By Nancy Rausman
Managing Editor, EyeCarePro
April 11, 2018
There’s a new Facebook algorithm affecting how content is promoted to users. Many of the strategies you used in the past to promote your content on Facebook may now be ineffective, but you can continue to reach your audience, and get new patients on Facebook, through the use of video.
To engage your community, your focus needs to be less on likes, and more on relationships and interaction, such as comments, shares and discussion.
In January 2018, Facebook changed its newsfeed algorithm to favor “meaningful interactions between people,” which essentially comes at the expense of content from brands, businesses and media. Facebook claimed that the change is an effort to return the social media site to its original intent of building relationships by seeking active participation in discussions, rather than passive consumption of content. Many businesses and media outlets have experienced a major drop in their exposure as a result of the change.
This doesn’t mean that Facebook is a lost cause for marketing your practice, but it does mean that you have to change your strategy, and maybe invest more time and money on paid Facebook advertising, to maintain an effective presence.
One strategy that is standing strong, despite the algorithm change, is video, particularly live video. Video has been shown to be the most effective way to get attention from your audience, and Facebook likes it because it tends to be more personal, engaging and meaningful. Millions of videos continue to be watched daily on Facebook.
To optimize the new Facebook algorithm, and get views, you want your video to be more than something for your audience to just watch passively, but rather something that would inspire interaction through comments, shares or questions. You want your video to evoke emotions by sharing a story, to inform through demonstration, and most importantly, to show your true, authentic personality.
Facebook Video Set Up
Before we jump ahead with the content, you need to make sure you have the right equipment to create a quality video that people will want to watch. The good news is, you can do this simply, without investing in expensive equipment. To get started, all you need is a newer model (since 2015) smartphone with a high-quality video camera, such as an iPhone, Samsung Galaxy or Nexus. Many professional vloggers (video bloggers) use smartphones for all of their work successfully. Once you get started with your phone, and get the hang of creating videos, you can decide if you would like to invest in more expensive cameras and equipment.
One important note is that you should download the Facebook Page Manager app on whichever phone is being used to shoot. This is different from the standard Facebook app, and is needed to effectively and efficiently post directly on the page.
Video Accessories for Smartphones
With your smartphone camera, there are some accessories that you might want to consider purchasing to enhance your video quality. A tripod, stand, or pod to hold the phone steady, is one accessory that is worth the investment. Fortunately, you can get one for as little as $20. You don’t want your audience to be distracted from too much motion, or to have your video look unprofessional. You may also want to consider an attachable lens to enhance the options and quality of your camera lens. Lastly, there are apps that can allow you to enhance your video settings and options, including video editing and adding music.
Tips for Shooting
While you aren’t shooting for professional grade video, you do want to come across as a professional, so here are a few basic points for creating a good quality shoot:
Good lighting conditions: Before you schedule your shoot, decide on your background, and check out the lighting at a few different times of the day to determine the ideal time from a lighting perspective.
Hold the phone horizontally: This will provide the best picture for your video.
Quiet and stable background: Make sure that there is no background noise or motion from within your office or the street outside.
Clear sound: You should be positioned close enough to the device for clear audio. If the sound isn’t clear, use a microphone or headset.
Good presentation: In addition to looking clean and put together, you want to convey an authentic presence. Be yourself and show your personality. Speak openly, rather than reading verbatim from a script (glancing down at notes from time to time is OK), smile, make eye contact with the camera, have good posture and lean in slightly to the camera. Remember the following quote from motivational speaker Garrison Wynn: “People buy from people they trust, and they trust people they like.”
Creating Engaging Video Content
Now that you are set up to shoot, you want to get started on creating video content that will build relationships and spark meaningful conversations. Here are some examples of successful strategies.
When it comes to video, Facebook Live, which is a live-feed video session that appears right on the news feed (rather than a pre-recorded video), is gaining traction with successful marketers. It does require advanced planning to publicize and get an audience, but a live session puts you in direct contact with your audience, allowing real-time interaction, which is exactly what Facebook wants. Facebook Live videos will also be posted on your page for users to view after the event takes place.
When you are doing live video, it’s important to take note of who is attending, and say hello by name. This small gesture will do wonders for relationship strengthening and interaction.
Our client Buena Vista Optical in Chicago has been experimenting with Facebook Live recently, and noticed a big spike in calls after posting a long live video. You can also see from the screenshot below, that they get a lot of engagement in the form of comments, shares and likes.
Messages to Clients
In another example, Opticare Vision in Ohio created a personal video from Josiah Young, OD, for the new year, thanking his patients, and giving an update on what’s new to come for the practice. The simple video got 10 shares, 864 views, as well as a few comments.
Show and Tell
Visionarts Eyecare in Missouri has been creating great and simple videos, including everything from pre-recorded videos answering questions about insurance or procedures, to live videos of events and merchandise. They find that their success lies in having one person in the practice who is excited about the idea to drive the project forward. A recent video was made by taking a smartphone on a tour of their optical, focusing on what is unique in each of their collections.
Another way to get personal is to focus on patients and their stories (with signed HIPAA marketing authorization forms). Tag the users and ask them to post the videos on their individual pages, which will then share the content with their personal network, as well.
Video is an inexpensive and easy strategy, that if done right, can still capture your audience on Facebook despite the recent algorithm changes. The key is to be yourself, have fun and find creative ways to engage your audience.
Nancy Rausman is managing editor at EyeCarePro, which provides 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