Although it may seem like it, Facebook is not just for your weird relative to comment on every single thing you post. In fact, Facebook has over 700 million registered users, including nearly half of the American population. Recent studies have shown that over 40 percent of people rely on social media for health information and 94 percent of those people turn to Facebook. This presents a big opportunity for your health organization.
Facebook can be great for your health organization because it provides an easily accessible two-way communication. Facebook is made to promote interaction, which is exactly what your organization needs. Individuals can also connect with others interested in the same health topic, illness or injury.
Facebook is your health organization’s new best friend
Imagine you’re watching your favorite show and a commercial comes on, what do you do? If you’re like most people you are probably scrolling through your news feed until your show comes back on. This is why many health organizations have shifted their marketing efforts towards social media rather than commercials.
There are even more business and marketing benefits to using Facebook:
- It’s (almost) free. There is no charge to create an account and it is quick to get started. The only part that requires money is if your organization wishes to participate in Facebook advertising.
- Facebook is a targeted community. Facebook makes it easier for your organization to connect with people who are interested in the area of health your organization specializes in.
- Facebook gives your customer a voice. Unlike a traditional advertisement, Facebook allows users to give instant feedback on what they see.
- Potential new customers come from Facebook. Facebook is a great way to increase your brand and reputation which can lead to more business. It also allows people to recommend your organization to others.
- Facebook has recently added some new features. If your health organization is a nonprofit, Facebook has just added some new tools that will benefit you. It is now easier than ever for users to donate to your health cause or organization.
Sign me up!
There are three different types of Facebook pages which include: 1) a personal profile 2) a Facebook group or 3) a business page.
Your health organization is most likely going to want to use a business page. This allows for your business to have ‘fans’ rather than ‘friends’. Don’t get too upset, you already have enough friends. A business page also allows for commercial activity to be permitted. It is free to set up, but there is a fee to run advertisements. A Facebook business page also allows you to see visitor statistics and be accessed through search engines.
Once you sign up as a business there are going to be some sub-categories that you can choose from. To find out what area is the best fit for your health organization you can check out these definitions.
Ok, ok I signed up. Now what?
- Get people to ‘like’ your page. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to get people to like your page. When a person ‘likes’ your page it shows their friends that they are endorsing your health organization. The truth is, a person recommending your organization to a friend because of the great healthcare they received is worth more than any commercial.
- Be relatable. Just like with blogging, it is important to seem friendly and approachable. Make sure that your health organization is posting about things that your followers would be interested in. Also, when you post about health topics be sure to use credible sources so your followers will trust your organization.
- Encourage interaction. Like I said before, the availability of two-way conversation is one of the best parts about Facebook. Asking questions is a great way to make people feel involved. Be sure to ask your followers their opinion and then carefully listen to their responses. Another great way to encourage interaction is through incentives and rewards (fact: everyone loves free stuff). Giveaways will get more traffic to your site and make your customers feel appreciated.
- Show them what else you have to offer. Facebook is not the only thing your health organization has to offer. Encourage your followers to visit your website, check out your blog or find out more about your organization. You want to show your followers that your organization has many different dimensions.
Let’s see who is doing it right.
If your health organization is new to this whole Facebook thing it may be helpful to see an example. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has a great Facebook page. The organization has a lot of ‘likes’ and posts about a wide range of health issues. Every post also gets a lot of shares and comments, which means they are posting about topics that people are interested in. The Facebook page also directs readers to the NIH website or their blog. Although NIH is a reputable source, they also reference other health organizations to be even more credible. All good things!
It’s time for me to set you free. Be sure to comment and let me know what you think. Remember: Facebook is your new best friend!