No matter what you think of the social media monster on a personal level — some people love Facebook and spend hours on it every day; others think it’s a place to look at everyone else having fun while they are stuck in their drab existence — Facebook has real value for businesses, including your practice. We’ve discussed this in other posts. Your practice’s Facebook for Business page is the place where you can let your patients and potential patients see a lighter, less serious side of your practice. It’s a place to show photos of your aesthetician’s new puppy or a recipe for an upcoming holiday. You can mix photos of your new IPL device with links to a 5K run your practice is sponsoring.
But it can be challenging coming up with interesting, engaging posts, and that can lead to the downside with these pages — you must actively post on them; otherwise they have no value. Actually they can have a negative value, as you seem unengaged with your patients who are bothering to check out your page.
At MyAdvice, we handle the Facebook practice pages for many of our clients, delivering four posts every week. But if you’ve opted to handle your own posts, here are some tips on what to do and not do on your practice’s Facebook page.
Make it worth their time
Everyone’s time is valuable. So, once a patient likes your page, make it worth her while. Posting bland content about a seminar you just went to in the Virgin Islands may not be very intriguing to your patients (they could even think it was their procedures that paid for your trip!), but describing a new treatment that you saw at the seminar and that you’re going to add to your practice is intriguing.
Don’t get carried away with every post being about your latest spot on the local news. Yes, that has value, to a degree. But when your page becomes all about you, the value begins to decrease.
Try to mix content about your practice (new treatments, specials, bios about new employees, and such) with some links to outside stuff such as a survey on breast augmentation satisfaction or tips on skin care and the like.
It’s important that visitors to your practice Facebook page feel it’s worth their time and that you value them. That way their loyalty to your practice will build.
Vary the type of content
Everyone is all about video on the Internet these days. News sites make videos that are really just cryptic quotes from the print story overlaid atop stock photos. It’s video for the sake of having “video,” but it’s really just a slideshow. Lame. The assumption is that no one reads, but that’s not true.
Reality is that everyone likes varied content. Mix photos with links to interesting outside content. Use videos where they fit, not just to have video. A video of a new device in use is good video. A video of that new device just sitting in your office is not good video. If you really like this month’s blog on your website, make a link to it. Throw in occasional silly stuff, like a photo caption contest.
Keep your content variable and your followers will keep coming back to see what’s on your page because they won’t know what to expect.
Offer specials on a regular basis
If you want to offer specials on your practice Facebook page, make them a regular event. Maybe you do a monthly special with a discounted treatment or service. If you keep the same timeframe, patients will hit your page looking to see what this month’s special is. To redeem it, have them mention they saw it on your Facebook page when booking their appointment.
Don’t go all Tolstoy on your visitors
Great content on your website needs to be relatively involved. After all, medical procedures are anything but simplistic. But on your practice Facebook page brevity is key. Your visitors will be more likely to read and interact with your posts if they are between 100 and 250 words. If you have a longer item, such as a story about a public health issue you read in a magazine, briefly describe the topic and then supply a link to the actual story. Don’t regurgitate the story in your post.
Let your practice’s hair down
Your practice’s Facebook page is the place you can step away from your typical role as the serious, studious, experienced surgeon, dentist, dermatologist, or other medical professional. Here, you can post a video of your cat doing high-speed laps around your living room. You can post a picture of your office manager on her trip to Kathmandu. You can post a funny cartoon from that morning’s paper, especially if it involves your medical specialty.
People don’t expect serious content on Facebook. Those that do are the people who are open to false news and conspiracy theories. Most people just want to have some fun and see what’s going on with their friends. Think of your practice posts in that way, and you’ll gain a new level of loyalty with your patients.
The secret to engaging posts on your practice Facebook page is really nothing more than thinking creatively. Whether it’s you or someone in your office you have tasked with posting, think of things you would engage with if you were visiting the page.
Is Halloween coming up and you’re a dental practice? Don’t post a mini diatribe about candy and the need to hand out dental floss at your home. Ugh. Post a link to a story about the five easiest costumes you can make at home, or a photo series of the best pet costumes.
If you’re a dermatologist and you want to make a post about when a mole could become skin cancer, post a couple of pictures of a healthy mole and a potentially cancerous mole. Then maybe throw in one of a garden-variety mole, just for a chuckle. “Which mole should you be concerned about?”
Remember, no matter what you post, consistency is key. You need to post at least twice each week. Less than that can seem disinterested. And if you don’t feel that you have the time, we can handle your posts for you. Our MyAdvice team is well versed in creating just the posts your practice’s Facebook visitors will enjoy. For our Facebook customers, we provide four posts every week.