Should your practice have multiple Facebook pages? We get the question about whether or not a medical practice with multiple locations should have multiple pages. The answer is…it depends. It’s a complex answer that depends on the specifics of your practice and your patients. Let’s talk through the scenarios to help you make a judgement call for your clinics.
When your practice has multiple locations, consider having multiple pages. In a world of unlimited resources, individual pages are great and more local allowing you to customize content to each location. You can also explore the “locations” function in Facebook. It’s a little bit easier to administer than pages, but not as robust in our opinion.
But, when time and money are finite, it’s not always feasible to manage a bunch of different pages. So, you may consider pages by market. For instance, if you have three clinics in Dallas, two in Austin, and one in Houston, you could take multiple approaches.
- A page for each location – Name it based on the street or neighborhood. Customize content to the local community to differentiate between pages.
- A page for each market – Dallas, Austin, and Houston. Three pages are easier to manage than six. Feature the different clinics to localize the feed.
- A single page for your brand – This will be the easiest to administer, but is the least personalized. Be sure to include content from the individual clinics and communities to keep the local feel.
While we love to see individualized pages, we’d rather see less pages and do them really well. So, start small and only add on as you can do it well.
Should you create separate Facebook pages for different specialties in your practice? Generally, we’d say no. But, if the specialty serves a different population than the rest of your clinic, it is worth considering. You’ll need to weigh out diluting the brand versus focusing on a specific population. Here are some examples:
- You have a Neurology practice and add a Pediatric Neurologist. While women are the main audience for both of these (because they make the majority of healthcare purchasing decisions), the content is very different. For a Pedi Neurology page, you’ll want lots of education about neurological issues facing kiddos that parents may be searching for online like concussions, ADHD, and headaches . It doesn’t make sense to put that on the main page where you are talking adult migraines, strokes, and epilepsy. You may also want to engage in Facebook groups with the more specialty-specific page, such as a Moms Group on Facebook.
- You are an Orthopedic practice with sub-specialists in total joints, sports medicine, hand, and foot & ankle. Keep them all on one page. While the audiences differ slightly, the messaging works across audiences for all of these areas. You could consider using one of your platforms (maybe Twitter) to lean towards sports medicine, but still covering all specialty areas. You could do the same concept with your physical therapy department using one platform as education from them – maybe Instagram.
- You are a primary care office and add a specialist. If it is a specialist that doesn’t get many direct referrals from patients, keep their content on the main page. If they will rely heavily on direct to consumer marketing in a specialty like Plastic Surgery, then they will likely need their own page with education covering the unique needs of their patients.
What if you serve a sub-group within your practice that has unique needs? Examples would be a population you want to reach that doesn’t speak English or a General Surgery practice wanting to reach bariatric surgery patients. These are unique enough, they they are likely best served and best reached on their own individual page targeting the topics/language that speak to their needs.
In general, we don’t like seeing individual provider pages. It dilutes the brand, makes the practice look less cohesive, and is difficult to keep consistent. If you have providers that want to create content, embrace it and utilize it on your main Facebook page. Depending on the specialty and style, it could lend itself to a “takeover” of Facebook sometimes or even utilizing another platform. For instance, say you are a primary care clinic and have a functional medicine provider. Say you don’t utilize Twitter. Let them use this platform to represent the practice, offer education, and share their message. Walk them through your brand guidelines and ensure it’s about the practice (not just them). Or, allow them to provide you the content to push out on that platform.
A Few Other Considerations
If you go with multiple pages, consider that you’ll have reviews across the pages. They may not always be attributed to the right clinic. But, if you have just one page and a clinic is an outlier with negative reviews, it could hurt reviews across the brand.
If you go with a single location, users will inevitably check-in at a clinic address and this will create pages if they don’t exist. It’s manageable, but something that you’ll want to keep an eye on so you don’t end up with rogue pages. The pages need to be claimed and then deleted or merged.
In short, if you have multiple locations and can maintain all the pages well, go for it. Healthcare is delivered on a local level, so the more hyper-local the better. It’s time and resource intensive, but is awesome if you can do it. Don’t create separate pages for different providers or specialities.
If you can’t maintain multiple pages really well, err on the side of having just one for your brand. We’d much rather see one well-curated page than nine that are okay. Evaluate your time and resources to decide what makes sense for your practice. If in doubt, stick with just one.