Facebook provides a powerful social media tool to increase patient engagement with your practice–and to encourage present patients to introduce your practice to their network of friends and contacts. As experts who study customer loyalty in many fields point out, today is all about “engaging with customers.” The same holds true for your patients.

Here are three sample campaigns that let you utilize your Facebook page in increasing patient engagement to the fullest.

The “Like” Campaign –Goal: To increase fan base

Impact: Reach more viewers, create greater brand recognition

Implementation: A “like” campaign is designed to give Facebook users an incentive to like your page. It involves encouraging fans to share a post to get their networks to like your page. Often such a campaign will also be publicized outside of your actual Facebook page so people who aren’t already your Facebook fans will see it such as via a pop-up ad on your web site homepage, an e-mail campaign or printed materials such as postcards, posters or business cards. Your incentive can be the great information and deals any fan of your page would see, or you can offer a gift, discount or prize. Once the prize has been awarded, always follow up with a post or picture showing happy recipients or winners.

 

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The Awareness Campaign – Goal: To promote specific educational topics and highlight specialties.

Impact: Publicize areas of specialty, increase expertise and trust and enhance loyalty.

Implementation: An awareness campaign involves selecting a particular topic and creating a series of posts along with engagement opportunities. You can take a seasonal approach (back-to-school eye concerns or seasonal allergies) or focus on a particular area of interest (Ortho-K or glaucoma) and post facts, links to articles, photos, giveaways, testimonials, etc…the opportunities are endless. Awareness campaigns can also be integrated with other online or offline media such as posters, e-mails, lectures, events, blog posts, press releases and more.

 

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Post (Theme) Campaign-Goal: To provide entertainment or share interesting facts

Impact: Can keep fans coming back to visit your page and encourage engagement

Implementation: Creating a series of posts around a particular theme is an easy way to organize your posting schedule and keep visitors coming back to your page.

Pick a theme for a certain day of the week (Funday Monday with a joke or Trivia Tuesday) or run a few weeks of posts about a fun, interesting or entertaining topic. You can also suggest a theme and have your friends contribute toward it such as sending in pictures of dogs or babies wearing glasses, or posting a joke. Whatever you choose, make sure to incorporate an image or photo with each post to garner attention.

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In summary, the best way to succeed with Facebook as a marketing tool for your practice–like any marketing platform–is to set realistic goals and plan out a strategy to achieve them. You want to post at least once a week, more often if possible, to gain exposure for your page and create engagement. Campaigns that involve incentives, entertainment, or important educational messages that establish your expertise, will help to retain fans by way of loyalty, interest and recognition.