Just because you start your Facebook page doesn’t mean your patients will find it. The key to success is your offline strategy. Catch your patients when they’re offline to make sure they visit you when they’re online.
There are three things you can do offline to ensure that your Facebook page gets the attention it deserves.
Post signs in your hospital
After you’ve launched your Facebook page, put up signs in your hospital encouraging patients to “like” your page.
This could be anything from large display posters to small table tents placed in waiting areas. If your Facebook page is a general page for your hospital, place a sign in the main lobby and registration area. If your Facebook page is geared toward a specific department, such as your Birthing Center, put up the signs in that department too.
A great example of an offline Facebook page promotion is from Children’s Hospital Boston. They used an actual patient, an infant named Eli, and the tagline “This is who you friend when you friend Children’s Hospital Boson on Facebook.” I think this is a fantastic way to draw fans, because it’s true. A hospital is about its patients, and they are the reason you create a Facebook page. Facebook helps provide a community for patients and their families.
Tell your patients
When patients register for a procedure, or come in for an appointment, have receptionists, medical assistants and physicians encourage them to visit your Facebook page to check out upcoming events and learn more about services you provide. I think word of mouth is underestimated; when I get a verbal recommendation for something, I am highly likely to look into it.
Add your account to all outgoing correspondence
Newsletters, bills and appointment reminders are three ways you can raise awareness of your Facebook page by adding the Facebook symbol and “Find us on Facebook.” It’s effective because it reaches patients between visits to your hospital, which reinforces your message.
Remember, it’s all about making it worthwhile for patients to visit your Facebook page. So don’t just tell them to visit your page, tell them what’s in it for them, whether it’s a place to find important information, connect with other patients or have fun.