by Lance McCollough
The advantages of having a practice Facebook page are many, namely for dentists who actively utilize the network to communicate and interact with patients. Seeing that approximately 1 in every 13 people have a Facebook account, and over half of these people are logged in to Facebook on any given day, Facebook is an extremely powerful social network that you can utilize to drive practice growth.
One of the strategic ways to reach more prospective patients is to acquire more "Likes" within the social network. The more "Likes" your page has, the better chance your practice will become visible to these individuals' network of followers, increasing your exposure to new prospective patients in your area.
Now the question remains, how do you get Facebook users to follow your page? Use these ideas below to start generating more "Likes" on Facebook:
1. Create a vanity URL for your Facebook page. Rather than directing patients to a long, complex URL, a vanity URL makes it easier for patients to immediately find your page on Facebook (e.g. www.Facebook.com/yourpracticename). To create a Facebook vanity URL, visit www.Facebook.com/username.
2. Add the "Like" button to your practice website that links to your Facebook page. Not only will this help inform visitors that your practice is on Facebook, but the easier it is for them to find your page, the more likely they will be to "Like" your practice.
3. Add a Facebook icon that links to your page in your emails. If your practice uses email to communicate with patients or emails appointment reminders, this is a great way to promote your page to your target audience. Also consider sending an e-mail to your patients simply announcing your new Facebook page, asking them to join your Facebook community to receive new information and updates about your practice.
4. Incorporate the famous "Like Us on Facebook" phrase on practice materials. Spread the word to patients that you're on Facebook by making it known on practice advertisements, sign-in sheets, and appointment reminder post cards.
5. Offer an incentive for "Liking" your page. Consider running a promotion, such as offering a discount on a service to those who "Like" your page. People respond to incentives, and doing so can help you easily gain more followers.
6. Make your posts interactive. People love to share their opinions and feedback. To keep the conversation going, post questions or surveys frequently and respond to comments that people leave on your page.
7. Highlight your Facebook page on a placard at your practice's front desk. As patients sign-in to their appointment, they'll undoubtedly see that your practice is on Facebook. Add some sugar to the spoon by offering a discount on their next service if they "Like" your page.
8. Post frequently. To benefit from social media, it's important to stay "social." Actively posting valuable information will increase the chances of patients sharing your posts with their individual networks – a great way to increase referrals and spread the word about your practice.
9. Create or purchase a beautiful cover photo. Your cover image is the first thing viewers notice on your Facebook page. A beautiful, eye-catching image will spark interest and increase engagement while giving visitors a professional impression of your practice.
10. Use the power of word of mouth. When chatting with patients, let them know that you're on Facebook, and ask them to "Like" your page. With over half a billion people accessing Facebook from their mobile device, most patients will be able to "Like" your page right then and there!
There's no better time than now to start capitalizing on the power of Facebook. In fact, 77% of companies with a social media presence say they regularly acquire new customers through Facebook. Studies additionally show that Facebook has the most website traffic referrals than any other social networking site. It's clear that Facebook can deliver numerous benefits, and by utilizing these strategies you can begin working towards a successful presence on this powerful social network.
Lance McCollough is the Founder and CEO of ProSites, a leading website design and Internet marketing company for dental professionals. ProSites helps doctors attract new patients and grow their practice through innovative website solutions, advanced search engine optimization, mobile websites, social media and local search marketing strategies. To learn more, visit www.ProSites.com or call (888) 332-2114.
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