3 Methods to gain new followers
Any medical office that wants to be successful online should includes a robust social media plan. There are many social media tools available for growing medical practices, however Facebook still remains the proven platform to maximize patient awareness.
Facebook has over one billion active users with and average of five new users added every second. It is by the far the most widely used social media platform.
A Facebook user doesn’t just connect with friends and family, but they also can use Facebook to find a local business, read or write business reviews and even show support to the businesses and brands that are most important to them. Facebook will help you build your relationships with patients outside of the medical office. If used correctly, it can also help you acquire new patients and create awareness of your medical practice.
Attracting engaged followers to your Facebook page does not happen overnight. It takes time time but can be very rewarding. Here are 3 ways to grow your medical practice with Facebook.
1. Every Facebook page needs a Foundation
Here are some important things to check when reviewing your Facebook page:
- Ensure your practice location, business phone number, business fax number, email address and hours of operation are updated. Also if your staff has lunch hours, make sure those are updated as well.
- Create an easy to remember username for your Facebook practice page to make your Facebook URL more user-friendly. This way instead of your Facebook web page address appearing as facebook.com/pages/1234567, it will instead show as facebook.com/YourMedicalPracticeName. Your patients and your community will appreciate this.
- Include both short and long description of your medical practice. Have friends and family review your Facebook page descriptions with an objective point of view. Their suggestions can help determine if patients will click on your page.
- Include your website page address in the “About Us” section. Also add your website page address in the long description. Adding your URL creates a backlink to your medical practice website which might improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
- Choose the subcategories that will best describe your target audience (i.e. surgeon, family doctor, OBGYN, integrative medicine, etc.).
- Always include information that can help patients such as driving directions, and where to park.
- Add real photos to make your Facebook page more personable. Real photos of the physicians and staff build trust.
2. Advertise your Facebook page with pride
Now that your Facebook business page is ready, make it known to your patients and the local community. Make sure to link your business page to your personal Facebook profile. You can do this by updating your personal page’s work and education field. Have your staff do the same so their Facebook networks are just a single click from your business page information.
Here are other effective ways to promote your medical practice’s business page:
- Place social media widgets to your medical website.
- Place social media widgets to your email signature.
- Add your Facebook Page address to marketing materials as well as business cards, and medical brochures.
- Add your Facebook Page address and practice signage.
- Send an email newsletter to existing patients. Offer a promotion or benefit of liking your Medical Practice Facebook page.
- Post patient health articles related to your practice on your Facebook page. These can be health tips, or an article discussing a new technology breakthrough or treatment.
- Use hashtags to reach people outside your network. Hashtags will make your post visible in the search results. Choosing a hashtag that is currently trending will help bring people outside of your network to your Facebook page. However too much hashtag can be perceived as spam.
3. How often to Post
Being consistent in the number of postings and the quality of the content are important. Commit to posting to your Facebook page several times per week to begin building a strong patient following.
Here are some pointers when creating posts for your practice:
- Research shows posts with relevant images receive greater views, shares and clicks. Social media users are almost 50% more likely to engage with your post when an image is included.
- Don’t just share a link to a health article or some other type of valuable patient content. Make sure to add your view to the post to make it personal.
- Keep your posts short and to then point. The post should stick to one theme or main idea.
- Make sure to respond to comments that you receive from any of your posts. Respond to comments as soon as possible.
It doesn’t matter if your Facebook page has been up and running for many years or for a few weeks, the very first step to getting traffic to your business Facebook page is to keep your practice information updated. Make sure the information posted on your Facebook page has appealing photos. This will get more people to follow your page and will certainly boost Medical Search Engine Optimization (MSEO) to your medical website.