Facebook Ads: Top 5 Benefits & Tips for Getting Started

Over the last several years, businesses have seen a steep decline in the reach of their organic content on Facebook. This is because Facebook made changes to its algorithm to prioritize content shared by friends and family over marketers and businesses. Not surprisingly, the amount of paid advertisements on the platform has skyrocketed as a result.

So, why should your practice join them?

#1. Your target audience is on Facebook.

Facebook has billions of users around the world, most of whom check their Facebook page multiple times a day. Your patients are no exception. In fact, 75 percent of Baby Boomers use the platform.

#2. Facebook ads are inconspicuous, yet effective.

There’s a reason native advertising has become so popular—it works! Facebook ads look almost like any other post in a person’s News Feed except that they have small, discreet “sponsored” or “suggested” labels.

#3. Targeting on Facebook is precise.

The level of granularity you can achieve with Facebook’s targeting is exceptional. Facebook allows you to decide exactly who will see your ad, when they see it, and how they see it. You can target audiences by several customizable characteristics—behaviors, interests, age, location, language, and more.

#4. It’s affordable!

Facebook ads can cost a fraction of what other online marketing channels cost. In fact, you could spend $100 on a campaign and still reach over 20,000 people, depending on location. If you take advantage of Facebook’s audience targeting features, a small budget can go a long way and deliver results.

#5. You can achieve immediate, real-time results.

Unlike print ads or commercials, Facebook allows you to monitor your campaign performance in real-time, so if an ad is underperforming, you can adjust it at any time.

Before you start advertising on Facebook, there are two components you should understand first.

1. Boosted Posts vs. Facebook Ads

Facebook offers two types of advertising: boosted posts and ads. Deciding which ad is best for your practice is directly tied to your business goals. If your goal is to build brand awareness and increase your audience on Facebook, then you’ll want to boost a post. Boosting a post on Facebook places your post in the Newsfeed of relevant users outside of your current Facebook audience. This option helps promote your Facebook page and increase page likes and followers.

boosts vs  facebook ads

2. Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads

In general, marketing experts would recommend a practice have a solid Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign in place and then add Facebook advertising. It’s important to remember that individuals using Google and other search engines are actively searching for local services online via keywords whereas Facebook users are passive observers who are scanning posts and looking for photos of their grandchildren—not you. So, while Facebook ads might be less expensive, Google users are more likely to take action after clicking an ad.

So now that you know why your practice should advertise on Facebook and the key things to consider, let’s talk about how to create your first ad campaign.

How To Run a Facebook Ad

Step 1: Create a Facebook Business Manager account.
Facebook Business Manager is the central hub where businesses and marketers manage their Facebook pages, ad campaigns, and accounts. Through Business Manager you have access to Facebook Ads Manager, which is the platform you use to create, manage, and track your Facebook marketing campaigns.

INSIDER TIP: Facebook Business Manager is a complex labyrinth that wasn’t designed for the average small business owner. So, before you run your first campaign, be sure to explore the tabs in Business Manager and Ads Manager. Be prepared to do a little homework. Facebook Blueprint offers free mini courses to help you get started. Or, a better alternative: sign up for the Consult Digital Program and leave the heavy lifting to our experienced pros.
Step 2: Choose the objective of your campaign.
In Facebook Ads Manager, there are 11 marketing objectives, but let’s focus on the most relevant:

  • Traffic: Send ad-viewers to another destination, like your website. This is a good option if you utilize online appointment scheduling.
  •  Brand awareness: Reach potential patients who would be interested in your brand, service, or product. This is a good option if you’re new to Facebook and looking to attract more page followers.
  • Engagement: Increase engagement on your Facebook page by encouraging current followers to like, share, and comment on your content while also attracting new followers.
  • Lead Generation: Drive leads by requesting users’ email addresses in exchange for more information, like downloading a guide or signing up for an event. Ideal for building your database!
INSIDER TIP: If you run ads that send users to your website, make sure the Facebook pixel is installed on your website first. What could that be? The Facebook pixel is a snippet of code that can be easily added to your website to track lead conversions from Facebook and gain more insight into user behavior to help optimize future ad campaigns. Talk to your website provider and/or social media manager—they’ll know what to do.
Step 3: Target your ad.

In this section, there are three key areas of focus:

  • Location: Simply enter your practice’s zip code or drop a pin on the map. Then, decide within what radius you want to target users. For example, a 2-mile radius or 10-mile radius.
  • Placement: We suggest choosing: Automatic Ad Placement. This way, Facebook places your ad where it will be seen most by your target audience and perform best according to its algorithm.
  • Demographics/Audience: Use filters to create a custom audience and/or upload a list of emails from your database to target Facebook profiles that may be associated with those emails. Once you’ve created an audience that performs well, you can clone it (this is a dream come true in the advertising world!). The feature, “lookalike audiences,” allows you to take a custom audience and find similar users.

The “Detailed Targeting” section narrows down your audience to the individuals most likely to be interested in your services. If you’re specifically looking to reach private pay patients, choose a “Household Income” in the higher percentage of your selected zip code(s). To target current hearing aid wearers, select the filter for individuals who are interested in hearing aid manufacturers. Other interests/demographics to consider: Baby Boomers, grandparents/grandparenting, technology/tech, health/fitness/exercise, retired/retirement, and the list goes on.

INSIDER TIP: Depending on your location, the max radiuses we’d recommend targeting include: Metro: 10 miles | Suburb: 15 miles | Rural: 20 miles.
Step 4: Set your budget and schedule.

You have two budget options: daily or lifetime. By selecting daily, you dictate the budget spend for each day. By selecting lifetime budget, you select a price cap for the duration of your ad campaign, a date range, and the time of day you’d like your campaign to run, for example, 9am to 5pm.

How much should you spend?
That’s a great conversation for you and your Consult YHN Marketing Account Executive. Facebook ads have an average cost-per-click (CPC) of $1.86 and cost-per-thousand-views (CPM) of $11.20 across all industries. In other words, for every $10 you spend, you can expect 17 clicks. The average small business advertising spend on Facebook is between $1,000–$2,000 per month.

How long should you run your ad?
Another great question! There isn’t one specific strategy —it depends on the budget and goal of the campaign, for example brand awareness versus signing up for an event. In general, it takes 3-7 days to know if an ad is working.  

INSIDER TIP: Facebook user engagement increases by 18 percent on Thursdays and Fridays as well as on weekdays between 1- 4pm.
Step 5: Create your ad.

Format:
Facebook gives you three different format options: multiple images (carousel), a single image or video, or a collection of photos that will create a full-screen experience for viewers. For most practices, the single image or video option will be the most useful.

Media:
The media section is where you choose the media asset for the post, including images or videos. You can choose previously posted photos/videos or upload new ones directly from your computer. Remember: your ad needs to stand out from the other posts and if you decide to include text on your image, keep it to a minimum.

Facebook ads that contain images are 75-90 percent more effective.

Text and Links:
This section is for ad copy, including headline, call to action, and website link. Your headline should be short and sweet, for example: “Hear better today!” and your call to action should match your goal, for example “book now,” or “learn more.”

On the right side of the page is a live preview, including an option to “View More Versions” and check the format of your ad from a mobile device or desktop view.

Finally, your ad is ready for Facebook approval or you can choose to “Save As Draft” and come back to it later. Once your ad is running, you can review campaign performance in your Ads Manager dashboard.

INSIDER TIP: Our Associates see the most success boosting a post and/or running an ad tied to a Facebook event, for example, educational seminars, Lunch & Learns, etc. Once you create an event on Facebook, a “Boost Event” button appears at the top of the page. Follow the steps to set up. For the best results, boost and/or advertise the event for at least two weeks leading up to the event.

About the Author

Genevieve Amabile joined Consult YHN in 2019 and serves as a Marketing Account Coordinator. Prior to Consult YHN, she worked as a Social Media Coordinator for a staffing agency and interned with Seven Mile Publishing & Creative in Avalon, NJ. Genevieve graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications in 2018. In her free time, she enjoys baking, reading, and listening to her favorite true crime podcasts.

7 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Facebook Business Page

comment like and shareEighty-six percent of small businesses use Facebook as their preferred channel to connect with customers. If your practice happens to be a part of the other 14 percent, please stop what you’re doing and create a Facebook Business Page. Everyone else, please continue reading.

Marketing your practice on Facebook is one of the least expensive and most effective ways to build brand awareness, stay top-of-mind with current patients, and attract new ones. Facebook is the most used social platform for users aged 55 and above. In fact, 68 percent of Baby Boomers use the site daily.

But of course, that doesn’t mean your Facebook page is actually reaching all those Boomers.

On any given day, there are an average of 1,500 posts that appear in a person’s News Feed—the main page where people scroll through and view content from friends, family, and businesses—that’s a lot of competition!

And, Facebook recently changed its algorithm to prioritize personal posts over brand page (business) posts to encourage more “authentic interactions” and “meaningful engagement.” In other words, it’s more difficult for businesses to achieve the same kind of exposure, organically. Unless you’re a large corporation with deep pockets, your page’s reach is largely limited by the number of followers/fans you have on your page.

But fear not—below are several ways your practice can amplify its reach on Facebook and drive more engagements without spending additional money.

  1. Optimize and personalize your page

It’s important to enter as much information as possible about your practice. While some fields might not apply, there’s no excuse for not entering your address, phone number, email, website URL, and hours of operation. This information will help your page appear and rank higher in Facebook and Google search results. In addition to basic contact information, including a practice description and mission statement is equally as important. Leaving those sections blank only hurts your credibility.

Your profile picture should be your practice logo or a staff photo. Your cover image should be a high-quality photo of your team or office that isn’t overly busy or text-heavy (you can use a stock image, but if you want to make a real impression, avoid generic photos).

Most important is that your cover image is the correct dimensions and optimized for both desktop and mobile. Stick with an image 820px wide by 360px tall and keep all text and graphics in the middle “safe zone” as shown in the graphic below.

If your uploaded photo is smaller than these dimensions, Facebook will stretch it to fit, making it look blurry. TIP: header image dimensions differ for Facebook Groups and Facebook events so don’t expect to use the same image.

  1. Post content that’s fun, informative, and timely

I know—easier said than done. Perhaps it would help to first clarify what kind of content you should NOT post: anything that Facebook might consider too salesy or spammy. Instead, focus on providing content that’s valuable to your followers and humanizes your brand. Tell your story and tell your patients’ stories. Share articles and infographics that illustrate the importance of good hearing health and the risks associated with untreated hearing loss. Show your followers what the latest hearing technology has to offer. But don’t just educate your followers—entertain them! Post a joke. Post a meme. Post a photo of your staff wearing silly hats on “National Hat Day” (Jan. 15).

Whatever you post, just make sure it includes some sort of visual. As far as how long your posts should be, organic engagement peaks at 40 characters while posts with 80 characters or less receive 66 percent higher engagement (40-80 characters is the sweet spot).

The good news: you don’t have to create all your own original content! Sharing posts from other industry thought-leaders (manufacturers, hearing health advocates/non-profits, etc.) is just as important. Bonus: Facebook rewards posts that receive engagements (likes, comments, shares) with increased reach (more eyeballs).

  1. Incorporate (mobile first!) video into your content strategy

The only things people like more than images are videos. Proof. That’s why Facebook has even started to prioritize video content. When it comes to creating videos for social, the most important thing to keep in mind is that most people watching them on their phones (96 percent) and without sound (85 percent). Videos designed for mobile-first are usually optimized to play without sound. Regardless, any video that you post should be two minutes or less, have movement in the first two-three seconds, a thumbnail that will grab people’s attention, and subtitles if necessary.

Not sure what to film? How about an instructional video showing patients how to properly clean and maintain hearing aids? Or inspirational testimonials from patients about how hearing aids have improved their lives? Is anyone in the office celebrating a birthday soon? Fill an employee’s cubicle with balloons, record his/her reaction, upload the video, then get ready for the “likes” to start pouring in!

Oh, and if you’re camera-shy, it’s worth noting that there are endless hours of videos already available all over the internet and social media that you can easily share.

  1. Be social

Social media engagement increases loyalty and generates word of mouth. Above all, that is why you have a Facebook page in the first place. But engagement is a two-way street. If someone “likes” your posts, then “like” theirs. If they leave a comment on a post, respond to it. The same goes for any questions and recommendations/reviews you receive. And try to do so quickly—over 70 percent of users expect a response within an hour.

  1. Be consistent

Consistency will make it easier to create and execute a content calendar every month. If you don’t currently have a third party to help run your social media, then designate one person in your office to manage and regularly update your Facebook page. While there’s no magic number, most experts suggest posting once a day or at least three times a week. What days and what times, you ask? Stats show that Facebook engagement peaks on weekdays between 12 pm-3pm. You can also use Facebook Insights to find out which days and times your specific followers are most active (at the top of your business page, just click on Insights > Posts > When Your Fans are Online).

  1. Connect with your existing community

The easiest way to increase your Facebook audience is to connect with the people and businesses you’re already connected with in the real world. This includes your staff, current patients, manufacturers, other industry partners, community groups/organizations, and local businesses. These are the people who will most likely find your content interesting and are, therefore, more likely to share it. Not only is Facebook prioritizing content from friends and family over businesses, but people are 16 times more likely to read posts shared by their friends and family than those shared by brands. So, definitely encourage your employees to share your content with their own Facebook networks. Then, go ahead and “like” the pages of your colleagues, industry partners, and any other industry influencers so that they’ll be more inclined to return the favor

  1. Promote your Facebook page

If you’re not driving traffic to your social media pages from your website, then you’re doing yourself a great disservice. Links to your social media should be visible not only on your homepage but in the footer or header of every single page. In addition, include social media links/icons in your email signature, business cards, marketing email footers, and all of your other digital marketing materials. If you want to go one step further, add a simple call-to-action to the end of your emails (i.e. “P.S. Like us on Facebook”). 

 

So, there you have it —the foundation for a successful Facebook marketing strategy!

If you like what you just read, please follow Consult YHN on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. 😉

About the Author

Nicole Finkbiner joined Consult YHN as the Marketing Communications Specialist in 2018 with nearly a decade of communications experience. Over the course of her career, Nicole has created a wide array of different content for various mediums and outlets—news articles, press releases, arts features, product descriptions, small business websites, e-blasts, social media posts, promotional materials, and more. In her free time, the Philadelphia native enjoys soaking up the city’s culture and binge-watching TV shows.

Facebook 101: Navigating Posts, Boosted Posts, and Facebook Ads

As Facebook has grown over the years into a rich platform for marketers and clinics to advertise and promote their services, it has segmented into three separate pathways for promotion.

So what’s the difference between the three pathways: regular posts, boosted posts, and Facebook ads?

Facebook Feed Posts

Regular Facebook Feed posts consist of updates and posts made on your clinic’s “timeline;” one that shows on the front of your business page in chronological order. This acts as a bulletin board for any potential client or former client to learn about your practice and peruse through any updates or information you have recently posted. These posts made on your page will be shown to approximately 1-2% of your fan base on average, as organic reach has steadily decreased over the past few years due to an over-supply of content on the platform.

As your page receives higher engagement and your posts are deemed more relevant to your audience, Facebook will show your posts to more users organically in their news feed. It is essential for all clinics and small businesses to have an active social media presence, as it has become a core search component when potential patients are researching about a product or service. The more updated and relevant content that a clinic has on their Facebook page, the more likely a patient will be interested in using them as a provider.

Boosted Posts

Boosted posts provide clinics or marketers the ability to amplify their regular page posts to a larger audience than Facebook would show it to organically. You are provided with a simplified set of targeting options, including age demographic and geographic location, and you are able to optimize your boosted post to receive more engagement or reach the maximum amount of people for your budget. You are limited with this promotion to strictly boost your post on the Facebook or Instagram News Feeds.

On the user-end, they will see “Sponsored” in the corner of the post on their news feed, just as it would had it been run through the Ads Manager. This simplifies the ad-building process into under a minute and makes it easy for clinics to add additional exposure to their page posts/updates. However, it does not provide you with complex options to fully target your audience, build campaigns, implement eye-catching ad styles, and the ability to optimize efficiently to deliver the best results like Facebook Ads does. This can be a considered a shortcut to give your posts a small but necessary “boost” of exposure.

Facebook Advertising

Facebook Ads give you the ability to fully maximize the platform and deliver the best results for your campaigns. You are provided with a rich set of controls and campaign objectives, with the ability to optimize based on your goals of generating traffic, generating leads, sign-ups, or simply building brand awareness. Utilizing the Facebook Ads Manager enables you to utilize the varying ad styles most useful for clinics such as “Lead-Generation” ads or “Conversion,” giving you the flexibility to track the patient journey from seeing the ad to filling out a form. It also provides you with the tools to select the individual platforms your campaign should run on, whether it be on any of the varying ad spaces that Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network, and Messenger provides.

A/B testing is also provided so that you can truly test what ads work, and what ads are not resonating with your audience. Lastly, you will find better results in total reach, cost per impressions, total leads, and other key performance metrics by running Facebook Ads over simply boosting posts, as best practices follow building all ads through their back-end system.

Interested in learning more about how you can best utilize Facebook to grow patient leads?

 

Contact us here or give us a call at 866-950-3571 to get started!

About the Author

Ethan Bruno is the Search Marketing Manager at AudiologyDesign. He has an extensive background in digital advertising and brand development, working in a diverse set of verticals for small businesses, including healthcare, automotive, retail, non-profits, and e-commerce consumer products. Ethan is a Certified Facebook Blueprint Buying Professional and holds additional certifications in Google Analytics and Google Adwords. In his current role, Ethan plans, strategizes, and builds PPC and social advertising campaigns for hearing care practices throughout the US and Canada. He obtained his degree in Communications from Syracuse University and currently resides in New Jersey. In his free time, you can catch him sitting on a blanket at music festivals all over the globe.

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.

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

So you want to write a blog and post on social media?

Today’s digital marketing requires more than just a static website. Social media and blogging have become popular ways for practices to boost their online presence. Baby boomers are active on social media and blogging offers a great way to increase your SEO — so both activities attract potential patients — but thinking a blog needs to be a 2,000-word article or that posts always need to present new content can stifle the work that needs to be done.

To help get you started on your path to delivering online content, here are some tips to consider when starting:

  1. Develop a realistic schedule. Posting once a week on Facebook for a year provides more information to your patients than posting every day for one month. Similarly, a monthly blog ensures articles are up-to-date. Make sure you’re providing interesting content on a regular basis. No one likes reading a blog with outdated content!
  2. Provide relevant information. Don’t focus on one patient demographic. Instead, make sure you’re developing a mix of content that is useful for current hearing aid users, prospective patients, custom hearing protection for musicians or loud work conditions, and general hearing health information.
  3. Keep it personal. Your relationship with each patient is the basis of your practice. While you do want to be professional, you should make your posts relatable and inject your personality into your writing.

Here are a few tips for starting a social media strategy:

  1. Share content. Social media content need not be new or original all the time. Sharing video clips from relevant TV shows or news broadcasts, articles from scientific studies, and manufacturers’ posts can make up as much as 50 percent of your social media content.
  2. Create relevant stories. When creating your own posts, steer clear of the hard sell! Event invites, product announcements, patient testimonials, and introductions to blog posts are all great ways to get traction through social media.
  3. Have fun. Every so often, pepper fun human-interest content into the mix. Everyone likes a heartwarming video of a baby getting their first hearing aids. If you live in a tightknit community, local events outside of hearing might be relevant as well! Make it personal occasionally — do your patients know you’re in a tribute band? Feel free to let them know where you’re playing next.

Interested in blogging? Here are some tactics to get you started:

  1. Write for your patients. While you may be interested in scientific journals, it just may be too in-depth for your patients. You can always feature a study, but write about how that study relates to your patients and their hearing health. Also, 400 words is a good length — a little more or a little less is okay, too!
  2. Think in keywords. Including industry-relevant keywords throughout your blog makes the content search friendly and can increase your rankings in search engine results. Search engines have gotten smarter, so you no longer have to repeat the same phrase over and over again. Instead, include different variations of your SEO keywords. For example, if there is a new product launch, use the manufacturer and product names both together and separately throughout the blog.
  3. Plan ahead. Consistent blog writing is much easier to commit to when you have a plan in place. This limits the chance that you’ll get writers block because you feel you must get a blog out today. Keeping a content calendar will allow you to plan for event-related invitation blogs and product releases that may provide you with some pre-written content.

As digital marketing trends continue to evolve, social media and blogging are great ways to develop an up-to-date digital experience for both your current and prospective patients. If you have concerns that planning for and implementing these tactics will take too much time away from your patients, let the Consult YHN marketing team recommend a solution for you!

About the Author

Rachel Atar joined Consult YHN in 2015 as Marketing Account Executive. With experience in multiple industries, Rachel has consistently helped small businesses navigate marketing for their end consumers. Prior to joining Consult YHN, she was Taylored Home Health Care’s Marketing Manager.

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/