Your Practice is Missing Out on the Real Power of Facebook
It seems like every day you hear about some new social media channel. You know you can’t be everywhere, but you also worry that you could be missing out on new patients if you don’t manage to be in the right places.
If there’s one social media platform you can count on your patients using, it’s Facebook. Nearly 75% of all adults that ever go online use Facebook. Businesses of all types have scrambled to create pages on Facebook and started posting content hoping for likes and engagement. Yet many hesitate to use what’s arguably the most valuable tool Facebook offers: their paid advertising.
5 Reasons Investing in Facebook Ads is Worth the Cost
If you’re going to move into a new channel of paid marketing, you need to know it’s going to be worth it. Many small practices will always find it easier to refrain rather than take a risk. When it comes to Facebook though, the risk is less than you might expect.
- Your patients are on Facebook. Frequently. Not only are 75% of adults on Facebook, but over 1 billion of Facebook’s users are active on it daily. A lot of your potential patients are spending a significant amount of time on Facebook. That gives you, as an advertiser, plenty of opportunities to reach them there.
- Facebook targeting features are extremely sophisticated. One of the biggest benefits Facebook offers in comparison to other online channels is how specific an advertiser can get in choosing who to reach. You can ensure your ads show to the people most likely to respond by targeting patients based on factors like age, salary, relationship status, life events and even their interests. Let’s say you’ve decided you want more teeth whitening cases, you can target ads to the people most likely to want the service. For example, you can specify that ads be shown only to women who recently updated their status to “engaged”. You know they want to look good for the big day. Pay attention to the habits and trends of your ideal patients. You can use that information to reach more people like them on Facebook.
- You can try different types of ads to see what works. If you use Facebook regularly yourself, then you’ve probably noticed that ads can show in many different formats. The most obvious are the visual ads you see along the side of your news feed. Increasingly you’ll see posts shared by brands that have paid to boost them so they show up for more people. These include sponsored videos, photos, updates and recommended brand pages based on what their friends like. These posts all appear in the main feed.Even if you have a Facebook page with a large number of likes, the number of people likely to see your posts and updates is limited without some advertising spend.Features like boost a post and lookalike audiences give your content more exposure. Based on the extensive data Facebook maintains, your posts will be shown to the friends of those who like your page or people that Facebook considers similar to those who like you.
- Cost-per-click is lower than Google Adwords (with better targeting). Google’s the other big player in targeted online advertising and, while many dental practices have dipped their toes into Google Adwords without a second thought because of how prominent the search engine is, Facebook is actually a better deal in many cases.They charge less for the click-throughs you receive on your ads and their more sophisticated targeting options mean that more of those clicks will be the patients you most want to reach.
- It provides a solid ROI (if you do it well). As in all things marketing, the ROI isn’t guaranteed. You still have to use Facebook’s advertising features effectively and optimize as you go for better results, but many businesses have achieved a solid return-on-investment for their efforts.
Tips to Get the Most Out of Facebook Advertising
To achieve ROI on the platform yourself, you should implement a few best practices:
- Think carefully about who you want seeing your ads. Showing your ads to the wrong audience is the fastest way to lose money on Facebook (or any other type of marketing for that matter).
- Take advantage of the targeting features. They’re one of the biggest benefits of the service.
- Pay attention to what works as you start to gather data. You may find a slightly different strategy or audience serves you better than the ones you assumed.
- Don’t let Facebook do your bidding. Smart advertisers use the advanced pricing model so they have more control.
- Use Facebook Power Editor (instead of Ads Manager) to create your campaign, it gives you more flexibility with audience targeting.
- Stick to your budget, but don’t be too stingy. You have to pay to get seen, but you don’t want to go overboard and spend more than you can afford.
- Don’t forget about search retargeting. You can either target your ads to prior visitors to your website, or target users based on searches they’ve conducted on Google or Bing.
Whether you love using Facebook in your personal life or don’t really get the appeal, it can become an important marketing tool for your business if you take advantage of the opportunities it presents. A little risk can take you a long way.
As always, let us know if we can answer any questions.