Facebook Posting Etiquette

How often are you posting on your dental practice Facebook page? Once a week, every day, multiple times per day? Ever since the first Edgerank study was released, people have been clamoring to crack Facebook’s algorithm and find the sweetest spot to maximize their newsfeed exposure. For those of you who are newbies, that means, how you can maximize keeping your name and face in front of patients via Facebook’s newsfeed.

I’m certainly all for keeping your name and face in front of patients – within reason. And note that each practice, depending on the type (general practice, orthodontic, pediatric, etc.), will have different audiences and thus varying preferences with regard to communication. However, the most important thing to consider is how often your patients really want to see or hear from you. Do your patients want you to call them every week? Do you think they want you to email them multiple times per week or send them postcards weekly? Yes, Facebook is an entirely different communication medium; however, at what point is too much? Just because you could email your patients ten times per week does not mean it’s a good idea.

There is a fine line between keeping your name and face in front of patients (think drip method) and overposting (think drown method). Besides, the most powerful Facebook word of mouth benefit is derived from patients posting comments on your wall. Inviting patients to interact with you on their terms is certainly a safer bet than trying to guess how much they’ll tolerate seeing your posts before they hide or unlike you.

The best, and I think most polite, rule of thumb is to consider how “into you” your patients are. Think about what your patients prefer and then honor that. Remember, you can still take advantage of Facebook’s most powerful (active) benefit by inviting patients to interact with you by posting comments, liking your page or sharing you with friends. However, consider how often patients see you in their newsfeed (passive benefit) on Facebook with the patient’s best interest in mind. While one of the greatest benefits of Facebook is the ability to experiment with things like posting frequency, you’ll want to consider how valuable your long-term patient relationships are and whether they are worth gambling.

What do you think? Is your Facebook strategy embracing a drip or drown posting/communication method?

6 thoughts on “Facebook Posting Etiquette

  1. We just started using facebook in our dental office so are concerned about exactly this topic. We are very interested in and hope that there is a lot of feedback on this subject!

  2. Hi – D. Bryk, D.D.S. Thank you for reading and taking time to comment! And good for you in getting started on Facebook to help grow your practice 🙂 Do you have a specific question you need help with?

  3. Some great thoughts, Rita. And nicely written. We are finding with our clients that, in reality, they are showing up in patient feeds MUCH LESS than they think. So, in my opinion, “overdoing it” is probably less of a concern (at least generally speaking). It also depends a lot on what practices are posting. If they are trying to sell dentistry a lot, even indirectly, they should be more careful about frequency. If posts tend to be more about the relationships between the team and the patients, I think that more often is fine. Just my 2 cents!

  4. I agree with the commenter above that it’s important to consider what you are posting about. If you are just posting about dental health and reminders to make appointments then that could get old fast. We share a little bit about dental health, but more about local activities and interesting stories that have a greater mass appeal.

  5. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts. Jack looking at this from a self-sustaining perspective vs. practices outsourcing their content production, it’s also important to consider the resources needed to sustain higher levels of content production.

    In most practices the responsibility to create content rests on the internal Facebook manager’s shoulders—and sustaining content production can be stressful and frustrating for some. Rarely is there an internal team member adept at copywriting, utilizing editorial calendars, etc.

    In addition, doctors and practice managers have to consider efficiency and effectiveness. Without content creation systems in place, practices put themselves at risk of time-waste situations. For example, team members spending hours Googling in attempt to create clever viral posts. Often the benefit derived from interacting with patients while they are in the office is far more predictable than via posting.

    Dr. Logan, good for you in embracing a social mix of content! I love to hear that 🙂

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