That's right. Only 15% of your Facebook fans, the fans you've worked so hard to build up into a community, are seeing your posts on the popular social network. They put a governor on your throttle!
That leaves 85% who are missing the interesting content you post (my math is impeccable). Let that sink in for a bit. All we've heard for a couple of years now is how great social media marketing on Facebook can be for your healthcare practice. 15% would be a fantastic reach on a direct mail piece, a medium that is spray and pray marketing epitomized. But on Facebook your fans actually clicked that like button indicating they have an interest in what you have to say.
Don't take it from me. Facebook's own Product Director of Ads, Gokul Rajaram, has said so himself:
"Organically, you get anywhere from 15 percent to 20 percent of your fans, that you reach organically. In order to reach the remaining 80 to 85 percent, sponsoring posts is important."
Sponsoring posts is important. Facebook has throttled the traffic you were getting out of your posts and has now developed a product, called Sponsored Posts, where you can pay to reach those people you used to reach for free. This all seems to have developed curiously around the same time the company went public.
I'm no enemy of commerce, and Facebook is still so huge that having a page is still essential for your healthcare marketing plan. But aside from paying Facebook to get your posts read, what can be done?
Quickly Develop Your Blog
The pillar of your healthcare marketing plan should be your blog. Your blog and the content you post on it is truly the only marketing content that you own. You are simply renting space on other networks and channels as Sponsored Posts so clearly illuminates.
Everything you post on your blog can then be shared on various other sites, including social media. This will dramatically drive traffic back to your site.
This content marketing distribution map from Radian6 really illustrates it well:
(click image to enlarge)
Speed Over To Google+
Guess what? There's this quaint little company called Google who has a social network too. Google+ deserves serious consideration as an alternative to, or at least compliment to, Facebook for your healthcare social media marketing.
While it works similarly to Facebook in some aspects there is one big benefit to Google+; Google is starting to look to its proprietary social network to determine what to show in its search engine results pages.
A free alternative to Facebook that may actually help your SEO!
Take A Social Media Victory Lap
As the distribution map above clearly shows there is no reason to focus on one social media site. There is a seemingly infinite amount and more seem to pop up every day. Consider an approach like this:
- Post original content on your blog
- Tweet links to it on Twitter
- Post it on Facebook and Google+
- Send out links to your blog in your marketing emails
- Put your videos/eBooks/photos on your blog and promote those posts instead of content hosted elsewhere.
Of course you may decide to fork over some money to Facebook for really important campaigns where you want to guarantee reach. Just remember this is nothing more than traditional, interruption style marketing. Inbound marketing can be more powerful and Facebook is certainly not the only horse in the race.
For more on healthcare social media read our free eBook.
Photo Credit: Cduruk