2010 was a big year for Facebook. The company grew to over 500 million users, several new features were rolled out, a movie was made about the site's creation and Mark Zuckerberg was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year.
Today, many healthcare staffing companies of all sizes are taking advantage of all that Facebook has to offer. Almost every staffing company we see has, to some degree, integrated Facebook into their marketing strategy. However, many healthcare staffing agencies are still trying to come up with a winning marketing strategy for Facebook.
The goals for most of you are to grow your audience, improve your brand recognition and ultimately – recruit more staff and earn more business. Facebook Pages present a massive opportunity for brands to directly engage with their existing and future customers. However, simply creating a Facebook presence alone won't help you achieve these goals.
This is the first post in a series titled: 10 Facebook Marketing Tips and Strategies for Your Healthcare Staffing Company.
In this post, we'll discuss some general tips and strategies for getting started with developing a winning social media plan for your healthcare staffing company. These are only a few ideas. There are many other lessons to be learned but this should serve as a good starter guide for any healthcare staffing company looking to successfully market their services on Facebook.
1. Create your Facebook company page. Creating a Facebook fan page for your company is actually very easy. However, creating an effective page is more difficult than it seems. Like anything, it takes extra effort to engage your clients and keep them involved. But you want to promote an exceptional brand anyway right? When deciding how to create your page try to always answer the question ‘Why would a user fan my page?’.
Before you create the page there are a few things you'll want to know. First, decide who is going to create the page. This matters because the actual creator of the page becomes a 'super-administrator.' Therefore you want the creator to come from an account that will be controlled by the company for as long as it needs a Facebook fan page.
Next, fill out the basic information required to actually publish your page. In most cases you'll want to create an ‘Official Page’ and not a ‘Community Page’. You'll also need to determine if you want to appear as a local business, as a brand, product, or organization. For most of you – 'local business' or 'brand' are your best options.
Then name your page. Most of the time it's best to use your company brand name.
From here you simply fill out the rest of the information about your company including the info tab, profile picture and the short summary about your company. These areas give you an opportunity to provide users a better idea of who you are and what you have to offer.
In your company summary, be sure to include links to your actual website and provide useful information to people who find your page. For your picture – come up with something creative. It’s a simple, yet important component of your page. It's one of the first things users look at and it has the potential to leave a lasting impression. So make it good!
2. Build your page with real customers. First, don’t expect a million users to “Like” your brand. The healthcare staffing industry is relatively small so set your expectations appropriately. Your goal should be to get a few thousand quality fans instead of a large, irrelevant mass.
To build a solid foundation,invite your core customers. Begin by communicating to your existing clients and providers by announcing your brand’s Facebook Page via email. With tools like ePromoter you can easily integrate your social media sites into your email marketing campaigns. Be sure to also link to your Facebook Page on your website and provide incentives for your audience to “follow” your brand.
3. Provide fans with something engaging. First, be sure to keep the engagement on Facebook. It takes a lot to get someones attention on Facebook. If you do get it, don't try to lure them away from Facebook and back to your website. The reason being that, if these people are not ready to leave Facebook, they won't want to follow you back to your website and you just lost their interest. So, give them something interesting to do within the Facebook platform. Provide them with offers, new information or give them something entertaining to do like play a game or participate in a contest.
4. Publish interesting and relevant content. As with all of your marketing efforts, it's critical here to provide interesting content to your readers. By regularly providing relevant and engaging content, your fans will see you as a useful resource and keep coming back to your page. Try directly feeding your or other healthcare staffing blog posts onto your page. Your goal is to continually add value to your customers’ busy lives.
Check out our updated post on marketing tips for recruiters in 2016
5. Participate regularly. Gaining traction on a site like Facebook can take time and requires some patience. Create topics to help spark conversation. Ask questions or provide answers. Whatever you do – do it regularly. Otherwise, you are going to find it difficult to continuously attract new fans.
That all said, don't go crazy. Companies that post frequently on their page tend to have fewer fans — especially if they are constantly commenting on the posts of their fans. The reason is because fans feel more free to communicate and participate if they don't feel their every interaction is being monitored. Try to post something meaningful every day by no more than 2 – 3 times each day.
6. Talk like a human, not a company. Give your brand a voice. Let go of the PR/Sales speak. Be fun and approachable, and communicate with your followers just like you would your friends and colleagues.
7. Invite participation. On Facebook, you want to constantly encourage engagement from your followers. Ask questions, request that they upload photos. Build a real dialogue about topics of interest to your community. And remember, every conversation doesn't have to be about your brand.
8. Empower your fans to advocate and communicate for you. Be sure your company page settings and the engagement activity you create allows for fan participation. Studies have shown that fans are better at responding to other fans than the actual company is. Also, the risk that your fans will say something negative to hurt your brand is lower than you think so don’t be too risk adverse here (Fewer than 5 percent of all comments on Facebook company pages are negative).
9. Repost comments by your fans. By reposting a person’s information, you are complimenting and bringing attention to them. In exchange, they will be more likely to pay attention to you. Like anything though, don't over do it. If you constantly repost user comments then none of them will stand out.
10. Tag fans in photos and videos. Tagging users in photos and videos is one of the most effective promotional activities you can do on Facebook and presents a fantastic viral opportunity. As soon as you tag a person, their friends see it and users are driven to that image – which resides within your fan page. The only challenge is coming up with content to tag users in. So how do you do that? The best way to do this is with promotions and contests. If you need ideas for these activities, Staffing Robot can help you create effective Facebook marketing ideas here.
11. Exclusivity. Reward your fans with exclusive news, videos, jobs and events. By offering your loyal fans a “first look” at exclusive content, they’ll feel like brand insiders and become even more loyal to you.
12. Create events. Events provide another amazing viral opportunity for healthcare staffing companies to reach their fan base. Best of all, these events don’t actually need to be in person events! Simply create an event on Facebook, invite your fans and your event will be distributed to them and throughout their connections once they RSVP. This quickly drives new users to your company’s page.
13. Add a landing tab. Take your fan page one step further by creating a custom landing tab. The landing tab’s job is to convert visitors into fans and it is an extremely effective technique for building a Facebook community.
Unfortunately, creating a customized landing tab can be a challenge. You have to use a special coding language for Facebook called 'FBML’. If you are familiar with HTML you will have no trouble working with FBML. If not, Staffing Robot can easily help you design and implement a Facebook landing page for your healthcare staffing company.
14. Create and integrate Applications. The last thing you want is for users to land on your Facebook Page and leave because they have nothing to do. The best opportunity you have to capture their attention is through engaging applications. Many of today's most popular Facebook pages have a large number of tabs running applications.
There are several built in applications and tabs within Facebook that your page has access to, or you can build your own. If you don't know how to build your own or don't want to take the time to learn FBML we can help! Staffing Robot can help you designa nd build a winning Facebook application for your heatlhcare staffing company in order to launch your social media campaign.
15. Integrate traditional advertising with Facebook. Facebook is extremely well known. Use their icon/logo on your brochures and print ads. It’s a great way to promote contests, specials and to encourage people to 'Like' your fan page.
16. Use Facebook to grow your email list. With ePromoter you can place a sign up form for your email list directly on your Facebook fan page. By promoting your email newsletter to your existing Facebook fans you'll quickly gain new subscribers.
Creating a fan page on Facebook is easy. The hard part is actually developing a community and getting the attention of users so they engage with your company. A successful Facebook marketing strategy requires patience and is full of on-going tasks. However, the rewards of your success will be worth it.
We hope the first post in our new series on Facebook marketing for heatlhcare staffing companies is a good starter guide for you. If you have more questions or need help with your healthcare staffing company's Facebook marketing strategy contact us today and let's discuss it!