So, your practice has a Facebook page. Now the patients are going to come running to your door, right? Yeah, not so much.
First, what is an office Facebook page supposed to do for you? My philosophy is that Facebook serves as a gentle reminder to your patients that you’re around. A patient who receives a gentle reminder that I exist is more likely to think of me when a referral opportunity arises.
Developing a Facebook following is a thoughtful process. It’s like growing a garden. Lots of sunlight, water, and a green thumb.
(1) Sunlight – People need to know it exists
Your garden won’t grow in the dark. When you created your page you probably asked your friends and family to “Like” it. That’s a good start. Now promote it in other ways. Add a “Find Us On Facebook” icon to your new patient letters. Link your Facebook page on your website. Add a small sign in your reception area.
Throwing a little sunshine on your Facebook page with your existing patient base is the essential first step. Now the goal is to have them share your page with their friends, which leads me too…
(2) Water – Supply good content
Stay away from boring stories about flossing and the links between periodontal disease and cardiology. No one cares!
I try to develop a sense of community with my posts. I share stories about an achievement of a team member. I talk about a local restaurant that just opened. I promote a charity event on behalf of a patient. I promote a patient’s business.
I guarantee you will get more “Likes” hitting these topics then talking about your special discount on whitening.
(3) Green thumb – Regular maintenance
If you only post once a year, you’ll have a hard time developing an audience. Similarly, posting several times a day will clog up people’s Facebook feed and annoy the heck out of them. Remember, I used the term “gentle reminder” earlier. Five consecutive posts promoting your practice is not gentle.
I like to post once a week. I set aside time on Tuesdays and chat with my team about what we can post. The whole process takes less than five minutes, but if you don’t schedule time to make it happen it may fall through the cracks. We need to be consistent with our posts if we want to generate buzz and see results.
Facebook has excellent statistics to track “Likes” and “Talking About This” notes. You may find that your posts do better at different times of the day e.g. 9am gets more “Likes” than noon. Experiment and monitor the effects and you’ll find you have a green thumb for Facebook.