Anyone who has Facebook will be familiar with the “sponsored” posts which appear on your wall. These have been paid for by companies who are ‘targeting’ you. And when we say ‘target’, we mean exactly that. Facebook advertisers can choose their target audience, including age, gender, location, and even pages or activities users have previously ‘liked’.
In terms of doctors doing the advertising, the same is also possible. You can pretty much select your ‘ideal’ patient, at least in terms of age, gender, and location. This helps to ensure that your advertising budget is not wasted on a target demographic which is unlikely to require your particular type of healthcare services.
Let’s be honest – this is the ultimate goal of any medical advertising: It is to increase your number of patients. Of course, not all Facebook users who see your ads will become patients of yours. In fact, it will be a low percentage. However, even just a few extra patients usually more than covers the cost of a Facebook campaign.
One thing is for sure – if you do not do any marketing or advertising, then less people are likely to hear about you. If less people hear about you, then less people are likely to choose you as their next doctor.
Many Facebook ads give users the opportunity to ‘like’ your page. This means that from then on, whenever you post something new, it is likely to appear on that user’s wall. This increases ongoing exposure to your practice. The more people who like your page, the more people are being reminded about your practice every time you post something new. In short, building up your online community helps to keep your practice on patients’ radar.
As mentioned previously, Facebook advertising allows your ads to be very targeted. You can be very specific for any of the following criteria:
By being specific with your ads, you are able to target your ‘ideal’ patient. Most doctors have their favorite types of patient or conditions which they most like to treat – why not grow this side of your practice?
Here is a sample Facebook Ad by a Pain Management Practice
We do not recommend Facebook advertising for all doctors. Some specialties lend themselves to Facebook advertising better than others. It’s important to remember that Facebook advertising ‘comes to the user’ instead of the user searching for the ads. This creates an important difference: It means that the most relevant Facebook ads will be for services which are NOT URGENT.
Let’s imagine if you just cut your hand and you need to go to an urgent care center. Would you really look for an urgent care center by scrolling down your Facebook wall? No. What would you do? We all know the answer – you would search for one on Google. For this reason, for urgent care doctors we do not recommend Facebook advertising, but instead recommend SEO for doctors or Google Adwords for Doctors.
By contrast, let’s imagine you need a hip replacement. It has been bothering you for months – or even years – but you have been putting it off. This form of non-urgent medical treatment lends itself well to Facebook advertising. You may see a Facebook ad about an improved method of hip replacement, or simply a way to cure your hip pain, so this may prompt you to click and find out more. So for specialties like orthopedics, pain management, plastic surgery, and other specialties which treat ‘non-urgent’ conditions, Facebook advertising for doctors can be a good option.
The pricing varies depending on the budget you set and the size of your audience. If you like, you can spend as little as $100 / month. Alternatively, you can spend thousands of dollars. It’s literally up to you and how aggressive you want your campaign to be. Our recommendation is to be specific with your target audience, so as to not waste money on demographics which are unlikely to become your patients.
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