With just under 4 billion daily users on the internet, it feels overwhelming enough managing a website, let alone jumping into the high-speed stream of social media. It may seem easier to put a wall up in front of your practice and shut the crowds out...but with ninety-two percent of patients reading reviews online, and eighty percent of consumers trusting online reviews for recommendations, shutting out social media is costing you time and money.
For the modern day provider, a strong online presence is essential to the management of your patients and practice. But with so many platforms to choose from, where do you even start?
Since 2004, the largest platform in the social media universe is Facebook. Facebook is everywhere—with almost 2 billion daily users. Having a Facebook Business page should be considered an essential element of any social media plan. It’s a no-brainer.
From your Facebook page, you can post a large variety of content, link directly to your site, send and receive messages, have online reviews, network with others in your industry, and so much more.
If you already have a Facebook page for your practice, good for you! Simply review each of the steps below and make sure your Facebook page is following best practices.
But if you still have that wall up in front of your practice, grab a sledge hammer, and get ready for some demo.
Let’s start with the basics:
- Page Username: After you first sign up for Facebook, you will need to put in the name of your practice and pick a username. Your username should be three things: simple, easy, and searchable. Keep your username as similar to the practice name as possible so that your current patients, and those searching for you, can locate you or tag you on Facebook easily.
- Profile/Cover Photo: You can ask anyone - the first thing that most people see when they go to a Facebook page is the profile/cover photo. If you go with a graphic image, quality is always more important that quantity. Make sure it is a high enough resolution to look good. If you do go with a photo of your practice or staff, then 60% of the photo should be of your subject. Be aware of the message your graphic or photo might send and stay professional, but have some fun too!
- Content is King: Sound familiar? This phrase, first coined by Bill Gates in 1996, is the law by which the the social media world is ruled. Your content carries messaging, your brand, the ability to connect with an audience, and should be a large priority of your page. Don’t be afraid to try different forms of content (variation is exciting!) and try out the tools Facebook offers to help schedule and create content right inside your page. One popular new form of communication on Facebook is Facebook Live. Check out the Solutionreach Facebook page for our most recent Facebook Live video to see this new form of content creation.
- Network: Let your current patients know your page is up, invite them to follow and like your page, and to share your page with others. Find others in your industry to network with. By creating partnerships and connecting to the pages of other practices, they will do the same for you. Together you can help each other grow your audience and exposure.
- Engage: Humanize your page by responding to reviews with a friendly, professional voice. Always respond to comments, ask questions in your posts, run contests, post trivia, video, and get creative. Reach out past the barrier of the screen and connect with the person on the other side.
We know it can seem a bit daunting. But you can do this! Start with these five basic steps and work your way from there. Every hiker will tell you that the trail always seems more difficult until you get started, the trick is to get started.
Want to break down that wall? 1, 2, 3...GO!
Ready to take your Facebook usage to the next level? Read our checklist "11 Tips to Create the Perfect Social Media Post."
Rebecca Curtis is a social media guru who helps businesses connect with their clients on an individual level. She holds a BS in English Literature from Utah Valley University. Rebecca knows that power of social media can change not only personal lives, but business lives as well.
Rebecca has honed her social media skills working as a creative producer, event producer and social media consultant for companies such as Big Talk Media, WedUtah, Utah Fashion Week, and Entrepreneur Simplified.
Rebecca currently leverages her talents as the Social Media Coordinator at Solutionreach.