If you’re perusing our MyAdvice blog, you’ve no doubt read about the need to have a Facebook page for your practice. No matter how you feel about Facebook on a personal level (and there are lots of things not to be a fan of), for medical practices, a Facebook page is a great way to really engage with your patients (and potential patients) outside of your office, plus it’s free. Of course, the time spent making posts on your page isn’t free, but it is time well spent,
Here are some great ways to get the most out of your practice’s Facebook page.
Make it complete
Fill it out. Facebook practice pages are only as good as the content on them. Put in pictures of your offices and your staff. Show some of your newest equipment. Be sure to include your hours, various contact options, and a link to your website.
The only reason to have a practice Facebook page is to engage with your patients and potential patients. To do that, you need to show them your page is active and worth visiting regularly. Decide how often you want to make new posts; a few times per week is recommended to keep your page relevant.
Strive for quality content. If you have a new piece of equipment, you could even promote a brief Facebook Live event to your followers for a first look at the new technology.
Once you make a post, pay attention to it. When visitors comment on a post, rather than simply liking it, that means it was more successful. How do you know? They had to take the time to think about and type a comment; that takes far more effort than simply clicking the heart. What types of posts get the best response? Make more of those posts going forward.
Make every post with an eye toward engagement: brief surveys are fun for visitors, photo caption contests of staff members, links to relevant stories, those kinds of things.
Use it to find out about your visitors
Once you have some people who have liked, followed, and visited your page, check the stats on them. The Audience Insight tools tell you more information about your visitors than you would think. If your visitors skew to a certain age group, target posts that fit their interests.
Shared content is the best content
OK, this isn’t a sappy Hallmark card. But posting content that visitors share with others is the path to more people following and liking your page. And those people are all potential new patients. If you make a post about a new procedure that is offered in your area, only at your practice, your current patients are likely to share that with their friends who may then become future patients.
Respond to their responses
If a visitor to your page posts a comment, it deserves a reply from you. That can seem tedious and isn’t always necessary, but it usually is a good idea. It shows the visitor that you’re engaged with them and paying attention.
Of course, if a gripe or complaint is posted on your Facebook page, it should be addressed immediately. If it is something easily fixable, offer the fix. If it is more complicated, respond to show you acknowledge the problem and then offer to talk with the person on the phone or in a direct email. Complicated problems need to be addressed one on one with the person, not on Facebook. Of course, after you’ve resolved their problem, it doesn’t hurt to have them update their post to acknowledge your attentive service.
Show you’re a member of the community
Also, use your Facebook page to show you’re a part of the community. Is there a festival this weekend down at City Square? Post about it with a link to the event’s webpage. News of an upcoming food drive? Post it. Go beyond the immediate practice subject matter from time to time to show you’re an engaged part of the community.
Post about specials
Have a summer special procedure, like CoolSculpting, on a hot summer day? Put it up on your Facebook page. Better yet, put it up with a caption contest attached to it. Then give the winner of the caption contest your special for free.
Keep with it
Your practice Facebook page can seem like an ongoing monster chewing up content day after day, but you can’t think of it like that. You need to think of it as one of your employees, interacting with your patients and potential patients. Think of it as a window into the personality of your practice, one that makes patients feel more attached and comfortable with your practice, one that fosters and reinforces long-term relationships. That kind of engagement is priceless, and on Facebook, it’s actually free.