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Are You Wasting Your Time with Facebook?

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

facebook dislikeSocial media in general—and Facebook in particular—can be a double-edged sword. If you don’t have your finger on the pulse of any given platform or media, what’s really hot today can turn cold overnight—and vice versa.

Here’s a quick update about recent Facebook changes that can sharpen your healthcare marketing plan and make wiser use of your budget when marketing a medical practice.

The Facebook free ride is over…

We often discover that a lot of doctors and hospitals invest a massive effort in getting Facebook “Likes” and buzz. Social media is good, Facebook is popular, but overemphasis and blind pursuit is an unsophisticated mistake. If that “spaghetti” approach garnered any traction in the past, as it turns out, the Facebook party is now over.

As of right now Facebook announced it’s cracking down on “overly promotional” posts by businesses. As AdWeek reports, “that will make it more difficult for brands to reach their fans through purely organic marketing efforts.”

The alternative? Not surprisingly, Facebook will not limit the visibility of paid ads…and Facebook will gladly let you invest in advertising space.

Don’t dismiss Facebook—it remains an important social media tool and a popular means for doctors and hospitals to connect with and engage select audiences. The smarter approach is to devise a Facebook-friendly approach that leverages and supports your online visibility.

Another update: add a Facebook Video Channel?

Online video is a hot topic, and over the past year Facebook has been adding muscle to the video side of posts. And as of now, it’s rolling out a new, and more prominent design for it’s video pages. They haven’t made a big splash about this yet, but TechCrunch was one of the first to report the change and pending rollout.

“All businesses will soon be able to choose a featured video to be displayed extra-large with a live comment feed atop their Page, and cobble together playlists of more of their videos. This makes the Videos tabs of Pages look and feel a lot like YouTube Channels.”

Video content via Facebook is attention getting and is already getting wide use. Don’t abandon your YouTube Channel, but the updated Facebook option might be another useful tool for social media videos.

A recent tally, published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, says “Most US Hospitals use social media—in fact 99.4 percent of those surveyed indicated they have a Facebook account." [J Med Internet Res 2014;16(11):e264)] Is your social media plan keeping up with changes in Facebook (and other social media platforms), and making the necessary adjustments to maximize your time, budget and results? Give us a call if we can help you with that.

And for additional reading, see our previous post about hospitals and social media.

Stewart Gandolf, MBA

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