Friending + Founding Facebook Groups

There are millions of Facebook groups out there. So why should you join any? To help your recognition within the community and to become a resource for others…all of which leads to new patients as well as a positive perception of you in your local market.

Tip: Look for local Facebook Groups that reflect some of your own interests and that represent opportunities to position yourself as an expert

1 billionthe number of people around the world who use Facebook Groups

To say groups are hot is an understatement. Facebook recently launched what it calls Groups for Pages, which encourages users to create their own communities.  And, according to FB founder Mark Zuckerberg, “More than 1 billion people around the world use Groups, and more than 100 million people are members of “meaningful groups.” These are groups that quickly become the most important part of someone’s experience on Facebook.”

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

There are likely some small business groups in your area, But, beyond that, look for local groups that meet some of your own interests and that represent opportunities to position yourself as an expert in eyecare and/or eyewear to members in your area. If you’re a sports enthusiast, for example, join a local group and share your expertise about eye protection.

HOW TO GET STARTED

So, where do you start? Social Media Examiner suggests: “Use your profile to connect on Facebook…just like you would show up personally to a networking event.”

Before you join a group, though, be sure it’s a solid fit not just in terms of common interests but in terms of membership. How can you tell? “Key criteria,” suggests SME, are “active members, good description, and low spam.”

ONE ECP’S EXPERIENCE

Here’s one OD’s experience with joining targeted Facebook groups—in her case, moms’ groups + how it helped grow her business at a new location.

“Connecting with moms is key,” says Sarah Manongdo-Joya, O.D., who works at a Visionworks location just outside Chicago. “They are the major decision makers when it comes to their family’s health care.

“Facebook has made it easier for my community and neighbors to discover where I work. A year and a half ago, I accepted a position at the North Riverside Mall location. That allowed me to work two miles from home, but, when I made the move, most patients in my neighborhood didn’t know I was there.

“That’s when I started regularly promoting my new office location via several moms’ groups in the area. It has definitely allowed me to become familiar with my patient base. For example, if a mom in the group has an eye-related question, I get ‘tagged’ to answer it. 

“My patients include parents and kids who go to same school my third grader does, as well as the other schools in the neighborhood. It is very rewarding when patients tell their friends and family to ‘Go see Dr. Sarah!’”

Have you or anyone in your practice joined a business-related Facebook Group? If so, tell us how it’s benefited you, and share in the conversation on Facebook here. 

Erinn Morgan