In this series, I’ve discussed the free methods of increasing traffic to your website. First I defined organic search engine results and why they’re better than paid ones. Then, we looked at how listing with local directories and the internet yellow pages can boost your site organically.
And now… Facebook. Having a Facebook page for your practice won’t have a big impact on your SEO strategy. That is to say, it won’t make your office website appear higher up on the search engine results page. Facebook offers you a different strategy for driving people to your site.
Think of your Facebook page as more of an interactive billboard. It’s takes up real estate on the web in a highly visible place. It also allows you to engage your potential patients through status updates; a kind of blog feature. By the way, you can also purchase advertising space on Facebook to target people that live in your area. This is a series about generating web traffic for free, so I won’t discuss it here.
Here’s a link to a Facebook page created by a practice in Chicago. At the time of this post, they have 6,421 fans. Potential patients find the page and post their questions, which are then quickly answered by a friendly staff person. Wow. This is the goal.
Unfortunately many dentists think all they have to do is create a Facebook page and patients will flock to them. Nope. It takes a lot of work. Let’s dig deeper.
(1) Create a page, not a group
There are differences between a “Page” and a “Group.”
There’s confusion about Pages and Groups because (1) there are many overlapping features and (2) Facebook keeps changing how they work. Currently, most social media gurus recommend using a Page for your business. Groups are more for clubs, shared interests, etc.
A quick word about your URL address. I want to be www.facebook.com/broadholllow-dentistry, but I can’t until I get 1,000 people to “Like” it. For now I’m stuck with http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Broadhollow-Dentistry/100570110005600?v=wall
To create your Facebook page, go to facebook.com/pages/create.php
(2) Make it pretty
After creating your Fan page, you’ll want to customize the stock page to make it all your own. Upload pictures of your office, list your hours, and other basic stuff.
Here’s a great video that shows you how to create a page and begin to customize it:
Most importantly, make sure your website is prominently displayed. Potential patients who happen across your Facebook page will want to check it out.
(3) Status updates
This is the blog feature of Facebook. A status update will pop up on the home page of someone who “Likes” your Page. This is an opportunity to promote your business and engage your patients. I’ll write an entire post about the things you can write in status updates.
For more information about setting up a Facebook page, check out: http://www.directcreative.com/blog/facebook-fan-page