information accessible on your Facebook page without much effort.
- Create a username for your practice page to streamline the URL. That way instead of your URL appearing as facebook.com/pages/37429576, it will instead show as facebook.com/YourMedicalPractice. This makes your page easier to share with patients and your community.
- Include short and long descriptions of your practice. A good rule of thumb is to have family and friends review your page descriptions objectively. If they would not click on your page based on your description, neither will potential patients.
- Include your website URL in the provided “About Us” section as well as in the long description. Adding your website URL creates a backlink to your medical website which might improve your SEO.
- Choose a primary page category (i.e. Local business – doctor).
- Choose subcategories that better describe your specific target audience (i.e. integrative medicine, nutritionist, OBGYN, etc.).
- Include special information such as parking instructions or helpful driving directions.
- Add profile and cover photos. Your profile photo should be of a real person! Avoid using stock photography or an image that is unrelated to your practice. A photo of your team or lead healthcare provider makes your Facebook page more personable and builds trust.
2. Promote with Pride
Once your Facebook business page is optimized with thoughtful information and images, make it known to your community. Link your business page to your personal profile by updating your personal page’s work and education field. Encourage the rest of your staff to do the same so everyone in their networks are 1-click away from your business page information.
Here are more proven and effective ways to promote your medical practice’s business page:
- Add social media widgets to your medical website and email signature.
- Add your Facebook URL to marketing materials including business cards, brochures, print and digital advertisements and practice signage.
Send an email blast to current patients. Make sure to list a benefit of liking your Facebook page, so it does not appear as spam to your patients.
- Example: For the latest news from our practice including exclusive social media specials, follow [Practice Name] on Facebook!
- Create special incentive/contest for liking your Facebook page.
- Post an interesting article related to your practice (i.e. news article with health tips) on your Facebook business page. Share the article on your personal page to encourage your friends to explore your business page.
- Use hashtags to reach people outside your immediate circle of followers. Hashtags make your post visible in search results. Choosing a hashtag that is trending or often searched can help bring outsiders to your page. However, be mindful of your hashtag usage; too many hashtags can be perceived as spam.
3. Post Smart
There is no magic number in regards to social media posting. Consistency in posting and quality of content are the two important elements to remember. Commit to posting to your medical practice’s Facebook page 2-3 times per week to begin building a following.
Keep these thoughts in mind when formulating posts for your practice:
- Research shows posts incorporating images receive more overall views, clicks and shares. In fact, social media users are 44% more likely to engage with your content when an image is included.
- Follow the 80/20 rule to avoid too much self-promotion – 80% about them, 20% about you. When sharing a link to a health article or other type of valuable patient content, add your view to the post to personalize. Commenting with a short list is a great way to attract users to your posts, as lists are easier to follow than paragraphs of content.
- Keep your posts short and relevant. Each post should have one theme or main idea. If you find yourself trying to cram too many thoughts into one post, break it into separate posts. A post with too many ideas will appear cumbersome to Facebook users, increasing the likelihood that they do not engage.
- If you receive comments on any of your posts, make sure to respond! Leave a thoughtful response, pose an open-ended question to continue the conversation or “’like” the comments left on your posts to show your thanks. Whatever you do in response to comments, make sure it is timely. Responding within 24 hours is best.
4. Follow Smart
Strategic alliances with other relevant local businesses can help to attract local followers. Like the Facebook pages of businesses you work with regularly in your medical practice. This could include a local pharmacy, fitness center or health food store. Facebook uses page likes to help make suggestions on who to follow.
To save time, follow popular medical news sites that you trust. This will make it easier to share their content when it is posted, as it will be directly in your own news feed. Other pages you may frequently share from are also smart to follow, including pages with healthy eating recipes, workout routines or other health-related activities.
5. Evaluate Routinely
Once your page is optimized with accurate information and engaging posts, it is important to regularly review your Facebook business page the same way you would review your medical website.
Update the content of your page as it becomes outdated. A good rule of thumb is to spend 10 minutes, once a month to validate the information on your page. Add any new photos, staff member information or practice information. Consider refreshing your cover photo with a new service or product your office is carrying, a monthly special or an updated photo of your medical staff.
During this short monthly audit, check your Facebook Insights too. Your insights help you to determine which posts made the greatest impact on your patients’ news feeds by showing you post impressions, click, likes, shares, etc. Knowing which types of posts your patients respond to best can help you to formulate impactful posts in the future.
With millions of businesses on Facebook, don’t let your medical practice’s page get lost in your patient’s news feed. Here is what to remember:
- Optimize your page with the most up-to-date information.
- Use any opportunity to promote your Facebook page to your patients and community.
- Make the content of your posts interesting, unique and shareable.
- Form strategic community relationships to cross-promote your medical practice.
- Evaluate your Facebook page regularly and monitor the success of your strategy to make necessary improvements.