Growing Your Practice on Facebook, Part 4: Reach Your Audience

June 22nd, 2017 by Ann Wanserski

Now that you’ve gained valuable insights on the many uses of Facebook paid ads, the importance of engaging with your followers, and why all of this matters in the first place (spoiler alert: yes, social media is worth your time), we’re going to get into the specifics of understanding and capturing your audience. After all, if you don’t understand your users, how are you ever going to reach them?

We’ll share how to use the Audience Insights tool on Facebook to analyze when your users are active and what’s catching their attention. Then, we’ll share some surprisingly easy ways to update your Facebook page and grow your followers—as well as your actual patients.

Ready for the PhD-level course on using Facebook to grow your medical practice? Download our free e-book today.

How Can You Use Audience Insights to Grow Your Reach on Facebook?

With nearly 2 billion monthly users on Facebook, it’s important to narrow the scope and understand who is engaging with your practice, as well as what they are looking for from your page. That’s where the Audience Insights tool plays a vital role. Audience Insights allows page administrators to understand their users and target their reach according to demographics, purchase behaviors, geography, and activity on Facebook.

By creating a custom audience using this tool, you can target your ads to a specific group of users on Facebook. Say you know that your typical patient is a female in greater New Orleans with an average household income of $150-250K and a bachelor’s degree or higher. You can create a new custom audience using these demographics and build an ad campaign on Facebook to target that audience. While that’s a pretty narrow scope for a medical practice that isn’t quite so sure of their ideal patient, experimenting with a few different test audiences to gather data on successes and misses is a great first step.

On the other end of the spectrum, you can also use Facebook insights to gain more knowledge about your active users and cater your posts and ads to the types of demographics that are most engaged with your page. You can even learn the best times of the day and week to post and the type of content that achieves the highest engagement. Perhaps you see a spike in engagement when you post patient testimonial videos on your page and dedicate more marketing spend on creating videos. Or, maybe your analytics show that users are more engaged in the mornings, so you schedule your posts in advance for time slots between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. to capitalize on your users’ behaviors.

These insights can all inform your future social media marketing strategy to focus on what works and build on your successes.

Picture Of A Medical Doctor's Desk - Search Influence

How Can You Connect Your In-Person Audience With Your Social Presence?

While tools like Audience Insights allow you to understand your online audience, it’s just as important to understand and connect to the people visiting your office and living in your community. The more you can bridge these two segments, the better your chances of building a loyal fan base and creating meaningful social media content.

Events are a great option for bridging these two audiences. If you’re hosting an event at your office, like a drive for flu shots or a fundraiser for a local nonprofit, be sure to create a Facebook event so guests can RSVP, invite friends, and receive reminders as the date approaches. If your event is public on Facebook, the platform will also suggest it to other users based on friends who are attending. Now your online users also have a reason to visit your office and speak with you in person about a subject they are already interested in.

Community events that focus on the values of your practice are also important for building trust and humanizing your online presence. By showcasing the causes that are important to your industry, work, or community, users can connect with your page through those similar interests. For example, if your company is participating in a community event like March of Dimes or you have a team participating in a local 5K, share updates on your fundraising efforts, highlight photos from the event, and link to informational articles about the cause. All of these strategies help create dynamic social media content while also connecting you to the broader community of users with shared interests and passions.

Want to hear about how this works firsthand? Check out our case study showing how social media helped the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery connect with a community of breast cancer patients, survivors, and family members.

How Can Fan-Building Campaigns Help Engage & Grow Your Audience?

Now that you have a better understanding of who your target audience is and how to build a bridge between your online and IRL communities, it’s time to increase the number of actual fans connected with your page. The first step may seem obvious, but it can’t be overlooked. You have to have an active, established page with helpful content and consistent posts. Make sure you’re dedicating time to posting new content as well as responding to inquiries to build engagement.

Image Of Stethoscope With Breast Cancer Ribbon At Medical Practice - Search Influence

Another great tactic to generate new followers is through a fan-building initiative such as a “Like for Lives” campaign. Remember when we said that connecting your social media content to your values and industry is important? “Likes for Lives” does just that. The basic premise is that for each additional Like that your page receives for a set period of time, your medical practice will make a donation or take an action to help save a life. This could be a monetary donation to a charity, a volunteer commitment, or any other creative action your practice can take to help others.

The goal is to generate excitement on your page and in your office, giving you plenty to post about in order to raise awareness about your campaign and encouraging your fans to share your initiative with their friends in support of a good cause. Be sure your staff is informed of the campaign, and encourage or incentivize them to share the information within their own networks on Facebook. If you work with a nonprofit to raise money, they may also want to share the content, further increasing your reach.

With a combination of tactics like these and consistent posts on your Facebook page, you’ll start seeing your audience steadily grow. By targeting the right demographics, you can also see this growing audience translate to more patients. Remember, social media is here to stay, and leveraging its power and reach can have a big impact on your medical practice.

Stay posted for the next update in our series where we’ll discuss the importance of patient confidentiality on Facebook.

Eager for more tips and tricks to grow your social media IQ? Get our e-book now.