Social Media for Clinics
You may have noticed that the use of social media for business has been growing rapidly in the last decade (or two). Although some 93% of marketers are using social media for business, few people are actually aware of the best practices for achieving the biggest gain.
When you break down people’s stance towards technology, the top 15% and the bottom 15% are classified as ‘early adopting’ vs. ‘anti-technology’, respectively, with everyone else forming a broad range of acceptance in-between. For those hesitant towards new technology, typically either we believe it’s a fad that will pass, we fear the steep learning curve associated with getting up to speed, or we think that it’s just not necessary. However, realizing that the internet and social media are here to stay, not only has it become clear that these tools can benefit practices, but also that they are becoming required in order to survive the modern job market. If you feel you may be too old or have missed the boat, you haven’t! The pre-retirement age-bracket (55-64) is currently the fastest growing group on twitter! It’s also worth considering that the generations now available for hire practically have a mobile device welded to their hand at all times, putting anyone who doesn’t adapt to social media marketing at a strong disadvantage. Here we will clarify some key points that can help maximize your posts.
Although one may argue we don’t absolutely ‘need’ social media, it certainly helps a LOT. For simplicity, we’ll just focus on Facebook for this article (we’ll abbreviate to FB occasionally), as this is most familiar to the majority of people.
Where social media and job advertising come together is in two steps, 1) to make the largest possible amount of people aware you have a position available, 2) to give interested people a central place to find your ad again, and perhaps apply. That’s essentially it. One of the most common errors that clinics make on Facebook is placing their entire ad in their post. This can pose a problem for a few reasons:
- Things disappear on FB, FAST! So even though there’s no guarantee that everyone you want to see your post will actually see it, there’s even less guarantee that they’ll be able to find it again, even if they wanted to.
- Facebook is designed to be a dopamine-soaked scroll-athon. To clarify, when one visits FB, they receive small snippets of posts as text and images on their home-page, and as they scroll, new content is constantly loaded. In theory, one could scroll endlessly. So when a user is faced with the decision to either read your large ad filled with text or scroll to a picture of a cat, its likely they’ll scroll on.
- Most people don’t visit FB to read long stories or articles, but to provide their brain with endless short-bursts of abbreviated content, typically when they're feeling fried from whatever they were just focusing on. If something does grab their interest, many will either scan it quickly for interesting content or bookmark it for later when they’re more up to the task. Your FB posts cannot be bookmarked.
- Your posts are not optimized to be shown to the masses. To understand this, we’ll explain briefly how Facebook works:
- Facebook (FB) has stated that when someone visits their news feed (i.e. the main FB page), there are an average of 1500 potential stories from friends, people, and the pages they follow that need to be filtered for them to see. For more intensive FB users, the number of stories that need to be filtered is increased to 15,000! Faced with such an overwhelming stream of posts, FB optimizes these results for you so only a relative handful (~300) reaches your news feed. So what determines which ones get shown? Interaction! That’s right, likes, comments, and even clicks! So where you and a few of your helpful friends may 'like' your post, thats nothing compared to hundreds of clicks / engagements with it.
- The benefit of knowing this? Well, the more someone has interacted with that type of post in the past, the more likely it is to show up on their page again. For example, if a dozen people have shared a Vet Locum List post, and 200-1000 people have clicked on each post, those 200-1000 people (and more) are more likely to see that type of post in their FB news feed again, which optimizes the exposure of your post!
Although there are a lot of strategies, here's a quick guide to optimal ad posting on Facebook:
1) Keep the post short
- 189 million of FBs users are mobile only, therefore having just a few sentences and a link that can fit all in one view makes it easy to scan your post and click for more information (or just click out of curiosity)
- Really short posts (less than 80 characters) and short posts (< 250 characters) can get you 60% and 25% more engagement, respectively. Twitter is designed to have a maximum of 140 characters, which tells you something about how much people are willing to read.
- Long posts can be easily disregarded (known as ‘too long, didn’t read’ or ‘TLDR’). It is easier to scroll slightly past your post to get something quick to digest vs. take the time to read an entire advertisement. This is actually why at Vet Locum List, each post begins with a quick punchline to entice interested applicants. Sites with back-to-back full ads one after the other give the viewer an overwhelming wall of text that is difficult to filter through.
2) Give them something to click
- An image or video is far more interesting than an essay. Giving people a picture or link to click on will engage more readers than not having them at all. In sharing a VLL post, we make sure that our FB logo is bright, attractive, and informative enough to lure your target’s attention enough to click. Most of our post shares receive hundreds of engagements.
- If someone is interested in your post, the options you provide on FB are to either contact your HR immediately or lose the post in the endless FB news stream. These options aren’t terrific and you can guess what people are going to choose. Providing a link to your ad that is placed in a centralized location and can be bookmarked (like here at Vet Locum List, for example), gives interested candidates a place to go back to if they’d like review the details of your ad.
- Many FB users won't put themselves out there to 'like' your post or comment on it, and many Veterinarians have become afraid of 'head hunters' (job recruiters) that may pick up on their interest. Giving them a link to click on to explore more about you is a great way to feed someone's curiosity.
Currently you are posting your needs on Facebook, sitting back, and waiting... now what? How many people saw your post? How many were interested enough to read it if they saw it? In short, you probably won't know....
This is where knowing the conversion of impressions to clicks becomes important and why sharing a Vet Locum List post helps. Impressions are how many screens your post appears on (even if for a few seconds), and clicks are the conversion from someone seeing your post to becomeing interested enough to engage with it. Since in the current job market, job applications alone can no longer be used as the only metric for measuring interest in your ads, we at Vet Locum List have provided you with a post analytics section (learn more by clicking here) that provides you with the information you need about how many people clicked on your ad. This allows you to measure overall interest, experiment with your posts, and determine what time of day gives you the best crowd when posting on social media.
During our first year of operation, we had a 6th month anniversary promotion where any post shared to social media was free of charge, to encourage users to give it a try. The result? Shared posts received several hundred views (the max reaching almost 900). Therefore hundreds of people found interest enough in the initial impression of our posts to investigate further. This is the unique power of combining social media with Vet Locum List!
Traditional methods of job advertising has been to post and pray, but when your post is competing with hundreds of others, you need extra tools to make your ad stand out. Where no one is going to control if and how you post to social media, understanding the mentality of your target audience in each social media service is crucial to success. Knowing this, we at Vet Locum List are always adapting our services to give you the best position in today's changing job market.