Say that you’re about to sign up for Facebook for the first time. What are the two critical details that Facebook wants to know?

 

Facebook wants to know your:

  • Mobile Phone Number and/or
  • Email Address

This allows Facebook to notify you of important updates. And so you can reset your password if required.

When you create a new Facebook account, you are assigned a User ID number. This is a bit like a patient number in Sunix or Optomate. Thankfully, Optometrists and Practice Managers never need to know Facebook User ID’s.

Patients Forget…Your Recall

Summer is coming. Tomorrow is hot. 36 Degrees C in Melbourne.

Soon, you’ll be sending a “Use it or lose it” campaign for existing patients with Private Health Insurance. Perhaps they need some Prescription Sunglasses for Summer.

You’ve created and edited your recall list. It’s ready to send to patients. In an ideal world, patients would receive a recall and make an appointment straight away. However, too often that’s not the case. This year, you decide to add another reminder for your patients.

So you create a Facebook Ad.

Great! You’ve heard that they offer so many ways to narrow down your ideal patient. With Facebook Ads, you can show ads (or target) to a

  • 35-45 year old man follows Hawthorn, works in Financial Services, likes the Tour De France, and lives less than 20km from your Practice.
  • Everyone in your area who lives 40km from Your Practice (or 15km in a busy suburban area).

Cool, huh!

Both of these options can be useful, depending on what outcomes you want from your Ad. If you’re an existing practice, perhaps you want Option 1. If you’re a new practice, perhaps you want Option 2.

However, both of these Options contain a mixture of existing patients and new patients.

Marketing to existing patients is highly effective. They know and trust you. Perhaps they’ve simply misplaced their reminder letter. Or just been busy.

New patients might not even know that there was a Local Optometry Practice.

Facebook allows you to target ads to your Existing Patients. This allows you to get a lower cost per ad and greater Return on Investment.

So, how do you tell Facebook which patients are yours? This is where your list of patient mobile numbers and emails comes in handy.

Change Mobile Number formatting

If you don’t find Microsoft Excel all that easy, or haven’t used it in a while, come back to this later. When it’s quiet, it will be easier to try this on your own. If you know your way around Microsoft Excel, keep reading:

Take your Recall List and open it in Excel. The mobile numbers will probably look something like 400123456. This is because Excel removes the leading zero automatically.

However, Facebook requires the number list in the format of 61400123456.

To change this, make sure there is an empty column next to your list of mobile numbers. Go to the first mobile number and press the right keyboard button. Press the equals symbol, then click the cell next to it. Then simply add 61 with nine zeros to it. That is, 61000000000. Then push enter. Then expand the formula to the rest of the column. Done.

Copy this list of mobile numbers.

Go to www.facebook.com/ads/manage. Click the Green “Create Advert” Button. (You can always come back to this later.)

From here, you can choose to Send People to Your Website, Promote Your Page or Get People to Claim Your Offer. (We’re creating a Custom Audience, which applies to any of these choices.)

Say that you choose the first one, Send People to Your Website. Type your Website into the box (for example www.vincelarocca.com.au).

On the next page, you’ll see a blue text link “Create New Custom Audience”. Then select “Customer List”.

Then select “Copy and paste your custom list”.

In Data Type, click on the drop-down menu, and select Phone Numbers. (We’ll add Email Addresses using the same step process later.)

Paste the list of mobile numbers from Microsoft Excel (in the format 61401234567).

(In the Facebook Custom Audience Terms, Facebook in essence says that you agree that patients gave you their details willingly. All mobile numbers and email addresses are encrypted. This data is then deleted once a match (or lack thereof) is made. See Facebook’s Terms for further info. )

Select I Agree. Then push Create Audience.

Facebook then matches your list of mobile numbers to its User ID’s. If a match is found, then Facebook ads that User ID to the list of people who may see your Ad. If no match is found, Facebook goes on to the next mobile number.

Next, copy and paste your list of email addresses into Facebook. Similarly, Facebook matches the list of emails to User ID’s.

Facebook automatically removes duplicate User ID’s from the combined lists (for example a patient who has a mobile number and email address linked to their Facebook Account).

Save your Custom Audience with a Name. For example, Private Health Recall.

Done!

You’ve now created a list of patients who use Facebook that you can show Ads to.

What do you want to promote?

Perhaps you’ve got new equipment for Dry Eye Treatments or Ortho K. Perhaps you’ve added a new Consultation Room. Perhaps you’re offering a Blue-blocking Multicoat on all Access lenses.

Alternatively, you may want to encourage your existing patients to Follow your Blog or like your Facebook Page.

Summary

Make sure that your colleagues are collecting as many mobile numbers and email addresses as they can.

Already doing this? Great. Keep it up until all patients have a current mobile number or email.

Use your Custom Audience to boost your existing “Use It or Lose It” Campaign. See your recalls rise to a new level this year.