After giving a webinar presentation just this morning about social media marketing, one of the attendees submitted a question: "Do I really need to be on social media? I have tried Facebook before and it doesn't work."
So let's answer that question for the benefit of all of us as a group.
YES! You do need to be on social media. And Facebook is still the one that you need to select to focus your efforts on first.
Facebook commands 1.35 billion users and 1.2 billion mobile users. In the United States and Canada there are 206 million active daily Facebook users — my math whizzes tell me that is over 80 percent of the combined population of both countries.
Now tell me about how your patients aren't on Facebook?
Hopefully that is settled in your mind as well. Next, we must address the "I have tried Facebook and it doesn't work" statement. It really is the elephant in the room.
Facebook is the most highly targeted method at your disposal of reaching your prospective patients with your unique marketing message. It is also the least expensive. So why isn't it working for you? Here are the top mistakes I see practices make on Facebook and how to avoid them:
1. The wrong kind of Facebook page. It is important that your practice operates a business page that is geared for places with brick and mortar locations, not a personal page. Business pages are important for many reasons, but primarily because they allow for targeted advertising and provide excellent data insights. It is also against the Terms of Service for Facebook to operate a personal page as a business page.
2. Poorly sized header and profile images. You don't want your practice brand to look sloppy and unprofessional. Make sure all images are put together within the proper dimensions specifically designed for Facebook.
3. Correctly set up "about" and "info" tabs. You need to make sure this information is filled out properly so that the correct information comes up easily and directs your patient or prospective patient to the page they want, quickly, without having to click through multiple pages just to find your physical address.
4. Being too spammy. What is spammy? Promoting, promoting, promoting. It is the quickest way to drive down engagement. No one likes to be sold to and when you over-promote you are pushed to the bottom of Google's newsfeed because few people interact with a sales pitch. You should aim for an 80 percent/20 percent split. For every 10 posts you make, two can be promotional in nature.
5. Neglecting to respond to feedback. It is important that you don't just set your posts to automatically post and then never check in to respond to feedback and engage with the community you are creating. You should also appropriately respond to both negative and positive feedback.
Are you making any of these mistakes? Tell us in the comments section below.