4 Smart Ways Pharmacies Can Leverage Facebook
Facebook is a critical place for businesses to engage.
Facebook is a critical place for businesses to engage. If pharmacies hope to succeed and cut through the clutter in their communities, they need to have a strong, effective social media presence.
The purpose of social media is to reach your patients on the platform where they’re connected. Although Facebook isn’t the top pick for millennials, it certainly serves the widest range of age groups and is the most preferred platform available.
Businesses are increasingly integrating through Facebook, allowing for single-access sign-on, Facebook payment options, and more. Whether your business currently has a Facebook page or starting from scratch, here are some tips for effectively leveraging this platform:
1. Tell your story.
As you begin setting up your Facebook page, make sure to highlight the things that differentiate your pharmacy. Include information like your location, hours, and key business updates in an easy-to-access format.
Use the company bio to make your page stand out. Tell your reader what makes you different—maybe the number of years you’ve been in business or the unique services you provide.
Remember, branding is important anytime you’re showcasing your business. Use a strong profile image, likely your logo. Make sure it’s high quality and puts your best foot forward.
When choosing a banner image, a go-to for pharmacies is an image of the storefront or a photo of your staff. Get creative with this photo and use it as an engagement opportunity. Consider featuring a different staff member each month and highlighting his or her talents. It’s an opportunity to increase likes and drive engagement from the individual’s friends and family.
2. Content is king.
When building a successful Facebook page, a well-managed content calendar isn’t optional. Every successful social media presence is driven by a regular stream of new and engaging content. The main pieces to identify are timing, imagery, and text.
If you write your content in advance, you’ll be more likely to maintain a regular social media presence. Use websites like Hootsuite to manage social media output and plan your content weeks in advance.
The frequency you post should meet your company’s needs. Although once a day is recommended on Facebook, 3 times a week may work for a page with fewer followers. But remember, the more content you have and the more engaging it is, the more likely you are to increase your following.
Build your content calendar around special events, holidays, and pharmacy-specific content. If Halloween is coming up, share a tip with your followers about safe trick-or-treating. Don’t forget to continue to use this platform to inform your followers about the elements that make your pharmacy unique.
3. Authenticity makes all the difference.
You’ll be managing 2 types of content on your Facebook page: informational and advertising. A healthy mix of both will help you succeed.
Successful social businesses are seen as helpful thought-leaders. They respond to questions, provide proactive assistance, and have their customers’ backs. Your patients want to know when a deal’s happening and when they can get a product or service at a reduced rate. But, if you’re hoping to build relationships with them, helpful authentic interactions are just as critical.
4. Keep up 2-way conversation.
Before you consider starting or scaling a Facebook page, make sure you have a plan for community management, which means monitoring comments and responding via authentic 2-way conversations.
If your patients send your pharmacy a message and hear nothing for over a week, they may lose respect for the customer service provided by your brand. Have a plan for monitoring during business hours and ensure someone is checking in and equipped to respond at night or on weekends.
Push notifications can be sent to your phone to make this process even easier, but make sure you have a plan for responses. Outline the community engagement rules on the information page so that if you must delete a vulgar or threatening post, you’re able to justify your action.
Remember, viewers are sensitive to censorship, so be prepared to engage with some challenging posts. If patients comment that they’ve had a bad experience, and they aren’t using profanity or directly calling out an employee by name, use the opportunity to publically apologize and set expectations. Explain that this isn’t the experience your company is known for and ask them to private message you their contact information so you can provide a solution.
This is, of course, a high-level overview of successful Facebook engagement. Basically, if you have the time and creativity to manage your page, go for it! Otherwise, explore social media management companies and the options they provide. Facebook provides an extremely detailed analytics report, which makes it easy to track the effectiveness of your social network provider.