Everybody "likes" getting "poked" sometimes. But....

I am talking about Facebook here. What did you think we were talking about? Facebook is really big and it is growing, I get it. But I think there is a lot more to effectively marketing an optometric practice than having an awesome web presence. I agree that it helps, but it is a piece of the puzzle.

Last month, we featured Justin Bazan's follow-up to his bold decision to make his Facebook page his practice web-site. It seems to be working well for him. I will not be converting mine and recommend you don't either.

We have been putting a lot of time into marketing studies at LeadershipOD and have learned a lot about this new age. It is getting tougher to know where to put you time and your dollars in this area. Every practice situation is different and a marketing strategy needs to be balanced to meet your specific needs.

To help find a good starting point, we just released a Marketing Calculator. This unique app gives a general recommendation for your marketing strategy. But be careful, it budgets money and time. To check it out for yourself, Click here and sign up for the e-mail series. We will be talking more about it later, but back to Facebook.

Social media is a really good conversation tool but I am not sure it is a good for conversion, which is the true purpose of marketing. It is a good place to let people "poke" you and "like" you and "friend" you. But in order to convert them into a patient, people still want substance and assurance you are trustworthy. Facebook is good for the surface, but for someone to really check us out, they still want a traditional web-site.

10 reasons that Facebook should not replace your web-page:

  1. Branding: Simply put, you are driving your business to another brand.
  2. Control: They have control, you don't. Have you ever read their Terms of Service? Read them, but make sure you're sitting down.
  3. Ownership: You don't OWN Facebook. It is not a "public place." It is owned and led by some guy named Zuckerberg.
  4. Closed Network: Sure it's a big club, but it still requires membership.
  5. Revenue Conflict: Facebook really doesn't care about your business. Their revenue comes largely from two things: selling ads and selling user info.
  6. Search Engine Optimization: You don't have any say over "being found" online.
  7. Analytics: Data is extremely limited.
  8. Layout and functionality: Here today, gone tomorrow. You're at their mercy.
  9. Distractions: Facebook is very distracting. They are fighting for eyeballs on every square inch.
  10. Customer interaction: Their access with your brand may be easier, but not more meaningful. Which do you prefer? (Hint: they didn't get on Facebook to talk to YOU.)
  11. (Bonus) Future: Anyone ever heard of MySpace? Yeah, they used to be a social media giant.

Bottom Line: Facebook should work with your web-site, not be your web-site.

Alright then, Mike

P.S. I asked Justin what he thought about my opposing view and he said, "Your patients need to be your fans". I think that its not about balance, its about analysis and adjusting. If things were balanced and all parts were equally, you strengths would be undeserved and your weakness would be over emphasized. Its about finding the right marketing mix right?"

The debate continues..... Let me know what you think.