Often, it’s overlooked that healthcare is a business. It’s no surprise. Healthcare is an essential service. So, delivering care is the most important consideration.
But as a business, your medical practice needs a strong marketing presence. And in the digital age, Facebook must be a part of your strategy.
Often, Facebook is the first-place people look when researching a business. And the platform currently has 2.8 billion monthly active users.
So, how can you cut through the noise to engage existing and potential patients? By following a few best practices.
In this article, we’ll give you a Facebook Marketing 101 crash course.
Why Is It Important to Be on Social Media?
The_statistics don’t lie. Almost 60% of the world’s population, 4.66 billion people, are active internet users. Of those, 4.2 billion are active on social media.
Chances are that your target patients are on a social media platform. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or a social media messenger like WhatsApp._
Moreover, the reach of social media is incredible. If a few people share your posts then your message can reach hundreds of new people. We’ve all seen how something can go “viral” overnight.__
What Is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing isn’t only about posting messages on different platforms.
Successful social media marketing requires tailoring content to your target audience. This drives engagement and grows the visibility of your medical practice.
Think of it as if you needed to advertise an art exhibition. If you buy a large full-page ad in the newspaper, sure, you’ll gain exposure. But most people who see it won’t be your target audience.
Instead, you can hand out flyers at art schools and art supply stores. That way, you’re directly engaging an audience interested in your event.
This is how social media marketing works.
People follow your page because they are interested in your services. Then you engage them with relevant content. It’s efficient marketing.
Why Does Marketing on Social Media Make Sense for Health Care?
There are several reasons social media marketing is a good fit for medical offices.
People Have Questions, Medical Practitioners_Have Answers
For years, patients have self-diagnosed through WebMD. Now, social media has become a go-to source for health information. Or often, misinformation.
75% of people surveyed by the Journal of Medical Internet Research report using social media to learn about COVID-19. Although many didn’t fact-check. This demonstrates the need for medical providers to have an online presence.
The CDC understands this. The health organization is active on all major social channels. Its goal is to provide easy access to credible, science-based health information.
And by engaging with patients on Facebook, you’ll likely win new referrals. Social media is an incredible conduit for word-of-mouth recommendations. A WEGO survey found 91% of patients report online communities play a role in their health decisions. And 87% also tended to share information through Facebook.
Social Media Facilitates Peer Networking and Referrals
Social media also facilitates professional development between healthcare providers. Online doctor networks enable medical professionals to connect, share research, and swap opportunities.
And each professional interaction may end in a referral of a new patient. Not to mention, gaining more name recognition as you expand your network. _
Facebook Marketing Strategies for Medical Practitioners and Offices
Today, Facebook is a major hub for health information sharing among patients. So, it‘s an excellent place to establish your social media presence as a medical practitioner. Here are your first steps to develop a smart social media marketing strategy.
1. What’s in a Name?
If you haven’t created social media accounts for your practice, get to it. Start with Facebook, but don’t stop there.
First, use the same account name across platforms. This makes it easy for patients and peers to find you on different channels. If you have accounts with different names, select one preferred name. Then unify the name across accounts.
If you can use the actual name of your practice, great. If it’s taken, find an approximation that makes sense. Sometimes it’s as simple as adding “Office,” “Medical Office,” or “Family Practice’ to your name.
2. Encourage and Entice Patients and Visitors to Follow Your Facebook Page
Print out signs with your Facebook handle (name). Post them all over the office. Offer giveaways, shout-outs, news, and updates on your Facebook page.
Anything that makes your patients understand the value of following your Facebook page.
3. Create Content People Will Want to Share
Facebook makes it incredibly easy for users to share things they like with their followers. So, the key is to make content your followers_like, such as:
- Fact sheets about diseases and conditions. Debunking myths and common misconceptions. Or lists of resources.
- Humor related to the medical sector or the areas of your practice. Clean jokes, comics, and puns are fun to read.
- Videos, which_can be about anything listed above. You can also share something personal, like a spotlight on a staff member.
4. Make and Follow a Posting Schedule
Don’t let a lot of time pass between posts. Post more than once a week to keep your followers’ attention and to provide value through your page.
Your posts don’t all have to be original content. Share articles and reports that are relevant to your audience.
5. Consider Using Facebook Ads
Facebook Ads are great for connecting with your target audience. You can create a target audience based on a variety of factors. Select from location, gender, age, and more. This can give you access to a wider array of people, not just your followers.
As a medical professional, Facebook marketing might not be something you’ve considered. But it can have a major impact on your practice.
Start by creating a page on Facebook. Post signs in your office to encourage patients to follow your page. Then create engaging content relevant to your medical practice.
Soon, you’ll grow your business’s visibility. Ensuring the people who need your care can find it.
KEEP READING: 6 Tips to Master Social Media Marketing for Doctors