Social Media Marketing for Veterinary Practices

Your Veterinary Facebook Page vs. Newsfeed

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Has it recently felt like a battle to reach your Facebook Fans with your posts? Back in October Facebook page admins everywhere started reporting a noticeable drop in some Insights statistics, particularly that posts were being seen by fewer fans.

I feel that TechCrunch and Jon Loomer have had best coverage of and insight (pun intended!) into this situation. While some believe reach has declined because Facebook is trying to sell their promoted posts and advertisements, others think it’s simply Facebook trying to improve the user experience by silencing weak content and spam. One thing nearly everyone agrees on – there has been a decline in page post reach, making it more important than ever for you to continually provide great content.

This TechCrunch post outlined that fans who interact the most with your page will see your updates more often. The type of post plays a part as well. If a fan normally engages with your photos, they’ll be more likely to see your photo posts. Great interaction on your posts in general will increase your visibility in the newsfeed.

On the flip side, if your posts receive complaints it can be very detrimental to your page. In the newsfeed your fans have the option to hide your post or report it. Ouch!

hide report follow facebook postFrom your page, fans can also remove your posts permanently from their newsfeed. Why anyone would do this rather than simply unliking your page is beyond me, but it happens!

facebook show in newsfeed

Notice here there’s an option to get notifications…more on that in a moment.

In this post from Jon Loomer, he explains how to look at your ‘hide’ and ‘hide all’ counts and percentages in relation to your fan count. Looking at this report will tell you about posts by date that may not be appreciated by your fans.

The nagging question: What Can I Do About This?

My suggestion is to talk to your fans about how they can see more of your great content – without being whiny.

  • Add some information to the places you’re sourcing new fans from. For example, if you have a posted notice of your Facebook presence in your practice asking clients to like you, let them know how they can choose to be notified of all your updates via “Get Notifications”.  Make sure they’re aware that if they do this, they’ll be alerted every time you have a new post via their notifications bar.facebook notifications bar
  • You can also mention the get notifications option in a Facebook post, but do so VERY rarely (once a month or less), otherwise you run the rick of annoying your fans.
  • There might be an occasion to ask your fans to follow your post as well such as if there’s a good ongoing discussion happening. If you have posted a picture of a pet for adoption with corresponding information and update it when the pet gets adopted, let fans know if they follow your post they can find out when this happens!
  • For tips on getting likes, comments, and shares for your posts, check out my earlier blog.
  • If you’re not already advertising on Facebook, this is a good time to start thinking about making room in your budget to take advantage of the features.
  • Don’t mention this recent hoopla surrounding Facebook’s EdgeRank changes or complain in any way that you’re not getting enough interaction on your page. Your fans probably don’t care. And something else to think about…it might simply be your content.

Another development on the Page vs. Newsfeed front is that Facebook has rolled out the Page Newsfeed.

facebook pages feed

This allows users to see only the updates from pages they’ve liked. In this image I’ve added this feed to my favorites, but by default it will be located under Pages.

Questions and concerns surrounding this feature are abundant, with very few answers.

  • Will the “regular” newsfeed become exclusive to Friend updates or paid advertisements and posts?
  • This feed is also subject to EdgeRank – so fans still won’t see all their page updates. If they were, wouldn’t that just mean more competition for your post visibility?
  • It’s not on mobile…yet. But mobile ads are looking a lot better!
  • Will people even use this pages feed? If they do, will they be more engaged users?
  • They’re testing a couple of features that may have a positive impact for pages, so stay tuned!

Here is more information from Facebook on how the newsfeed works.

As always, I welcome your questions and comments!

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