Fed up that your therapy Facebook posts aren’t reaching the right people? Demoralised that your post comments area is looking a bit tumbleweedy? Already dabbled in Facebook ads by hitting that ‘boost ad’ button but not got the results you’re looking for?
Don’t panic! Our 7 ways to get your therapy practice Facebook ad-ready will help you prepare for launching Facebook ad campaigns to reach new clients and build your private practice.
Our previous blog posts talk about the huge number of people in the UK who regularly use Facebook. They also explain how organic Facebook post reach (the number of people seeing your page posts) has declined over the past few years. In fact, only 1-3% of your Facebook page fans will see your page posts.
Such a low figure, right?
This is why therapists using Facebook to market their practice should now view it as a ‘pay to play’ social media platform. But the good news is that Facebook remains one of the most targeted and cost-effective ways of reaching new therapy clients.
However, running a Facebook ads campaign can be a costly exercise if you don’t know what you’re doing. Before hitting that Boost Post or any other button, make sure your therapy business is ad-ready.
1. Check your Facebook content
Before handing your hard-earned cash over to Mr Zuckerberg, take a look at the quality of your posts and be honest – how likely is it that paying to promote will result in more people engaging with your posts? Do your posts clearly speak to your target audience? Are they useful, informative or entertaining? Do they make it clear what action you want people to take after reading? Have you added the correct web link (if relevant)? Have you added images to ensure your post stands out in the Facebook newsfeed? There’s no point paying to promote a post that doesn’t tick all these boxes in the first place.
2. Be clear on your advertising objective
Next, be very clear on your reason for advertising. Are you seeking more post engagement (likes, comments and shares)? Do you want to drive traffic to your latest website blog post? Perhaps you want to encourage people to message you to set up an initial phone call about your therapy services?
Once you know what you want to achieve then you can start creating your ad campaign. Oh but hang on, do you simply boost a post or create paid ads?
3. Know when to use Facebook Boost Post function – and when not!
Facebook tells you your organic post isn’t reaching people, nor engaging them (no likes, comments or shares, boo!) Then you spot the shiny blue ‘Boost Post’ button sitting right next to that post promising you better results. So tempting to press it, isn’t it?
We’re not saying never press it. The boost button can be useful if you want to reach your current Facebook fans to tell them about therapy session slots or special offers, or if you want to drive traffic to your website. And since Facebook’s improved the boost ad targeting options, it’s easier than before to advertise to people in your area.
But using Facebook’s Ads Manager gives you even better audience targeting and more ad campaign objectives to choose from. This is great news if you want to run ads to get more therapy session bookings or more people to subscribe to your mailing list. Ads Manager also helps you keep tabs on ad performance so you stop anything that’s not working – saving you cash!
4. Get organised – create a Facebook Business Manager and Ad Account
Before setting up a Facebook ad account you need to create a personal Facebook profile and set up a Facebook business page. We also recommend you create a Facebook Business Manager account. In fact, Facebook is actively encouraging all advertisers to use Business Manager, and you must use it if you want to create ‘custom’ audiences. (Custom audiences are ‘seed’ audiences comprising people who’ve visited your website, engaged with your Facebook (or Instagram) page or who’ve signed up to your mailing list, for example).
The Business Manager acts as a hub for all your ad campaigns and it’s where you build and save audiences and also where you get your Facebook pixel details (more on the pixel below). This Facebook article explains how to set up Facebook Business Manager and also covers how to create your Facebook ad account.
5. Put the Facebook pixel on your website
If you’re planning to spend any money on Facebook ads for your therapy business it’s VITAL you install the Facebook pixel on your website, otherwise, you’re just leaving money on the table.
The Facebook pixel is a powerful analytics tool that uses a short piece of code that you install on each of your web pages to track site visitors. You can also install Facebook ‘standard events’ on key web pages, for example, on your blog or booking page. This means you can track what actions people are taking on your website and retarget clients and prospective clients with relevant Facebook ads. But unless you’re a web wizard (which we’re not!) we recommend you ask a web developer to install standard events for you.
But how does the Facebook pixel work?
If someone is logged in on Facebook (and let’s face it, people rarely log out) and they visit your website, this ‘fires’ your Facebook pixel. Then, within the Facebook Business Manager, you can create an audience of your website visitors (WSV for short) and also a ‘lookalike’ (LAL) audience of your web visitors and target those people with Facebook ads in the future. Clever! But so many businesses don’t have the Pixel on their website. Don’t make the same mistake – read how to grab your pixel code to send to a web developer and tick that one off your list today.
6. Get your website optimised and ad-ready
Once you’ve installed the pixel, it’s a good idea to make sure your website is ad-ready in other ways. When Facebook decides how to ‘serve’ your ads it looks at where your ad is sending people, not just at the ad itself. Here’s a handy checklist to ensure your therapy website is ship-shape:
- Does your website content ‘speak to’ the types of clients you are wanting to support?
- Is the copy on your website congruent with what the ad is saying? (You don’t want to run ad talking about a special offer on therapy services only for people to click through to your website and not find details about that offer, nor a discount code).
- Does your landing page (the page that people land on after they’ve clicked your ad) use a pop-up? (Facebook isn’t keen on those and your ad reach might be affected).
- Is your page load speed under 3 seconds? (You can use a free online tool such as Pingdom to check this).
- Is your site optimised for mobile? (Increasingly people are viewing websites on their mobile devices rather than on the desktop).
- Does your website have a security certificate?
- Does your ‘About’ page tell your visitors who you are and how you can help them?
- Is your ‘contact me’ information accurate and easy to find?
- Do you have a privacy and cookies policy on your website? (If you’re using the Facebook pixel you need to mention this in your policies).
If you’re feeling exhausted just reading this list of website tasks it might be worth hiring a web developer to check everything for you. Outsourcing things you can’t do yourself frees up your time to do what you do well – promoting your therapy practice and helping your clients.
7. Set a realistic Facebook Ads budget
Ideally, you need to be able to invest a minimum of £10 per day (so £300 per month) to target one audience (called an ‘adset’). If this level of investment in your therapy business isn’t possible right now, you can still do Facebook ads. But, rather than spread your smaller budget thinly, consider doing a burst of ads activity around a specific hook, for example, to promote the launch of your new website blog or a special offer for clients.
If you’ve worked your way through the above list of tips and taken action, well done, and you are now ready to create a high-performing Facebook ad post for your therapy practice! Be sure to revisit our website blog page next month to find out how.