Facebook ads are remarkably effective, but only if you do them right.
Occasionally, I run into a chiropractor who says “Facebook ads? We tried Facebook ads. They didn’t work.”
Ok, I get it. Just paying Facebook some money doesn’t ensure that your practice will explode with new patients.
But whether Facebook ads “work” is based on a number of factors, including your expected outcome, your strategy, and tracking results in the right way.
In the Facebook ad campaigns we run for chiropractors, our desired outcome is usually new patient inquiries. We want to see appointments being made as a result of our ads. This is our metric for success and the goal we’re working for.
If you share the goal of attracting new patients with your campaigns, here are four mistakes to avoid that might make Facebook ads “not work” for you.
Mistake #1: Boosting Random Posts With No Strategy
For most chiropractic offices, their first experience with Facebook ads is boosting a post.
This is a simple entry point, as Facebook puts that enticing “Boost Post” button on every post you make on your page. Plus, it’s easy—click a few parameters for your targeting, and you’re done.
Unfortunately, boosted posts aren’t generally effective in converting viewers to patients.
The posts chiropractors generally choose to boost are goodwill posts, not posts that are aimed to solve a problem. Doctors are boosting a post about their recent community involvement, new equipment, or a helpful article.
These goodwill posts generate some really nice Likes and Comments, but most viewers don’t look at them and say “Great, I was looking for a chiropractor, and this one seems cool. I’ll give her a call.”
So what’s more effective?
You need to craft careful ad copy that addresses a problem and positions you as the solution. Then, you need to target your ad at an audience likely to have that problem.
Mistake #2: Basing Whether Facebook Ads “Work” On 1 Ad
So you boost one post, don’t see any results from it, and decide Facebook ads don’t work for you.
Stop, stop, stop. Pump the brakes. Don’t pass go.
Repeat after me: You absolutely cannot judge Facebook ads based on one campaign.
Top Reasons Your Facebook Ad Might Not Have “Worked”
Problems with Ad Creative and Messaging
That ad creative may not have resonated with your local audience. Try a different type of image and message in your next ad to see if you can catch more attention.
Problems with Targeting
Maybe you didn’t target the right audience. Your targeting parameters may not have actually targeted people who would resonate with the problem you solve.
Or maybe you didn’t target your audience at all and just advertised to anyone near you.
I encourage you to take a little more time to think about your target patient and their challenges. Then try another ad that is more targeted to that audience.
Problems with Conversion Tracking
You may not be tracking your conversions in the right way. If you’re expecting new patients to mention your ad when they call, you’re asking for disappointment.
See Mistake #4 for more information about this.
Problems with Budget
You may not have allocated a large enough budget.
There’s something tantalizing about being able to advertise for as little as $5. However, I recommend you spend at least $20-30 on your Facebook ad, over at least 3-4 days.
Why? This gives Facebook’s algorithm time to see what’s working and optimize your ad to better reach an engaged audience. Facebook wants to help you succeed and accomplish your objective (Likes, clicks, conversions, etc.) but it’s hard for them to test and optimize in just one day.
Problems with Mistrust
Choosing a medical professional is not a decision most people take lightly. That’s why we recommend ongoing chiropractic Facebook ad campaigns, where we run new ads each month.
After seeing your targeted messaging several times, viewers will be more likely to schedule an appointment.
Don’t give up after one ad that didn’t perform how you’d hoped! Address one of the issues above and give it another try.
Mistake #3: Wearing Out Your Audience
When chiropractors try to start getting more targeted with their Facebook ads, the biggest mistake I see them make is targeting too small of an audience and allocating too large of a budget.
If you allocate a large budget for a very small audience, you’re likely to wear them out by serving them your ad too many times. They will get frustrated and annoyed, and your cost per click will increase.
I’m all for careful, narrow targeting. However, when you have a small audience, you need to carefully monitor the Frequency metric after starting your campaign.
Make sure to head into your campaign data every day or so. I like seeing Frequency between 1 and 2.5. This means that the average viewer has seen your ad between 1 and 2.5 times.
If you start creeping up past a Frequency of 3.5, it is probably time to turn off your ad or ad set. After the third or fourth time, your audience is going to start getting frustrated with seeing the same ad. If you want to continue targeting that audience, create another version of your ad with a different image or slightly different message so it feels fresh.
Note: If you’re an advanced user, you can also set up a rule that automatically stops your ads when they reach a certain Frequency.
Mistake #4: Expecting New Patients To Mention Your Ad
In a perfect world, new patients who contact you as a result of your ad would call and say “Hey, I saw your ad on Facebook and now I’d like to schedule an appointment.”
Wouldn’t that be so easy to track? Hallelujah!
Unfortunately, that almost never happens.
And yet, I talk to many frustrated chiropractors who say “We tried Facebook ads before, but they didn’t get us any new patients.”
I ask them more about how they tracked the results, they say “Well, no one mentioned our Facebook ad when they set up their appointment.”
Here’s the truth: Most people don’t realize that a Facebook ad caused them to take action. They either don’t admit it, don’t remember, or don’t even realize it was an ad.
To be honest, many Facebook ads get confused with referrals. A patient might tell you their friend Susie referred them, but they only connected you with Susie because they saw that she commented on your ad or Liked your Facebook page.
It’s a huge mistake to think that your Facebook ads didn’t do anything if no one mentions your ad. Here are a few ways you should track your results instead.
5 Ways To Track Your Facebook Ad Results
- Set up conversion tracking on your appointment request form. This is the absolute best way to track, but is fairly technical. We do this for all of our customers (if their websites allow it—WordPress websites work perfectly for this).
- Offer a special offer that is only available through your Facebook ad. If someone mentions that offer, you know they came from the ad.
- Make sure your office staff asks “How did you first hear about us?” Asking where they heard about you first may make them think harder and trace it back to Facebook.
- Ask a follow up question. If someone says they were referred by a patient, ask where that referral took place (online or in person).
- Monitor overall new patient inquiries and determine if they went up while running your Facebook campaign.
As much as Facebook would like you to think otherwise, running high converting Facebook ad campaigns and tracking the results is not simple. Avoid these common mistakes to see better results.