Our research continues to show that the two biggest turnoffs that occur when a prospective new patient checks out a practice’s Facebook page for the first time, both revolve around unceasing self-promotion. Either the practice is autoposting review after review after review to their feed … and/or they’re using their practice’s camera device to post an unending stream of patient photos.
Never Forget Social Media’s 70/20/10 Rule
The fundamental principles of effective social media marketing still apply. 70% of your posts should provide value, 20% should support others’ content, and only 10% should be self promotional. If your only content strategy on Facebook is self promotion by posting patient photo after patient photo, you become an ineffective one-trick-pony. Audiences quickly tire (and stop Liking, commenting on, and sharing your content) when all they see are photos of people they don’t know.
Branding Value vs. Marketing Value
Typically, there’s only one time when a prospective new patient will actually visit your Facebook page (and see the content YOU are posting there). It’s the first time they’re checking you out to determine whether or not they want to become your patient! This is a branding function – not a marketing function.
From a branding perspective, the very best things for prospective new patients to see in your practice’s Newsfeed are things that help them get to know you, and get to know your practice. Talk about your local community. Include photos of team members. Talk about the marathon your hygienist is preparing for and her passion for running. Talk about the awesome CE course you just completed in order to better serve your patients. Include photos of the food drive you’re doing to help the local food bank. And occasionally post a photo of a team member with a patient. You get the idea – 70/20/10.
For the most part, patient photos serve a marketing function – not a branding function. The marketing goal of a patient photo is to get the patient to post the photo related to your practice using their own phone to their own social media account(s). That’s where the people who care about that patient will see the photo (and Like, comment on or share it). That’s where the patient’s trusted, permission-based social media networks help you market your practice.
Fine Tune Your Dental Facebook Marketing
Here are two things to work on to become more effective with your Facebook page.
First, don’t be a one-trick-pony when it comes to the things you post. It doesn’t work. The most effective dental Facebook marketing posts include a thoughtful mix of six content characteristics.
And second, remember that in the olden days (last year) fewer people carried smartphones. Today, that’s changed. Train your team to use your patients’ phones to help you market your practice. It’s time saving, simple and by far the most effective way to share photos on Facebook. Patients are happy to do it when you ask them kindly, and they’re already your #1 practice advocates.