The Biggest Mistakes Marketers Make on Facebook

Michael Scissons wrote a great piece for AdAge about the four things Mark Zuckerberg should tell every CMO. After reviewing the top 300 brand pages on Facebook he concluded that marketers are all too often failing to capture the value of social media marketing. His findings couldn’t be more true for us as healthcare communicators. See his main points below with their implications for physician practice marketers. Click here for the complete post by Michael Scissons.

Engagement on the Facebook walls of leading brands is down 22%. Brands aren’t playing for the long term. Many are likely to blame Facebook, but it’s more likely that marketers themselves have led to this decline. Dissing audiences with bad content, coupons, polls, contests, and boring filler is the way to blow off engagement in the long run, even if it makes a few campaign results shine in the short term.

Not all 300 brands saw a decline. Some brands were rock stars. The winners included brands like Deutsch, Renault, Hermes, Lowe’s, and Chanel. These brands didn’t have the most fans, but day in and day out, they are performing magic in keeping their fan base engaged.

Local pages drive 36% better results. Global results are built one region at a time. A few words to the wise: Bigger is not always better and regional programs perform significantly better then global ones. This should come as no surprise; relevant local content has always performed better. Local Facebook pages perform 36% better than global ones. Success is driven by great organizational empowerment at the local level, relevant local content, local media support and presentation in a tone of voice relevant to the targeted local market. What does this mean for your practice? Focus on content that impacts your community. If there is a big national health story, localize it. Let patients know how it affects your community.

Talk to your fans six to seven times a week at relevant times. Don’t be distant or annoying. Many practices assume that they just need to create a Facebook Page and patients will automatically engage. Wrong. Facebook is about interaction and connection. Patients will not connect with you if you don’t provide content for them to connect with! Speak to your fans six to seven times per week on average. Speak with purpose and ensure the content is relevant. Be cautious though, if you aren’t in the office and can’t check the Page don’t make a post. You need to be ready incase a patient comments.

Understanding the value of a Facebook fan is straightforward. Stop trying to overcomplicate this. The value of Facebook fans is simply the value of an audience to a company. This includes the amount of money fans spend, their propensity to recommend, and the reach, frequency, and impact of their social influence. Keep in mind though that Rome was not build in a day. It takes time to build trust. You won’t see a dramatic increase in patient volume the day after you create a Facebook Page.  Also keep in mind, Facebook gives you the unique opportunity to not only build trust with your connections, but to also reach your connections’ connections… each one of your likes has their own network of Facebook friends. If you have 100 likes you could be reaching 10,000 + potential patients through their Facebook friends.  It’s an incredible opportunity. Make the most of it!

Scissons also says to run your brand’s community management in-house and hire someone to do it right. Outsourcing your brand “voice” is not a viable long-term option. You can spare some to maintain relationships with your best and most influential customers.

Task your agency to develop original creative content. Engaging videos, flash experiences work best. Stop being so tactical, and quit treating Facebook like a promotional wastebasket.


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