Good Advice for Those Tempted to Try Facebook Ads

February 1, 2013

by Susan Solomon

Susan SolomonFacebook has had better years than last year. There was the rocky IPO. And before that, General Motors announced it would pull the plug on $10 million in Facebook advertising. The reason GM gave was the inability to effectively track an ROI for Facebook advertising and the general belief that the me­dium was ineffective. But with 51 percent of Americans on Facebook, it’s hard to ignore its power in grab­bing attention. So what are health­care marketers with limited budgets to do? Should you advertise on Facebook or simply focus on your organic Facebook presence?

Some social media experts say to steer clear entirely of Facebook ad­vertising, noting that the medium just hasn’t panned out for adver­tisers. “Hospitals ought to be engaging their community on Face­book, not taking old one-way methods of advertising and con­verting over to Facebook. My sug­gestion would be to engage the Facebook community on a well-developed site and not worry so much about advertising,” says Christina Thielst, a consultant with Tower, a patient experience con­sulting group.

Others suggest jumping in, but managing your expectations. Peter Taylor, marketing director of Sarasota (FL) Memorial Health Care System, says his Facebook results were better three years ago when the concept was newer, but he still counts Facebook advertising as part of his marketing arsenal. As he says, if you want to jump in, just be sure you understand the right strategies and execution.

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