Considering that nearly 90 percent of adults in the US use social media to search for health information, it is not surprising that Facebook for medical practices has become a key marketing tactic. In an ever-competitive healthcare landscape, social media marketing for medical practices has moved from being optional to essential.
Getting started using Facebook for medical practices may seem like a simple task; however, creating a successful Facebook profile requires planning and ongoing effort. By following best practices for social media in healthcare, you can create a strong Facebook presence that will attract and retain patients.
How Can Facebook Be Used for Medical Practice Marketing
Most of us are familiar with Facebook for personal use. It is where we catch up with old friends, connect with the community, and keep in touch with distant family. While a Facebook page for business is very different, there are some similarities. Like personal Facebook pages, Facebook for doctors also is an excellent platform for healthcare providers to connect and communicate with patients.
Facebook for medical practices can:
- Communicate your practice’s values and mission
- Create a two-way conversation between your practice and patients
- Establish trust and nurture patient loyalty
- Provide useful health tips and reminders for health screenings
- Remind patients of services available and announce new offerings
- Introduce new and existing providers to patients
- Build community through fun and engaging content
- Provide testimonials from other patients (with written permission)
- Strengthen your practice reputation through interactions such as positive comments left by patients
“Over 79% of patients seek out online reviews as the first step to finding a new healthcare provider.” – Let’sGetChecked.com
Develop a Facebook Content Marketing Strategy
As tempting as it might be to dive right into Facebook healthcare marketing, you first need to create a strategy. Start by appointing at least one administrator to manage the page. This person will be responsible for creating posts, ads, and monitoring interactions.
Like an empty storefront, an empty business page, or one without recent posts, can leave prospective patients with a negative perception. If you want to engage your audience, you will need to fully populate your profile before it launches and continue to post regularly. Creating a content calendar will help you stay on track, as will building a content library, including:
- Photos and videos of your staff, facility, equipment, and building
- Infographics and interesting statistics
- “Voice of reason” posts on current hot topics in health
- Inspiring stories
- Motivational quotes
- Posts for designated health awareness days, weeks, or months
After your page is filled with content, start promoting your Facebook page. Encourage your staff to “like” and share your page with friends and colleagues. Include links to your Facebook page on your website, email signatures, and promotional materials.
60% of doctors believe that their participation in social media has improved patient care.
Best Practices for Your Medical Practice’s Facebook Page
Healthcare providers know that a care plan based on best practices is essential for good outcomes. The same is true for Facebook for medical practices. Following best practices for social media in healthcare will optimize your social media presence and ensure that your time and marketing dollars are spent wisely.
It may seem obvious, but for an effective Facebook page, you should begin by verifying your page and ensuring that your profile is complete, accurate, and current. A solid profile will lend credibility to your Facebook page as well as your practice. Filling in all the details also will help with Facebook’s algorithm.
Just like doctors check patients for certain symptoms to assess wellness, the algorithm looks at profiles and serves up content to users who might find it valuable. Be sure to include:
- Phone number
- Website URL
- Days and hours available
- Complete list of services
- Other social media tags (Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
- Mission statement for your organization
Next, you will choose your profile picture. Rather than using just any photo, your profile image should be a high-quality image file of your branded logo. This image should be consistent with what you use on your website and other accounts.
If there is an image that captures your practice’s personality and values, feel free to add this as your cover photo. However, keep in mind that many professional social media accounts will also use official branding for cover photos as well.
After you’ve uploaded your profile and cover photos, check and see how they look on your mobile device. Since 96% of users access Facebook through their mobile devices, this step is extremely important.
91% of consumers say online communities influence healthcare decisions.
Paid Promotion through Facebook Ads
Healthcare is a business, and at times, healthcare businesses need to promote their services through paid advertising. As you consider opportunities to attract new patients, keep in mind what Facebook ads for doctors have to offer.
There are two ways to drive patients to your Facebook page. One is organic, which simply translates to free posts. Photos of physicians, health tips, and inspiring patient stories are powerful tools in your Facebook healthcare marketing toolkit. Best of all, these kinds of organic posts are free. To drive organic traffic, you need engaging content that will trigger Facebook’s algorithm. The more “reacts” and comments that your post receives, the better chance you stand to boost traffic. It is also important to frequently post fresh content.
However, your competitors are likely posting the same kinds of content, so how do you stand out in a crowded healthcare space? That is where paid Facebook ads for medical practices come into play. Because there is a cost attached to these opportunities, paid ads should be strategically targeted. For example, if you have a pediatric specialty, you can target individuals who have shown an interest in daycare facilities.
Fortunately, Facebook has technology that will help you create targeted ads based on location and demographics at a low cost. To get started placing Facebook ads for medical practices:
- Set your budget
- Look at your page’s insights (located at top of your page)
- Create your post with a strong call to action (e.g., schedule an appointment)
- Choose your audience based on insights
- Pay for your ad and choose when you would like it to run based on when your targets are most likely to be active on social media
- Boost it to post
Summary: Facebook for Medical Practices
Social media is here to stay. If your practice doesn’t get on board with Facebook, you risk losing valuable opportunities to engage with current and prospective patients. You may feel a bit lost using Facebook from a business account rather than a personal one for the first time, but with a little planning, your Facebook page can be a success. Just remember to:
- Create a content plan and calendar for posts
- Post timely, relevant content at regular intervals
- Invite patients and staff to follow your Facebook page to grow your audience
- Review page insights to learn more about your followers
- Create ads and boost posts to draw attention to your services
Don’t forget, social media is designed to be fun! Feel free to add humorous medical or health-related posts, games, or contests to the mix to keep your audience engaged and entertained.
iHealthSpot Can Help
Social media is one of the most cost-effective digital marketing strategies available today. Through sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter you can start a conversation with your patients and build lasting relationships while attracting new patients.
However, not every practice has the time, resources, or expertise to create and maintain an active Facebook page. But we can help! Our social media marketing experts can take care of building and managing your Facebook page with:
- Engaging posts unique to your practice
- Strategic campaigns to gain followers and “likes”
- Community management and outreach
- Ongoing monitoring and professionally crafted responses
Contact us today and find out how easy it is to grow your practice with Facebook!