Should Your Practice Have a Facebook Page? Only If You Want to Reach 80 Percent of Americans
- Posted on: Dec 30 2016
There can be debate about the relative merits of Facebook. Is it simply a way for people to, in effect, brag about their lives? Does it make people depressed, feeling as if their lives don’t measure up to those of their “friends?” In the election, was Facebook the way millions of people spread false new stories and other myths? Is it making people, attention-deficit, constantly looking for “likes” and similar replies?
But you can’t debate the pervasiveness of the social media monster; a new report just released by the Pew Research Center detailed exactly how pervasive. Almost 80 percent of online Americans use Facebook, almost tripling other social media such as LinkedIn (29 percent) and others.
So, if you’ve been on the fence about creating a Facebook for Business page for your practice, it’s probably time to jump off and get your page up and running.
The overall numbers
Pew surveyed 1,520 online American adults (86 percent of Americans are Internet users) for a study titled, “Social Media Update 2016.” When you look at the numbers, Facebook commands a lofty position with 79 percent of people saying they use it. The other social media platforms — Instagram (32%), Pinterest (31%), LinkedIn (29%), and Twitter (24%) — all clump at the bottom of the heap, struggling to get to even one third of the online population. Even if you factor in the people who don’t use the Internet, 68 percent of ALL American adults are Facebook users. According to the Pew numbers, Facebook’s share of online users has climbed from the mid-60 percent range in 2012 to nearly 80 percent in just four years.
Two areas of interest for your practice
No practice can ignore almost 80 percent of the population (we’re not thinking a whole lot of people who aren’t online are having cosmetic procedures), but there are a couple of sub-categories that are especially interesting.
- Pew found that Facebook use is climbing among senior citizens. The study shows that 62 percent of online seniors aged 65 and up use Facebook. That is up 14 percent in just one year.
- And women use Facebook at a higher rate than men, 83 percent versus 75 percent.
Those two age groups, seniors and women, are your primary patient base. And right now they could be “liking” your post from this morning about the latest procedure you’re offering. Better yet, they could now be interested in having that procedure. And they will have found out about it on your practice’s Facebook page.
Here are some more sections of the Pew study.
Facebook use by age
18-29 — 88%
30-49 — 84%
50-64 — 72%
65+ — 62%
Less than $30K/year — 84%
$30K-$49,999/year — 80%
$50K-$74.999/year — 75%
$75,000+ — 77%
And they don’t just occasionally stop in
The other interesting fact about the Pew numbers is the frequency of people using Facebook. We all know the person who has a personal Facebook page, yet hasn’t checked it since 2014. But that person isn’t the norm.
The Pew study notes that 76 percent of Facebook users use it every day. From there, 15 percent use it weekly, and 7 percent “less often.”
What does this mean for your practice?
So, the question isn’t if your practice should have a Facebook for Business page, it’s when are you going to build it and how well are you going to manage it with daily postings, interactions with patients, and the like. Whether you personally like Facebook or not isn’t the question here. The question is “Can you ignore that 80 percent of the U.S. is on Facebook?” Do so at your own peril.
At Advice Media, we can build your Facebook page and manage its daily operation, if you choose. Or you can build it and we can advise you on how to effectively manage and use your page. Or something in between.
If you have questions about Facebook for your practice, call your Advice Media representative and ask away.