Last week we discussed four reasons why your practice should be leveraging social media to attract new and returning patients. This week we will talk about how to ensure you are using these platforms to their full advantage. We will list some basic tips for creating a successful Facebook business page. Because 71 percent of online adults use Facebook, it is important to make certain you are maximizing this internet marketing potential.

Let’s outline a few tips for creating and implementing an outstanding Facebook page for your practice:

Include all relevant information.

Location, hours, links to other social media, links to your website.  These should not only be included on your page but be easy to find and, above all, clickable.  These links are a chance for interested patients to learn more about your practice.  Fill out your ‘About Us’ section to include a brief summary of your practice and its services.  This is one of the first places people will look when viewing your page, and they should immediately know what you offer.

Personalize your page.

Include a profile picture and cover photo.  Make sure that profile picture is easily recognizable to your patients. Whether it be your office’s logo, a staff photo, or a picture of your office, this is your first opportunity to attract patients to “like” your page; ensure  they know it is you. Also, guarantee your profile photo will look amazing in a 160px x 160px sized format.

Customize your app thumbnails.

The four boxes located underneath your cover photo should feature your most engaging apps and these apps should be clickable.

Update the look of your page continuously.

Changing your cover photo every so often will liven up your page and encourage interest.  Take advantage of holidays and seasons as inspiration for new images to display.  Don’t let this image become stale.

Be visual and post photos.

83 percent of learning is visual and 40percent  of people will respond better to visual information compared to just using text.   When you post to Facebook, consider including a relevant photo.  An image can not only make your page more attractive but also reinforce your practice’s brand to current and potential new patients.

Use hashtags, but use them intelligently and sparingly.

Hashtags help you expand your reach to attract users looking at specific subjects.  It is a great way to use general topics to garner more followers to your particular page.  However, don’t go hashtag crazy, and don’t just use a common hashtag to show up in results.  Hashtags should be relevant to your posting and your practice.  Use just one or two hashtags and not in every post.

Encourage participation in your patient communication.

Invite your followers to engage with your page.  Ask for feedback, post surveys, host simple photo contests, and stage promotions. Promotions are a fun and easy way to drum up business, but don’t forget to check the rules!  Violating the Facebook Promotion Guidelines could get your page deleted so always make certain you follow their regulations explicitly.

Above all, humanize your practice.

Don’t  fall into the common business trap of using Facebook solely as a promotional platform.   You don’t want to always be directly advancing your business – this will come off salesy and turn off potential new patients.  Your Facebook page should be content driven.  Post articles relevant to your field, share videos about specific conditions, upload images of your staff to personalize your page, and finally, interact with your patients.   Share and like their posts. While the end goal is attracting new patients and improving patient retention, your social media activities should not blatantly reflect this.

Want to learn more?  Like Rendia on Facebook and LinkedIn or follow us @goRendia for more tips and information on how to improve your practice’s social media strategies.