Do you follow Apple, Starbucks or Coca-Cola on Facebook?
If so, you’re like so many other people!
Currently Coca-Cola has over 103 million followers, Starbucks 36 million and Apple 5 million.
What do they have in common?
They don’t post everyday.
In fact, Coca-Cola only posted three times in 2016.
And Apple hasn’t posted at all….ever.
As Optometrists and small business owners, should we follow their example? Do we need a Facebook Page, or can we just run Ads?
If you just focus on Ads:
- Facebook Ads give you quick results. You can see the results over a period of days or weeks. You can directly compare the results from turning Ads on, and see how well they’re bringing new appointments.
- Ads allow you to spend less time creating posts. With your Facebook Page, you need to post at least once per day. Some pages post six times per day. If you’ve been stuck for ideas of what to post, then this can feel daunting. But Ads free you from this.
- Without Facebook Ads, it’s increasingly harder to reach followers of your Page. Around 5% of your followers will see what you post. That means that most of your followers aren’t seeing your updates.
- If you run Facebook Ads, you’re more likely to create great, shareable content. Instead of creating a mediocre post, you’re more likely to want your hard-earned dollars to work for you.
- Facebook Ads can also help you to grow your Page. You can get Likes, Comments and Shares from your Ad. Your Page Likes can also improve, as potential patients like your Page via the Ad.
Facebook Ads are great!
But what are the factors against solely running Ads:
If you focus on organic reach:
- By running only Facebook Ads, your Page risks becoming desolate. Visitors to your Page may see that your last post was six months ago. Or that you have three negative comments that are just sitting there. This may make your visitors wonder if you care about your Page. Or whether you care about them.
- Unless you have a Facebook Page, you can’t run Ads in the Facebook Newsfeed. So, you have to have a Page anyway.
- If you don’t post to your Facebook Page regularly, you don’t know what content is working the best. Each post that you make on Facebook is like an experiment. You can see how much Reach you get (i.e. how many people see your post), and how many likes, comments and shares you get. After a while, you can start to guess what will perform well, and what won’t. Without regular posting, it’s harder to predict if your Ad will work well.
- Your Facebook Audience may view your Ads (“sponsored”) updates like any other ads. That is, they might see everything you post as an Ad to ignore. If you post to your Page, then your post is less likely to be seen as an Ad. Therefore, more people are likely to look at your photo and read what you wrote.
- In contrast to Coca-Cola, Starbucks and Apple, businesses like Microsoft, Walmart and Southwest Airlines post at least daily.
Whether you run a Facebook Page or Ads, it’s important to see if they’re growing your practice. Ask yourself “Is my Facebook (Page or Ad) activity bringing in new appointments?”
The easiest way to measure this is via Online Appointments. Patients can book an appointment anytime of the day or night. And you can see whether they’re coming from your Facebook Page or Facebook Ads.
Another way to measure success on Facebook is to see how many people tapped through to your website. They can tap your blue “Learn More” button, tap your website address itself in your bio, or tap on the individual posts.
Facebook allows you to reach more patients than ever. Should you focus on your Page or Ads?
The reality is that both are important. Having a large Page allows you to run cheaper Ads. And you can grow your Page with more Ads.
As Facebook continues to decrease the number of people who see posts on your Page, Ads will become more important.
So what should you do?
If you have a new Page, try to get a feel for what your followers like to see. Create posts on your Page. Later, compare the Reach of your posts. When you find one that gets a lot of Reach (and likes), then you can promote that as an Ad, to get more people to see it.
Be sure that you include a Call-to-Action somewhere on your posts. Like ‘Make an Appointment’
Then you’ll see more patients in your consulting room chair from Facebook !
You don’t have to copy Coca-Cola, Starbucks or Apple. But you can be yourself and attract new patients from Facebook.