Has Facebook Become Irrelevant for an ECP Practice?
by Bob Main - Web Presence Coach/Consultant
Published April 2015
There have been a lot of changes to Facebook business pages in the past year which has made it a bit more involved to use, so it is prudent to ask the question, “Has Facebook become irrelevant for the average ECP practice?”
The days of posting on a Facebook business page and expecting it to show up in your followers’ newsfeeds for free is almost gone. On average, Facebook will show your post to about 5% to 7% of your followers. Period! So that begs the question, how can the average ECP use Facebook to find new patients and keep their brand in front of followers/patients? Has Facebook become a “big business” marketing tool and the small ECP practice is left out of the picture, AGAIN?!?!
On the surface, it does look bleak. However, if the average ECP digs a little deeper into the facts and spends a small amount of money on Facebook marketing, Facebook can be an even more powerful marketing tool than before the changes. Actually, Facebook (if used properly) can be one of the most powerful marketing tools available to an ECP practice.
There are several keys to finding the “magic of Facebook”.
1) Posts must be engaging. If your posts are engaging, then the few people that do see them in their newsfeed organically will Like, Share, or Comment on the post. This tells Facebook algorithms that people find this post interesting and will show it in more people’s newsfeeds. An engaging post will have an eye-catching photo, enticing question, or professionally encourage people to share the post. (Click here to get some ideas on how/what to post.) Adding a short video to a Facebook post will also increase engagement dramatically. If you upload the video on Facebook (rather than providing a link to a video), then the video will play automatically when someone views it in the newsfeed, increasing engagement even more.
2) Boost a post. If a post seems to be getting good engagement (has proven that it is interesting), it might be a good sign that this is a post that will be interesting to more people on Facebook. So paying Facebook to “boost” or show the post to a targeted group of people might be a good investment.
When setting up the boost, you can select who should see the post in their newsfeed. You can select to show it to more of your followers (and/or their followers), which will improve your brand awareness. You can also select to show it to non-followers and then target who should see the post in their newsfeed. This will allow you to introduce your practice to new, potential patients.
3) Promote a Page. There is a feature on Facebook that allows you to promote an entire Facebook business page. This is a bit more complicated, but when set up properly, it can present a display ad (graphic and text) to a targeted group of people in their newsfeed, thereby introducing your practice to new, potential patients on Facebook. This feature has some limitations, but is a good way to get more Likes for your Facebook page.
Even though Facebook has become primarily a “pay-to-play” platform, it doesn’t require a lot of marketing dollars to reach a lot of people. And with their audience targeting capabilities, the ROI can be very good. If done properly, Facebook can be some of the most effective and efficient marketing dollars an ECP practice can spend.
Above are the three basic ways to use Facebook to grow your practice. However, if you really want to take Facebook marketing to the next level and to maximize its practice growth potential (and marketing dollars), then you need to learn and use the Facebook Ads Manager. With this powerful tool, you will be able to create display ads that are hyper-targeted, provide more details in the ads, and get more options for the purpose of the ads (i.e. more Likes vs. more traffic to a website). The Ads Manager also has very good analytics that allow you to monitor and react to how your ads are doing. But, the Ads Manager is a bit more complicated and requires some training/education on how to use it.
To learn how to do all of the above features on Facebook, along with an introduction to the Ads Manager, watch this webinar replay.
The rumors that Facebook is irrelevant to the average ECP practice are not true – maybe. If all you are doing is posting on the practice’s Facebook page without using any of these extra marketing tools, then yes; the potential power of Facebook is greatly reduced. To realize Facebook’s marketing potential, go the extra mile and learn how to use these powerful marketing features. By doing this, any ECP practice can affordably tap into this powerful marketing platform, no matter what size the practice.
Want to learn more? Attend our next webinar and get complete details how to use Facebook to grow your practice. Learn more and to register, click here.
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