Social Media

Avoiding Common Mistakes on Your Medical Practice’s Facebook

By Amber Turner On Apr 20, 2021 . 0 Comments

If you haven’t tried using Facebook or other social media channels to promote your medical practice and connect with patients, it’s easy to get started.

It’s also easy to make mistakes and waste a lot of time and energy.

As a medical professional, it’s vital to expand your relationship with patients outside of your office. It can also help you to acquire new patients through referrals and increased awareness of your practice.   

Think of Facebook as a way for you to interact better with patients, provide them a real look into what it’s like to be a patient at your practice, as well as define your online reputation.

Once something is published on social networks, it becomes part of the long-term strategy, which makes every post into an asset that can enhance a practice’s online presence.

The challenge in social media marketing is to use it effectively to grow your practice while avoiding mistakes that can result in a lot of wasted time and effort. 

To help ensure that your Facebook marketing efforts are successful, we’ve created this concise list of mishaps to keep in mind when you create your next post.

Not Planning Your Content in Advance

Who wants to be left scrambling for content at the last minute? Not anyone with a flourishing Facebook marketing strategy.

The content you post on social media should not only be thoughtful, but intentional.

By plotting out your social media posts in advance, and even preparing them with a content calendar publishing tool, you’ll save time and minimize stress.

At Koda Digital, our social media managers create content for our clients one month at a time using a social media calendar.

This allows us to work ahead of schedule and create better quality content. 

With a social media calendar, you or the team marketing your practice can plan out posts for entire weeks or months in advance, which frees up working hours to strategize for the future. 

Here are a few we recommend:

Here’s an example of the Agorapulse Social Media Calendar in Action

Display of Agorapulse social media planning calendar to show how organized the calendar is.

In the image above, the display of the calendar is clear and easy to interpret for an extremely user-friendly interface. 

Its built-in calendar allows all users to see what scheduled and queued posts are ready to be published at a later time, what published posts have already gone live, and what posts are still pending approval. 

Agorapulse also offers a shared calendar add-on, which is great if your or someone else at your medical practice is wanting to approve the scheduled content.

Since the tool links up with your social media accounts, there are additional features including an Inbox, a Social Listening section, Fans & Followers, and Reports.

Screenshot of Agorapulse calendar side panel of options including Inbox, Listening, Publishing Calendar, Publishing Lists, Fan & Followers, and Reports.

The inbox section shows your comments, mentions, conversations, and reviews relating to each of your social accounts.

The Social Listening section is especially important for practices wanting to keep an ear open for mention of their name.

One of AgoraPulse’s more unusual features is that it gives you the ability to take a close look at your fans and followers. You can click on your more active followers, label them however you like, view your past activity with them, and add relevant notes.

Finally, Agorapulse provides an extensive array of reports, both globally about your social account usage, and specific items of content.

For more examples of social media calendar tools for 2021, follow this link and see which one better suits your team here.

Not Establishing a Facebook Posting Cadence

“How often should I post on social media?” is one of the most common questions we receive. 

In reality, there is no magic formula for deciding how often to post on social media.

That’s because what works for one practice, doesn’t work for another. Sure, you can do more research and read case studies of what has worked for others’ practices, but don’t make their solution your solution.

So, instead of seeking magic formulas, let’s focus on these proven posting strategies:

  • There’s strength in posting consistency and regularity. 
  • Content quality is unquestionably more important than content quantity.
  • Without having an objective for Facebook posts, you won’t know what kind of content resonates with your patients.

Aim for consistency

To begin, create a plan and stick to it.

Some research has shown that Wednesday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. is the best day and time to post, but whatever times or days you choose, keep it consistent. From there you’ll be able to have data to discover what’s working and what’s not and update as needed.

Eventually, you will learn more about the best time that specifically works for your page. You can get a better understanding of how and when your audience engages with your content by analyzing your Facebook Page Insights data.

Screenshot of Facebook Page Insights data depicting times when the Facebook fans are online and what times they interact with Facebook content.

We find that posting 3-5 times a week or creating anywhere from 30-40 posts a month is beneficial to most practices. If you want to post closer to 50-60 posts a month, go for it! 

However, be aware that posting too often might irritate your followers or make your steller posts get drowned in the surplus of content. 

On the other hand, not posting frequently enough might reduce your chances of credibility and authenticity.

We recommend experimenting throughout periods of months to see what works best for you.

Quality Outshines Quantity

There’s only one thing worse than not posting on social media, and that’s posting something of poor quality.

If you post poor-quality content, you’re more likely to lose fans and followers. This rings especially true in times of uncertainty like COVID-19 where you need to focus on making your content as useful as possible – whether by providing facts or updates at your practice. 

Make sure you are taking that bit of extra time to make sure your content is high-quality meaning clear and readable text and high-grade images or videos.

Research shows posts incorporating images receive more overall views, clicks, and shares. Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images.

Not only must you share high-quality photos, but you must also share photos that interest the potential patients you want to target. Personal photos taken at your practice or of your staff will always be more welcomed by your Facebook fans rather than impersonal stock photography.

Refer to our pro-tips on how to make the most out of your imagery on Facebook: 6 Visual Tips You Must Know For Your Medical Practice Facebook

Resonate with Patients through Posting Objectives

A common mistake that a lot of medical practices make when it comes to posting social media content is only ever sharing their own content.

It’s a comforting trap to fall into, but this approach is likely to affect the quality of your content and how your patients perceive it in the long term.

When creating content, you should know what your objective of postings are and how you want your audience to feel about them.

Objective categories to mold your content around:

  • Educate with Self Content
  • Interesting (Facebook Shared Link Post)
  • Convert
  • Humor
  • Conversational
  • Connection
  • Local News
  • Warm Fuzzy

An “Educate with Self Content” post is meant to inform your audience using a link or image that is sourced from your practice’s website including services, blog posts, tips, FAQs, or location pages. 

Screenshot of an example of a Facebook post that represents "Educate with Self-Content"

Example of “Educate with Self Content”

An “Interesting (Facebook Shared Link Post)” is meant to also educate your patients, but by using a source that is not your direct practice. For example, using an article from a reputable health website like CDC.gov, WHO.int, mayoclinic.org.

Screenshot of an example of a Facebook post that represents and "Interesting (Facebook Shared Link) Post."

Example of “Interesting (Facebook Shared Link) Post”

“Convert” posts have “call-to-actions” to engage your patients.

Screenshot of an example of a Facebook post that represents a "Convert" post.

Example of “Convert” Post

A “Humor” post is simply meant to have a light-hearted feel to give your audience a nice laugh but with appropriate and relevant content.

Screenshot of an example of a Facebook post that represents a "Humor" post.

Example of “Humor” Post

A “Conversational” post should include engaging copy that may include asking questions, fill in the blanks, or “caption this” photos. These are great to get your patients talking!

Screenshot of an example of a Facebook post that represents a "Conversational" post.

Example of “Conversational” Post

“Connection” posts are meant to leverage inside information such as ‘behind the scenes’, employee stories, patient stories, shoutouts to other businesses/schools/events, events, asking for feedback, thank yous.

Screenshot of an example of a Facebook post that represents a "Connection" post.

Example of “Connection” Post

A “Local News” post shines a light on local and relevant news stories happening in your community.

Screenshot of an example of a Facebook post that represents a "Local News" post

Example of “Local News” Post

Lastly, “Warm & Funny” content is meant to make your patients feel exactly that, Warm & Fuzzy.

Screenshot of an example of a Facebook post that represents a "Warm & Fuzzy" post

Example of “Warm & Fuzzy” Post

With a clear objective and goal in mind for your post, you’ll be on your way to creating amazing scroll-stopping content!

Not Tracking Performance

A comprehensive Facebook strategy cannot be complete without understanding how and where users interact most with your business across your Facebook page.

Let’s say you have a post that knocks it out of the park. Tons of likes and shares, and plenty of love in the comment section. Rather than treat that post as an anomaly, you should instead take steps to recreate the same social magic again.

To better break down that activity, take a close look at your Facebook analytics to see firsthand what’s receiving the most reach.

Screenshot of Facebook Page analytics showing a graph of Facebook Page Likes, Comments, and Shares over a month time-frame

As mentioned earlier, the social content calendar, Agorapulse also shares reports so you can better track your progress.

Screenshot of Agorapulse social media calendar analytic reports showing a graph that includes Audience growth as well as showing the number of Fans, Engagement, Impressions, and Brand Awareness.

Your analytics will give you two main pieces of information:

  1. Facebook page insights: what people are looking at and how they are interacting with your content
  2. Facebook audience insights: who is looking at your page

These two pieces of information can help you better tailor your content to give your current users what they are looking for while expanding your reach to new patients.

Little Engagement with the Audience

By using Facebook to interact with patients, you can initiate a trust-building dialogue. If you’re not responding to reviews or liking comments, you’re missing out on a HUGE opportunity to further engage with your patients and future ones to come.

Think of those people that are taking the time to engage with your Facebook content as your “Top-fans” or “Brand-Evangelists”.

It is critical to make your interactions with them meaningful!

You want to attract and engage potential patients who share the same views and interests and who will be involved in the success of your marketing efforts. By building and nurturing your network, you will gain better access to potential and existing patients and will increase the exposure for your targeted messages.

The purpose of social media is to help individuals interact with each other. Responding to customer queries, acknowledging their comments, and reacting to their likes and shares is an essential element that cannot be missed out. 

Not interacting with your followers will fail to produce desirable results. 

Not Keeping Privacy and Legal Concerns in Mind

One of the main concerns with Facebook for medical practices is privacy. Make sure your whole team knows and understands how HIPAA applies to medical Facebook posts

This includes but is not limited to:

Image of HIPAA Compliance Facebook Checklist, made by Koda Digital, listing five suggestions medical practice's should take when running a Facebook page to avoid issues with HIPAA.

Employees who aren’t properly trained on HIPAA and social media can potentially expose your organization to costly HIPAA violation fines.

Once your practice has a better understanding of how to avoid HIPAA violations, there are numerous benefits of marketing your practice on Facebook and infinite content you can share on Facebook while remaining safely HIPAA compliant.

Share our helpful HIPAA Facebook guidelines with your staff to avoid any mistakes that can lead to HIPAA penalties.

Spreading Yourself Too Thin

Let’s say you’ve decided to up your social media game. You’ve chosen content topics, have assembled a rough editorial schedule, and want to publish on Facebook 30-40 times a month.

Hang on a second. 

That’s a lot. Especially for someone working as a medical professional or owns their facility. 

It’s not uncommon for a practice manager or an administrator to be given the duty to keep up with the Facebook page. We see it time and time again with almost all of our new clients.  

These practice managers and administrators already have so much on their plate and we know you do too as well.

If you’re not seeing any positive outcomes with your Facebook marketing strategy, it’s time to get outside help.

At some point in every practice’s growth, practices reach a tipping point where they need to acknowledge the fact that, to continue to grow and flourish, it is time to outsource assistance.

Koda Digital places tremendous emphasis on developing custom marketing strategies for each of our clients. No two practices are the same, so they shouldn’t have the same solutions and approaches.

All of our clients have had an improvement of over a 60% increase in engaged users for the past 6 months. Our social media managers have also seen to it that most of our client’s lifetime engaged users increased by over 400% in just one month. 

The Time is Now

Having a well-run social media page like Facebook comes down to making thoughtful decisions to benefit and align with your practice’s marketing strategy.

Avoid these common mistakes and your medical practice will be well on its way to social media success! 

For more helpful Facebook tips and guides, check out our previous blogs:

Helping our clients achieve social media success is only a fraction of what the professionals at Koda Digital do. For more insights into growing your practice through digital marketing, contact Koda Digital and get more patients through your door in 2021.

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