You probably already know that Facebook has more than two billion active monthly users. Obviously, not all of them are in your target audience – but many of them are. For that reason, it’s important to understand how to use Facebook to encourage your existing patients to talk about your practice and recommend it to their friends.
Facebook offers a variety of tools – some old, some new – that enable health care business owners to connect with their patients. It’s time for all practices to make full use of it to increase their visibility on social media and attract new patients. Here’s what you need to know.
Pinpoint Your Location on Facebook
Your patients can’t buy from you if they don’t know where you are. When you log in to Facebook, you’ve probably noticed that you have options when you post a status update. They include tools to tag your friends, post photos or videos, or express emotions. One of them is the Check-In, which allows you to say where you are.
When Facebook users click the “Check-In” pin, they get a list of nearby places. They can choose where they are or even add a new location if they don’t see their precise location on the list. People even add their homes to Facebook for fun.
When this option was first introduced back in 2010, Facebook called it Places. You’ll still see a Places tab when you do a search on Facebook. It’s a geolocational tool that pinpoints a user’s location and broadcasts it to their Facebook friends and followers.
Updates to Facebook for Health Care Practices
In the early days of Facebook advertising, it was easy for practices to grab their share of organic reach on Facebook. The algorithm was simple and posts that got a lot of engagement got pushed to the top of the feed.
That’s no longer the case. Facebook’s algorithm now prioritizes contact from people, not health care businesses. It’s become increasingly difficult to get any kind of organic reach – which is, of course, part of the reason Facebook earned $16.6 billion from advertising in the fourth quarter of 2021.
In August of 2021, Facebook announced several key updates specifically designed to help practices increase their visibility and connect with patients. They included:
- Redesigning mobile Pages so users can view Facebook Stories, make appointments, view recent content, and more.
- Changing “Reviews” to “Recommendations” and making them more prominent on health care business pages.
- Expanding their ‘Job Finder” tool to make it easier for Facebook users to find jobs with practices.
- Expanding the “Events” feature to make it easy for practices to plan and sell tickets to events on Facebook.
Facebook has recognized that their algorithm changes, which have made it increasingly difficult for practices to get their share of organic traffic, had made Facebook a less attractive marketing option for health care businesses. These updates alleviate those concerns by making it easy for your patients to find you on Facebook.
How to Add a Place for Your Practice on Facebook
If you want patients to be able to check in at your location on Facebook, you must add an official Place for your practice. You will not automatically get one because you have a health care business page. Most practices already have a Place, but if you don’t, here are the steps to follow to add your health care business to Facebook Places:
- When you are in your place of a health care business, log in to your Facebook account.
- Click the “Check-In” link where you would create a Facebook status.
- Click the Add button to the left of the Check Inbox.
- Enter the name of your practice and a brief description.
- Click the Add button at the bottom of the form.
That covers creating a Place, but you’ll also need to verify that you’re the owner. To do that:
- Search for your practice in the Facebook search bar and click the result in the Places tab.
- Click the “Is this your health care business?” link on the left side of the page.
- Follow the instructions to verify your practice via phone.
If you try to add your health care business and discover that there is already a Places page for it – users can create them if they want to check in someplace – then you can simply click the “Is this your health care business?” link and follow the instructions to claim your practice.
How to Make Your Health Care Business More Visible on Facebook
Once you’ve set up Facebook Places for your practice, there are some cool features you can take advantage of.
Let’s start with the obvious. It’s great to encourage people to check-in at your practice when they visit. You can accomplish that with a sign in your store or by having employees ask people if they’ve checked in on Facebook.
You can also update your Places page with relevant information about your practice. The main things to add are your address, phone number, clinic hours, profile picture, and cover image.
You can also share photographs and general information about your practice.
Facebook will create a map with your health care business pinpointed on it. It will show up on your “About” tab along with the “Get Directions” button.
Patient Recommendations on Facebook
Recommendations show up at the top of your page. Facebook displays patient recommendations, including brief written reviews. Your patients can also:
- Upload photographs
- Choose which things they recommend (for example, specific service)
- Write reviews within a set character limit
Facebook also displays a question underneath the Recommendations:
Would you recommend ENTER YOUR PRACTICE NAME?
There are Yes and No buttons right there, making it easy for your patients to recommend your practice to their friends.
To turn on Recommendations, you’ll need to go to Settings, Edit Page, and then go to the section called Tabs. From there, you’ll simply choose the option to “Choose Default Tabs” and then add the Reviews tab to your page.
Going forward you can increase your visibility on Facebook by:
- Asking patients to check in when they arrive at your clinic
- Encouraging them to leave recommendations and upload photos
- Include a Review button in your marketing emails and on your website
People are often willing to leave recommendations but may not think to do so until you ask. Recommendations increase your visibility and make it more likely that patients who are on the fence about visiting your practice will take the plunge.
The bottom line?
Facebook Places and Facebook Recommendations make it possible for health care businesses to work around the algorithm limitations on organic traffic and grow their practices.
So… if you are a private practice healthcare business owner and you are looking to grow and scale your practice or generate more new patients for the practice – we are here for you! Drop a comment below if you have questions or if you’d like to set up a call with us go here: https://chat.practiceinsidersedge.com/PIE-Triage-Call