By Trudi Charest, RO
Facebook is still important to your overall marketing strategy.
With more than 1.52 billion daily active users, the chances of your potential patients being on Facebook is high.
Facebook has made many changes over the past few years that particularly affect business pages. The most noticeable is the visibility of your posts to your followers.
Less than 10 per cent of your following is seeing your posts unless you are boosting them.
Boosting means putting some dollars and budget behind the post to make it show up to your followers and non-followers.
Has it become a pay-to-play model? Yes!
Facebook can be a powerful engagement strategy for both your current customer base and future customers. Facebook allows you to post images, videos, events and articles about everything eye care and eyewear. Your posting strategy should always consider who is your target market and what is going to get them interested in clicking to learn more.
Rule of thumb is engagement…not education.
If we are posting too much on eye health, eye disease or book an appointment we are going to lose them. If we are posting great information, tips and fun posts we are going to keep their attention.
There are other valid reasons to use Facebook as a marketing tool…keep reading!
- Collect reviews & recommendations
Think of Facebook as an extension of your office. Customers are searching on Facebook and find your business. One of the first things they look at are the reviews and recommendations. They are looking for three things: How many reviews do you have?; How good are the reviews?; and How you respond to negative reviews.
An eye care business that only has a few reviews versus one that has 25+ reviews is not as likely to win the customer who is focused on feedback in their decision-making.
Ensure you are responding to both good and bad reviews. You can actually win business by responding well to a negative review. People like to see that you care. Facebook has “retired” the star rating and encouraging users to “recommend” businesses.
Side note…you can share your reviews to your other social channels like Instagram and Twitter getting more mileage out of the exposure.
- Book appointments
Facebook has action buttons that can drive specific behaviors in people landing on your profile and your posts. You can choose from several action buttons like learn more, call now or book appointment.
These buttons can be placed on the main profile image and on your individual posts by adding the “click to message” feature. When a customer clicks on the button it takes them to your eye care website where it has the ability to convert them further into a booked appointment.
You can also ask customers to message you directly on Facebook. It will show in Facebook messenger any inquires or requests to book an appointment. In today’s busy world, people want the easiest and most frictionless options to connect with your business.
- Promote services
Facebook added a feature that allows you to showcase your various services you offer in your business and list a description as well as pricing. Not only is it a great FREE way to market your services, it may answer some of the questions a potential customer has about your offerings.
Enhancing your Facebook page by adding information on services only increases the chance that if someone is searching for a particular service or product and you have it listed that your business will show up in the search.
- Market events
Facebook business pages have a great feature that you can utilize to post events in your office.
This works amazing for trunk shows and promotional sales. It allows you to upload a video or image of the event as well as details regarding the event like date and times, full description of the event and directions to find you. You can also add links to the description for everything from directing them to your website to RSVPing for an event where you want to track numbers of sign ups.
If you want your event to show up more on Facebook to followers and non-followers, ensure you add the following to the event: specific location, date and time, choose the most applicable category and add description as well as keywords like eyewear sale, designer eyewear frames, etc., invite your followers…once a few people like the event it starts to show to their followers, ask people to share!
Last note: Facebook is more than a profile to post a few messages about your business or eye health. When used to its full potential, it can be a sales tool and patient acquisition channel. Take the time to explore and learn all the things you can do on your business Facebook page.
Trudi Charest is the co-founder of Marketing4ecps, a digital marketing agency focused in eye care. Marketing4ecps assists eye care businesses with website design, social media, SEO, Google advertising, Facebook ads, email marketing and so much more. Trudi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.marketing4ecps.com.