A little while ago, we introduced you to the idea of using Facebook for your practice. Because we’re basically on Facebook every single day we can sometimes think that we don’t need much help with it comes to running a business page on Facebook. However, after several years of helping businesses build their social media channels, we can tell you that it can be very different from using Facebook as an individual.
Luckily, we’ve got a collection of tips for you to help get the most out of your Facebook Business page and to build your audience.
If the past few years have taught us anything about Facebook, we know that there’s very little that is sacred! Facebook’s environment is constantly changing. Things like the sizes for cover images, the layout of business pages, and the availability of many tools can literally be changed at any time. So, before you get too deep into this post, expect that everything we write is subject to change – it’s just one of the things you have to learn to deal with on social media.
We promise to do our best to keep the post updated as information changes!
Facebook provides a separate app for managing pages, and we’d recommend downloading it. It’s called Pages Manager. It’s true that you can manage many of the aspects of your page using the regular Facebook app, but Pages Manager definitely adds some capability. It adds better tools for adding live video to you page, easy tools to run promotions quickly, good access to your page’s stats (called Insights), and the ability to access drafts and scheduled posts.
We would definitely recommend doing most of the heavily lifting on your page in a regular or laptop or desktop browser. But the Pages Manager app gives you really good access to your page when you’re not able to be in front of a computer.
Unlike your personal page, business pages allow you to schedule posts to appear at any time in the future. One of the keys to running a great Facebook page is making sure that you have content to keep your audience engaged. With the ability to schedule posts, you can find some inspirational quotes or interesting articles and plan your Facebook posts several weeks in advance. That way, when your days get busy, you won’t need to find time to post something - it will already be in the cue and ready to go.
To schedule a post, simply click on the down arrow next to the Publish button and select when you want this content to be live.
A major aspect of Facebook’s business model is getting you - the page owner - to spend money. The main way they get funds from you is through your use of advertising. As a business page, you can create and purchase ads from Facebook to make sure that more people in your area view your content. You can do this in a couple of ways. First, you can simply boost a post. After you post to your page, you’ll usually see a button underneath the post the reads boost. If you click this and give Facebook your credit card information, they’ll give you an idea of how many people will see your post based on how much you’re willing to spend It’s an effective way to get some additional exposure to you community.
The second way is to create an ad campaign. These are a little more complicated because there are plenty of options and formats available. You can also choose to optimize these ads for specific purposes, like getting people to contact you, to call you, or to visit your website. If you’re new to this, it might be a good idea to find someone to help. But, if you’re adventurous, give it a shot.
One word of advice, though: be careful how you word your content. All of the ads are reviewed by real people and we’ve seen several ads turned down because of the way that things were worded, especially as it relates to mental health conditions. For example, one ad that we tried to run promised to “help people with your anxiety.” Facebook rejected this ad saying that it was derogatory in nature. Despite our appeals that the ad was for a mental health counselor specifically trained to help people with their anxiety, the ad was not approved. Facebook seems to prefer more positive language like “become a better you” or “learn to achieve your dreams.” There’s not a lot of guidance on this, FYI, so don’t be shocked if your ads and boosted posts get flagged or denied.
When you add your phone number to your Facebook page, it will give you the opportunity to verify your page. Do this. Facebook will call you with a code that you’ll enter on your page. Once that verification is complete, your page will be more likely to show up in people’s feeds and searches.
Facebook has a formula for every single person. It has an idea of the things that each individual will like to see based on the things they’ve liked in the past. Every time you or I open the app or go online to the website, Facebook generates your newsfeed. It’s not just based on the most recent things that your friends have posted. It’s not just based on the pages that you like. It’s not even just based on the money that companies spend in advertising.
Just because someone likes you page is no guarantee that your content is going to show up on their newsfeed. In fact, chances are in the single-digit percentages that they will. If you have 100 people that like your page, only 2–3 of them might see any one of your posts. This can be incredibly discouraging.
If you post things that people tend to respond to though, it’s much more likely that you posts will reach a little further. Photos are great. Videos are great too. Text? Not so much.
It’s also true that if you include a call to action in your post (e.g. call us for more information, click to learn more, etc), then Facebook will reduce even further the chances that this will show up. We all have our theories about this but most of them involve the idea that Facebook really wants you to spend money for call to actions.
When you don’t see a lot of results from your Facebook posts, it can be discouraging. But, stick with it! Remember, you’re trying to build community here, not necessarily get clients directly. You’re wanting to build an online referral network - people who like what you’re doing and might think of you when their friends say that they’re considering therapy. Building your online community is a long game that takes persistence and sticking to the game plan.
But, your efforts will pay off in the end!
Have any other tips to share? Do it in the content section below or over on our Facebook page!