Whether you hate to love it or love to hate it, Facebook has become a part of most Americans’ daily routines. The popular social media platform reaches more than two-thirds of U.S. adults, with the average Android user spending nearly 20 hours perusing their Facebook feed per month.
Yet, cutting through the clutter can be challenging — especially when you combine today’s competitive landscape with dwindling attention spans. More than 90 million small businesses are using its tools to connect with customers, and two-thirds of Facebook users report visiting the page of a local business at least once a week. But if you want to stand out and truly connect with prospective patients, simply having a Facebook business page isn’t enough. In this blog, you’ll learn new ways to expand your reach, attract new followers, and affirm your practice’s relevance.
5 ways to optimize your Facebook presence
- Connect with providers and patients by joining relevant Facebook Groups. Facebook Groups are designed to foster community by grouping people with similar interests. Groups keep more than 1.8 billion users engaged every month. Prospective patients who are active in these groups often use Groups to ask questions, look for answers, and find helpful resources.
As a healthcare provider, you may use Groups to build relationships with other providers in your specialty. Try connecting with your local community by joining relevant local groups and commenting when appropriate. Groups aren’t the place to be overly sales-y. Instead, offer helpful information and serve as a resource for others to help expand your reach and generate awareness for your practice and/or providers.
- Engage Facebook users with timely and relevant content. If you spend much time on Facebook, you know that just about every day is a holiday. And, let’s be honest, coming up with a constant stream of relevant content can be exhausting, so let the calendar help. There are dozens of healthcare observances throughout the year. Between those, traditional holidays, seasonal changes, and silly holidays, such as ‘Eat Your Vegetables Day’ (it was June 17 if you missed it!), you can keep your content timely and engaging. Whether you’re posting about seasonal allergies, tips for healthy eating during the holidays, or the many health benefits of eating your vegetables, keeping your content timely will keep followers engaged all year long.
- Add some personality. When it comes to healthcare social media, predictable healthcare content isn’t always likely to turn heads. While this type of activity is important, engage your Facebook followers further by connecting with them in unexpected ways. Try infusing some personality into your posts by sharing photos of your team at work having fun together. You could share photos of a holiday potluck or your practice staff decorating for Halloween, or maybe one of your doctors shares a photo of their favorite local hiking trail to encourage physical activity. In each of these instances, you offer your followers a more personal glimpse at your team that can help improve social media engagement while strengthening the patient-provider relationship.
- Share links. Facebook users spend a great deal of time reading articles posted by their friends and the businesses they follow. Consider sharing links on Facebook to your practice’s blog posts or compelling web copy to broaden the reach of your content — and to drive website traffic. If you don’t have time to generate your own content, there’s a wealth of valuable health information being published on a daily basis. Sources like Harvard Health, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Healthline, WebMD and others are a great place to start. Find relevant healthcare news content or recently published research that relates to your specialty, add your opinion and share the link with your followers.
- Keep a pulse on the conversation.
Communication is a two-way street that requires listening, and social media is no exception. When your followers comment on your posts, respond to keep the conversation going. Likewise, keeping an eye on your comments and Facebook reviews can help you maintain a positive online reputation. If you find negative feedback, respond quickly and offer to take the conversation offline until it’s resolved. Since 70 percent of patients say it’s very or moderately important to them that providers respond to negative reviews, this strategy can help prevent things from escalating and can reassure prospective patients that you’re committed to the patient experience.
Keep an eye on conversion
Facebook’s overall popularity makes it an ideal place to connect with patients and can keep your practice top of mind in between visits. When possible, remember to bring your healthcare social media posts back to your practice. Linking to your practice website, online scheduling page, or your blog when posting to Facebook will improve conversion rates and support long-term practice growth.