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Changing in the Face of Facebook Changes

Posted in Guest Blogger @ Jun 18th 2014 - By Karen Karnis, LifeLearn
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The organic reach of your veterinary practice Facebook Page is dropping and you’re frustrated.

After all, your fans ‘Liked’ your Page – that means they want to hear what you have to say, right? Hey, we get it.

But here’s the thing: while people want to engage with brands and businesses they care about, their primary reasons for using Facebook do not include seeing a steady stream of products, services – or even helpful information – from those brands. People are there to connect, and yes, to laugh and cry and otherwise be entertained.

Like both Judy and Danielle K. Lambert said in their posts on the subject, it is still important to have a presence on Facebook in order to connect with your fans. You should also post regularly so that people researching your business see that you’re active and up-to-date. So if you’re going to be there anyway, you might as well get some reach, right?

Since the key to organic reach is engagement from your fans, you have to post things that people will Like, comment on, and share. We all know that the posts that do well are the funny and cute images with the clever captions. So why not use that to your advantage?

The 80/20 Rule

In our OutFacebook Your Competition webinar and guide, we shared the “80/20 Rule” – that is, your Facebook posts should be about 80% fun, 20% serious. That does not mean you only get to share important or informative content 20% of the time, it just means you need to be creative about how you share that content.

Consider piggybacking your messages on the fun stuff, like captioned pictures. Images are an effective way to catch your fans’ attention, and as people pause to look at the picture they may also read what you have to say. If that links to your website blog, bonus! Even if they don’t read it right away, they might Like or share it because of the image, which gives their connections the opportunity to read what you have to say.

For example, when we shared a blog post about getting engagement on Facebook, we included a captioned photo of our favorite office pooch, Bruno.

We also had the image embedded in the blog post, but that’s not required. You can share any image you like with your message – either one that’s making the rounds that makes your point, or one you create yourself. Creating your own images is easier than ever with plenty of free, user-friendly tools online like Canva and PicMonkey.

TIP:Do not explicitly ask your audience to like or share your post. Facebook has discouraged this practice and has gone on record as saying they’ll penalize the reach of pages that continue to use this tactic.

So the key, really, is to be sure to combine the reasons people visit Facebook all into one. Yes, you want to share your important messages and information, but doing it in a fun and entertaining way makes you a business that people feel they can connect with in a community that they feel a part of.

Reality Bites

That said, the truth of the matter is this: as organic reach becomes harder and harder to maintain, it becomes that much more important to use Facebook ads. The good news is it’s not an all-or-nothing approach. Continue to engage your fans as described above, but extend your reach with targeted ads. It may seem a bit intimidating at first, but it’s really much easier – and much more affordable – than you might think. 

Want more tips on Facebook advertising? Check out our new 5-part series.

Karen Karnis is a content writer for LifeLearn, a company dedicated to helping veterinarians grow their practices through client education and online marketing tools. You can connect with Karen on Twitter @Karen_Karnis, or read more on the LifeLearn blog.

You can also click below to connect with LifeLearn via their:

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