Many dental practices are now seeing the benefit of Facebook. However, many dental practices are also continuing to set up their Facebook page wrong. And, yes, I mean wrong, not just in my opinion, but according to Facebook’s policy, WRONG! This is in the sense of using a personal page for your business.
Facebook’s policy states that:
“Facebook is a community where people use their authentic identities. It’s against the Facebook Community Standards to maintain more than one personal account.
If you want to represent your business…, you can use your personal account to create and manage a Page. Keep in mind that a personal profile is for non-commercial use and represents an individual person.”
How to know if your existing page is ‘personal’ or ‘business’?
A simple way to test whether you have created a personal account or a business page is to log in to Facebook, does the account you have created and that you are using for your business look like this? (Notice that I have friends and can put in personal information about me.)
Or, does the profile you have created look like this? (Notice that I now do not have friends and people can send a message directly from the homepage of this profile.)
The first example is my personal Facebook account, this should ONLY be used to talk to your genuine friends. It should never be used for business purposes for the following reasons:
- It goes against Facebook’s policy and may be closed down
- A proper business page allows potential patients to send you messages directly
- A proper business page shows you the statistics of what’s happening on your page which allows you to create better and more engaging posts
- A proper business page allows you to run adverts
- A proper business page can be locked down (not necessarily recommended) to ensure that other people don’t tag you or comment.
So, using me as an example, I have a personal profile that I used to talk to my friends, they are all people that I know personally.
In conjunction with this I have a business page, mine is simply called Mark Oborn Professional, but yours probably would be XXXX Dental Practice.
Your personal profile will be accessed with your own unique username and password which should not be used by anyone else.
You then have your personal profile as a (hidden) manager of your business page. You can have multiple managers of the business page, all of who will log in with their own personal profiles. When anyone posts as the business page, any followers will not know which of the managers has posted.
Steps to setting up a business page
Let’s get back to basics and look at how to set up a proper business page so that you don’t get caught out by contravening Facebook’s policies… and ensure you gain all of the advantages that using a proper business page comes with.
It really is this simple:
To create a Dental Practice Business Page:
- Go to facebook.com/pages/create
- Click to choose a Page type
- Fill out the required information
- Click Continue and follow the on-screen instructions.
But let’s break this down further…
Choose your page type and input the right details
In the section where you are asked to choose a Page type, select a ‘business or brand’.
When asked, in the category section, type ‘dentist’ and select from the best description in the drop-down box.
When you click next you will be asked to put in your proposed business name and address. This is really important that you get right as people will be able to find you on the Facebook map.
Selecting the right photos
When asked to upload a profile picture, select your practice logo.
When asked to upload a cover photograph, select an image of your team.
You will then be taken to your new page.
Add a button to help patients contact you or make an appointment
Click on the ‘+ add a button’, then choose what you want people to do… notice there is an option to make a booking with you! This doesn’t actually link to any software, it simply gives the user the ability to request an appointment at an ideal time which will come to you via a Facebook message.
You might find it easier to click on the ‘contact you’ option and click the ‘call now’ radio button. However, choose the option that best suits your requirements for what action you want patients to take when they visit your page.
Complete the ‘About’ section
Once you’ve added your button, click in the menu on the left and select the ‘about’ option.
Fill in as much of this information as you can, particularly:
- Our story. This is a good opportunity to tell your story as a business, remember, people love a good story so make sure it’s personable and engaging, rather than just the plain facts. This is a chance to show off your practice’s personality.
- Your business details. This is an opportunity to put in whether you have a car park or street parking – which can be an important factor for patients choosing a practice.
- Enter email address.
- Enter website address.
- Edit about. This gives your page a short description – include who you serve, where you are located, the broad services you offer and why you should be chosen.
- Edit awards. Enter in any awards you have been given.
Use the Add A Service button to promote your offering
Now, click on the menu on the left and select ‘services’, click on ‘add a service’.
Fill in all of the details.
Fill in the details for a service that you offer. Once completed click save and continue for as many services as you would like. This is an opportunity to offer more details about particular treatments and highlight what patients can expect from your practice.
What to do after your page has been created
That’s pretty much it, your basic Facebook page has now been created. You now need to do two things:
- Begin posting
- Attract followers
I recommend you use three different types of post:
- Personal posts. These can be from a range of different people in the practice, but talk about things you like to do, books you like, food you like or films you watch. Talk about the restaurants you visit locally and things you like to do in the local area. This allows local people to begin the engagement process with you and recognise you are genuine, real and friendly people.
- Helpful posts. Direct your followers to useful resources to help with dental problems, think about places like the British Dental Health Foundation and Colgate, or even your own practice blog if you have one. There is a wealth of information online to help your potential patients, use helpful posts to direct people to these websites. You can also do dental health updates as simple image or status updates that help people with their dental and oral health.
- Promotional posts. These are posts that encourage people to come to the practice, direct followers to your website and talk about any offers you are running.
The simplest way to get started is to let existing patients know about you. Your Facebook page should be one of the ways you help patients with their dental health inbetween their six-month appointments. Let them know that you will be putting regular updates on teeth brushing technique, looking after children’s teeth, dealing with bad breath plus an array of other dental health matters.
Make liking and following your page an interesting and attractive proposition, if all you do is ‘sell, sell, sell’ then no one is going to like it (as per the ‘begin posting’ section above).
I also recommend creating a poster to direct people to your page, similar to the following, and place it in a prominent area in your practice and ask patients to join you on social media.
For more informaion on all things social media you can visit www.markoborn.com