Facebook has proven to be a very valuable marketing tool for dental practices. Why? A dynamic dental Facebook page can help strengthen your internal patient relationships and has the capability to give your SEO efforts a boost by sending Google social signals that help establish your website’s credibility and authority – which usually means a better search engine ranking.
Just a few short years ago, Facebook was somewhat of uncharted territory for dental practices. Dentists “knew” they should have a page, “friend” their patients and potential patients and post content; but nobody really knew how to start and what exactly constituted good content. Since then, Facebook has given dental practices hints, tips and rules on how to administrate a great Facebook page. Here’s what we already know:
- Likes, Shares and Posts can now be used as a voting mechanism in Facebook contests and promotions. In the past, they could not.
- Just because someone likes your page, doesn’t mean your daily posts will show up in their newsfeed aka what people spend their time scrolling through on Facebook. As odd as that might sound, Facebook considers many factors when it determines which people and what company profiles to display in a user’s daily newsfeed. It’s called the Edgerank algorithm and it considers your relationship with the users, the quality of your content and how old the post is when deciding what to display to its users.
- Your patients can now search within the Facebook platform to find dentists their Facebook connections or “friends” have liked. It’s called Graph Search and we think its Facebook’s way of keeping their users within their platform as opposed to leaving and searching for a dentist on Google.
- Like Twitter, Facebook now supports hashtags. By adding a hashtag to your posts like #dental, #dentist, #teeth; your posts will be included in a much larger conversation about those topics; which means, more reach for your posts.
We’ve written about Google’s many algorithm tweaks and changes in the past. You can read about those here and here. But, in the past week, it appears that Facebook has followed suit and released their first algorithm change of 2014. Primarily, this change affects the way that business or brand pages (this includes your practice page), share links. Facebook administrators have found that many of its users don’t interact with links from business pages well – so they decided to not give as much weight to text and link only statuses. Need a visual?
Here is how Facebook doesn’t want you to share links. Notice that the post only contains the link to the article with a short status update and no image.
Here is how Facebook does want you to share links. It’s called “link-sharing” and it includes an image as well as all of the link meta-data – or the short description below the title and link.
Facebook has always preferred photos over text-only content and this new change only strengthens that. From now on, Facebook newsfeeds will prefer the “text-sharing” posts and display those to your page’s friends. If you are posting only text and link status updates, there is a good chance it won’t show up in any of your Facebook friend’s newsfeeds.
Here are three easy steps to make sure your status update is in “link-share” format and displayed properly.
Step 1 – Copy and paste the link you want to share in your Facebook status update box.
Step 2 – Wait a few seconds and let the status update populate. The photo and metadata will automatically fill in.
Step 3 – Delete the link in the status update box and add any additional commentary about the article. TIP: We highly suggest you add a bit of commentary. Remember, your Facebook friends/fans want to hear from YOU, that’s why they’re following you.
Time and time again, visual images have proven to be what engages people most; and Facebook is proving to be no different. To stay up to date with social media changes, contact our dedicated social media marketing team today