I’ve mentioned before that I don’t think dentists should spend time pursuing new patients on Facebook. Our measurements of ROI suggest that, in the vast majority of cases, it’s not worth the investment of time and/or money.
We’ve found that social media in general is better suited to help establish your brand and your public image, to increase engagement of your followers, and to keep your audience abreast of new developments for your dental practice.
However, if you’re already invested in that social media platform, you’ll be interested to know about a new tool that was released last month: Facebook’s Audience Optimization.
According to Facebook, using this tool helps Facebook’s algorithm determine the right audience for the content of your posts. By adding tags from a predefined list, you specify the interests of people who are most likely to respond positively – your Preferred Audience.
Preferred Audience replaces Targeting, which would prevent a post from appearing on specified individuals pages. That, according to Facebook, limited the post’s reach.
However, another feature provides the ability to limit your audience for a particular post. Audience Restrictions makes it less likely that people who would be offended by a post or otherwise react negatively will see it. That includes people people who fall outside of a particular defined geographic area, range of ages, and so forth.
Of course, if (hopefully) a particular post is shared, it may make the rounds of Facebook and wind up on someone’s page regardless.
And the last feature is Audience Insights. You can see a graphic representation of how each of the interest tags you added to a post enhances a post’s reach, like, clicks, and shares.
Interestingly, if your Facebook page has more than 5,000 likes, Audience Optimization is already enabled. If not, Facebook has detailed instructions on how activate it. Start by checking your page’s Settings.
Once Audience Optimization is enabled, you should see a new icon on your page’s update box.
Facebook notes that using Audience Optimization keeps reach about the same as not using it. However, engagement goes up.
Why is this useful for dentists?
Having followers is great, but it’s even better to figure out why they’re following you, what they like, and what they share. Just as important is to be able to determine why your audience isn’t liking something you post. Is it the specific subject matter, or is something in the way you present it putting people off
It will take some analysis on your part, but you should be able to reach some genuine insight on how best to engage your audience. And engagement is the name of the game for social media. Once you’ve established a positive online relationship with potential patients, it’s more likely that they’ll think of your practice first when they need dental services.
Send your followers posts that they enjoy and engage with, and they’ll be more likely to share to their pages, expanding your reach and your pool of prospective patients.
In my opinion, if you invest time, energy and money in Facebook, Audience Optimization is definitely worth a try.