Facebook advertising is an incredible way for your practice to reach a large audience in a cost-effective manner to help more new patients learn about your practice, increase followers, and improve website traffic.
To have an all-encompassing online marketing strategy, it’s important for dental practices to be actively present on social media. While many dentists rightfully focus on organic (free) growth, some also inquire about paid social ads.
Social advertising is becoming increasingly popular as it helps you target a specific audience and get noticed by a wider network. But, before you simply decide to run a social media ad to get everyone in your town to follow your page, you will want to identify goals and purpose of your ads. Is it to:
- Get more followers?
- Drive more traffic to your dental website?
- Have potential patients call your practice?
Once you identify your call-to-action, you will want to specify your target audience. With social ads on Facebook, you are able to target on a whole new level – you can specify audiences based on their interests, job title, demographic data, relationship status, and more(!). You can also target people who have already visited your website – which is also known as “remarketing.”
After you define goals and target audience, brainstorm a concise message that will capture attention in someone’s newsfeed. Are you providing a shocking dental tip? Amazing new patient special? Whatever it is, be sure to test your messages to see which types of offers your audience responds to most.
You’ll also want to think through the complete experience and identify what people will do once they see your ad. TIP: Don’t just send people to your dental practice’s homepage. Make it easy for visitors (patients and potential patients) to find what they’re looking for and link to a specific page that is related to the ad. Because your dental practice is paying for people to take a specific action after viewing your ads, it’s important to make the experience as seamless as possible.
Just with any other dental marketing campaign, make sure you track success and analyze your posts by understanding key performance metrics such as impressions, reach, and engagement which can be found in the social media page’s analytics dashboard.
Answers to Common Facebook Advertising Questions
Here are answers to your most common Facebook advertising questions!
With Facebook Ads, can you target users that have a specific insurance?
Facebook allows you to target very specific types of audiences if you’d like. For example, you can target based on location (ex: country, state, province, city, congressional district, zip or post code), Age, Gender, Language, and even Interests and/or Behaviors.
You can also create a custom audience by uploading your customers phone numbers and emails via a CSV or .TXT file.
How is patients’ information protected when they fill out forms online?
It’s important to have a secure, HTTPS landing page that keeps all visitor information secure. Having a HTTPS landing page also ensures a good user experience without any warnings appearing on the page. Learn more about HTTPS websites here.
We post on our Facebook page 3-4 times a week. Do Facebook Ads take away from that or add to it?
Facebook Ads are a great way to add value to your existing social media marketing strategy, and should add to, and not take away from, your current strategy. Whereas organic posts can reach your current followers, Facebook ads can help you reach other potential new patients in your area while spreading awareness about your practice.
We recommend having a strong organic presence in addition to Facebook Ads, because once a potential patient sees your ad, they will either click through to visit a webpage of yours or visit your practice’s Facebook business page – where you will want to make the best first impression possible. How do you make the best first impression possible? By having photos, a full description, and engaging, relevant posts.
Can my Facebook ad be translated into different languages?
Yes. According to this article you can post up to 5 additional languages for your ads!
If just starting to focus on our online presence, is Facebook, Yelp, or Google a better place to start?
It really depends what your overall goals are – but we understand that with all of today’s options, it can be overwhelming!
We recommend starting with a strong website and making sure to claim your Google My Business profile first. Then, you can move on to strengthening your Facebook Business Page and consider running Facebook ads to build your following and awareness about your brand.
If we sign up with ProSites for Facebook Ads services, roughly how long will it take to see a return on investment? Is it suggested we try 3 months or more time?
Our clients typically see a return on investment within their first month of advertising with us! Practices will first start seeing new Likes and followers on their business page(s), which builds their page following, brand authority, and audience! Next, practices will see more traffic on their landing pages and websites, and ultimately more conversions.
It’s recommended that practices try running ads for at least 3-5 months minimum to allow time for testing of offers, audiences, and messages to see which ones deliver the highest results.
How often does ProSites publish Facebook Ads on the dental practice’s behalf?
All posts will go out Monday through Friday, once a day, at peak times, for best results.
Does ProSites create video posts? If so, do you guys use our office staff in them?
Yes, we do create video posts on your behalf! To ensure we adhere to Facebook regulations, we will create custom video content using high-resolution, professional footage of our own.
Does ProSites create the landing page for our campaigns?
Yes, we do! To ensure the highest conversion rate possible, we create a custom, branded landing page with a strong call-to-action that encourages potential patients to submit their information to your practice. You will then instantly receive a lead with their contact information so your office can follow-up and help them schedule an appointment.
Promoting Your Dental Practice with Facebook Posts and Ads
Take a deep breath! Marketing your practice on Facebook seems as confusing as visiting a foreign country where you don’t speak the language –but just like learning anything else new, it’s easy when you can break it down into some simple components.
Three Best Options to Promote Your Practice
There are 3 effective ways to market your practice on Facebook. We will go into more detail for each, but here’s the basic run-down.
- Post content. This is the simplest way to grow your influence and presence on Facebook. Posting regular content about your practice, dentistry in general, and what’s going on in your life raises your profile and keeps your Facebook page relevant for the people who “like” and “follow” your page.
- Boost posts. If you have a specific post that you want more people to see and interact with, you can “boost” it by clicking the “boost post” button at the bottom-right of the post. When you do, it will show up in the “newsfeed” of the exact number of people you want – and you can even choose who will see it.
- Promote Page. You can draw attention to your whole business page by “promoting” it – and having it show up as a sponsored ad.
Some Things to Consider
Posting content is free – boosting and promoting cost money.
That goes for anyone who has any type of page, whether it’s a business, personal, celebrity, brand or product page. You may have heard that over the last year or so, Facebook has decreased the “organic reach” of promotional posts. That means they’re reducing the effectiveness of unpaid posts that are overtly “salesy,” and turning up the traffic volume on boosted posts and promoted pages.
So, if you’re actively trying to sell something – you should boost or promote it.
In essence, Facebook is trying to monetize posts by making the paid options have better reach.
Free of Paid – That is the Question
Free content should be the workhorse of your online marketing plan. If you post frequently, you raise the odds that your patients and prospective patients will see your content, “like” and/or “follow” your practice.
When people “like” and “follow” you, your posts will show up in their feeds more frequently – which means more people will see your posts.
There’s a whole world of guides and ideas on how to ask people to like your page and posts, and Facebook posted a pretty good list of 50 different tips to get more likes. The idea is to make sure you have a regular, relatable presence on your page – and to ask for likes and follows.
Most importantly, this “unpaid” content shouldn’t be promotional. If it is, it will likely get obstructed by Facebook’s algorithms, which may even hurt the reach of your non-promotional content in the future.
Paying for more exposure has its place – whether you’re boosting posts or promoting your page.
Both options cost money, starting for as little as a $1, going up to thousands of dollars.
The decision to either boost a post or promote your page depends on what you’re trying to achieve.
Boosting a post is helpful in getting more people to see specific content and to like, comment or otherwise interact with it. You’d want to boost a post if you think it, specifically, will move the needle for your business. It should be a strong, compelling offer for prospective patients to make an appointment or take some kind of action. The boost feature lets you target who will see the post – whether it’s your friends and their contacts, or if you want to target specific populations of people.
On the other hand, promoting your page is all about getting flocks of people to go to and hopefully interact with your page itself. It’s more effective in growing your audience – to get more likes and follows.
The Bottom Line
While the different rules and lingo associated with navigating Facebook as a business may seem confusing, just keep in mind that Facebook’s primary goal is keep people engaged – to stay on their pages.
As Facebook says, “we want people to have a great experience on Facebook, so we limit the number of ads they see.”
For a dental or medical practice, the implications are clear. It doesn’t make a ton of sense to boost or promote your page unless you have a very specific offer – OR – unless you have a very targeted campaign to capture new patient contacts.
If your goal is to simply engage current patients and potential patients, then posting good, solid content on a regular basis is your best strategy.
Facebook has been headed towards rewarding engagement and charging for ads for a while – now it’s official. They want to control the flow of obvious ads so they can make sure users aren’t seeing too many. The good news is that regular, relevant content is still a great way to reach and interact with people – and Facebook doesn’t charge you for it.
Running a dental practice and managing your patients is a full-time job – so let us do the heavy-lifting for your social media on your behalf! Call ProSites today for a FREE consultation at (888) 932-3644.