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Welcome to the New Facebook Algorithm

by PDA | Marketing Group

Welcome to the New Facebook Algorithm

Behind all the baby pictures, fitness updates and funny memes, Facebook is constantly updating its algorithm to bring a better user experience to its 1.65 billion member marketplace.

While most of these updates happen behind the curtains and have minimal noticeable effect on Facebook Business Pages, there’s one recent change you should be aware of that may have an impact on your Page and your online marketing efforts for your practice.

Friends & Family First

The basis of this update is to better align the News Feed with Facebook’s core value of “Friends and Family First.” This means there will now be limited reach of posts from businesses and media outlets; so what does this mean for your Page?

It’s not the end of the world…but it’s not great news either. The organic reach of the content you share on your Page will likely drop. Your content now must get Likes and Shares in order to show up in the News Feed, otherwise it will be filtered out.

Pay to Play

While this update may appear to have wholesome intentions for users, the ultimate goal here is to get businesses to pay for advertising. According to Parse.ly, a digital analytics company, 41% of referral traffic to new websites comes from Facebook…that’s more than Google! So unless you’re confident in driving that amount of traffic to your website through other means, this update means you will need to pay to play.

With this new algorithm update, it’s no wonder the cost of Facebook Ads has recently increased, and will only increase further with increased demand. Effective marketing includes targeting potential patients where they spend their time, and where they spend their time is on Facebook.

Here’s what Facebook has to say:

“Overall, we anticipate that this update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for some Pages. The specific impact on your Page’s distribution and other metrics may vary depending on the composition of your audience. For example, if a lot of your referral traffic is the result of people sharing your content and their friends liking and commenting on it, there will be less of an impact than if the majority of your traffic comes directly through Page posts. We encourage Pages to post things that their audience is likely to share with their friends.”

So what can we do? We recommend you continue posting content on your Facebook Page that your patients and followers tend to engage with. We recommend following the 60/20/20 rule:

  • 60% of posts should be fun and personal – photos (team, office, special events, happy patients, before/after, etc.) patient testimonial videos, etc.
  • 20% of posts should be promotional – special offers, calling patients to action to schedule
  • 20% of posts should be informational – fun facts about dentistry, tips and tricks, etc.

We also recommend you respond to every interaction on your Page, including reviews, comments, shares, etc. and encourage patients to “Check In” for their appointment via Facebook.

If we notice a decrease in reach and referral traffic from your Page, we may recommend adding Facebook Ads into your online marketing budget to continue driving traffic to your website and to your practice.

Facebook Services

While your Page posts may not appear in your followers’ News Feed as frequently anymore, Facebook is still a valuable tool for businesses, even if you are unwilling to pay for advertising. Facebook recently launched Professional Services, a directory within Facebook that helps users find the best local businesses and services they need. The Pages with the best Facebook Reviews and Ratings will show up on top. Facebook Services uses the following criteria to determine which businesses will rank first:

  • Where the business is located
  • Matching keywords in the Page name, description & category
  • Overall average star rating
  • Number of ratings
  • Recency of last review
  • Number of Check-Ins
  • Previous interactions between Page & customers
  • Connections between customers & users who check in, rate & review Page

If we already manage your Facebook Page, you’re in luck! We’ve already gone through your account and updated it with the recommended changes that will help you rank on Facebook Services. If we DON’T manage your Facebook Page, give us a call today – we would love to speak with you about signing up for a ForeverSite™.

With a little TLC and the right encouragement of your patients to engage with your Page, Facebook Services can be a useful tool to help potential patients find your practice, and help you stand out from your competition.

As always, if you have any questions about Facebook or the recent updates, please feel free to reach out to me at any time and I would be more than happy to speak with you.

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About PDA | Marketing Group

PDA | Marketing Group is an outstanding team of creative minds and analytical thinkers that go above and beyond to help doctors stand out in an over-saturated market, and not only attract patients, but attract the right patients for your practice. PDA | Marketing Group is an award winning full-service marketing agency that has been named one of Inc. 5000’s Fastest Growing Private Companies in America.

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