Facebook is all about connecting with people. Originally designed with regular folks in mind, it didn’t take long for businesses to realize the huge potential it has as an inexpensive and far reaching marketing tool. Too often, however, these same businesses try to apply old school marketing rules to this relatively new medium with less than stellar results. Here are a few tips to keep your Facebook page a place people look forward to visiting, just like your practice.
If people think you only see them as someone to sell something to they’ll stay away. Treat them as you would treat guests at a party: be the genial host with their comfort in mind. That doesn’t mean you can’t use your page to market your practice or services, but you have to be mindful of your tone, too “salesy” and you’ll lose your audience.
Quality over quantity
It’s important to keep your page busy, but spamming your audience’s newsfeeds will have them clicking that “Unlike” button pretty fast. Keep your page busy with relevant and engaging content, not an hourly recap of everything that’s happening in your day. And don’t bash them over the head with ads or specials. A good rule of thumb would be to post one short, friendly ad for every six social posts.
You don’t want to limit your page to simply being another announcement platform. As I said, Facebook is about connecting with people, so use it to engage your audience in conversation. Spark a conversation with a juicy (and even controversial) bit of news, ask a question or hold a contest. There are a mulitude of free and easy to use tools for contests that will keep you within Facebooks guidelines including Shortstack and Offerpop.
Images on your timeline are a sure fire attention grabber. It can be just about anything but, to keep that connection going, try sharing images of your practice, your staff and even your patients (if they are open to it). Pictures of people with captions (especially funny ones) get shared naturally. The subjects will generally like your page to see their own picture and to share it.
Facebook has become a valuable feedback tool for businesses. It’s an easy way for clients to provide feedback, both good and bad, and be assured that someone has heard them. Just make sure that it’s you that is hearing them, not just other clients! Thank people for positive comments and work with people who have complaints or concerns. This is important: Unless a negative comment is abusive or contains vulgarities, do not delete it!! Keeping the conversation public will show people that you are genuinely trying to resolve a situation. That’s PR you cannot buy.
Facebook can be a very powerful tool to engage your clients, existing and potential, that won’t break the bank or consume all of your time. Using these tips will go a long way towards creating a dynamic, engaging, and inexpensive way to spread the word about your practice and have people giving you that sweet blue thumbs up!