We often say, “social media is the new word of mouth.”
That is, more and more patients are going directly to their social networks to ask friends and family for a healthcare provider recommendation.
Nowhere is this fact more true than on Facebook, where millions of patients go for help from friends and family for a variety of things – from fixing their lawn mower to an abscessed tooth.
That’s why they’ve recently launched a new wrinkle to word of mouth – Facebook Recommendations.
What is Facebook Recommendations?
Facebook Recommendation is a new feature that highlights any Facebook post where the intent of the poster is to solicit a recommended provider. This could be a recommendation for a good accountant or a general practitioner.
This highlighting adds prominence to the post, calling out the fact that the person is looking for a recommendation – like a new dentist or dermatologist – making it more likely that another Facebook user would see the request (and provide a recommendation).
When a user does in fact respond, Facebook will attempt to recognize the name to link the corresponding location or business page on Facebook, making it very easy for the person looking for a recommendation to check out the provider’s presence on Facebook.
(Note that if you do not have a Facebook business page already, the recommender is given the option to create one. That said, this is yet another reason your practice should have an active Facebook profile.)
The most interesting part? Getting recommendations is as easy as making a new post.
If Facebook’s algorithm detects certain text indicating that the post is a request for a recommendation, Facebook then applies the Recommendations feature.
That’s right, it’s all about the analysis of the text.
How Can Your Health Care Practice Benefit From Facebook Recommendations?
It probably obvious to you that if you’re practicing great medicine and providing outstanding patient care, you can benefit from Facebook Recommendations.
The simplest way to benefit from Facebook Recommendations is to get recommended by your patients already on Facebook. After all, word of mouth and referrals are your top patient acquisition drivers, right?
Over time, patients who continue to see you recommended by friends and family will finally come calling.
Plus, don’t rule out Facebook taking Recommendations to the next level, as they are undoubtedly recording and tallying the most recommended providers for something in the future.