With many practices now using Facebook as a way to communicate with patients, I thought I would share some of my tops tips for posting and community management to ensure you are making the most out of your practice’s page.
Your ideal Facebook post looks something like this:
- 40-120 characters performs best, anything over 140 characters performs poorly. Keep it short and give people something to interact with where possible, for example, a link to an article on your website.
- If you don’t have something to link to from your website, you can always link content from other sources, like government information or healthcare industry articles.
- Imagery or video is needed in every post. This is essential to draw the eye and make sure your content stands out.
- Ensure you do not breach security and confidentiality. If you have to think about whether or not it’s suitable to hit ‘publish’, don’t post it.
- Mix up your content and see what works. Some of the content you could post includes health awareness, exciting news happening at your practice, new services available, and reminders about services, for example flu shot time.
- Be timely and relevant. Use the general news to gather content relevant to your practice. Facebook is a great place to start a conversation.
- Let folks know about closures on Public Holidays. Even if it’s normal for your practice, a quick Facebook post can give your patients confidence that your are in tune with what’s going on in the world.
How to manage your community
- Monitor your page daily and interact with people as much as you can.
- Monitor your page immediately after each time you post. This is when comments are most likely to be received and when engagement might be required.
- Where possible do not delete comments (unless of course it is deemed offensive). Instead respond as magnanimously as you can. Sweeping them under the rug just won’t work on social media.
A useful Facebook page is something that won’t just happen by itself: It requires an investment of time and money (if you want to run ads via Facebooks Ad Manager), so make sure your practice is committed before setting up a page. A dormant Facebook page is worse than no page at all!
If used correctly Facebook is a great way to share information about your practice, provide support to your patients and raise awareness about your practice.
Tara Heath is the Head of Growth at HealthEngine with over 10 years experience in both traditional and digital marketing platforms. Her role at HealthEngine involves managing the patient and practice communications. She believes in utilising the latest marketing strategies, platforms and best practice methodology.