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Facebook Likes for Veterinary Businesses: Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

Facebook Likes for Veterinary Businesses: Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

By Shannon Pecora, MA, Marketing Manager

How do you measure Facebook success for your veterinary practice page? Chances are your first instinct is to check the number of Page Likes and post likes you have. More likes, more fans, more business, right? Those are interesting metrics to track, but there is a lot more to the story.

What do Facebook Likes Help you Measure?

There is a correlation between your fans and your success. Popularity matters, after all. And if your Facebook page has a large number of likes, then you have a chance of appearing organically in more News Feeds. Then, of course, if your fans like your posts, you can quickly see that your posts have reached those people -- and have had a positive impact. This keeps the cycle going: your fans like a post, it could appear in their friends’ News Feeds, you reach more people, you become more popular, and so on.

However, Facebook offers a wealth of other metrics that can be much more telling, and understanding these can be the key to real business growth. You just need to know what to look for.

Fill in the Gaps with more Metrics

When you need speed in social marketing evaluation, there are two more places to look on Facebook. It doesn’t take long to find these, and the insight you’ll gain is well worth a couple more clicks. 

Among the tabs for messages and notifications, you’ll also see “Insights” on the top menu of your Timeline. Here, you’ll find a Page Summary as well as access to more in-depth information:

Among the tabs for messages and notifications, you’ll also see “Insights” on the top menu of your Timeline

Following You as a Leader

Visit “Followers” via the left side menu, and you may see that this number differs from your number of Page Likes.

Visit “Followers” via the left side menu, and you may see that this number differs from your number of Page Likes

But why is a Follower different from a Fan? Facebook users can like your page and choose not to follow it, meaning they actually do appreciate your practice, but they’ve decided not to receive your social marketing. Or they can choose to follow you, but not like the page. So they’re opting to receive your marketing, but they haven’t necessarily committed to sharing with the world that they have any positive association with you.

How to like or follow a Facebook page

While you won’t know specifically who falls into either category, it’s good to keep an eye on this number, too. Both followers and fans may be local pet owners who deserve to know about your practice and culture, so it helps to see the trends in both figures.This can inform your strategies for converting followers to fans. If the Follower number drops, you may have to adjust the way you deliver your messaging. Plus, you may have prospective employees or even competitor practices keeping their eyes on you!

How Far Can You Reach?

A little farther down the Insights menu, click on “Reach.”

A little farther down the Insights menu, click on “Reach”

Reach may be one of the most important metrics to check on a weekly basis. Your veterinary business page may have thousands of fans, but with so many personal friends and businesses of all sizes competing for News Feed space, you aren’t ever guaranteed that all of your fans will see all of your posts. Visit the Reach Insight to see how many Facebook users received your material in their News Feeds on a given date. These could be your fans and/or their friends, and that material could be standard posts, boosts, or ads. That’s why the time graph is vital. Match up your high reach days with posts on and just before that day to get a feel for what goes farther -- then keep that up for as long as you see it positively affect your reach!

The Sum of these Parts

Your veterinary practice Facebook business page can have fans who don’t follow it. You can have followers who don’t like your posts. You can post a video that goes viral, and you can create an ad that falls flat. No single metric will give you the complete picture of how your posts and ads perform in this social environment. It’s not all about fans and post reactions. Be sure to factor in your followers and reach, too, as you quickly analyze your social marketing.

And if you’re interested in learning more about the GeniusVets marketing and reporting options, please contact us!

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