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Is It Time to Try Facebook Advertising for Your Practice?

By Nancy Rausman, EyeCarePro

NEW YORK— Facebook advertising is a pay per click or pay per impression ad program that can really boost the effectiveness of your page.

Here's why:

Increased Reach
Facebook Advertising expands your reach by allowing your ads to be seen by more than just your Facebook "friends." With so many people on Facebook at any given moment, this can mean major penetration for your ad. Depending on the type of ad you run, you can extend your reach to more fans, friends of fans or to the greater Facebook community.

Targeted Audience
Facebook ads take advantage of all of the information the social platform gathers from users to enable you to target your ads to the specific audience you want. Advertisers can select the city, gender, age, interests and social connections they want to target and advertise directly to this demographically focused group. This ability to focus to such a degree is unique to Facebook and can maximize the effectiveness of the ad campaign.

There are a few different ways to advertise on Facebook. They include:

Marketplace Ads (Sponsored Ads)
You will find these ads along the right-hand column of the News Feed page. These ads have a title (which has a limit of 25 characters, an image and short text which can be up to 90 characters long and you can determine where you want the ad to link the user to (Facebook page, landing page, website etc.). These are standard pay per click ads that users are used to seeing (and sometimes ignoring) along the side of a Facebook page.

Page Post Ads
Newer to Facebook, Page Post ads appear in the actual News Feed mixed within regular status posts. They can include links, photos, videos, events and other marketing content. Because they appear within the News Feed where people tend to focus their attention, there is a greater likelihood of engagement with these ads than the marketplace ads. Page post ads can be great for announcing a special offer or promoting an event such as a trunk show.

Sponsored Stories
Sponsored Stories increase the likelihood that friends of fans will see your post by showing when they engage with it by liking, sharing or commenting on it or by joining an event or using an app. This increases the exposure of a typical status post (it's not a separate ad) and has a social effect because it shows interactions of friends that are supporting your cause.

Promoted Posts
When you promote a post, you are selecting a greater percentage of your own page fans and friends of fans that will see the post. Normally only about 10 percent of your fans receive your post in their News Feed. By promoting a post, you pay Facebook a flat rate to show your status to a defined number of fans and their friends.

Some of our clients have begun to tap into Facebook's targeted marketing options and have seen some real success.

Innovision Optometry PC, a New York based optometry practice, ran a back to school campaign which included a marketplace ad entering fans that liked their page into a drawing for a $50 Target gift card and a sponsored story. The add targeted 108,000 people that live within 10 miles of their location in Poughkeepsie, NY, were 18 and older and were not already connected to their Facebook Page. The sponsored story also included friends of people who liked the Innovision Optometry PC page and friends of friends who are already connected to their page. Their results were impressive. Altogether their campaign reached 26,992 viewers, received 182 clicks and 94 page likes and it only cost them $197.

Another practice, Park Professional Eyecare, has used Facebook campaigns to publicize trunk shows with great results. Their most recent campaign incorporated promoted posts to both fans and to friends of fans and a sponsored story, reaching a total of 7,512 users which ended up costing them only $15.00. The staff at Park Professional reports that they received a much greater response to these trunk shows than those that weren't promoted with Facebook ads.

Dr. Krietlow and Associates of Blaine, Minn. are in the midst of a back to school campaign using Facebook Ads, specifically a marketplace ad and a sponsored story. With nearly three weeks left to go, they have already reached 1,418 users and received 8 page likes.

It's important to know that before you build a Facebook ad campaign it's wise to build up a following on your page and create some engagement. This will create a stronger base and make your ad campaign more effective by ultimately increasing your reach.





Nancy Rausman is the managing editor of the EyeCarePro blog and Optometry Web Newsletter. She is responsible for providing ECPs with educational content that helps them advance their practices through technology, management strategies and digital marketing.

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