How many organizations, small and large, stop after step 1 of this simple 2-step formula? Sadly, far too many. Neglecting a Facebook page – or any other digital property – is one of the most common social media management mistakes. And it’s a big one.
It is tempting to believe that if you build it, they will come. But they will not. Not unless you let people know about it, make it interesting, offer opportunities for interaction, and keep it fresh. Facebook mastered the push-out mechanism, making it incredibly easy to define and reach your desired target audiences, but as the saying goes, it won’t work unless you do.
It works like SEO – search engine optimization – for your website. Complex algorithms are constantly judging the content, context and relevance of your material against keywords, and ranking it accordingly. Google et al want their users’ searches to be productive. Facebook wants to be popular. It wants to be liked.
So how can a dental practice optimize Facebook without turning it into a full-time job? Here are a few tips we’ve compiled:
- Involve your team. Add Facebook strategy to your weekly team meeting agenda. Or devote one team lunch every month to brainstorm content ideas.
- Assign a Champion. You’re bound to have at least one person on your team who would like to take this on as part of their job – with a reasonable time commitment of course so as not to interfere with other tasks. If not a team member, find a digital native: a son, daughter, or local college student who would love a part-time job.
- Be helpful. Supply facts, health information and useful links that will inspire your readers to like, love, be wowed by, and share your posts. Following you is the ultimate Facebook compliment. Be worthy.
- Try a little empathy. Publish what your think patients want to buy, not just what you want to sell. Special offers for Facebook friends are useful to reward followers and attract new business.
- Go for the visual. Photos, graphics, videos, and colour all add to readability. Before-and-after procedure photos are always popular – just make sure that you have permission for any photo you use.
- Stand out. Facebook algorithms are able to distinguish original and distinctive content. If it judges your post newsworthy, it will push your content to news feeds.
- Think local. Your existing and prospective patients are within convenient proximity. Get interested and involved in community events and report on them.
- Repurpose your content. Market your practice to even more people in your community by posting each of your messages on other social media like Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and Twitter.
- Get help. Ask your staff, family, friends and existing patients to like and follow you. Even better, ask them to post and share testimonials on their personal pages. Facebook gives higher visibility to an original post on a personal page.
- Using, monitoring and managing your Facebook page is a vital aspect of overall Reputation Management. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on this topic!
The most important takeaway from this post is the emphasis on fresh and frequent activity on your page. Attention spans are short and digital multi-tasking is the norm. So when it comes to a company page on Facebook, use it… or lose it.