When you post an update on your practice’s Facebook page, your content won’t show up on the news feed of every single one of your followers.
Why not? Facebook only shows your posts to a percentage of your followers–by one analysis, only about 6%. Sure, people can see all of your posts if they regularly visit your practice’s page, but not many people will do that. If you post about something that is important for your followers to see, like an upcoming event, you’ll want to pay to advertise it to get the kind of reach you want.
When Should You Use Paid Advertising on Facebook?
Before we get into how to use Facebook Advertising, we want to go over what types of posts you should pay for. The first rule: only use Facebook Advertising for your own content. You don’t want to pay to promote or boost content shared from another website–that will only help the other site, not you. Ultimately, the posts you pay for should drive more people to your website or your event–not someone else’s.
Secondly, your content should not only be relevant to your followers, but also helpful. Ultimately, there should be some sort of call to action. People may like to see photos from around the office, but that type of content doesn’t really help your followers or prompt them to take any sort of action. It’s just like any other type of advertising–you pay to get the attention of patients, and hopefully get more patients through the door. A photo of Dr. Smith dressed up in a Halloween costume probably isn’t going to be helpful for either of those things, because it isn’t showing off your expertise and how you can help.
You should, however, include some sort of image with your post. If you’re posting a link, an image may pull in automatically. You’ll need to make sure that when an image is pulled in, nothing important is cut off. This is especially important if your image is an infographic; you don’t want important text to be cut off. The rule of thumb is that your image may not contain more than 20% text–anything more, and the ad may not get approved.
How to Use Facebook Advertising
There are two ways you can pay to get your posts in front of more people on Facebook. You have the option to boost a post or promote a post. Each is a bit different, and each can be useful in different situations.
Boosting a post is a quick way to get the post in front of your followers and drive traffic to your website. You can boost any post on your timeline to help extend its reach. When you are logged into your account, you should see a “Boost Post” option at the bottom of each of your posts. If you click on that, you’ll get an option to push the post out to “People who like your page and their friends” or “People you choose through targeting.”
In general, targeting may be the better option. This can help you get the best return on the money you spend, because you can target the post to people who are actually interested in the types of things you are talking about. When you target your audience, you can select a location, age group, gender, and up to 10 interests. You can also set a budget, and you can choose to boost the post for one day only, or spread your budget out over a week.
Was your boosted post successful? You can view the results in Facebook Ads Manager to see how they did.
If you want more targeting, pricing, and bidding options, promoting your posts is the way to go. You can promote posts through the Ads Manager on Facebook. There, you can select the post that you want to promote. You can narrow your target audience by location, age, gender, and interests, just as you can when you boost posts. You can also narrow the target even further with other options and choose to only show promoted posts to your followers.
You also have different options for budgeting. You can choose to bid on a cost per click for your ad, or set a per-day budget. You can even switch between the two options if you want.
Unlike boosted posts, you also have the option to create a post for the sole purpose of being used as an ad. These are called unpublished posts. They won’t show up on your timeline, and they won’t show up organically in your followers’ news feeds. These posts only show up as ads. Unpublished posts can be helpful if you want to test out different types of ads for the same content.
While you don’t need to boost or promote every post on your practice’s Facebook page, these types of advertisements can be very helpful when used strategically. Give it a try the next time your practice has something to promote.
This post concludes our Facebook series. If you’d like to read the series from the beginning, start with 5 Reasons Why Your Practice Should Be on Facebook.