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Giant Strelitzia Nicolai

FACEBOOK MARKETING

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WHY FACEBOOK?


Facebook is the largest social network in Ireland with 2.5 million users. Their dominance and extensive diversification strategies mean that more and more users are carrying out an increasing number of activities such as sourcing news, researching companies and carrying out purchases.

As a Psychotherapist, there is a real place for social media despite the discreet nature of the service. Although people may not publicly engage with you on your social platforms (some will), this channel is now as important as search engines for research. People can access information about your services on Facebook and then contact you directly. If you provide valuable advice or insights, your posts may be shared broadly expanding your reach to new potential clients.

Developing a Facebook page will open the practice to the largest target group available on social media, with the added ability to source relevant prospective clients (via advertising) according to a user’s interests etc. It also allows for inclusion and participation in relevant groups.

SETUP


To open a business / practice Facebook account, you need to have a personal account. To set up a personal account, simply go to facebook.com and click to sign up. You will be prompted to enter your name, email or mobile number, date of birth, gender and create a password. You will then be prompted to confirm the email or phone number and your account will be authorised to go live.

To create a business page, log into your Facebook account and then go to facebook.com/pages/create
 

From here, you will be prompted to add your practice name, profession and bio.


Make sure to use the exact name of your business, the name that people will search for to find your practice. Use the Bio section to describe what your practice does.

Then add you practice email address, phone number and opening hours (you don't have to do this if not suitable for your practice).

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Profile Photo and Cover Photo


Under the profile photo, place your practice logo or an image of yourself. This photo is square in dimension but will be framed in a circle so bear that in mind when creating it. For the cover photo, its best to choose a good quality image, it could be something related to the practice, interior or exterior, a nice landscape or abstract image that compliments your logo. This image space is rectangular and must be a minimum of 820 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall.

 

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Add A Button


This prominently positioned button will give your page visitors clear direction on next steps when they visit your page. Click this to choose your preferred call to action.

For a Psychotherapy practice, I would recommend changing this to Send Message (direct message through Facebook Messenger) as it is very relevant and provides a private way for potential clients to reach you directly without leaving the app. You can encourage them to contact you through this medium to ask questions and find out more before booking.
You could also use Contact Us - this will direct them to your website. If you update your Facebook posts very regularly, you could choose the Follow option to keep people up to date.




Connect to Whatsapp


You will then be prompted to connect your business page to a Whatsapp number. Only do this if you have a practice specific phone number and wish to allow prospective clients contact you by phone. You can skip this if you do not.

 

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You will then be promoted to invite any friends from your personal facebook profile to follow your page so you can choose to do that or not. You might want to select a few to get things started.

The final stage of the account setup is turning notifications on - very impportant so that you find out in real time when someone messages you or comments on your posts. You can choose to opt in or out of marketing messages from Meta (Facebook parent company).

At this point your business page will Go Live with all of the basic information that you have included.

 

At any stage, you can add more information by clicking the 'Manage' button on your profile. Adding opening hours can be helpful to manage expectations about the days you work and when you may or may not get back to queries. You can choose not to include hours or nominate the exact hours that you work.

CREATING GREAT CONTENT


It is important to post content as soon as you go live as you want your page to be informative and interesting for visitors. Posts should be a good mix of images and updates with a regular plan in place for posting. For your initial setup, look to add at least 5 posts covering different topics so that your visitors get a good flavour of who you are and what you do.


For guidance on content development including topics, themes, ideas and imagery & design - refer to the Messaging Section (click here).
BUILDING & MAINTAINING YOUR FOLLOWER NETWORK


LET THE WORLD KNOW ABOUT YOUR PAGE


Once you have populated your page with good content, your page is ready for promotion. Invite relevant contacts to visit and follow the page, incentivising them with regular updates and interesting content. You can do this in a number of ways.

If you haven't invited friends from your personal Facebook profile, you can do so afterwards by clicking the three dots on the right of the page menu and choose the 'Invite Friends' option.
 

(Insert the web address of your business page here - you can copy this from the address bar when you are on the homepage of your facebook business page).
Sample: www.facebook.com/mypracticename

 



If you have any other active social media accounts, you can promote the page through those channels too.

If you have a directory listing with a member association (IACP, IAHIP etc), you can add your Facebook web address to your listing or you can add the description: ‘search (insert name of practice) online’. This will incorporate all of your listings on social and google, yahoo etc.



FACEBOOK GROUPS


Groups on Facebook are a great way to speak directly to your peers, people who share your working interests and those who may need your services. You can review existing groups aligned with your interests and make comments, provide advice or even create your own group of interest and allow people to join it - see sample below:

Next, link your Facebook page to your website - ask your web developer to do this if you don’t control the site yourself. Each platform has a different way to do this but if you manage your website yourself, use the platform’s Help Service or run a quick google search to locate a tutorial.


You can also email your contact list to let them know that you are active on Facebook. You may want to include this in an email with other content. Here is some sample text for you to use below:

SAMPLE TEXT:
As a valued client, (or insert practice name) I/we wanted to let you know that we are now active on Facebook. I/we will be posting regular updates including advisory articles on (insert speciality here) and adding any practice updates relating to practice hours, new services, therapists and more. Click on the link below to follow our page.

 

You can find groups by clicking the menu button on the top right of the screen (circle with nine dots, see image below) and selecting the groups option from there.

Initially you will be given suggested groups, you will have the option to search for certain keywords in the left menu. A search using the key term ‘Mental Health Support’ provides a list of relevant groups with some targeted more specifically - for anxiety etc.

Click on the Groups icon in the left menu to see the location dropdown allowing you to search for more locally based groups in Dublin, Cork etc.

Click into any group you feel might be of interest and read any descriptions and rules they may have posted. If the group is appropriate to you, you can request to join by clicking the blue Join Group button. It may take a little time for your request to be accepted.

Each group will have a moderator who decides on whether practice providers can join and you will find out at that stage. For your protection, you can avoid providing personal advice and diagnosis but help by linking information articles and your own website details for contact if requested. It is important not to ‘advertise’ in these groups and only provide your details if requested.

As mentioned above, creating your own special interest group may open you up to your intended audience, and the process is very easy. When back in the main Groups menu, click +Create New Group and add the name, privacy level (public or private) and invite your followers if you wish.
 


MEASURE & LEARN

The Insights facility on your business page allows you to see how much engagement you are receiving for your posts and this in turn allows you to see what type of content works best for your audience.

You can then focus more on these topics to save time and improve your page. You will find the Insights button in the left hand menu when you are on your business page home page.

 

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Insights include how many people viewed your page (over a set time period, page likes, clicks on about or contact details, post reach (how many people saw your post) and engagement (liked it, shared it commented etc) and follower number.

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In time you can choose to ‘boost’ your popular posts through paid advertising if budget allows. You will find more information on this in the Advertising Section further on.

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