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Growing your practice with Facebook marketing

Growing your practice with Facebook marketing
Photo: Growing your practice with Facebook marketing
Facebook can be an incredibly useful marketing tool for your physiotherapy practice.  This article provides a step by step guide to using Facebook marketing to grow your practice.

Step 1 – Your Website
Facebook marketing generally works hand in hand with your website.  So if your website needs work, get this done before you spend (and waste) money on Facebook.  How to build a good website for your practice’ is not the subject of this article, but here are some important points that are fundamental to your Facebook marketing efforts:

1. Your website must be device responsive.  That means it must be accessible and readable on desktop, tablet and mobile devices.  80% of social media activity is undertaken on a mobile device, so if your website is not easy to use on a mobile device, your Facebook marketing will NOT be effective.
TIP 1: a device responsive website might sound complex and expensive, but it isn’t.  Most modern Wordpress themes are device responsive by default.  So speak to your web designer / web developer about using a device responsive design, and if they say that will cost a lot more, find someone else to help you.

TIP 2: web programmers & developers are almost always bad designers.  Web design and website development (or coding) are two completely different skills and someone that is really good at one of these, is unlikely to also be good at the other.  Make sure the person designing your website is a great graphic designer (not a web developer who thinks they can also design).

2. Your website must help you to identify and target prospective customers.  How do you achieve this?
• You should have a blog section in which you or your business publishes regular content.  This content informs your customers about your practice, your areas of specialisation, your credentials and expertise, but can also form the basis of very effective Facebook marketing campaigns.

• Your home page and blog page should have a very clear ‘Subscribe’ button that, when clicked, opens up a form which will allow a visitor to leave their email address so you can stay in contact with them in future.  Have your web developer link the email subscribe form to one of the many email marketing services (like MailChimp, CampaignMonitor or others) so you can easily create newsletters and marketing emails to continue to build your relationship with these prospective customers and also send special promotions.

• After a visitor subscribes they should be taken to a ‘Goal’ page.  This is usually a “Thank you for Subscribing” page. And the url for the web page should also have a unique identifier.  This might typically look like this:  www.yourwebaddress.com.au/article/Subscribe/ThankYou

• If your practice offers online booking of appointments, the booking process should use html pages (not java script) and after completing the booking the user should again be taken to a ‘goal’ page, e.g. www.yourwebaddress.com.au/booking_process/BookingComplete

Step 2 – Who are your customers and how might they interact with Facebook?
Where do your customers usually come from?  Are they generally all local people looking for immediate help with injuries?  Or are you a specialist provider that receives customers from further afield?  Who are your customers?  Are they typically high level or elite sports people that have particular sporting interests?  Are they chronic pain suffers that will require ongoing care and treatment?

Clear answers to these questions and an understanding of your business objectives will inform how you progress with your Facebook marketing effort.

Identify and document your customer profiles, where they are likely to be located, and in what circumstances they are most likely to engage with Facebook.

Step 3 – What is a customer worth to you?
For each of these customer profiles try to calculate (with the assistance of your accounting and CRM system) what an ‘average’ customer is worth to your business in dollar terms.  This will be a function of how many appointments they typically attend and over what period of time, what you charge, and the cost of treatment.

Knowing what a customer is worth to your business is important, because it will inform how much you should be prepared to spend on any particular marketing campaign.  If for example, the ‘average’ customer brings $400 in gross profit (revenue less cost of treatment) to your practice, then you will want to ensure that you spend significantly less than $400 per conversion in performing your Facebook marketing campaign  (there is an implicit assumption here that your practice has plenty of capacity to take on additional patients, but if you didn’t have spare capacity then you would be unlikely to be pursuing a marketing campaign in the first place!)

Step 4 – Your Facebook Page
If you haven’t already, create a Facebook page for your business.  This is an important step as your Facebook advertising campaigns will all be undertaken under your Facebook page branding. Include as much information about your services as possible in your page description and be sure to include your address and contact details.  You should also post content regularly to your page.

The video below shows you how to set up your Facebook company page. 



Step 5 – Your campaign objective
Facebook advertising currently supports the following objectives:
• Lead generation (New)
• Clicks to website
• Product Catalogue Sales
• Website Conversions
• Page Post Engagement
• Page Likes
• Mobile App Installs
• Mobile App engagement
• Desktop App Installs
• Desktop App Engagement
• Local Awareness
• Offer Claims
• Event Responses
• Video Views

As you can see, Facebook offers a lot of options, but don’t be bamboozled!  Initially at least you will want to focus on: website conversions, clicks to website, lead generation or local awareness.

Website Conversions
Use this objective if you have an online booking option on your website, and you want people to book online.  Before you select this option, think carefully about how most of your new customers engage with you.  If they usually want to speak to you first and book over the phone, then website conversions is not the ideal objective for you.

The benefit of the ‘website conversion’ campaign (if your new customers book online) is that you can very accurately track the cost per conversion for your campaign.  The first step here is to install a ‘Facebook conversion pixel’ on the online booking ‘Goal Page’ on your website  (see step 1, part 2) then set up the campaign to generate the maximum number of conversions at minimum cost.  You may need to ask your web developer to help you to install the Facebook conversion pixel on your goal page.

The ‘Website Conversions’ video obelow explains how website conversion campaigns work.



Lead Generation
This is a brand new advertising option that Facebook offers, and it is very powerful.  It is specifically designed for mobile devices (remember 80% of social media activity occurs on mobile devices) and makes it very easy for people that see your ad on a mobile device to:
• ‘Get a quote’ (for an appointment), or
• ‘Subscribe’ (to your customer subscriber database)

Clicks to Website
You will use this objective if you want to get Facebook users to a particular page on your website.  And most typically you would use one of your blog posts as the basis of your advertisement.  For example, if a target customer group for you is football players, you might write a blog post covering the latest treatment options for ACL injuries, and promote this post (specifically targeting football players) on Facebook. People that click the Facebook ad will be directed to the full blog post on your web page, where they will hopefully subscribe to your email newsletter.

Local Awareness
Local Awareness campaigns are useful if you are targeting local customers.  The campaigns allow Facebook users to:
• Call you (you may want to consider using a phone number that is different to your normal business number, so you can track how many calls the campaign generates)
• Get Directions (to your practice)
• Send you a message

The video below provides an overview of how to implement Local Awareness campaigns



Step 6 – Selecting your Audience
Having decided on your campaign you will then create an ‘ad set’ which includes selecting the ‘audience’ for your campaign.

In selecting the audience to target, go back to ‘Step 3’ and think about who you are trying to target, and where they are likely to be located.

The video below provides an overview of how to select your audience when creating your Facebook ad.



Step 7 – Create the ad
If you’ve followed the steps, you have a clear understanding of who you’re targeting, and how they will engage with you, then creating the ad will be reasonably straight forward.

Some key tips when creating your Facebook ad:
• Follow the Facebook guidelines (LINK). https://www.facebook.com/policies/ads/
• When selecting images, try to choose an image that speaks to your target audience, and when in doubt, an attractive person smiling out of the image is usually a good place to start.
• If you want to edit your image by applying text, Facebook requires that no more than 20% of the image space has text on it.

The video below provides an overview of the Facebook Ad Manager interface and the ad creation process.



Step 8 – Evaluate the response
During and after delivery of your campaign you should be evaluating the performance of the campaign, with a particular focus on ‘cost per conversion’.

If your objective is to get prospective customers to call you to enquire about treatment services, then you must record the number of calls generated by the campaign and calculate the cost of generating those calls.  Based on the evaluation you will make one of the following conclusions about the campaign:
a) Success
The cost of sourcing new customers using the campaign was well below the value of a new customer to my business.  So this was a ‘Positive Return On Investment’ campaign.  Next steps: continue with the campaign and optimise.
b) Marginal
The campaign generated conversions, but the cost per conversion is high and may not represent good value for the business relative to other options available.  Consider optimising the campaign, or trying a different campaign.
c) Failure
The campaign either didn’t generate conversions, or the cost per conversion was way too high.  Think about alternative ways to target your prospective customers.

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