If your dental practice doesn’t have a Facebook page yet, you can create one in just a few simple steps.
- Login to Facebook – If you aren’t on Facebook, the first step is creating a personal profile. Don’t worry, it won’t be linked to your page unless you choose to do so. However, you must be logged in to create or manage a page.
- Create page – When logged into Facebook, you will see essential shortcuts, such as Messenger and News Feed in the left column. Go to the bottom of the page, below the list of shortcuts is a Create Click Page.
- Select page type Local Business or Place
- Select category Dentists & Dental Office
- Enter your address, phone number, and click Get Started. You will be prompted to upload profile and cover pictures, but you can skip this step if you don’t have images yet.
- Unpublish (optional) – By default, your page may be published immediately, meaning that it is publicly visible. If you don’t want anyone seeing your page until setup is complete, you can unpublish. This is recommended for several reasons. An unpublished page gives you freedom to experiment. If your creative cover photo looks horrible, you can change it before anyone sees. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to check for errors, and view your page on various devices before making it public.
To unpublish a page
- Go to your page and select Settings
- Choose General Settings from the menu on the left
- Find the Page visibility If it shows published click edit, and change the status to unpublished. You can re-publish your page whenever you are ready.
BUSINESS PROFILE ESSENTIALS
Start with the basics. Make sure your page includes the following:
- In most cases, the best profile picture for a business is the logo. However, you can use your own photo, if you are the only dentist at your practice. Group photos are not recommended, because they are not likely to display well.
- The ideal size is 340 pixels by 340 pixels, or larger. Again, it will display much smaller, but the larger file size provides a crisp appearance. The important parts of the image should be in the center. Although the profile picture looks square when viewing your page, it will be cropped to a circular image elsewhere on Facebook.
- This should be an appealing image that represents your practice. A picture of your office or group photo of the team are good choices. The cover photo should include little, if any, text.
- The ideal cover photo size is 1640 pixels wide by 680 pixels high. It will display half that size, but a larger file is necessary for image clarity. Also, keep in mind that, on certain devices, the full photo height is not visible. Don’t add text or important image elements in the upper or lower 50 pixels.
- Below the profile picture, you will see a place to create your page’s username. This customizes your Facebook URL and allows people to easily find or tag your page using @username. Use your practice name, or a shortened version.
- You cannot use spaces, and the only special character allowed is the full stop (period). Use capitalization and stops to make your username readable. For example, @MyPractice or @My.Practice
Your choice of categories and tabs will determine what information is shown, and what page settings are available. Set these options before completing the page.
Facebook allows your page to be listed in three categories, although only one is selected during the setup process. To change or add categories, go to the About section of your page. Look for categories and click the edit button.
You cannot add custom categories, but Facebook offers a wide variety of options. To find a category, begin typing and choose from the dropdown list. Since there is no comprehensive directory of available categories, it can be a bit of a guessing game. Below is a list of currently available dentistry-related categories. However, Facebook frequently changes category options, so try other search terms as well.
- Alternative & Holistic Health Service
- Beauty, Cosmetic & Personal Care
- Cosmetic Dentist
- Dentist & Dental Office
- Family Doctor
- Family Medicine Practice
- General Dentist
- Health & Wellness Website
- Medical & Health
- Medical Service
- Oral Surgeon
- Orthodontics & Prosthetics Service
- Pediatric Dentist
- Teeth Whitening Service
Set your page template and tabs to determine what information visitors see. Go to Settings, and select Edit Page:
- Template – The first item on the page is Templates, which will probably be set to Business. Change it to the Services template, which will provide the most applicable tabs.
- Tabs – The next item is Tabs. Set use default tabs to off. This allows you to add or remove types according to your preferences. Services and Reviews are essential for dental practices, make sure they are turned on.
- To remove a tab, click the settings button and turn off show tab. (Some tabs, such as Home and About cannot be removed.)
- If you want to add a standard tab, scroll to the bottom, and select Add a Tab.
- Set tab order – Once you are satisfied with your selection of tabs, it’s time to arrange the list. Home is always first, but the others can be re-ordered by clicking and dragging them. The order of this list determines the order that tabs are displayed on your page.
THE ‘ABOUT’ TAB
The About tab is the most important part of your Facebook page. Fill in all available fields as much as possible. The more details you provide for visitors, the better your page will perform.
- About – The About field only allows 255 characters, so keep it brief. Add your practice slogan, or a short description here. The first few words are especially important, because they will be displayed in Google search results.
- Impressum – This is a statement of content ownership and authorship, which is not required in North America. Facebook provides this field because it is legally required for businesses in certain countries.
- General information – This field seems to be unlimited in length (in our tests, approximately 20 pages of text were allowed). This space can be used to highlight your most important procedures, discuss your USP (unique selling proposition), and add other important information. Include keywords within the text.
- Team members – You might expect this section to be a space for your office staff listing. However, the “team” is referring to people who manage your Facebook page. Only people with admin or editor page roles can be added here.
- Story – The Story field is a recent addition to Facebook pages, which replaced the Long Description. Use this field to provide a compelling and patient-inviting narrative. A preview of the story is displayed prominently on the About page, with a link to view more. Include:
- Images – Use an eye-catching story cover photo, as this is shown in the preview. Other photos will be shown when a viewer opens the full Story.
- Text – This field allows text formatting, which can make your Story more visually appealing. However, the preview is unformatted, so the body of the Story should be readable as plain text.
- Keywords – This field will likely be used in Facebook or Google searches, so incorporate keywords into the text.
- Other fields – Provide any applicable information.
CUSTOMIZATION AND OPTIMIZATION
Tips to take your page to the next level:
- Verification – Under Settings, on the General tab, you should see the option to verify your page. Completing this step will add a check mark to your profile, showing visitors that the page represents a real business. (This is only available for certain page types. If you don’t have the option to verify, check categories and make sure your page is listed under Dentist & Dental Office, or another business category.)
- Custom tabs – The standard options are limited, but you can add other types of tabs. There are two ways:
- Apps (easy) – There is a wide variety of third party applications (both free and fee-based), which can add contests, polls, ecommerce, integrate social accounts, and more. Most can be installed and configured in just a few clicks.
- Custom tabs (technical skills and external assets required) – Facebook gives qualifying pages the option of creating custom tabs, which displays content hosted on external servers.
- Services – The Services tab allows you to highlight treatments that you offer. For each service, you will need to provide:
- Title – Maximum length 40 characters
- Description – Maximum 200 characters
- Photo – Use a square image, at least 140 pixels by 140 pixels
- Price (optional) – For most dental practices, it is best not to list prices
- Duration (optional) – If you wish, you can let viewers know how long a procedure takes
About the Author
Naren Arulrajah is President and CEO of Ekwa Marketing, a complete internet marketing company that focuses on SEO, social media, marketing education, and the online reputations of dentists. With a team of 180+ full time marketers, www.ekwa.com helps dentists who know where they want to go, get there by dominating their market and growing their business significantly year after year. If you have questions about marketing your practice online, call 855-598-3320 to speak one-on-one with Naren.