facebook-200With Facebook’s analytics, targeting capabilities and global audience, it’s become one of the preferred platforms for marketing, allowing businesses to target by specific demographics, locations and interests. Facebook provides three tools for advertising – pages, ads and groups.

Pages are free, easy to set up and encompass personal and business pages. Each Facebook user has a page where information can be posted and other users can “like” what they see. People can be “fans,” follow others, and receive updates from the pages they follow.

Ads offer powerful and targeted marketing to reach specific ages, education levels, locales, and even the devices used to access the Internet. Individual users have the option of closing ads they don’t like. Groups act similarly to discussion forums and enjoy high levels of activity, but can be time consuming depending upon the degree of engagement and popularity.

How Facebook ads work

Clinicians have a variety of pay-per-click ad options from which to choose and are an effective way Untitled designto obtain traffic on Facebook and the clinic’s website. They’re targeted based on demographic, location and profile data. Practitioners create an ad, set their budget amount, and bid for each thousand clicks the ad will receive. Ads appear on the Facebook sidebar and offer the best results for generating actual sales and new patient acquisition.

Who can and should advertise?

Facebook is one of the most effective advertising platforms in the world. The ads resemble display ads and are primarily utilized to generate demand instead of filling it, and in that arena, they’re not an optimal fit for every business. The ads product the best results when used for sign-ups for newsletters and similar information for lead generation.

The best candidates for Facebook ads are those who don’t seek immediate results. The lifetime value of a single individual is typically spread out over six months and comprised of purchases for smaller products or services while trust is built.

Targeting the ad

The biggest mistake clinicians make when creating a Facebook ad is incorrect targeting. Practitioners have a wealth of available possibilities, with the most effective criteria being age, gender, interests and location. Clinicians should begin by targeting those that fit the demographics of the practice’s current patients before expanding into other areas.

Ads can be targeted to a broad audience or those with very precise interests or needs. An example of a broad target would be those who enjoy gardening, yoga, science fiction movies or fantasy novels. Precise targeting offers the best return on investment and is based on users’ profile information. No competitive data is provided prior to selection of targeting information, but once interests have been selected clinicians receive suggestions for the bid.

Practitioners can also use Facebook Connect as a sign up option on their clinic’s website for continuity. The ad will require an image to which clinicians own the rights, but Facebook recommends not using the company logo unless it’s a well-recognized symbol. The best image reflects the target market, but humorous images always attract more interest.

Copy for ads should conform to the AIDA formula – Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. Advertisers are limited to 115 characters and practitioners are advised to practice different wording options until they can incorporate all for IDA concepts in a short and succinct pitch.

In The Complete Facebook Guide to Marketing, readers will learn about bidding on ads, landing pages, how to track performance, and conversions.