Making Patients & Customers into Fans: Are Facebook Fan-Building Campaigns Effective?

April 28th, 2015 by Search Influence Alumni

Medical Facebook Likes Image Preview - Search Influence

Looking to connect with your ideal patients and customers online? Facebook fan-building campaigns are just what the doctor ordered for creating the perfect online experience for your audience as well as building your community of followers.

But before we delve into the specifics of Facebook fan-building campaigns and how this online marketing strategy can win you customers and patients alike, let’s briefly go over what fan building is. Fan building is a way for businesses to acquire likes on Facebook and to connect with all the people that matter to them. While a business can acquire fans organically, paid ads are more effective and efficient at increasing a business’s fan base and amplifying the rate of fan growth.

Part 1: Are Page Like Ads Effective at Fan Building?

Short answer: Yes. Facebook page like ads are effective.

Case Study 1: 

Let’s look at Client A. Client A is a well-established business specializing in reconstructive surgery. Search Influence started a fan-building campaign for Client A toward the end of 2011 and have been actively managing it ever since.

In order to maximize the client’s budget, we focused ad copy around the authoritative nature of our client in the field of reconstructive surgery and targeted these ads to users we identified as most likely to convert (in the form of a page like) based on their interests and online behaviors.

Prior to the Facebook fan-building campaign, Client A had around 550 page likes from various organic sources. Not a shabby number to begin with, but we were able to get that number up to 21,000 within a year. Within two years, Client A had more than 30,000 fans … within three years, more than 65,000 fans. And likes acquired from our fan-building advertising campaign made up of a majority of the fan growth:

Page Likes By Source (Daily):

Facebook Fan Buikding Likes Image Search Influence

The above segments the daily page likes gained by source. As you can see, likes as a result of fan-building ads made up more than 85 percent of the likes gained.

Case Study 2:

Client B is a multi-location addiction treatment and recovery facility. We started running a fan-building campaign for Client B toward the end of 2012. The campaign lasted two years and increased Client B’s fan base by more than 6,000. For Client B, we focused on grabbing the attention of users by including encouraging and supportive language within our ad copy, and we targeted users that we identified as most likely to be interested in the services offered by the client or to know someone that could benefit from the services offered.

One of the main roadblocks was getting users to like a page that focused on such a sensitive subject. After all, why would anyone want to publicly like a page about addiction treatment and recovery? Well, if you fill your page with interesting content that is relevant to your business and engaging to your audience, users are more likely to follow and interact with your page. So with Client B, we first got users’ attention with our page like ads, and we kept their attention with the content on the page!

Once we stopped running Client B’s fan-building campaign, we noticed that while the fans gained from the campaign were still there … the rate at which new fans were coming in has stalled. Take that as you will, but we came to the conclusion that fan-building campaigns are, in fact, effective. Moreover, fan-building campaigns are sustainable (more on that next).

Part 2: Is Fan Building Sustainable? YES!

Fan-building campaigns are a sustainable way to increase your fan base. If you create an effective campaign with the right message and proper targeting, page likes gained from fan-building campaigns don’t just disappear once the campaign ends. Users like pages because they’re interested in the product, the business, or the brand, and they want to know what’s going on and to get updates.

That being said, just having an active fan-building campaign isn’t the be-all and end-all to building and maintaining fans. As demonstrated in Case Study 2, an effective fan-building campaign only starts with knowing who your target audience is, how to reach them, and what message will speak best to your target audience. From there, the campaign flows into what is actually on your page.

You can get page likes by having the most interesting and enticing messaging in your ads and by targeting the exact audience that should be interested … but if your page is boring and dry, you’re not going to be able to sustain the page likes you gain and maximize your fan-building campaign’s potential.

Lagniappe: Likes For Lives

A relatively recent tactic used for fan-building campaigns is called “Likes For Lives.” The concept behind Likes For Lives is that for every like a business receives on its page, it will take some sort of action to save a life. The action is usually a donation of some sort.

Below is an ad from our most recent Likes For Lives campaign we ran for a client of ours during October 2014. October happens to be breast cancer awareness month, so we decided to incentivize Facebook users to click like by pledging to give a $1 donation for every like. This particular Likes For Lives campaign gained our client 748 likes from October 10 to October 30, 2014. The average cost per like was 48 cents.

The Likes For Lives campaign generated more clicks in the 20 days that it ran compared to this client’s monthly average of 150 likes from its regular fan-building campaign. Therefore, a Likes For Lives campaign for this specific client was very successful.

Likes For Lives Faebook Fan Building Image Search Influence

One of the best ways to stand out and speak to users, no matter what type of advertising campaign you’re running, is to have a unique and attention-grabbing ad copy. And Likes For Lives campaigns provide just that. If you know who you’re trying to reach and how to create the targeting needed on Facebook to reach them, why not utilize the Likes For Lives incentive to build your fans and help a cause? Likes For Lives campaigns are a great way for all businesses, especially those with a health care focus, to gain positive brand awareness and to strengthen the fan base.