Market Your Practice on Facebook Like a Pro

The digital marketing landscape can be an intimidating space for some. New ways to advertise products, connect with customers, and promote your brand online seem to be cropping up every day. So where should hearing healthcare practices be focusing their time and effort when it comes to social media platforms?

A recent study from Clutch found that 86% of small businesses are utilizing Facebook as their preferred channel to connect with customers. Although Facebook started as a place for college students to connect with peers, it has since expanded from a social network to a marketplace, connecting customers with businesses every day.

Totaling at 2.13 billion users (and growing!) by the end of 2017, there are a lot of potential customers waiting to be connected to brands. With Baby Boomers coming in as the fastest growing segment of digital users, it should be no surprise that they are among the most active group of Facebook users too.

This is great news for the hearing industry: you have a swarm of potential customers age 65+ right at your fingertips – 62% of them in fact – and they are now using Facebook to make purchase decisions. So, are you doing everything it takes to connect with these potential patients on Facebook?

What can you do to put the right foot forward in your social media presence? Here are some tips for making the most of the social media giant that is Facebook:

Get set up! Follow these instructions for setting up your Facebook Business page.

  • Include a profile picture of your practice’s logo and some sort of relevant image as the cover photo (i.e. photo of the staff, office building, etc.)
  • Provide as much information as possible. Don’t forget to set up your office location, contact info, and hours of operation!
  • Link to your website and vice versa! Now that your Facebook page is set up, put a link on your website to drive traffic to your social media page.
  • Encourage current patients to ‘Like’ your page. Mention your Facebook page in the office using a handout and send invites to patients to ‘like’ your business page online!

Know your audience.

  • Keep in mind who you are talking to and where you are talking to them. Facebook is more social by nature, so use this space to connect on a more personal level. Remember your page will be visible to your entire community, so make a great first impression; lend a voice to your individual brand and share your story.
  • Keep it personal. Provide relevant, educational content on hearing loss and solutions, but don’t get too clinical – remember your viewers are consumers.

Get the content flowing.

  • Serve up content with a purpose – share what’s going on in the office that month, extend offers, invite patients to events, or announce what latest technology is available at your practice.
  • Recycle relevant content. Follow other thought leaders in the industry and repost their articles – you don’t have the reinvent the wheel.
  • Know your limit! The sweet spot for post length is between 40-80 characters. Any longer and your readers will get tired and move on to the next post in their feed.
  • A picture says a thousand words. Images and infographics are the top form of content for interaction at 54%. Give your readers a break from all the text and provide some visual relief.

Delegate!

  • We know your time is valuable, but someone’s got to do it! Assign someone in your office to manage your social media presence and make a habit of it.
  • Aim for posts once a week (twice, if you can manage!) – stats show that the most popular times for post activity are weekdays between 12 pm and 3 pm.
  • If you aren’t a wordsmith, consider hiring a third-party vendor to manage your social media accounts and/or blog page. Blog posts help boost your SEO rankings and sharing blog posts on your Facebook will drive more traffic to your website.
  • Check with your manufacturer reps on any available social media programs you can use.

This might seem like a daunting task, but the more you do it, the easier it will get. You’ll soon get the hang of what types of posts are most popular among your patients and lend a voice to your brand.

 

If you want to learn more about Facebook and other digital marketing activities, contact marketing@ConsultYHN.com, or download our Digital Marketing & Social Media Guidelines.

 

Additional References:

Social Media and Blogging: What to post and what to write about

How About LinkedIn?

Boost Your Brand with Social Media

Social Media 101

 

Sources:

https://clutch.co/agencies/social-media-marketing/resources/small-business-social-media-survey-2018

https://blog.hootsuite.com/best-time-to-post-on-facebook-twitter-instagram/#facebook

https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-character-counter/

About the Author

Julia Shreckengast joined Consult YHN in 2015 and serves as Marketing Account Executive, providing support to Associates by managing creative projects and developing/executing marketing plans. Prior to joining Consult YHN, she helped promote the city of New Orleans as a member of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation. Julia graduated Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Tulane University.

2017 Consult YHN Year in Review

What did we do in 2017? The short answer: a lot…last year was a productive, highly-caffeinated year at Consult YHN.

As we look forward though, it’s important to reflect on the year that was. Take a look at what we accomplished for our Associates in 2017, and get ready, because 2018 is going to be even bigger and better.


About the Author

Julia Shreckengast joined Consult YHN in 2015 and serves as Marketing Account Executive, providing support to Associates by managing creative projects and developing/executing marketing plans. Prior to joining Consult YHN, she helped promote the city of New Orleans as a member of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation. Julia graduated Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Tulane University.

The Importance of Tracking Your Marketing Efforts

Occasionally, we encounter a practice that comments “our marketing isn’t working.” So, the first question we ask is “are you tracking your marketing activities?”

All too often practices forget that there is still more work to be done even after a marketing initiative or event has come and gone. Executing a successful marketing plan requires taking a deeper look at the results to glean insight and direct you on how best to market in the future.

Let’s look at the different ways that tracking your marketing efforts can benefit your practice and set you on course for success.

 

Tracking Your Marketing Mix

tracking-your-marketingPerhaps one of the more overlooked aspects of tracking data is the insight into the number of opportunities your marketing mix is generating. By utilizing your practice management software, you can track which marketing activity precipitated a patient to come through the door.

While this tactic is more of a backend approach that indirectly relates to marketing spend and outputs, it is important to gauge what your current marketing mix consists of and where there may be room for improvement. A healthy marketing mix includes activities that reach new leads from the community, tapping into your patient database, and attaining a continuous flow of referrals from current patients and physicians. Identifying segments that are missing from this mix can help direct your focus towards future forms of marketing that will directly impact your schedule and bottom line.

 

INSIDER TIP

Establish an organized process for how you are labeling your opportunities in your practice management software. Create unique sources to detail exactly which activities your patients are responding to daily. Some practices even add secondary sources to capture a further level of detail; for example,

Primary Source Secondary Source
Physician Referral Pediatrics
Community Outreach Sunrise Nursing Home
Telemarketing Out of Warranty (OOW)

And take this one step further. To ensure accurate tracking, make sure staff members who are responsible for inputting this data are all on the same page regarding what each referral source represents!

Adjusting Your Marketing Strategy

Taking a close look at the results of a marketing campaign can help you course-correct any missteps in current marketing strategies. The primary goal of any marketing effort is to make the phone ring. If your tracking data indicates that you are falling short of industry benchmarks for call response rate, then there may be an issue with the audience you are targeting. Identifying this variable, via the data, alerts you that it’s time to reassess the variables making up your target audience. Often, this fix is as simple as readjusting the profile of the target audience – maybe you aren’t marketing to people in the right demographic, or are reaching out to areas too far from the office location. Tracking can help you identify these types of “red flags” and aid to steer you in the right direction strategically.

 

INSIDER TIP

Capture as much “good” data as you can! The more detailed your tracking data is, the more refined you can make the marketing strategy to yield positive results. Don’t wait until the end of the quarter to look at what you noted months earlier. Keep a spreadsheet handy and equip your front office personnel with the right online tools to capture opportunities as they are coming in!

Empower Your Team

We’ve discussed the ways that tracking can improve your marketing strategy, but capturing this information can also help identify areas where the practice can improve organizational efficiencies. For example, are you seeing calls come through from a direct mailer, but they aren’t converting into appointments? This may be an opportunity to identify any gaps in training and activate education for your team members. Maybe it is time to sit down with your FOP or Office Manager to understand how they are handling incoming calls and discuss the best ways to get the schedule filled.

Are the completed appointments not converting into units sold? It might be time to meet with your providers to discuss best practices for closing sales. It is important to own the patient experience from initial call/touch-point, to pre-and post-appointment, right through to purchase and beyond. Identifying where certain patients are getting trapped in the sales funnel can help your team focus on their individual role in generating more sales!

 

INSIDER TIP

Don’t ignore the patients who jumped ship along the way! Utilizing tracking can provide valuable details on where that patient is in his/her hearing health journey, so you can tailor any future messages directly to their situation. Reach out to your Tested Not Sold audience with personal phone calls asking why they haven’t chosen to purchase and follow up immediately with the Cancel/No Show audience, communicating that it’s important to you that they come in for their appointment with the provider.

Send Your Results to Consult YHN

One of the biggest challenges with amassing marketing data is what it all means and what to do with it! Consult YHN’s Quarterly Marketing Review provides valuable insight into what your marketing data means in real-time, helping you refine your strategy continuously. The benefits to Consult YHN’s Quarterly Marketing Review include:

  • Knowing where you stack up in comparison to other Consult YHN providers nationally.
  • Identifying areas in the marketing strategy that can be adjusted to bring more qualified leads into the practice.
  • Understanding your patient acquisition cost vs. the Consult YHN network benchmark.

To effectively market in today’s world, activities need to be tracked, measured, and refined.  We encourage you to get connected with Consult YHN Marketing to start tracking your activities today!

About the Author

Julia Shreckengast joined Consult YHN in 2015 and serves as Marketing Account Executive, providing support to Associates by managing creative projects and developing/executing marketing plans. Prior to joining Consult YHN, she helped promote the city of New Orleans as a member of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation. Julia graduated Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Tulane University.

2017 Marketing Trends – Are you in the know?

With the new year in full swing, it’s important to know about the marketing trends for 2017. Last year we were presented with some big changes to the marketing landscape, particularly with digital marketing. For example, the Rio Olympics and the Presidential Election flooded newsfeeds via hashtags, and celebrities continued to “break the internet” by going viral. However, a new year brings new trends – and what was popular in 2016 may not be the case for 2017. As we know, the healthcare industry presents its own challenges, and what was a “hot” marketing trend last year may not necessarily translate to the healthcare sphere.

Let’s take this time to look at some of the anticipated marketing trends for 2017 and how they apply to the hearing healthcare industry.

 

Personalization/1:1 Marketing

According to Forbes, “personalization”, or the segmentation of content to hone in on specific audience members, is a marketing trend that will take center stage this year. In today’s world, there is too much content and too little time. We are inundated with advertisements and news articles on a daily basis, so much so that these messages become like white noise to us. Enter “personalization”.

In order to break through the sound barrier and stand out among all the other white noise, your business needs to be engaging in 1:1 marketing. The practice of 1:1 marketing means considering your customers individually to connect with them by using the most relevant messaging catered to their personal experiences.

How does this apply to the hearing industry? Tapping into your existing database is the gateway to implementing 1:1 marketing in the hearing industry. Think about it, you wouldn’t send a notice that a patient’s technology was out of warranty if they were a tested-no-candidate patient – that message would be immediately disregarded by the TNC patient because you failed to speak to their own personal experience. The content you put out needs to be reaching the right people at the right time with the right messaging – it’s as simple as that!

Engaging in personalization and 1:1 marketing tactics will help you connect with your customers on an individual level and ultimately enhance the customer experience. This is not a trend to be ignored this year!

Influencer Marketing

Traditional influencer marketing is defined as “a non-promotional approach to marketing in which brands focus their efforts on opinion leaders”. For lots of big name brands, this trend has already taken off in the form of social media personalities and celebrities endorsing products and services. When customers are making purchasing decisions, they often turn to these influencers to help guide them in their decision making.

Let’s look at influencer marketing through the hearing healthcare lens and see how this trend can apply to our industry. The bottom line to influencer marketing is ultimately leveraging relationships with customers to get them to serve as your own personal brand advocates. Recognize the patients who come into your office who’ve had a great experience, ask them to write you an online review, refer a friend, or provide a testimonial – show them that they are a valued opinion, and in turn they will help promote your practice.

Purpose-Driven Marketing

This is perhaps the trend that speaks most directly to the hearing health industry. Every practice owner has a story behind what inspired them to go into business – whether it’s a personal story of how hearing impairment impacted their life, or how they want to champion their community in overall wellness. In today’s day and age, consumers feel more drawn to businesses that show some corporate responsibility to give back to the community and are driven by an overarching sense of purpose for enrichment.

If you are passionate about a certain comorbidity associated with hearing loss, include messaging in your marketing materials to support a local charity that is related to that condition. If you opened your practice because you yourself, or a loved one is hearing impaired, open up about it to your patients. Whatever your own story is – share it!

 

As we know, the marketing environment is rapidly changing. Make sure your practice is staying current with this year’s marketing trends – reach out to Consult YHN Marketing to learn how to implement these tactics in your everyday marketing practices!

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ajagrawal/2016/12/15/17-marketing-trends-to-watch-out-for-2017/#5e95b9de4782

 

Online Reviews: WOM Meets the Digital Age

It’s no surprise that word-of-mouth marketing is the most valuable form of marketing that your practice can utilize. People trust the opinions of friends and family when it comes to making purchasing decisions, especially when those decisions impact their overall health and wellness. If your practice has an active referral program in place, then you are already aware of the power of patient referrals and word-of-mouth marketing.

As the marketing landscape changes and digital marketing continues to grow, businesses now have a space to encourage conversations between current and potential patients: online review sites. Platforms like Yelp, Facebook, and Google+ provide a space where consumers can post reviews of the service they experienced or product they purchased. We are at the crossroads where traditional WOM marketing practices meet new digital marketing opportunities.

Why do online review sites matter?

Think about your own decision-making experiences. When is the last time you went to a new restaurant or purchased an item online without looking at the reviews first? A reported 92% of consumers are reading online reviews prior to making purchasing decisions. With the power of the Internet, research is easier than ever and people want to make sure they are fully educated about a business’ goods and services before making any financial commitments. When it comes to healthcare industries, people want to trust their health to the best professionals with the highest recommendations.

Having positive reviews helps build credibility for your practice name – in more ways than one! Patients searching the Internet for hearing providers will often compare one practice to another based on the number of positive reviews, thereviewsir star rating or their overall score, depending on which site they are looking at. Having a higher rating than other experts in your area can give you the competitive edge needed to generate more leads for your practice, and convert prospects into patients.
From an SEO standpoint, online review sites are excellent for increasing your practice’s rankings on search engine results. For each review left by a patient, your practice becomes more “relevant” and has more perceived “authority” – two criteria essential to boosting SEO rankings.

What about negative reviews?

Some practices are hesitant to work with review sites out of fear of negative feedback from patients. Instead of looking at a poor review as a deterrence, your practice should see them as an opportunity to handle any patient issues head-on and grow from that negative feedback. Make sure you are responding to any negative reviews to try and solve the problem for the patient. When other viewers see that you are taking the initiative to help a patient who had an unsavory experience, they are more likely to remember the positive customer service provided instead of the negative review.
Consider negative feedback as a training tool for your staff – there’s always room for improvement!

Where do I start?

If your practice hasn’t had any previous experience in online reviews, the best places to start are Yelp, Facebook, and Google+. For hearing professionals, Healthy Hearing is another platform that is great for encouraging reviews. Remember, it is one thing to be listed on online review sites, but you will also need to make sure your practice is actively asking patients for reviews.

Click here if you want to learn more about Consult YHN’s new Online Review Builder Program or drop us a line at marketing@ConsultYHN.com.

Source: https://www.vendasta.com/blog/50-stats-you-need-to-know-about-online-reviews/