Monday, August 23, 2010

You're on what?? How to engage your healthcare fans

In order to get found on the Internet and build deep, meaningful relationships with potential patients, you saw the importance of building a Facebook fan page. Now what? You know your goal is to engage and interact with people but how do you do that?

If you're like many healthcare marketers, you struggle with finding the right words and content that will attract interest and get people to respond. You post topics you think are relevant and useful; tips to stay healthy, how to take care of aging loved ones, etc., but they just don't grab people's attention and nobody is interacting with you. Here are a few pointers to get more people engaged in your healthcare marketing Facebook fan page:

1. Get fans. Suggest your page to your friends and encourage them to share it with their friends. Then post a link to your fan page on your website and in every outgoing email you send.

2. Ask questions. Keep it simple, though...nobody likes to think too hard on Facebook!

3. Plant responses. Encourage someone you know respond or post to get people started. For some reason, nobody wants to be the first person to post. Ask a friend to do it and get the conversation going.

4. Respond quickly. Thank people for liking your link or respond to their comments. Act fast to reward participation and encourage future participation.

5. Post news. Timely news pieces that are related, local, funny, thought-provoking or controversial and ask for people's reaction. Again, while on Facebook people don't like to think too much so keep it light and entertaining for the most part. Occasional informative posts on serious topics are important (it helps show your expertise in the health sector and build trust) but don't expect too much in terms of response.

6. Have a contest. A drawing for the first 500 fans or responses to a particular question seems to be common. You can give away a gift card or other fun prize. Ideally the prize should be related somehow to your service but be careful. Trust me, people won't be clamoring to enter the drawing if the prize is a colonoscopy. Try a gift certificate to a healthy local restaurant to promote healthy eating.

These are just a few ways to get you started on your new Facebook fan page and to help you engage prospective patients with your health care brand. If you have a tip that worked well for you we'd love to hear it! Share your tip in the comments below and be sure to post a link to your fan page. You can visit our fan page here. While you're there, become a fan!

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