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?