November 14, 2019
Inside: With new tools and strategies, modernize your pharmacy’s Facebook presence to attract new patients and build loyalty.
According to Hootsuite, 71 percent of American adults use Facebook—that’s more than any other social media network. If your pharmacy doesn’t have a Facebook presence, you could be missing out on a potent marketing opportunity.
The network has changed a lot over the years, and while paying Facebook for ad space is certainly one way to get your page in front of customers, there are plenty of ways to build a social presence organically without spending any money.
These tools and tricks will help you build a successful business page for your independent pharmacy.
Facebook can be a great resource for patients seeking out information about your pharmacy—but only if the page is filled out properly.
It’s not enough to have a page with your pharmacy’s name and logo on it. When you create your Facebook page, it’s important to select the right type of business—“Local Business or Place.” Based on this category, you’ll be prompted to fill out more information, like your address, phone number, hours, web address, and a 1-2 sentence description of your pharmacy. There’s also an “About” section for you to include even more background on your business.
Even though this info might already be online somewhere like Yelp or Google, by listing it all on your Facebook page you make it easier for new patients to find you.
The photos you use to represent your business are important as well. Your profile picture should be recognizable, like your logo, while your cover photo should be something that represents your pharmacy, like a photo of the store or an image created with your specific branding in mind.
Having a complete Facebook profile projects professionalism and creates a positive impression for potential patients.
There’s not a magic number of times you should post on Facebook to give your pharmacy the most exposure. No matter how much you post, you should do so consistently.
If you post 10 times in one week and then don’t put up a new post for a whole month, your followers might forget about you. It’s better to make a modest goal—posting something new every Monday and Thursday, for example—and stick to it.
More posts aren’t always better, either. A Hubspot study found that businesses that posted twice a day actually had less engagement on their posts than those who posted once a day or once a week.
If you’re not a social (media) butterfly, you can keep your Facebook page from becoming neglected by scheduling your posts ahead of time.
Scheduling posts is one of Facebook’s Publishing Tools for business pages. If you want to write a bunch of posts all at once, you can set them up to go live throughout the next few weeks.
With third party services like Hootsuite, you can even upload posts in bulk. The tool allows you to upload up to 350 posts at one time instead of scheduling each one individually, saving you time.
You created your Facebook page to get your pharmacy’s name out to a wider audience, but your posts shouldn’t all be self-promotion.
Engage your Facebook followers by posting content that’s going to add value to their lives. Among your posts about your independent pharmacy’s services, include more general posts about patient health that will ring true with your patients — things like why it’s so important to get a flu shot or tips for measuring blood pressure at home.
Even if you’re not directly promoting your pharmacy, these kinds of posts let followers know that you are a resource for healthcare in the community.
Facebook’s Call to Action tool is a great way to funnel social followers to your pharmacy in real life.
This tool is a button that appears on your cover photo next to the “Like” button. The button can say things like “Contact Us,” “Sign Up,” “Learn More,” and others, and it’s an excellent way to generate leads. Using this button, you can create a list of potential customers to reach out to via email.
If you have an online store or blog, you can also use these buttons to direct potential patients to your website.
Be more available to your patients by adding Facebook Messenger to your business page. According to Facebook IQ, 69 percent of customers in the US said that being able to message a business makes them feel more confident about the brand.
Letting your patients message your pharmacy on Facebook makes the store seem more accessible, especially for millennial patients, who are more likely to experience phone call anxiety.
On the back end of your pharmacy’s Facebook page, you have access to some pretty powerful analytics.
Your Page Insights let you know what content is working for you. You can see which posts are getting traction, what people are clicking on, and what’s prompting new followers to like your page.
Another analytics tool Facebook provides is Audience Insights. This tells you about who is visiting your Facebook page—what their hobbies are, what they do for work, their relationship status, and more.
Digging into these Insights will help you form and refine your marketing strategy so you can engage potential new patients.
If your Facebook posts are limited to text only, your followers are going to scroll right by them.
Grab followers’ attention by using images with each post you make. High-quality images are a must. On followers’ Timelines, Facebook scales horizontal images to 504 pixels wide and vertical images to 504 pixels tall, so make sure your images are at least that big, or else they will appear blurry.
The images you share should be colorful and have enticing subjects—instead of posting an image of your pharmacy’s shelves, post a photo of new holiday merchandise. Images with large text on them can catch the attention of Facebook-scrollers, and they are a great opportunity to show off your branding.
When someone approaches you in the pharmacy, you wouldn’t turn the other way and ignore them. You shouldn’t ignore your Facebook followers, either.
If a follower comments on one of your posts, use the business page to like their comment or write out a friendly reply. This adds to your image as an accessible member of the community.
Posting a poll is another excellent way to engage people—pose a question about a healthcare-related topic and let followers weigh-in. You’ll learn more about your patients and they will feel like their opinions are being heard.
If you’re having a hard time measuring the success of your pharmacy’s Facebook page, you can use the Pages to Watch feature to check in on your competitors.
This tool has you select a list of your competitors, and then Facebook will give an overview of how many new likes they’ve gained, the number of new posts they have, and the engagement on those posts.
It’s a great way to gauge how well your pharmacy is performing in comparison to other independent pharmacies or local small businesses.
This white paper includes 30+ formulas to calculate the most important metrics for independent pharmacies. You’ll learn to think like a retailer, discover the methods to track and measure meaningful pharmacy metrics, and learn ways to use pharmacy metrics to get insight into business performance.
PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the buy side of their business. The company is a member-owned organization that serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, expert contract negotiations, proprietary purchasing tools, distribution services, and more.
PBA Health, an HDA member, operates its own VAWD-certified warehouse with more than 6,000 SKUs, including brands, generics, narcotics CII-CV, cold-storage products, and over-the-counter (OTC) products.
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