We all know how important it is to have a social media for your practice. Facebook makes it very easy for your patients to share your information with their friends and family and an active social media presence also is perfect for keeping you in the mind of your patients.
But an often-overlooked aspect of Facebook is their paid advertising. Many chiropractors are familiar with AdWords and use that for their practice, but most doctors don’t know about Facebook PPC ads.
Facebook ads have a couple of benefits that can help you find new patients:
Facebook ads are typically much less expensive than AdWords or Bing Ads. It’s easy to spend $10 to $20 per click in a large city for AdWords, while Facebook ads can cost you less than $1 each.
Facebook ads allow you to use images or video, which can make your ads more eye-catching.
Facebook can also allow you to laser target specific interests, which can help you convert clicks into new patient visits.
Let’s look at the last aspect of Facebook marketing and see how that works.
We set up a Facebook ad for one of our clients who wanted to look for new patients for auto injury, back pain, and sciatica. Now, you could create one ad and try to get those types of patient randomly, but you’d be wasting your money. The correct way to do this is to create specific ads for each type of patient and then send those clicks to specific pages on your site tailored to those patients.
There are many different kinds of targeting that you can specify in Facebook:
Location: You clearly want to show your ads only to patients who live close to your office. Facebook Ads allow you to set a distance from your office location that works for you. If you’re in a large city, you’re going to want to cut that radius down, as most patients aren’t going to drive all the way across Los Angeles, for instance, to visit your office.
Age: You can target your ads to specific age groups. For instance, if you’re looking for middle aged folks with back pain, you can set your age targeting appropriately.
Gender: Do you work with pregnant women or new mothers? You’ll probably want target women with your ads! (You can dig deeper and even target women who are moms!)
Interests: This is where it gets interesting (sorry for the pun). With “Interests” targeting, you can specify very specific types of interests. In this example, we targeted people interested in Accident, Injury, Traffic Collision:
You can do the same thing for back pain:
We’ve all heard about privacy concerns with Facebook. Let’s face it, Facebook knows a lot about you and what you’re interested in. In fact, we can even target people based on their “Behaviors.” Want to target people in your city who have purchased “Over-the-counter medication” or “Pain Relief” products? Facebook has you covered:
By laser-focusing your marketing message, you can pinpoint the exact type of patient you’re looking for, down to the age, gender, and their purchases. Creepy? Yep. Effective? You bet!
In today’s market, you need every edge that you can get over the other chiropractors in your city. Carefully targeted Facebook ads are a great way to do this, and they are often less expensive than other PPC advertising.
As part of our chiropractic marketing services, we’ll help you set up and optimize your Facebook or AdWords campaigns, as well as work on your organic web presence. You can learn about our different levels of service we offer, or give us a call today for more information at (800) 295-3346.
If you’re not using social media to reach new patients, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. People of all ages are using Facebook and Twitter to stay in touch with friends and family, and your presence there can make a big difference for your practice.
Using social media doesn’t have to be difficult, either. We provide some simple tools that keep your social media accounts active with no work from you.
If you want to learn more about how to get the most out of your chiropractic website, check out our free Beginner’s Guide to SEO.
Your chiropractic marketing has to be where your patients are, and, like it or not, Facebook is where people spend a lot of time. Hundreds of millions of people are using Facebook, and a carefully prepared strategy can make it an effective marketing tool for your practice.
Some of the benefits for your practice include:
It’s a great way to stay in touch with current patients by sharing articles and content. You want your patients to be thinking about you often. It makes them more likely to make an appointment and refer a friend.
It’s fantastic for getting the word out about new services or promotions.
It’s the perfect way to share the benefits of chiropractic with the world. By sharing content with your friends and patients, their friends also see the posts and can learn about chiropractic.
So, Facebook has obvious benefits for your practice and chiropractic in general. The question then becomes, “How do I find the time to regularly engage on Facebook?”
Although it is now fairly common for hospitals and other health-care providers to use social media, there has been little research about how tools like Facebook and Twitter are being used by professionals in the health-care field. Is social media being used mostly as a marketing tool or as a way to interact with patients?
A new marketing study published last month has helped paint a picture of how social media is currently being used in health-care as well as a direction where it should be headed into the future for optimal marketing success. Researchers conducted an analysis of more than 23,000 posts and tweets on 172 hospitals’ Facebook and Twitter pages.
It was discovered that most hospitals were using social media, especially Twitter, as a way to relay one-sided marketing information. In other words, social media was primarily being used for tasks such as describing and promoting products and services, communicating mission statements, providing health education, or encouraging philanthropy. Moreover, the study found that hospitals using Twitter were primarily following and being followed by other businesses rather than individual consumers.
The analysts did find that many hospitals, particularly the largest of the sample, have made an effort to interact with people who visit their Facebook pages. The researchers found evidence of a great effort by hospitals to respond to visitors’ posts and comments, and the number of these interactions was roughly equal to the number of posts and comments by visitors. They noted that hospitals seem to value and participate with their Facebook visitors as long as visitors cared to genuinely interact with hospitals.
Although the effort to interact was present, the study found that overall, in-depth interaction with visitors was minimal. The authors of the study pointed out the problem with this. They cited previous consumer research that only 14% of people trust advertising compared with 78% who trust recommendations and referrals. Building relationships and engaging consumers on social media can build trust and give prospective patients an opportunity to read their friends’ and families’ reviews.
Health-care organizations need to work to create a large visitor base on Facebook. The study found that the hospitals with the largest visitor base had more “likes” and comments on their Facebook posts, and they were rewarded by having more people recommending their hospital than facilities with less visitors.
And what about smaller health-care organizations, like your chiropractic office? The study authors recommended that smaller facilities should better take advantage of social media to actually connect with their visitors. Business and marketing director Cindy Smith-Putnam said, “Hospitals lacking robust marketing and communications budgets may be MORE likely, not less likely, to consider technology investments a major priority.” She went on to point out that social media is inexpensive compared to more traditional marketing communication, such as paid advertising, print publications, and direct mail. The also said that social media provides an added benefit of facilitating more two-way interaction.
With millions of users visiting the site each day, Facebook has easily become one of the most important destinations on the Internet.
1. The Audience Is Vast
No matter what an individual or business specializes in, signing up with Facebook can greatly help in reaching a potential customers. Since millions of people visit Facebook daily, it is likely that thousands of people interested in finding a chiropractor will be accessing Facebook every day. Potential patients in your area can easily find information about your chiropractic practice through this accessible format.
2. It Shows the Ability to Adjust
Some doctors do not believe that they need to change with the times in order to maintain a place in the public eye. To them, a physical location is enough, and nothing else is necessary. However, to take on such a view can be dangerous and cause a loss of patients. People like to know that the doctors they deal with are willing to adjust to modern expectations. Creating a blog, maintaining a website, and utilizing social networks are excellent ways to demonstrate your ability to keep up with technology.
3. There Is a Real Human Connection
Facebook is not just about posting interesting images or commenting on how the day was spent. For a number of users, it is also a way to stay connected with their loved ones and coworkers. Although they may not be in the same room or state, they can still communicate in their own way. It can also be a way for them to find out about medical services in their area. Should a chiropractor set up a Facebook account, they will be able to talk to patients directly. Should somebody have a question they can have it answered right away. There is less room for confusion and dissatisfaction for all involved. Patients appreciate these personalized, human connections when they’re looking for a doctor.
Facebook is a social media website that was founded in 2004 by a geeky Harvard student named Mark Zuckerberg. The website began as a silly website called FaceMash that took photos of Harvard students and placed them side-by-side, allowing users to choose which person was more attractive. The website went viral almost instantly and attracted so much traffic that it crashed the Harvard servers, an impressive feat for a college undergraduate. This got Mark into serious trouble but didn’t prevent him from continuing development. Several months later, Facebook was born and was available exclusively to college students. The site was a huge success and has grown to over 500 million active users worldwide. (For more background information, check out The Social Network)
So what does Facebook do, exactly? It’s a social networking site that allows people to stay connected with their friends, community, and local businesses in an organic and meaningful way. It’s a digital reflection of the real world that allows for complex, interesting communication. Imagine walking into a room with several hundred thousand people — the same benefits and challenges apply on Facebook. For instance, the networking potential is huge and it allows for rapid business growth if you have something exciting to offer. It’s also a great tool for educating clients and changing public opinion. That said, some of the challenges are: how do you connect with new people, how do you actually generate revenue, and what kinds of messages work?
With over 500 million active users and over 70% of the American population actively using Facebook, it’s no longer a matter of whether or not you should be using Facebook, but rather how you should be using it. This marketing guide will help answer that question.
Targeting your Audience
The success or failure of your Facebook marketing strategy will be largely determined by the quality of your audience. Without an active audience, you’ll be shouting into empty space and wasting time. Building an audience is the first step in any Facebook marketing campaign and it requires more than just racking up a huge number of friends on Facebook. Before you even create your Facebook account,
you should sit down with a pen and paper and contemplate who your ideal audience is. What are their demographics: age, gender, ethnicity, language, income, education? What are their psychographic traits: linguistic habits, cultural perceptions, preferred colors? Write up 3-5 ideal “people” who you want to target and include as much information about them as possible. The more complete you make these initial profiles, the better you’ll be able to communicate with your audience and the more successful your campaign will be. If you don’t take the time to do this initial homework you’ll be shooting in the dark with a blindfold on.
Once you have a handful of audience profiles, take time to think about things like: what does this person care about most? what kind of linguistic patterns do these people prefer? which of my services or products will benefit this person most? After you’ve answered these questions, you’re ready to start setting up your Facebook profile and business page.
Creating your Profile
Your first step is to create a profile. This is your digital persona and it’s what people will see when they look at you. Think carefully about what you want to include and what story you want to tell about yourself and your company. Don’t censor yourself too much but be aware that everything on your profile will be scrutinized by someone. Remember that it’s perfectly okay to include things that will irritate some folks, as long as your target audience likes it. For instance, listing “Liberal” under your political preference will naturally appeal to some people and repel others — I recommend including that information as long as it accurately conveys your personality and doesn’t create a negative impression with your target audience. If you’re living in a highly conservative area, you might want to consider leaving “Liberal” off your profile. It’s entirely up to you, but make a conscious decision.
I also recommend adding lots of photos to your Facebook profile. Remember that Facebook is all about genuine human interaction, which means people will enjoy looking through pictures of you. Try to include photos of you doing active, interesting things and family oriented photos. This will help portray you as a complete, interesting person and will make you more appealing to your audience. Your goal is to create as much resonance with your audience as possible. In other words, if you’re targeting golfers and sailors you should probably include pictures of you golfing and sailing — otherwise you won’t have as much common ground and communication will be harder. Figure out what imagery will appeal to your audience and then upload that kind of content.
Building your Network
Now it’s time to build your audience! At this point, you should know exactly who your target audience is and you should have a complete profile that’s designed to appeal to that audience. When it comes to actually expanding your network, you’ll have a few options and I recommend using as many as possible. Your first option is simply to go through people in your area and send Friend Requests to as many of them as possible. This is a straightforward process: you find people who you want to connect with and you send them a request to become friends. If they accept, you’ll be added to each other’s network. The only downside to this strategy is that Facebook will limit the number of people you can send requests to and they’ll eventually limit your ability to send friend requests if you overdo it. My recommendation is to send no more than 5-10 requests per day and I recommend selecting the people carefully. The number of people you connect with is less important than the quality of connection. Focus on adding a few great people per day rather than hundreds of random people.
Another strategy is to connect with existing clients and friends. The easiest way to find these people is by exporting your email contacts and uploading them to Facebook. This handy little technique will automatically filter through all of your emails and it’ll find lots of people who you may know. You can also bulk upload your client database emails, although I recommend adding no more than 500 at a time. If you add more than that, you’ll probably get temporarily suspended for adding a suspiciously large number of people at a time. These temporary suspensions aren’t a big deal but they’re annoying. You should also tell clients to find you on Facebook and you should offer some kind of benefit. For instance, host a monthly photo contest and offer a nice gift for the winner. This is one of my favorite strategies for network expansion and improving audience engagement. Photo contests build community, tap into people’s competitive drive, generates a lot of activity around your business, and makes everyone happy. You should also upload the monthly (or weekly) winner’s photo to your website along with a quick blurb about that person. This will make the winner extra happy and they’ll send their friends and family to your website to view the photo, which is even more exposure for you!
Running a Facebook Ad campaign is another great option. These campaigns allow you to target people according to detailed demographic data like age, location, interests, and level of education and running a Facebook Ad can be extremely cheap — under $0.75 per click for most cities. In my experience, Facebook Ad campaigns are only successful if they’re well targeted and if you have compelling content. If you don’t have compelling content, you’ll probably waste your money. My advice is to allocate $200 to running a test campaign once your Facebook profiles are up and running. After running the campaign for 30 days, you’ll know whether or not it’s valuable (assuming you manage the campaign correctly and understand the data).
Last, but not least, you should create awesome content. I’ll talk about this more in the next segment…
Awesome Content Rules
Content, more than anything else, will determine the success or failure of your campaign over the long haul. Facebook allows you to post all kind of stuff: photos, videos, links, notes, comments, and status updates. The question is, what should you post? What content will resonate the most with your audience? There’s no absolute rule here and it’ll probably take some trial and error. Generally speaking, photos get more response that text and videos get more response than photos. You should sprinkle in a bit of everything but try to upload a steady stream of photos and an occasional video.
You should also apply a liberal dose of humor whenever possible. This requires a bit more work but it pays off big time. Be very cognizant that what you think is funny might not be humorous to your audience and, when in doubt, err on the side of caution. A bit of cheekiness and whimsy can work wonders, but it’s easy to stray into sounding goofy or dumb. People are generally forgiving on Facebook and it’s better to push the envelope than to play it 100% safe and come off as boring.
Another great strategy is to write a steady stream of blog articles on your website and to upload them to Facebook. This will attract people to your website and you might even develop a steady readership. Just make sure the blog articles are actually interesting! I have to constantly pull myself back from using “tech” language when I write these articles and I have to avoid going too far into the esoterics of online marketing and social media. Most of you folks probably don’t want to hear me ramble on about prevalent linguistic patterns for Generation Y Facebook users. Likewise, your readers probably won’t be interested in the highly technical side of your industry. Stick to concepts that your audience will understand and benefit from. That last part about benefits is really important. Your content needs to benefit your audience. This can be as simple as posting an amusing photo that makes someone laugh or as meaningful as posting a health article that changes someone’s life.
The best content is interactive. Remember that social media is a living, breathing environment — it’s not a billboard. Your content will get more responses if you engage your audience by asking questions or playing games like “caption this photo”. Allow your audience to participate and reward them for their participation. Every time someone interacts with you online, they’re promoting you to their entire network. When someone posts a comment on your photos, there’s a high probability that your photo will then be viewed by 100+ people in their network. Interaction is the end goal on Facebook and it pays off in the real world by improving your visibility and increasing the number of people coming through your doors. Increasingly, consumers are making purchasing decisions based on what their friends are talking about online. The short and sweet of it is this: get your patients to talk about you and interact with you on Facebook and you’ll see tangible financial results.
Admittedly, social media marketing is time consuming and requires some expertise. Anyone can use Facebook, but very few people are able to consistently achieve tangible results. For these reasons, many business owners are turning to social media experts for training or management services. These services can be extremely valuable, but the social media marketing industry is also swarming with low-quality knockoff services, scam artists, and snake oil salesemen. If you’re thinking about working with a professional or a firm, you should remember the following tips:
1. Ask for Hourly Receipts This weeds out many of the scam artists and knockoff services who charge exorbitant rates for very little work. Remember that social media is time consuming and requires a lot of work, but it’s perfectly reasonable to expect hourly work receipts that prove what work was being done and how many hours were spent on your account per month. If you break down a service this way, you’ll know whether or not you’re being taken advantage of. Paying $1500/month for 10 hours of work is probably a bad investment but paying the same amount per month for 40 hours of work is pretty reasonable, especially if you’re working with a qualified expert.
2. Avoid Hucksters If someone ever “guarantees” something of has a “system”, you should run in the opposite direction. There is absolutely no such thing as a guarantee or a social media marketing system. Successful social media campaigns require lots of customization, tracking, and refinement and there’s no way to guarantee success. An honest social media expert will tell you that the best they can do is work their butts off and use every strategy in their arsenal. Even the most perfectly planned social media campaigns sometimes fail, that’s just part of the game. I also recommend avoiding anyone with a hard-sell or someone who uses too many fancy buzzwords. Working with a social media expert is a long-term relationship and you’ll want to work with a honest, no BS, knowledgeable person who spends more time working on campaigns than pitching them.
3. Go Big or Go Home Committing to a social media campaign is a big deal and there’s no secret technique that circumvents investing either time or money (or both). The payoffs can be huge but it will require a significant investment over a long period of time. Medium sized companies like multi-doctor chiropractic clinics should plan on either spending 10-15 hours per week working on their campaign or having an expert spend that amount of time working on their campaign. Whether or not you hire a professional really comes down to whether your time is worth more than paying the expert and whether or not you have a knack for this kind of marketing. Either way, plan on making a serious investment and committing yourself to this platform.
4. Experts VS Your Nephew (niece, receptionist, intern, etc) Unless your receptionist, nephew, daughter, or intern is also a seasoned social media expert, they’re probably not going to run a successful social media campaign for your company. Most companies are delegating social media duties to the lowest paid individuals in their company — which is probably why so many social media campaigns fail and why there have been so many public relations scandals lately (remember the Red Cross’ drunk tweet?). Why the heck would a company hand their company’s biggest public relations platform over to their least qualified employees?? Imagine that you own an Enzo Ferrari. Now imagine it broke down. Would you hire a qualified mechanic or your nephew’s friend who incidentally likes cars? The same scenario applies to social media, especially for medium-enterprise level companies. Smaller companies may not have the luxury of working with a professional, but you should at least ensure that your nephew’s friend has read a few books on the subject.
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Small businesses don’t usually have the resources to run a full-scale campaign with a professional, but there are some excellent DIY resources on the web. Running your own social media campaign will require a big time investment and a long-term commitment. Plan on investing a minimum of 5-10 hours per week to your campaign and commit to at least 6 months of work. There are some cool tools that make this work more efficient, but there aren’t any big shortcuts or “instant success” techniques. If you’re not particularly web-savvy, you might want to consider paying a professional for a few sessions of training. It’ll end up saving you lots of time and frustration, even if it’s as simple as chatting over the phone once or twice a week and having someone available to answer your toughest questions. If you’re more web-savvy than the average person, you can probably find tutorials and guides online pretty easily that’ll answer all of the basic questions.
After you have the basics down, I recommend buying a few books:
Idiots Guide to Social Media Marketing This is a short and insightful little book on the core components of social media marketing. It covers all of the basics and touches on some of the more advanced stuff, but it never gets overly technical or dull. Fantastic resource for beginners.
New Rules of Marketing & PR This book is a little more advanced, but it does a great job of laying out some of the more complex changes in marketing and communication over the last two decades. I recommend reading this book after you’ve made your way through the Idiots guide and have a reasonably sized audience. It’s a good resource if you find yourself in a rut at the beginning or if you’re not getting much response from your Facebook audience.
Made to Stick This is my single favorite marketing resource and I wish I could implement half of their knowledge. It’s not so much a “how-to” as it is a sociology book that reveals the psychology and history behind viral ideas and wildly successful marketing campaigns. It’s an outstanding book for social media veterans that want to push their campaigns to the next level. To implement these ideas effectively, you’ll probably need a reasonably successful campaign with an established audience and you’ll need solid social media skills.
Hopefully this guide was helpful! It doesn’t come anywhere near answering all the questions, but I hope it’ll help point you in the right direction. Actually, I’d be amazed if any of you read this far! If you do — please don’t hesitate to use me as a resource, to bounce ideas my way, or to ask any burning questions. My inbox gets pretty full these days, but I try to answer every email. You can contact me at Rod@ChiroHosting.com or by calling (800)295-3346. You can also contact me on Facebook! I’m also thinking about taking on a few new social media clients, so contact me if you think your business might be a good candidate!
Rod Campbell Marketing Director ChiroHosting
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Not the canned food substitute – the unsolicited advertising. Every day, millions of innocent web users innocently open their emails, only to be swarmed by scams, viagra, and Nigerian bankers. Promises of wealth, cures, and inappropriate personal ads have become as common on the internet as sand on a beach. Fortunately, email providers like Gmail have gotten pretty darn good at filtering out the daily assaults of junk mail.
Unfortunately, however, spammers are now following us to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter! Our chimpanzee lab is working on a prototype “spam-a-ray”. For the time being, it looks like a stick. In lieu of a magical spam-away weapon, I suggest ignoring the junk and minimizing our own contributions to global spamming.
It’s all too easy to jump on a site like Facebook and begin barraging the masses with “special offers” and “excellent services”. Please don’t. Social media websites are communities, not billboards. You’ll do yourself and everyone else a favor if you stick to providing valuable information and creating personal connections. Personally, I recommend starting a chiropractic blog and posting witty, fun, and informative articles frequently, then sharing them with your friends one on Facebook and Twitter. This strategy works especially well if you host the blog on your website because it’ll draw a steady stream of traffic.
Remember those 1950’s and 60’s science fiction comics? The intrepid adventurer, the unlucky lady, and the robotic androids from planet 9? Back then, the ray guns and rocket ships were pretty hi-tech gadgetry. There were even computers capable of speaking 13,000 languages, communicating across the planet, and serving hot coffee. Here at Chirohosting, we do everything except the coffee – but we’re working on that.
Don’t get ripped off by gimmicky spinning graphics or flashy gizmos. Real-life technology should blend into a website seamlessly, in fact, it should feel simple, functional, and efficient. Here at our labs, we have an assortment of highly qualified chimps in lab-coats who work tirelessly to invent micro cold fusion processors. The technology is…in progress.
In the mean time- we focus on making dynamically customizable websites with loads of interactive features and eye-pleasing designs. We’ve also learned that it’s important to go above and beyond for our customers. In fact, we typically get to know each customer by name and even our owner takes customer service calls. We may not be Captain Future but we’re pretty darn cool.