Social Media Best Practices: Facebook
With nearly 3 billion users across the globe, Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform for sharing ideas, photos, and videos 一 and it is one of the most powerful tools for pharmacies who are looking to expand their online presence.
In the United States, nearly 69% of adults use Facebook on a regular basis, putting it second only to YouTube in terms of popularity. With so many users on the app, chances are your patients are using it, too.
On Facebook, you can promote your pharmacy, advertise your services, and interact with current and potential patients. In the process, you can build a following and increase your patients’ engagement both online and in person. This can lead to more business and higher streams of revenue for you.
Benefits like these are why 93% of US businesses maintain an account, and why you should do the same.
Whether you are just starting out on social media or a seasoned pro, learn the ins and outs of Facebook to better your account and better your business.
And, when you feel comfortable with Facebook, consider branching out into the other top platforms, like YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, to grow your audience even further.
Facebook reaches a wide range of people, but its demographics can be broken down by the gender, age, location, education, and income of its users. According to the Pew Research Center, Facebook is used most often by:
Facebook’s demographics represent an older user base with middle-class salaries. While most of the top social media platforms reach younger users (< 30) who are upper-middle or upper class, Facebook is accessible to a wider range of people.
Accessibility is key for pharmacies, who tend to reach middle-aged and older adults with average salaries. If your patient base falls within these demographics, then, don’t miss your chance to connect with them on Facebook.
For a more in-depth look at Facebook’s user base, as well as the demographics of the other top platforms, read our breakdown of each social media platform.
In addition to being accessible, Facebook is one of the most versatile social media platforms.
It gives users the option to post many different types of content: from status updates to photos and videos to infographics and more. With so many options available, it is important to think about what kinds of posts will be the most effective for your pharmacy. To help you get started, here are a few ideas:
73% of Facebook users check the app every day, making it the perfect place to keep your patients up-to-date on the latest at your pharmacy.
Whether you want to announce new hours, an upcoming event, or an early closing on the holidays, Facebook allows you to share updates with ease and ensures that your patients will see them quickly.
Posting regular updates will help your audience to stay informed on all of the current happenings and stay connected to your pharmacy.
Facebook doesn’t just work as a networking tool, but also as an advertising tool. On your page, you can introduce new vitamins, supplements, or OTC items on your shelves; or you can promote new clinical services that you plan to roll out.
Either way, Facebook is the best platform to let patients know what you have to offer and get them excited about it.
With so many users looking for information online, it is important that your pharmacy provides up-to-date news and resources from leading health professionals. It is also necessary to dispel misinformation when it comes up. Keeping your patients informed will help them to view you as a trusted provider and build your professional relationship.
With such an active user base, Facebook is an excellent place to get your patients involved with your pharmacy.
One of the best ways to get started, and to give back, is by hosting Facebook giveaways. A giveaway can feature products from your pharmacy, discounts on your services, and any other items you deem appropriate 一 as long as they appeal to patients. You can set entry requirements for the giveaway, like liking your page and sharing your posts.
However you decide to do it, giveaways can boost your engagement and help your patients to feel appreciated.
In addition to posting your own content, take advantage of your patients’ posts and share them on your account.
If a patient takes a photo in your pharmacy or writes a positive message about their experience, repost it for your own audience with a quick message of thanks. This acknowledges your current patients and shows new patients that you are a trusted provider in your community.
For a complete list of post ideas for Facebook and the other top platforms, read our breakdown of What to Post on Social Media.
If you want your messages, photos, and videos to be seen by your patients, post at a time that they are active on the app. In general, you should find a time when users have gaps in their schedules and are free to check their social media accounts.
According to Hootsuite, a popular social media management platform, Facebook users check the app most often on weekday mornings. To be more specific, Facebook users 一 and your patients 一 are online most often between 8 AM and 12 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
When you create content, then, try posting at these popular times. Then try experimenting with your specific user base to see if other patterns of activity emerge.
As far as how much you should post, Hootsuite recommends posting between 1-2 times per day.
Any less can risk your relevancy and any more can cause your patients to become overwhelmed with content and your engagement to drop. On Facebook, the time you choose to post is crucial, but choosing the right time can help you get noticed.
In addition to creating standard posts, Facebook offers several features that you can try out to engage your audience even more. Some of the top features include:
Like many other platforms, Facebook offers Stories. These bite-sized pieces of content, which play for 5 seconds each, give you the ability to post quick and timely information. Stories disappear after 24 hours, though, so make sure that you post long-term updates and information to your regular feed.
In addition to sharing videos on YouTube, your pharmacy can bring your best clips to Facebook.
The Watch feature is typically used to stream shows, but content creators can upload higher production videos to be featured on the platform. If you are looking to further expand your pharmacy’s informative or entertaining content 一 and have a knack for cinematography 一 look into Facebook Watch. A new series may be just what your patients need.
Groups are virtual communities on Facebook in which people with similar interests can come together and connect.
Groups are separate from your public Facebook page and invite-only. For your top patients, you can create exclusive Groups that feature early announcements, special offers, and discounts.
Or, to enrich your own experience in the pharmacy world, you can join Groups of other pharmacists in your area or professional organizations around the country.
Facebook is the most popular social media app in the United States, and for many of your patients, it is the most used and most relied on.
The key to social media success is going where your patients are 一 and in many cases, that means going to Facebook. Facebook gives you the option to reach patients in a way that is uniquely your own and allows you to show them what makes you stand apart.
With the right information, a bit of creative content, and a willingness to innovate in the online world, you and your pharmacy can reach new heights.
Looking for even more ways to grow your social media presence across multiple platforms? Discover RxLocal’s Social Media Assistant and find out how you can watch your numbers grow and your pharmacy succeed.