By Nancy Rausman
Effective Facebook campaigns increase patient engagement, create awareness of your practice and bring in new patients.
CREATE CAMPAIGNS, SET GOALS. Get more patients to “like” your Facebook page, raise awareness of a product or simply post updates related to a theme like practice philanthropy.
DRUM UP LIKES. Offer entry toa drawing for a free product like sunwearforpatients who “like” your FB page.
PROMOTE PRACTICE SPECIALTY. Post awareness posters or graphics on Facebook letting patients know about ocular allergy treatments or UV protection for their eyes.
Facebook provides a powerful social media tool to increase patient engagement with your practice–and to encourage present patients to introduce your practice to their network of friends and contacts. As experts who study customer loyalty in many fields point out, today is all about “engaging with customers.” The same holds true for your patients.
Here are three sample campaigns that let you utilize your Facebook page in increasing patient engagement tothe fullest.
The “Like” Campaign
Goal: To increase fan base
Impact: Reach more viewers, create greater brand recognition
Implementation: A “like” campaign is designed to give Facebook users an incentive to like your page. It involves encouraging fans to share a post to get their networks to like your page. Often such a campaign will also be publicized outside of your actual Facebook page so people who aren’t already your Facebook fans will see it such as via a pop-up ad on your web site homepage, an e-mail campaign or printed materials such as postcards, posters or business cards. Your incentive can be the great information and deals any fan of your page would see, or you can offer a gift, discount or prize. Once the prize has been awarded, always follow up with a post or picture showing happy recipients or winners.
Here is an example of one such like campaign we ran for clients. People who shared and liked the page were entered into a drawing to win a free pair of sunglasses. Notice the fan engagement below the post. There were 1,636 people reached by the campaign with 41 shares, 34 likes and three comments just at the time of this screen shot.
The Awareness Campaign
Goal: To promote specific educational topics and highlight specialties.
Impact: Publicize areas of specialty, increase expertise and trust and enhance loyalty.
Implementation: An awareness campaign involves selecting a particular topic and creating a series of posts along with engagement opportunities. You can take a seasonal approach (back-to-school eye concerns or seasonal allergies) or focus on a particular area of interest (Ortho-K or glaucoma) and post facts, links to articles, photos, giveaways, testimonials, etc…the opportunities are endless. Awareness campaigns can also be integrated with other online or offline media such as posters, e-mails, lectures, events, blog posts, press releases and more.
Here are two examples of awareness campaigns we ran. The first (on left) was on the topic of using daily contacts to relieve symptoms of spring allergies and the second (on right) was on HEV radiation. For both campaigns we created a nice eye-catching graphic along with some basic educational information and a call to action for the reader to learn more (and hopefully book an appointment). You can see the engagement and visibility statistics below each screen capture.
Post (Theme) Campaign
Goal: To provide entertainment or share interesting facts
Impact: Can keep fans coming back to visit your page and encourage engagement
Implementation: Creating a series of posts around a particular theme is an easy way to organize your posting schedule and keep visitors coming back to your page.
Pick a theme for a certain day of the week (Funday Monday with a joke or Trivia Tuesday) or run a few weeks of posts about a fun, interesting or entertaining topic. You can also suggest a theme and have your friends contribute toward it such as sending in pictures of dogs or babies wearing glasses, or posting a joke. Whatever you choose, make sure to incorporate an image or photo with each post to garner attention. Some of our successful post campaigns include Celebrity Eyewear (where we just show the celebrity’s eyewear and Facebook fans guess who it could be), Celebrity Eyes (the same concept as eyewear but just by the eyes), and Eye Beauty tips (a series of beauty tips), just to name a few.
Here are some examples of some theme campaigns that we have done.
In summary, the best way to succeed with Facebook as a marketing tool for your practice–like any marketing platform–is to set realistic goals and plan out a strategy to achieve them. You want to post at least once a week, more often if possible, to gain exposure for your page and create engagement. Campaigns that involve incentives, entertainment, or important educational messages that establish your expertise, will help to retain fans by way of loyalty, interest and recognition.
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Nancy Rausman is the managing editor at EyeCarePro. Nancy is responsible for providing ECPs with educational content that helps them advance their practices through technology, management strategies and digital marketing. EyeCarePro is one of the leading providers of online marketing and practice improvement services in the industry. EyeCarePro serves both industry and practices and is the only company of its kind solely focused on the optometric space. To contact: firstname.lastname@example.org