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 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 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.
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.
photoof 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.
- 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.
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.
A few months ago I wrote about the importance of video in your marketing strategy. There was a time not that long ago when shooting video required expensive equipment and hiring a specialist. Not anymore. Shooting video has never been easier and you have everything you need in your cell phone!
Chances are, you’ve already shot video with your phone, so you know how to access your phone’s video capabilities. Whether you’re shooting an owner or audiologist promoting a practice or a happy patient for a quick testimonial, here are a few tips to guide through the process.
Ideally, you’re looking for 60-90 seconds per video without the use of a script. Anything longer and the speaker might get sidetracked and lost in thought. Make it look and feel natural. If you want to promote your practice and have a lot to say, consider breaking it up into a few videos, each on a certain aspect of why your practice excels or services you offer. If you have a testimonial, speak with that person first to see what they have to say as a short rehearsal, then give them the cue or prompt them with a question and hit record.
You’ll need a quiet, well-lit room. It doesn’t have to be the nicest room in the office, but a nice neutral wall works best as the background. If you have elegant posters or works of art that you think will look good as the background, then have them stand in front of them. Make sure the room is free from the usual office noise (ringing phones, lobby television, office chatter, etc.) and foot traffic.
You can use your camera’s default settings or have it in fully automatic if you follow these few basic rules:
- Lighting: Lighting is key to video. A friend once told me that without lighting, it’s radio. Make sure the room where you’ll be shooting the video has plenty of light, preferably natural, indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight can wash your subject out and created harsh shadows. Under low light conditions, your video will appear too dark or, if the camera compensates for the lack of light, too grainy.
- Sound: Capturing good sound is just as important as capturing good video. Believe it or not, bad audio is worse than bad video. Most viewers will tolerate poor video quality, but no one can stand poor audio no matter how clear the video is. Make sure you stay close to the subject and your hand is not covering the phone’s built-in microphone (a tiny hole located at the base of the phone).
- Stabilize: Unless you’re using a tripod, you’’ll need to keep the camera as stable as possible. Hold the camera with both hands (still making sure you don’t cover the microphone) and keep elbows as close to your body as possible — maybe even rest them on your waist for added support. Keep the camera at eye level! Unless you’re shooting a sequel to the Blair Witch Project, you don’t want to point the camera up someone’s nose.
- Focus: Press and hold an area of the shot (in this case, the face) to lock both exposure and focus.
- Get close to the subject: First, this gets the microphone closer to the sound source. Second, it avoids having to zoom in to the subject. Zooming in can decrease the clarity of the video and intensifies any camera shake.
- Composition: While the tendency is to hold your phone vertically, that is not the standard format for video. Keep your camera in the horizontal, landscape format. When composing your shot, don’t place the head right in the middle. Instead, place the head slightly above center and closer to the top. You want the eyes about a third way from the top.
- Keep it simple: Avoid panning, zooming, and any other fancy moves or effects. Those will just distract from the subject.
- Share: Once the video is done, simply share it to various social media outlets.
Like anything else, practice makes perfect. Take a few test shots, make the proper adjustments, and you’re all set!
About the Author
Rolando Corpus joined Consult YHN in 2011 and serves as Art Director. He has more than 12 years’ experience in graphic design, digital marketing, and video production. He received a bachelor of arts degree from St. Joseph's University and a master of arts degree from The University of Pennsylvania.
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:
- 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!
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.