There are 80 million Facebook Business pages out there. Each week two out of three people using Facebook visit a local business page or an event page. And all of those businesses, you included, need to pay attention to a series of big changes the social media monster has in store for these pages. Some of these changes have already been implemented; others will be occurring just about when this blog is posted.
Since we advocate that all of our Advice Media clients have an active Facebook practice page, let’s go through the changes.
Ratings become “Recommendations”
Facebook Business page reviews and star ratings are now called “Recommendations.” Whereas your practice could formerly be ranked with a number of stars and then reviewed, now page visitors simply get this question:
Do you recommend Acme Dental (practice name)?
When a visitor hits “yes,” the person is taken to a screen that asks, “What do you recommend about Acme Dental?” with a box where you can write something. In this space you can write a review, add photos, or tag specific things you recommend about the practice/business. Once you do this, the Facebook algorithm will generate a score out of 5. This score will be based on all of the recommendations received.
As for the tag recommendations, users are simply presented a series of buttons that they can click. Below these buttons, there is also room for another open comment if you don’t see a button that fits what you like about the practice/business. In your settings, you’ll be able to designate what the button topics are.
These changes can seem scary to a practice — what if we get a “no” recommendation — but they are important for search rankings. They’re really meant to help businesses connect with customers more quickly and directly. And with your great service, what’s to worry about?
More information about your practice
Another change will make your practice Facebook page similar to your Google My Business listing. Various pieces of critical information are now located at the top of your page, just below your profile photo. Business hours, address, what your practice does, a link to your website, recommendations, and your recent posts.
You’ll need to be sure you have populated all of this information in your page settings, and that it is, of course, all correct and current.
Call to action
You can now add a call-to-action button to your page. This will allow patients to instantly make an appointment, message you, email you…whatever call-to-action you choose. This call-to-action shows up in a live blue bar just under your practice name and profile photo.
This feature should help potential patients become patients, as the interaction to schedule a consultation or appointment or to ask a question is now completely seamless.
Videos and photos for Stories
You may not have known about the “Stories” function that Facebook introduced last year, similar to what is on Snapchat. But this function has been changed for Facebook Business pages, allowing you to post a video or photo to your “story” that will stay live for 24 hours.
Stories let you share pictures and short video segments that are intended to take your page visitors on a start-to-finish journey of anything you might be working on, adding to your practice, or other items. Page Stories appear at the top of News Feed, and they can also be viewed by tapping on your mobile page’s profile picture.
This may or may not be a part of the way you populate your practice Facebook page, but video is a great way to engage your page visitors. If you have a short video that’s worth posting, go ahead and make it part of your story.
Get a job
In the next few months, you’ll be able to add a job posting to your Facebook Business page. The posting will also appear in the Jobs bookmark on Facebook or on Marketplace, where it will link to your practice page. That way potential applicants can hit your page and see what your practice is like before they go ahead and apply.
You may not have used the “Event” feature on your practice Facebook page, but you should. This update is allowing you to connect directly to your ticketing platform, which isn’t really applicable for practices.
Regardless, if you have an open house, a discussion on skin care, a Botox night, or any other event, it’s easy to make that a part of your practice Facebook page. Visitors can then see the upcoming event and share it with their friends. This will increase your visibility and reach.
If there’s one thing that’s true of Facebook (and Google, for that matter), it’s that everything is always in a constant state of change. These latest changes to your practice’s Facebook page should improve options for patients and potential patients to get a sense of your practice and then easily make an appointment for a consultation or appointment. These changes all took place on or before August 22, 2018, so be sure to check your current information and make sure all of your information is correct and up-to-date.
If you have any questions about any of these changes, please contact your Advice Media representative or simply give us a call.