Many of us hear “Facebook,” and we think about our teenagers; as in, “OMG, Dad! You will not believe what I just saw on Becky’s Facebook page!” If this is what comes to mind when you hear the “F-word,” it might be time to expand your opinion. Facebook is not just for gossip and inane chatter. For effective marketing, do not underestimate the value of a Facebook page for your medical practice.
More and more patients are checking up on their potential doctors. There are two compelling reasons to set up a Facebook page for yourself or your practice.
1) It allows you to positively show your own personality, and control the information that shows up when your patient (and future patient) looks you up.
2) It’s free. You can’t beat that. The only time you have to pay for Facebook services is if you pay for advertising banners to show up on other people’s pages.
To get the most out of your Facebook page, you can do a couple of simple things. Post frequently; at least once a week. It can be as simple as saying something like “Happy Spring!” or as promotional as giving discounts or deals to people who “like” your page. Oh yes, and you want to encourage your patients to “like” you. It’s not about being popular, it’s about showing up in your patients’ “newsfeed.”
When a patient “likes” you, every time that you post on your page, they are notified of it on their own page. This means you stay fresh in their minds, and they feel a more familiar connection with you. Think of it as digital bedside manner.
One last tip about the best use of your Facebook page: link to other sites. Link to newspaper articles about your practice. Link to articles or educational sites about symptoms, testing, or treatments that are relevant to your office’s health philosophy. Definitely, if you have a blog, link to each new post. The more linking you do, the more your patients will appreciate your effort to go the extra mile. Also, outside links help your page show up faster in a search engine query for your name.