Let’s start this article with two stats:
- Google and Facebook were responsible for 85% of mobile ad revenue in the first quarter of 2016, and
- In 2017, digital ad revenue will pass television ad revenue for the first time.
So, in case you were wondering about the answer to this article’s headline, the future of Facebook marketing is… our whole lives.
I think it’s safe to say that most people now understand the main pieces of the Facebook platform: posting, liking, sharing and ads. Unfortunately for those who seem to be out of breath trying to keep up, this is only the start. Get ready to go a few more miles because the world of Facebook is about to get a lot more complicated.
So what’s coming down the road? No one really knows for sure, but here are some conservative predictions:
- Decline in Organic Reach — First, the bad news: organic reach will continue to decline. As more and more businesses create pages and post content, Facebook has no choice, but to continue to limit the amount of exposure. At some point, organic reach may even be a thing of the past as they require businesses to pay to play on all their platforms (I’m just giving you a heads up now. Don’t be a hater when it happens).
- Customer Service Tools — As organic reach diminishes, Facebook will continue to add valuable features to allow businesses to interact and provide greater service to their customers. Look for new one-to-one messaging tools being rolled out through their Messenger app.
- Messenger Ads — Here’s another fact: in 2017 the monthly usage of the top four messaging apps surpassed monthly usage of the top four social media networks (you might want to read that again). It’s no wonder why Facebook is excited about their new Messenger ad platform. Actually, if you get nothing else out of this article remember this… Messenger will be one of the top digital communication channels. People prefer to communicate with messages for quick response and practices will need to leverage this for one-to-one communication with patients.
- Video & Television — Facebook almost missed mobile and was late on photography. They won’t make the same mistake again on video. In fact, they’re betting on it big. Earlier this year they announced “mid-roll” ads in their videos and created a platform similar to YouTube that inserts ads into the middle of non-live video. Add to this the news of live streaming soccer matches and talks of their first Netflix-like show and it looks like Facebook might be making a play for the television space. And why not? It is still a $70+ billion industry.
It’s easy to get caught up in future trends and what could be coming down the road, but how can a savvy Facebook marketer up his (or her) game right now? I’m glad you asked. Here are seven lesser-known Facebook marketing tips that will make a big difference in your overall strategy:
1. Wi-Fi Hot Spot
Do you provide free Wi-Fi for patients? Have them check into Facebook first before they can receive access. When they do, their friends will discover your business by seeing the story in their News Feed. Then after checking in, people will be asked if they also want to like your Page. More check-ins and engagement with your Page will improve how it ranks in search and the Nearby tab on the Facebook mobile app. Here’s some instructions from Facebook on setting it up.
2. Fill Last Minute Cancellations
Ever have that day where the schedule just falls apart? Create a post on Facebook and boost it with $10 to your network and community to help fill those holes.
I’m the first one to say that I’m not a big fan of remarketing. It’s one thing when a pair of shoes follows me around on the internet for a few weeks, but when a service-based business does it, it’s creepy.
That being said, I like Facebook’s version of remarketing using their Pixel technology. If someone visits your website, Facebook will show them your ad in their Facebook feed for the next 30 days. We’re seeing $100 a month here turn into 2–3 new patient conversions.
4. Unicorn Posts
Every now and then you post something that just seems to get traction. It gets more likes, shares, comments and overall engagement. Next time that happens, boost it. Put $50 to $100 behind it and watch it take off even more. As a rule, something that gets organic engagement at a smaller, network level will get even more engagement with a larger audience.
5. Invite Page Likes
If a post receives multiple likes, the number of likes will show below that post. It will look like “Patty Smith and 12 others”. If you click that number, you’ll have the option of “inviting” those people to like your page. This is a great way to grow your page audience, especially on a boosted a post that received a high amount of engagement.
6. Create an Offer
If your practice is running a promotion (such as $250 off Invisalign), choose “Create an offer” from the homepage. Fill in the information and that info will be stored on a new tab labeled “Offers”. This allows you to add a promo code that patients can save for future reference.
7. Targeted Ads
For the most part, you’re better off keeping the demographics of your ads very general — after all, everyone needs a dentist. However, here are two targeted campaigns that I like:
A. New Movers — In the ad manager, under “Detailed Targeting” type “New Mover.” This category is reported by Experian (the credit report company), and is gleaned from all sorts of tracking sources. That means it’s very accurate data about who has moved in the last six months. Create a specific ad welcoming them to the community.
B. Employers — Many towns have large employers that offer specific dental insurance. If this is a good fit for your practice, then place strategic ads in their News Feed. In the ad manager, under “Detailed Targeting,” type in the name of the employer. Then create a specific ad that speaks directly to those employees letting them know you accept their plan.
Facebook is giving us the incredible advantage of reaching and interacting with our patients and the community in ways we’ve never seen before. What used to be posting, liking and sharing has turned into a multi-faceted marketing platform. I tell practices all the time, “You could start and grow a dental practice entirely from Facebook. It’s that powerful.” Use these tips to further leverage it and grow your business with the ideal patients.