8 Tips To Help You Publish Better Post To Your Medical Practice’s Facebook Page

Are you looking to improve your practice’ Facebook Page? Want to give it a little boost? Perhaps engage parents more, get more fans or add value to your community?

Well, you are in luck if you answered yes to any of those questions.

Below are eight suggestions you can implement today to leverage your practice’s Facebook page.

Salud Pediatrics Facebook Page Screen Shot1. Keep it short.

First things first. People like to scan on Facebook. Keep your writing short for better responses.

2. Use Images. Preferably big and beautiful images

According to Facebook, posts with eye-catching photos and videos stand out in the News Feed, which makes it more likely that people that follow your practice’s Facebook page, like, comment and share.

But don’t get too hung up with the quality of the pictures. Your images do not have to be shot by a professional photographer or a fancy camera.

Dr. Betancourt with Dr. AUsing your phone or a point shoot camera is usually good enough to create a compelling picture.

Examples of photos you can take to go along with your post are pictures of your staff working. O perhaps pictures of one of your docs doing something goofy (shouldn’t be hard to catch a pediatrician doing something goofy). You can also consider featuring a services your practice offers (i.e. mother support groups, parenting classes, etc).

Something as simple as a snail chart with a brief description of why vision screens are an essential part of the preventive wellness visit can not only draw engagement, but also serve as a less formal educational post.

3. Share exclusive content and info with Facebook Ads

The intent of Facebook ads is to offer special deals to customers to keep them interested and drive sales. I know…

Medical practices are not in the business of offering 2for1 deals. However, you can use Facebook Ads to promote the practice’s Facebook page or drive Facebook users to the practice’s website.

The idea is to expose your medical office to a larger audience. And Facebook ads is a great way to go beyond your group of fans.

4. Respond to customers in a timely manner

There is nothing worse than sending an email to a customer service email address and never hearing back from the company. Simply put, people like when you listen to them.

Facebook offers a unique opportunity in that one can engage with patients outside our practice’s four walls.

When you reply to posts and comments quickly, you will notice customers are more responsive, too.

5. Keep a calendar

When special events and holidays are on everyone’s mind, mention them in your posts. Planning and scheduling posts around important dates—like Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Halloween, Back-to-School season and more—means you will be more likely to get people talking.

6. Post for the right audience

Posts are more effective when the people who care see them.

If you have customers who live in different areas or speak different languages, you can create posts just for them.

Facebook Demographic ChartWrite a post and choose the locations and languages you want. When you publish your post, it will show up in just the locations or languages you picked.

7. Link them directly to your website

When you add a link to your post, it automatically creates an image from the website and a large clickable area that makes it easy for people to go to your site.

You can also customize the headline and description to give your customers more reasons to click.

8. Post more of what customers want

When you learn how and when your parents respond, you will be able to post more of what they love.

Keep in mind that posting on your Facebook Page is about quality—not quantity.

From there, you can post more of what they like, and avoid posting what they do not.

Lastly, to learn more about  “your audience,” make sure to check out your Facebook Practice Page Insights page. To Learn more about Page Insights, click on this link.


This post was adapted from a Facebook For Business article titled, Make Post More Effective


 

Interview: Pediatrician’s perspective on why he loves his Facebook presence

For today’s post, I have an interview with Dr. Seth Kaplan. Dr. Kaplan posted what I thought was a great response on SOAPM regarding Facebook, so I asked him if he would answer a few questions regarding his Facebook presence and how he is using it to leverage his practice.

I know the answer to this already, but for the benefits of the readers of PediatricInc, tell me how you feel about your Facebook presence.

I absolutely love my facebook presence.

Why do you like it so much?

Unlike my website, which is relatively static and I don’t have an easy way of updating, Facebook can be updated with up to the minute breaking news if need be.

More importantly, it’s been an outstanding educational portal for my practice, allowing me to present information about topics that I just don’t have time to cover during well visits.

Plus, when patients ask about an issue that I don’t have information at my fingertips for them, I can use my Facebook page to get info out once I find it and have that information benefit hundreds of people instead of just that one patient.

Plus, my patients absolutely love getting all the info (although the number of “likes” and comments may be small and vary, patients are constantly bringing up things I’ve posted when they are in the office, mostly to thank me for bringing the information up.

My patients also tend to be big cheerleaders for my practice and for my “outside of the office” accomplishments.

Can you give me an example?

I just got my act together and wrote my first blog post (See http://www.meandmydoctor.com/2012/07/first-amendment-right-of-physicians-and.html). When I linked the post to my practice page, I got a ton of likes and support.

Where do you find material for your practice’s Facebook page?

Finding material for the page is easy, thanks to Dr. Stuppy, and the We are Pediatricians Facebook page. In addition, many of us have our practices linked to each other and beg, borrow and steal articles. A couple of Twitter feeds are also extremely useful for finding good information to post (Nemours, Parents Magazine, NPR health, my local childrens hospital.)

What would you say to people that that don’t want to put themselves out there online because they might get a negative comment from a patient?

Overall, I’ve found that the benefits of a Facebook presence far outweigh the occasional difficult statement/comment.

Why do you have a Facebook presence?

My patients/parents are there, and this has been an outstanding way to communicate with and teach them when they are not in the office.

Dr. Kaplan is a contributor to the Survivor Pediatrics Blog. You can check out his practice’s  Facebook page by visiting this link

10 Things I learned from managing my practice’s Facebook page

I while back, I blogged about my favorite Facebook Pages. Among them was Winnsboro Pediatrics. Dr Kim Burlingham manages what I think is one of the best practice Facebook pages out there. Dr. Burlingham does a lot of cool things on there, but if I had to say why I like the page so much, I would have to say that she does a great job of  adding her own personality to each one of her post. Quick little remarks about the links she is posting which add character to her site and of course to her practice.

When you get a chance, take a look at  Dr. Burlingham’s Facebook page. In the meantime, here is Dr. Burlingham’s  10-things she has learned from managing her practice’s Facebook page. 

  1. There are some people that “like” everything- mostly the retired grandma types and if several days go by without them liking your posts, you’ll want to check with their families to see if they are OK.
  2. Just because somebody doesn’t hit the “like” button doesn’t mean they didn’t read it- I am always surprised at the number of people that mention that they read about “it” on my page while in the office with their child but never once have hit the “like” button
  3. People take the time to “like” stupid stuff and jokes a lot more than a good solid article. The post that has had the most likes/reach during this past month on my page was an “E-Card” that had a picture of a mom resting her head on an armchair with a quote “the moment you realize that the kids have been in bed asleep for thirty minutes and you are still watching Nichelodeon.”
  4. It takes time to keep the page up but it is a heck of a lot easier to do if you “like” other pediatrician’s pages and freely share the gems they have found on to your own page. Also “like” hospital, poison control, safety, etc pages.
  5. Always try to add a bit of your own voice onto the links you share on your page.
  6. Middle school and high school boys will “like” the oddest posts, for example 3 of them liked a post about the fact that stepping on a Lego hurts more than childbirth.
  7. Info-graphics and e-cards are in, pictures of cute babies are in, links without thumbnails are rarely liked.
  8. Let people know about things going on in their community – plays, library events, etc. The non-profits love help in spreading the word.
  9. Include visual office contests on your Facebook page. Our last one, right before the 4th was to guess the weight of a watermelon.
  10. Somehow my practice Facebook page is attached to my Twitter feed and whatever status update I put on Facebook goes to Twitter which is not very twittery. I have to fix that.

Dr. Burlingham also manages a page called We Are Pediatricians  which is a great resource for those of you looking for content to share on your Facebook Page.

Does Your Medical Practice Allow Anybody To Post Links and Comments on Your Facebook Page?

The short answer is yes. We do! Why? Because we think allowing patient to post links and commenting on our practice’s Facebook page helps us achieve these four things:

  1. It encourages communication
  2. It allows us to address issues that we would otherwise have a hard time addressing.
  3. Other patients will benefit by reading the discussions.
  4. We get an opportunity to show how we handle different situations.

Not long ago, we had a parent post a link to our practice Facebook page. The link was to a questionable blog post. The blog post discussed how a lead scientist at Merck claimed that the HPV vaccine was essentially ineffective. The parent wanted to know if we had any thoughts as a practice on the blog post and the claims it made.

Had we not allowed comments and or links on our Facebook page, we would have not known about these claims regarding the HPV vaccine or the blog post. But now, not only did we learn about these claims, we also had a chance to address it and set the record straight.

Without the opportunity to post the link, the mom would have read it, made up her mind, and probably would have not mentioned it again. Or worse yet, told a bunch of her friends.

But now, she can say, I asked my pediatrician about this blog post I found and this is what she had to say and she can reference our response.

Another advantage of letting this parent post a link is that other parents got to learn about this particular blog’s incorrect facts. Nobody else would have known that this is an issue.

But we had an opportunity to address a larger crowd (conceivably our most loyal patients that value our practice) by dispelling the claims and why parents should be careful when reading stuff like this online. In other words, it gives us a chance to educate beyond our four little walls.

If another parent hears the same claim about the HPV from someone, hopefully, they will reference our Facebook page (and this blog post that I wrote on Survivor Pediatrics) and perhaps say, “… yeah I heard about that on my pediatrician’s Facebook page and she basically said that the scientist was misquoted and that there is overwhelming evidence that the vaccine safe,” which is what we said in our response.

It is About Being Social

Social Media is about having “conversations.” It isn’t about a one way communication where the community is not allowed to participate. Fundamentally, the comments section is what separates the old Internet from the new Web2.0 Internet.

If I were to delete the comment, or ignore it, what does that say about us? What does that say to parents that are checking us out and are deciding if we are the right practice for them?

But what if a patient says something bad about my practice or post a link I don’t approve of?

One bad review should not bring one’s reputation down if you’ve done a good job of establishing a strong online presence. Thus you shouldn’t be fearful of one or two patients.

Also, just because a practice doesn’t let parents post something on their Facebook page doesn’t mean parents can’t go to Yelp or HealthGrades and write something bad about you. People are going to say bad things about you (and me) anyway, so why is that an issue?

But here is the kicker, on Yelp, or any other site, we can’t comment, defend, challenge or do anything with a parent’s comment. But on our Facebook page, we can invite the parent to discuss the issue.

Not only that, other patients will see how open you are to discuss, improve, change, or state your reasons regarding the problem. In other words, we are able to have a little control on how the matter is handled.

Lastly, I would add that all it takes is 3 or 4 GREAT reviews of your practice from patients to downplay the one “bad” review that you got. But if you don’t allow those “fans” to comment, nobody will ever know how great of a practice you are.

So what is the recommendation?

Open up the Facebook page for comments and links (same with your blog). If something bad were to show up, delete it. But I would leave it up there and address it professionally. Most people will respect that.

Top 11 Pediatric Facebook Pages

Does your practice have a Facebook page? If you don’t, have you wondered what your practice can do with a Facebook page? Why would you need one anyway? Have you wondered what other pediatricians are doing with their Facebook pages?

I’ve put together a list of my Top Facebook favorites pediatric pages (I was going to make it top 10, but I couldn’t decide which one to drop). These pages will give you a good starting point. And for those that already have Facebook pages, I’m sure you’ll find great ideas that you can incorporate on your.

There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Instead, check out what others are doing and tweak these strategies to make them your own!

Editorial note – these are not in any particular order.

Nicholasville Pediatrics 

Facebook’s page does a good job of asking questions to their community. For example, a few days ago, they asked how was school going and if the children were enjoying it. This might seem like a trivial question; but I think it shows a side of the practice that is warm.

They also have pertinent articles and ideas for parents to view. For example, they included a link that to a JPG file where one could print up little lunchbox notes for children. Fun, creative and engaging. Perfect recipe for a great Facebook Fan Page.

Pediatric Associates of the Northwest

This is another well managed Facebook page. They combine informative, pertinent and reliable links as well as blog post from their own practice blog – which drives traffic back to their website.

Pediatric Associates also does a very clever thing that many may want to adopt. They link their Twitter feed to their Facebook page. There are drawbacks to this approach; however, Pediatric Associates seems to have a good idea as to how to manage it. In other words, they don’t flood their Facebook wall with Twitter updates.

Leawood Pediatrics 

This practice keeps their community informed with practice news updates. In the past few days, they’ve been keeping their patients informed about their flu immunization initiatives, shipment arrivals and information.

Facebook makes it easy for them to keep patients informed. Another good reason to have Facebook set up for one’s practice.

Pediatric Associates Kansas City 

PAKC has a very interactive Facebook page. The group keeps the community engaged by asking questions, forwarding informative links, while giving perspective on daily topics. PAKC also combines links from around the web with their own content that they publish from Dr. Natasha Burgert’s KCKidsDoc.com blog.

5 – Village Pediatrics LLC 

This practice had a clever idea recently. They started featuring employees and their roles, posting it on their website and linking back on their Facebook page.

This is a perfect of example of using Facebook to drive traffic back and forth from Facebook to their own website. Moreover, they give patients/parents a glimpse of what each person is in charge of in the practice. A nice personal touch.

Village Ped’s Facebook pages also publishes links from around the web that resonates with their community.

Avalon Park Pediatrics 

Avalon Park Pediatrics is the office of solo physician Brian Raley. Dr. Raley uses his Facebook page in a unique way. Apparently, Dr Raley makes home visits. He snaps pics of his patients and posts them on his Facebook page.

Several lessons here beyond Facebook, I think. For starters, doc Raley is using Facebook as a platform to tell a story. His home visits and pics shows a service very few do. Also, they provide us, the viewers of his page, and opportunity to see the connection he has with his patients. I think that is powerful. Especially if you are a mom looking for a pediatrician.

Not to mention he seems like a dude I’d like to hang out with.

Pediatric Partners, PA. Overland Park, Kansas 

PP post frequently on their page, which I think is good thing. Not only do they keep followers informed, it is a good way to remind people that they are there for their patients.

This practice’s page is so good, that I often use it to find links to articles that I normally would miss otherwise. You can tell that who ever is behind the Facebook page, really does a good job of finding excellent resources.

Acorn Pediatrics 

AP has great pics on their Facebook page. When you look at their page, you can sense they are a strong, close nit, supportive practice that likes to have fun. Check out the cookies… how can you not love a practice that embraces cookies like that. They also show how they involve themselves in community drives and initiatives.

I also like how they share different events at their office. For example, they announce not long ago they all did their CPR re-certification. Based on their Facebook page, I would probably take my kids if I lived nearby.

Senders Pediatrics 

Senders was one of the first pediatric practices I “liked” on Facebook. Much like Acorn Pediatrics, they too announce many of the events held at the practice. They also show a “human” side of the practice with their pictures.

Another thing that I noticed is that they seem to engage their patients a lot on the site. Parents post questions, thank yous, and best wishes. In addition, they too post interesting links to different news stories that are either related to the community they serve or pediatric related.

10 Kids First Pediatrics 

This pediatric practice uses their Facebook page to direct parents to reliable sources of internet news. This of course takes time; however, the person that manages the Facebook updates keeps on top of this by linking to other Facebook pages of other pediatricians office in addition to adding their own vetted links.

This is a great approach. Not only does it help to expand the message beyond a single Facebook community, but also it is a great way to “crowd source” interesting links and news updates.

11 Winnsboro Pediatrics 

This is Facebook page is probably one of my favorites. Why? Because Dr. Burlingham does the best job of charming her community.

How does she keep her community to pay attention? In addition to the common denominator among all these sites; which is linking to informative articles on the web, she runs exciting contest. These contents include “guessing” how many jelly beans are in a jar or how many colored pencils are in a jar.

Dr. Pediatrics also adds her own personality to each one of her post. Quick little remarks about the links she is posting which add character to her site and of course to her practice.

Bonus

I couldn’t miss the opportunity to mention our Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/SaludPediatrics). I’m not going to include it in the top 11; you can be the judge if we deserve to be up there. But from my biased perspective, I think it is a pretty good darn pediatric Facebook page.

As you can see, there are a lot of things one can do with a Facebook page. Personally, I think all pediatric practices should have a Facebook page. Why?

Because this is where our parents spend their time.

And if we want to be able to provide positive influence in their lives, we have to be where they are. Otherwise, someone else, someone perhaps that doesn’t have their best interest at heart,  will provide them with links and dubious resources.

Do you have a favorite Pediatric Facebook Page? Share it in the comments below.