Facebook. If you’re like me, you’ve deactivated your account more than once, only to return to the one place where everyone seems to be and where everything seems to happen. I checked out some of the most recent Facebook stats today, and the numbers are truly staggering—699 million daily active users, 76% of whom log in at least once every day and spend an average of 8.3 hours on Facebook per month (20 minutes per visit).
So what does this mean? Well, first, it means that Facebook remains wildly popular, especially with the 18 and older crowd. And second, it means you need to figure out a way to leverage this popular social network to market your rehab therapy services or your practice. You should also find a way to break through the clutter and actually get noticed by your target audience. So, how can you set your page apart from the competition? Here are two suggestions to get you started:
1. Look the Part
Whether it’s your profile picture, cover photo, or an image you are using as part of a Facebook post, choosing the right artwork can make a huge difference. Think of it as making a first impression. No doubt, you are a lovely human being with a nice disposition and charming personality, but unless you look the part (think professional, cheerful, and intelligent), you may not get the chance to let people know what you’re really like. The same goes for your Facebook profile or your updates and posts. Your page should be personable, approachable, and welcoming. Your posts should be intriguing, attention grabbing, and memorable. Sounds simple, right? It’s actually
easier than you may think. Here’s how you can make this happen:
Make it a habit to pair each post with a photo. Pictures get liked, shared, and commented on more often than posts without an accompanying image. The best part? This costs you nothing! Here’s a site that I’ve used where you can download free stock photos.
Depending on the type of image, Facebook recommends different sizes so your picture looks its best when posted. Once you get in the habit of using images, you’ll remember these, but for now, here’s a cheat sheet for a quick reference.
Make it a priority to style your business profile page with vibrant, appropriately sized graphics that communicate the number one thing you want people to know about you and your practice. You can work with a graphic designer to create your own, or feel free to use these #GetPT images our design team came up with to help promote physical therapy to the general public.
2. Attract a Crowd
Creating an online community can be a real challenge, but if you focus your efforts on growing the number of people who follow you on Facebook, you’ll increase your reach and thus spread your message to a larger audience. The goal is to plant a seed with potential new clients or remind current and past patients that you are there, ready to help when they need it most. Here are a few easy ways to promote your Facebook page and start building a loyal following:
Include your Facebook page URL everywhere you can: Incorporate it into your email signature, make sure it’s on your business cards and brochures, and add it to any ads you may be running online or in print.
Mention your Facebook page whenever you can, like when speaking with current patients or potential new clients on the phone or in person. Talk about it when someone first shows up for an appointment or is getting ready to leave. If you added the URL to your brochures or rack cards as I mentioned above, then be sure to display that collateral in your front office.
Promote your Facebook page on other social media sites, if you have traction there. If you’re active on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or any other social media platform, let your fans know about your Facebook page.
Just remember, you don’t have to have the most Facebook followers to have an impact, and you won’t build your community overnight. So stay patient, stay consistent, and stay the course. If you stick with the above two suggestions—looking the part and attracting a crowd—and begin to incorporate some of the best practices shown in the slideshow below, you’ll cultivate a community of loyal followers who will look to you for advice and guidance when it comes to rehab therapy, wellness, and healthy living.
Have you had any luck connecting with existing or potential new patients on Facebook? What tactic or strategy is yielding the best results?