The article will discuss specific Facebook strategies for your practice, including:
- What time of day to post
- How many times a week to post
- Exactly what three types of content to post
- Where to find this content
- Tools and tricks to reduce your social media time to 20 minutes a week
How to build your practice’s presence on Facebook
If you haven’t already, set up a Business Page
Setting up a business page for your practice on Facebook lies outside the scope of this article. There are plenty of guides online that do a great job outlining this process, such as:
Once you’ve set up your page, you’ll need to craft a posting strategy in order to avoid becoming another social media account that posts for the sake of posting.
Having a preexisting strategy also means you will save massive amounts of time, as you will be able to follow your pre-determined plan of attack.
There are three main decisions you’ll make:
- When to post
- How to post
- What to post
When to Post
Facebook is a little bit art and a lot of bit science:
As you can see, the preferred posting time is right around noon EST. If we were posting four times a week, we would post on Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Want the ultimate cheat sheet for posting on Facebook? Download this free Facebook Posting Calendar for healthcare practices. It tells you exactly:
- The optimal time of day + days of the week to post
- The three types of post your practice needs to make in order to draw prospective patients
- Exactly where to find and create that content
How to Post
Before we discuss what to post, let’s establish the most efficient way to post on Facebook.
If you are posting on and managing more than one social media account, it is generally a good idea to use a tool such as Buffer or Hootsuite. This way, you can post in “bulk” – you can schedule posts that will post to your page at a predetermined point in the future. You would be able to slot an entire week’s worth of posts at one time.
In our examples, we are typically only posting on Facebook as a single account. Therefore, we can just use the built in Facebook scheduler. The Facebook Scheduler allows you to bulk schedule posts as well.
Scheduling a post is a very easy method that can be done directly from the Facebook interface.
On your page’s dashboard, instead of posting normally, press the arrow next to the word “Publish” and select “Schedule”:
Then fill in the date and time you want the actual post to appear.
If you want to schedule a few posts at once, click over to the “Publishing Tools” section of your admin bar (at the top of your Facebook page).
Select “Scheduled Posts” from the left menu, and then create a new scheduled post:
You can also edit any scheduled posts from this section.
What to Post
The main attraction of your social media presence will be the posts on your practice’s Facebook page.
You want to humanize your brand while instilling confidence in prospective patients. There are three great ways to do this:
1) Post content prospective patients will be interested in
If you are creating content as part of your practice’s online strategy, an obvious place to post your blog content is on your Facebook page. However, if you do not have a blog or are not creating content yourself, you can leverage the authority of others.
You can easily and quickly find content to post on Facebook by looking up authorities who are relevant to your practice (and interesting to your patients).
For example, the AMA is a great resource of information:
However, not every post is appropriate for patients:
In this instance, it would be unwise to post the second AMA update.
The most efficient way to save time and still deliver high quality social media content to others is to know exactly where to search for content.
In this example, we perform a search for “articles about medical.” While some results do not match perfectly, we get Facebook’s views of medical articles that are already being shared.
We can accomplish the same on Twitter by searching in Twitter’s search box.
However, the quickest and most powerful way to gather compelling content to share on your Facebook page is by knowing the precise companies and authorities who post reliable helpful content that you can pass on to your patients.
We’ve cataloged a list of the best healthcare resources for information, and even organized everything into a single link so that you can visit one page and easily select the perfect piece of content to share with your viewers.
Download this free list as part of our Facebook Posting Cheat Sheet.
2) Testimonials or Reviews
We’ve extensively discussed the power of appearing on review sites, but you can take that strategy a step further by actually posting the reviews (or testimonials) that your practice receives on your Facebook page.
There are two tricks to present the review in a visually appealing fashion:
Here is an example of what we might post when using a Yelp review:
The positive here is that your review will look especially authentic because it is taken directly from the review website. The only downside is the lack of visual customization or branding.
Your second option is to brand a review or testimonial using a free online graphic editor.
To create a beautiful testimonial post from scratch, head over to Canva and create an account.
On the next screen, select a Facebook Post (you can actually select Social Media as well but for this example we’ll stick with Facebook Post):
Scroll down until you find a theme you like. For our example, we will modify the following:
We will repurpose this Yelp review:
Now all we have to do is add in a snippet of the review, adjust the size and rotation of the font, and we have a beautiful review:
The best strategy for posting reviews and testimonials on your website is to use both types. Some prospective patients will be looking for the authenticity of the review page, while others will appreciate the more custom visual elements garnered from using Canva.
3) Pictures with smiling patients
One great post type is to take a selfie with a patient.
This strategy is almost never used, but its psychological impact is massive! Someone examining your page will see happy patients, possibly accompanied by a relevant doctor, all in a non-photo-op setting.
Check out these examples of patient pictures and you’ll see the authenticity and trust that is present:
All three of these photos work because:
- The patient is smiling
- The photo looks authentic (not staged) but it is clear and of a high quality
- The practice looks relatable – the brand has been humanized!
Keep in mind that not all of these photos look the same, are shot from the same angle, or are of the same style. Similar to switching up how you stylistically post reviews, we want to keep our social media content looking “fresh” in general.
Now examine the next batch of photos. They have only subtle differences between the first three, but it would be a mistake if we posted these:
This picture is not preferred because the quality isn’t great (simply holding an iPhone or Android steady will create much better pictures).
Worse though, the picture is from the middle of treatment. Any perception of pain (especially needles!) is a psychological deterrent for a prospective patient. It is important to keep your social media posts positive – smiling patients who have already received their treatment.
Can you spot what’s wrong with this picture? There are no smiles! Interestingly enough, the technician is smiling (you can tell from the corners of her eyes), but the mask covers her mouth. The patient is also smirking, which looks less friendly.
Here, a picture of an in-progress root canal procedure appears on the social media account of a local dental practice. The description of the post actually described why this technique is proper and ideal. However, the potential gore or queasiness affiliated with any sort of medical procedure will turn off prospective patients. Stick to metaphorical blue skies.
This picture is just a little too formal. There is a certain authenticity that is lost when taking photos outside of the environment that the patient will actually be in: they will look staged. As you’ve seen, cheerful photos can absolutely be created in the procedural room, so stick to that successful formula.
You’ve learned a lot in this post, so it is very important to review.
Take the time to read this entire conclusion.
First, we discussed the purpose of social media under the lens of a patient acquisition tool (which is different than as a personal branding tool or a networking tool).
Patients discovery practices before they interact with their social media accounts. Patients look on Google, or get a referral, see options from insurance companies, or receive a recommendation.
Therefore, patients use social media to examine your practice. Remember, they already know of your existence, now they are trying to determine your credibility.
Facebook in particular is great because:
- There is a low posting frequency needed to main an active account
- The platform is highly visual in nature and allows your practice to tell a compelling story
- 83% of consumers expect your practice to have a Facebook page, and will be disappointed if you do not.
Using the strategy of posting 3-4 times per week, and following outlines from these posts, you can perform your social media work in about 90 minutes a week.
If you want to reduce that time all the way down to 20 minutes, you’ll need the free Facebook posting calendar guide, which tells you:
- The optimal time of day to post
- The exact days of the week to post
- Exactly what content to post on what days
- Exactly where and from whom to find that content
Saving that extra time primarily comes from knowing exactly where to post and where to find that content.
By referencing this post and following the posting calendar guide, you will be able to thrive on social media without it dominating your office time.
When a prospective patient investigates you practice, as 60-80% of prospective patients do before they even make contact, you will pass their test.
This article is part of The Definitive Guide for Healthcare Practices: Thriving Online series. The Definitive Guide is over 13,000 words and is completely free to access. The guide walks through every critical topic your practice should be considering: from online branding, to social media, and precise patient acquisition strategies.
The Definitive Guide for Healthcare Practices: Thriving Online
Analyzing Your Practice (Recommended Reading First)
[Branding] How to Brand Your Practice and Skyrocket Revenue by 792%: The more competition increases, the more dangerous it is to be known as “another healthcare practice.” This article provides step-by-step instructions on how to brand your practice, and how to unlock the small amount of patients who could be responsible for the majority of your revenue.
[Competition Analysis] How to: Uncover These Hidden Competitive Advantages: Do you know which of your competing practices are online? What are their strategies? What specific tactics should your practice use to outperform the unique strategies your competitors are using? This guide shows you exactly how to use the internet to uncover what works and what does not work — and then reveals how to put your practice at the front of the line.
Specific Marketing Strategies
[Leveraging Review Sites] 34 New Patients in 52 days From One Simple Technique?: There are over 25 doctor/patient review sites and 4 million reviews online. 60-80% of patients perform research online prior to reaching out to a healthcare professional. This guide lays out the exact plan needed to effortlessly leverage review sites and potentially bring in hundreds of brand new patients every single year.
[Social Media Strategies] How to: Copy this Facebook Strategy for Shocking Results: In this social media article, specific strategies are discussed for Facebook. What time of day to post, how many days a week to post, what content to post, and how to find or create that content are all explicitly laid out.
[The Power of Search Engines] This Dirty Patient Acquisition Secret Will Make You Shudder: Lots of industries benefit from copious advertising opportunities through social media and the entire web. Unfortunately, healthcare cannot benefit for many of these categories. This article breaks down the exact elements your practice should stick with, and what the pros and cons of each method are.
 YouGov Consumers’ use, preference, and expectations of social media, http://corp.yougov.com/healthcare/consumers-use-preference-expectations-hospital-social-media (2010, accessed 5 September 2012).
 “New Social Media Research Shows What People Expect From Brands.” Social Media Examiner RSS. Hubspot, 29 Dec. 2014. Web. 27 July 2015.
“Twitter Management Tools: To Schedule or Not to Schedule Your Tweets.” Wishpond Simple Marketing Software. Wishpond, n.d. Web. 27 July 2015.
 Pho, Kevin, and Susan Gay. Establishing, Managing, and Protecting Your Online Reputation: A Social Media Guide for Physicians and Medical Practices. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.