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Market Your Practice with Facebook

Posted By Michelle Schiavo, Thursday, August 11, 2011
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014
Social Media is a great tool for health care providers to reach out to their patients and the public beyond their practices. Leading the way in Social Media is Facebook with over 750 million active users.

While some physicians and health care practitioners may be wary of creating a Facebook presence, it’s really a great way to disseminate information, connect with patients, and even grow your practice. Should Your Doctor Be On Facebook? is an article written by an NYC doctor about Facebook etiquette for physicians and is a great reference for practitioners new to Social Media.

Your Facebook page should represent your brand and the best way to do this is with a "Fan Page”. You may have heard of Facebook "Groups”, but they are a bit limited in terms of security and messaging capabilities and you’ll find a fan page to be more beneficial for marketing purposes. When visitors become fans of your page it displays on their "Wall” informing their "Friends” who may then also become a fan of your page. Additionally, fan pages are indexed by external search engines such as Google, whereas group pages are not.

ACAM member, Shira Miller, MD, has done exemplary work with her Facebook page. Shortly after its creation, her page boasted over 5,000 fans. How did she do it? By creating a unique page, communicating with her fans, and sharing her expertise on a consistent basis. Dr. Miller’s practice focuses on menopause and andropause, so that is the information she shares on her page. By providing a certain niche, in Dr. Miller’s case female and male hormone information, she’s setting herself apart and attracting a segment of the population that could potentially come into her practice and become new patients. Visit Dr. Miller’s Facebook fan page here.

There are over 900 million objects (pages, groups, events, and community pages) that people interact with on Facebook. The average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups, and events. With so many brands and companies represented on Facebook, how do you make yourself stand out? You’ll notice on some pages, for example on Dr. Miller’s page, there are unique elements that are not found on other Facebook pages. When you arrive at Dr. Miller’s page, you don’t see the standard Facebook wall showing updates and conversations, you see a large picture of Dr. Miller, a description of who she is and what she does, and a request to "like” her page. In order to gain access to her page, visitors must click the like button and become fans. This fan-gating feature is called a "Landing Page” and is a great way to increase your fan count.

You can create a landing page as well as many other unique touches with the use of apps. ACAM’s Facebook page is a prime example of a page that’s utilized apps to add more creativity and functionality to a page. Through custom apps, fans of ACAM may connect to ACAM doctors on Facebook, the ACAM website, ACAM Integrative Medicine Blog, and more all right from our Facebook page. Visit our page here and see the different elements we’ve added that you too can add to your page.

There are apps already built into Facebook that you can access at no charge. Or for a fee you can partner with a company that has designed customized apps for Facebook in user-friendly formats. Most of these companies have various price plans depending on the number of fans a page has.

Companies to consider:

NorthSocial
SocialAppsHQ

Questions? Or looking for a little assistance with your page? ACAM’s Marketing Team is happy to help! Please contact Michelle Schiavo - Social Impact Coordinator for ACAM at: michelle.schiavo@acam.org.

Tags:  practice marketing 

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