One of the benefits of Facebook for allied health practitioners is that it is a low-cost marketing option. The main cost is the time you put in. It allows you to share basic information about your practice, and share those images with your audience that tell your brand story, showcase your practice personality and give people a glimpse into the 'behind the scenes'.
So often, however, I hear people ask me “How do I know if it's working?”, “How do I measure the return on investment?”, “Does it really lead to more referrals?” Great questions.
Often people make the mistake of thinking that ‘likes’ is the best measure of Facebook success. I disagree. If you really want to look at the value of your efforts on Facebook, I suggest the following steps as a starting point.
- Before we measure success, you need objectives! Yes, simple goals that are measurable. These will be unique to every practice. For example, you may choose to market an event you are running. The Facebook objective may then be you want to reach a particular number of people, or encourage 50 clicks onto your event post. Make the measurable part of your objective a customer action, such as clicking on a link, clicking to your website, downloading something, sharing a post, or signing up to your newsletter.
- One of the best things Facebook can do for us is drive more visitors to our website. This is ultimately a great place to send people, as there is more information and more likelihood of someone then getting in contact. We can get a lot of information from Google Analytics. Google analytics will tell us who has come across to our website and where they have come from. You can access this information by registering your practice website to Google Analytics and then look regularly at the ‘acquisition’ tab which will show you how people arrived at your site, including how many from social media, and which social media sites are helping encourage clients to your website.
- Ask people! We forget sometimes when we are delving into analytics and insights about our online platforms that we have clients there in front of us that we can ask. Consider asking new clients verbally how they heard about your practice, or have a tick box option on your new client sign in page. Client satisfaction surveys are another way to ask about how people are hearing about you. This helps you to gain an idea of how the work on Facebook you are putting in is converting to an appointment.
- The next thing that I think is important to track is your engagement on Facebook. This is more important than likes. If no one engages in your content, what’s the point of creating it? Your priority on Facebook should be to engage your audience in your content. Engagement is calculated by the following equation: Likes + Comments + Shares + Link clicks; where, Likes = the number of times people like your posts (how well your content resonates with people); Comments = the number of comments people make on your posts; and Shares = number of times people share your content, measuring how much your content is amplified by those who see it. If you have posted a link to your Facebook page, the number of clicks on that linked post is also part of your engagement figure. Engagement with posts reflects your brands ability to capture the users attention, your brands' ability to create a connection with your content, and how many people see your posts. It also tells you what type of content people are interested in.
Have a go at making a start on the above, and look at your data on a monthly basis. You may surprise yourself with what you find is working. Knowing which posts create engagement can assist you in deciding what future posts you might make on your page.