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Healthcare Marketing and the New Facebook Timeline

March 30th is fast approaching and with it, dramatic changes to your Facebook Business Page. And, whether you are ready or not, your healthcare marketing and the new Facebook Timeline are about to meet.

No More Automatic Like-Gating

The biggest change, with the new Timeline format, is that you will no longer be able to set a default landing page or “welcome tab”. As a result new visitors to your page can no longer be directed to a special page set up to welcome them. Everyone who visits your page will land on your Timeline wall.

This doesn’t mean the concept of “Like-Gating” is going away – only how you accomplish it. There will now have to be more emphasis put on the importance of promoting your “Like-Gated” offer specifically.

What Now?

The truth is that forced landing pages on Facebook haven’t been as effective as many had hoped and for one main reason; marketers with “Like-Gates” tended to rely on them to drive traffic. Real growth still requires actively driving people to a landing page by way of Facebook posts, email, and promotions on other social networks.

Success in healthcare marketing is all about engaging your existing network. Timeline allows you to feature content or promotions by pinning them. This means you can keep a featured post at the top of your profile as long as you like. The next step is to engage your network of current followers in highlighting that post.

The Key is Promotion

When you create and promote exclusive offers to your Facebook fans, you are doing two things:

  • Giving Them what They are Already Looking For Research shows that the top four reasons people “like” a page on Facebook are for exclusive content, promotions, discounts, and continued support. When your existing followers find these things on your Timeline they will share it with others in their social network.
  • Increasing your Potential to Reach Prospects The reason any landing page gains traction is promotion and response. Because your followers find what they are looking for in your posts they share it with others. Because your posts are being shared by people that prospects trust they are more likely to visit your Facebook Page and “like” it. And the structure of Facebook makes it easy to reach new customers with these social campaigns.

But Why Not Just Promote on your Web Site?

You should continue to promote through your web site but it isn’t the best place to develop new relationships. New relationships are better built through existing relationships where your followers are already spending their time. The goal is to channel those prospects to your own turf: blog, website, email list, etc.

The easier you make it for people to opt in and share content on Facebook without having to go off-site, the better your chances of people taking the action you’d like. Timeline is built with engagement and relationships in mind.

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THE BOTTOM LINE:  In spite of the fact Facebook default landing pages are going away, the new Timeline has some definite advantages.  The new Page layout is more visually engaging, you can “pin” select posts at the top of your Timeline, and you can set the tab links (including their images) visitors see on the upper portion of your.

Timeline also allows you to record milestones about your practice to better tell your story and offer additional ways for your followers to deepen their ties with you.

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About Tim
Tim George is a regularly contributing author to the MDWebPro blog. Tim is passionate about web marketing for MDs expecially the latest trends and results in social media, SEO and inbound marketing. For more, please follow @MDWebPro on Twitter

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