Posted: February 14, 2018

Facebook marketing is likely an important part of your healthcare marketing strategy already. But do you know how to make the most out of your spend on this effective channel?

Beyond the “behind the scenes” work of creating targeting groups – based on demographic information you have on your current patients, or based on consumers that have similar attributes to your most desirable patients – you need a solid understanding of Facebook best practices. These best practices are both general to Facebook marketing at large and specific to healthcare’s subtleties.

You have to have a deep understanding of your audience as well as what they expect from their Facebook interactions with brands and healthcare organizations in order to create campaigns that convert.

Let’s start by getting to know who’s on Facebook:

  • 76% of females and 66% of males use Facebook
  • 29.7% of users are between the ages of 24-34

What this means for healthcare
Depending on which service line you’re trying to promote via social marketing, you may want to adjust your strategy or budget based on Facebook’s audience base. Maybe you push more Women’s Services and back off on senior services, or you tweak the ad copy to speak to a younger audience who may be caring for an older family member.

Content that works
The next step is creating ad copy and choosing complimentary imagery that your Facebook audience wants to engage with. You’re speaking in a social setting, like at a cocktail party, so you want even your paid ads to fit in with the conversations and tone already there. You’re also speaking about potentially sensitive subjects, sometimes to people who are hurting and looking for answers, which means being helpful and positive is essential.

Facebook also has specific guidelines to keep you from sticking your metaphorical foot in your mouth when talking to someone about back pain or incontinence. Follow these rules so a) your ads don’t get disapproved and b) your content is more meaningful or valuable to your audience.

Rules of Facebook:

  • Language and word choice is crucial – you don’t want anyone to feel shamed that something might be wrong with them or targeted for a specific condition
  • Image choice is important as well – images need to show the positive side of whatever you’re trying to convey, i.e. healthy choices or exercise after recovery
  • Don’t be the bad guy and try to be persuasive by appealing to someone’s fears or insecurities. Facebook will most likely block these types of ads anyway.
  • Shorter posts perform better.
  • Posts with statistics generally perform better.

It’s all in the timing
Once you have a solid understanding of who you can best reach using Facebook as well as how to create content an imagery that best engages them, you need to think about when is the best time to do so. Of course, paid advertising isn’t a scheduled commodity (Post this ad at 10:34 a.m., sharp!), but with a comprehensive social strategy you can pinpoint when to post and share organic content based on when and where people are most likely to respond.

Look at the stats:

Maximizing your efforts
Hitting the right notes and figuring out whether image A or B is more effective for your specific audience can take time and practice. Partnering with a team already well versed in Facebook best practices, who keeps up with algorithm and guideline changes continually, can make your efforts even more worthwhile.

To learn more about social marketing and get concrete service line tips, download our guide Harness the Power of Facebook: A Modern Marketer’s Playbook for Facebook Service Line Marketing.