Do you have a Facebook page for your practice? If you do, and you’re using it only to interact with current patients, you are missing out on a powerful tool that can help you to attract people to your practice.
While other social media sites are growing fast, Facebook remains the largest – and most mainstream – of the social media options for businesses. With more than two billion active members worldwide, there is no denying that Facebook has the potential to help any business to grow. Using it for medical and health-related practices might not seem like an obvious choice, but this article will explore some of the many ways you can attract new patients, generate leads for your practice using Facebook.
Know Your Patient Base
If you want to use Facebook effectively, the first thing that any practitioner must do is to know their patient base. Facebook offers advertisers the ability to target their ads based on demographics (things like age, gender, and geographical location) as well as psychographics (hobbies, interests, and buying habits.) The more you know about who is most likely to be in the market for the services you offer, the better able you will be to make use of Facebook’s targeting tools.
One way to hone in on your ideal patient is to create an avatar – a physical and psychological representation of who your patient is. Ask yourself a series of questions about your patients, including:
- How old is my average patient?
- Where do my patients live?
- How much money do they earn?
- Do they have children?
- What are their interests?
If you treat a wide age range of patients, it may be that narrowing your target audience by age is not an option. However, the chances are good that your patients do have other things in common. The purpose of creating an avatar is to identify those things.
Pick a Goal and Audience for Your Ad
Any time you place an ad on Facebook, you have to pick a goal for the ad. For example, you might want to get more “Likes” on your Facebook page, drive traffic to your website, or increase the number of people making appointments. It is important to choose a purpose for your ad that matches your goal for your practice.
When choosing an audience for your ad, you can use the information that you uncovered when you created your avatar. One nice feature of Facebook is that, as you target your ad, it shows you the approximate size of your audience. Ideally, it is better to have a relatively small audience – say, several thousand people – who are highly likely to be interested in your services than it is to have a large, but untargeted, audience.
Create an Appealing Ad
Targeting is important, but if you want your ad to perform you need to make sure that the image and text you choose are irresistible to your target customers. Whatever your specialty is, your patients have options when it comes to choosing a practitioner. The key is to find a way to differentiate yourself from the competition, or to offer some enticement to convince new patients to make an appointment.
Some examples of effective enticements might include:
- A massage therapist offers a $50 massage to new patients
- A dentist provides a discount off the first cleaning for new patients
You might also consider using a teaser if you offer a unique service that patients are unlikely to find elsewhere. Remember that your ad will be appearing in your target audience’s newsfeed. That means you’ll be competing for attention with all kinds of posts from their friends and acquaintances, as well as from other pages they follow, and paid ads. Your ad needs to stand out. That is a crucial rule to generate leads for your practice using Facebook.
Your ad should also include a relevant and appealing image, and no more than 20% of the image can be text. That last part is a Facebook rule, so be careful not to overdo it with the text you include in your picture.
Make Your Landing Page Consistent with Your Ad
When a prospective patient clicks your Facebook ad and sees your landing page, it is important that the ad and your page be consistent with one another. If you are offering a special deal to first-time patients, your landing page should repeat that offer in similar language. Any disconnect between your ad and your page may be enough to cause a patient to navigate away – and that’s not the outcome you want.
Your landing page should be clean, easy to read, and a continuation of what you stated in your ad. If you do those three things, your conversion rate from a targeted audience will likely be very high.
Have an Easy Conversion Process
The final thing you need to do is to ensure that the process of converting (taking the desired action, such as making an appointment) is easy and frictionless. If you want people who click on your ad to make an appointment, the page you direct them to should feature the appointment form, front and center. If you prefer them to call, the number should be placed in a location where it is impossible to miss.
Another thing to consider is finding ways to cater to mobile users. As of 2015, more people are accessing the internet using mobile devices than computers. One way to make the conversion process easy for mobile customers is to use Facebook’s “Call Now” button on your mobile ad. What it does is allow customers using mobile phones to call you with the touch of a button instead of having to navigate to your site and dial a number.
The bottom line is that Facebook can be a powerful tool for any practitioner to use to attract new patients. As long as you know your customers, create an appealing ad, and ensure that your conversion process is easy and intuitive, using Facebook can help you grow your practice. And once you have those new patients on board, you can keep them loyal by providing them with valuable content on your page.