The power of social media continues to be an important route of exposure for small businesses, including orthodontic practices. And the social media giant Facebook is one of the most important social media platforms to use. As a small business, Facebook users can find your business profile, like your page, recommend to others, and interact with your posts. You can also use functions on Facebook as more direct forms of advertisement.
Two of the most common ways of advertising on Facebook are Facebook Ads and boosted posts. These two features are often confused with each other, but they each offer their own unique advantages.
When you run a Facebook ad, you broaden your reach through highly targeted campaigns that will show up on the timelines of Facebook users. This function lets you take advantage of a wide range of analytical tools that give you a deep level of insight into how your campaigns are performing. You can also be incredibly specific when it comes to the demographics of those who see your ads, with the ability to narrow your audience down based on age, gender, location, interests, and more.
In addition to the detailed analytics and precise targeting, Facebook ads give you the flexibility to create different types of ads. For instance, you can choose to make an ad that looks like a typical Facebook post, or you can choose to run carousel ads, banner ads, slideshow ads, and more. You can also format your ad for very specific purposes, such as gathering emails, highlighting certain products, or directing users to your appointment scheduler.
Even if you format your Facebook ad to look more like a regular post, it will always have a “sponsored content” label attached to it. While you’ll still get clicks, the fact the post is actually an ad can be a deterrent for a lot of users. Plus, ads just get clicked on; you can’t actually interact and engage with a Facebook ad.
On the other hand, boosted posts are basically exactly what they sound like. It’s a post on your practice’s Facebook profile you have paid Facebook to expose to more users. When a post is boosted, users can like it, comment on it, and share it just like any other post, creating a platform for engagement between users and your Facebook profile. While your content is limited to the basic post format, you can still target your audience based on demographics. Plus, all of this happens without the “sponsored content” label, adding to the organic feel.
Another benefit of boosted posts is you can boost any post after people have had a chance to already engage with it. This means you get to boost the posts you know have already had good engagement, which is a great indicator of its further success and impact when you boost it to reach a broader audience.
Choosing Between Facebook Ads and Boosted Posts
In general, most orthodontic practices will benefit from a combination of boosted posts and Facebook ads. Newer practices are probably better off focusing on boosted posts at first to gather more likes on their page and to generate awareness through social media engagement. Facebook ads are geared more towards specific campaigns. For instance, if you want to get more patients for early orthodontics, a Facebook ad campaign will be the way to go.
Overall, investing in both Facebook ads and boosted posts will help you grow your exposure and help you bring in new patients for your practice.