Many people mistakenly believe That everything they post to their dental practice Facebook business page is shown to all of the fans, they think that because they’ve got 500 fans that 500 people are going to see what they post… This simply isn’t true.
Think about the number of people that are on Facebook, it currently stands at over half the UK population, that’s more than 30 million people!
With so many people on Facebook, Facebook needs to use some form of calculation to decide which messages are important, which messages are not, which messages to show people in which messages to hide. This is where Facebook’s Edgerank Algorithm comes in, please scroll to the end of this blog post to see a very useful info graphic generated about this topic.
The algorithm has been around for some time now and people are getting used to how it works but there is a big change afoot, in fact it happened in January of this year.
What is changing?
Facebook quite rightly say that people go on to see things they are interested in. They don’t necessarily want to see out and out promotion of products and services, the problem has been that many business pages have simply tried to sell stuff.
This has resulted in the quality of some posts from businesses being extremely low, they simply post updates telling people about their latest offers, deals and incentives and make no attempt to engage with their fans, this fundamentally goes against the engagement principle of Facebook. Facebook have been looking at ways to stop this and this has now been implemented.
As with immediate effect if you post purely promotional updates the chances of these being seen by your fans is extremely low, so what makes a promotional post? Facebook say that promotional posts are:
- Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
- Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
- Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads
It seems that Facebook are going to be looking at adding some additional functionality to their business pages, this could be an exciting new era in Facebook marketing if we are able to do more complex and fun things from a business page.
What can you do about it?
Put simply, avoid just promoting your business. Look for ways to create engagement with each post and get your edge rank higher. If you do want to do posts which promote treatments, services, products or special offers and accept the fact that you’re going to have to promote these with paid ads.
With regards to each individual post you could try varying the things you post along the following lines:
- Create images which encourage engagement. Not necessarily dental ones but images which make people laugh, joining and feel part of the community.
- Use questions at the end of the post. Questions are far more likely to generate engagement than simple statements.
- Tell stories using your happy patients. Create a series of posts which walk potential patients through the thought process and treatment of existing patients. Create engaging stories out of the real lives of local people.
- Hand out useful, free and relevant dental health advice. Use the amazing information stored in your head to genuinely help local people, when you hand out useful and free relevant dental health advice you set yourself up as the local expert that can be trusted.
- Educate people about the risks of not looking after their teeth and the benefits of having a healthy smile. When you create engaging content like this people are more likely to interact with comments, likes and shares.
The trick is to get people engaging and interacting with your posts. If you do this Facebook will recognise that your updates are popular and ensure that they reach more people.