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Independent Pharmacy Marketing: Facebook Best Practices

Facebook Pharmacy Marketing

Leveraging Facebook is the best way to improve your pharmacy marketing.

Navigating through the myriad of Facebook rules and algorithms is confusing. DiversifyRx commits to keeping you updated on the latest best practices for pharmacy marketing so you can effectively grow your pharmacy sales. This article is focusing on one aspect of digital marketing; Facebook. 

Why Facebook For Your Pharmacy Marketing?
 
It’s Where Your Future Patients Hangout

Facebook has over 190 million users in the United States and is the third-largest social media platform in the US. Instagram and YouTube have more users, but if you consider the target audience for most independent pharmacy owners, Facebook will be your number one platform. 

Specific Targeting Is Easy

Facebook allows you as an advertiser to get extremely specific on which people to show your ads to. This specificity is excellent for your pharmacy marketing as it helps to keep your costs down. Here are some of the categories you can choose for Facebook to create your audience (people who meet your criteria to see your ad).

  • age
  • sex
  • marital status
  • income
  • parental status
  • age of kids
  • location
  • interests
  • who they follow
  • websites visited
  • many more…

By creating a particular audience, you can improve your pharmacy marketing by creating the perfect ad for that audience. Here is a little example. 

Goal: You want to increase your pharmacy business with young families.

Target: Moms from 25-40 years old with kids under the age of 8 within 5 miles of your pharmacy.

Ad: Run a Facebook ad that offers free flavoring of Rx or OTC medication to any patient of your pharmacy.

Call To Action: Set up a simple Facebook form to capture users’ contact details interested in getting free flavoring.

Result: Facebook only shows your ad to users that meet those specific criteria. These moms loved your flavoring offer, and you now have a list of people to contact to bring them into your pharmacy. 

Hopefully, you can see how powerful Facebook is to your pharmacy marketing strategy. 

Recent Facebook Updates That Make It Easier To Market Your Pharmacy
 
The 20% Rule

Many pharmacy owners that have tried Facebook advertising in the past got frustrated because Facebook denied their ads. The number one reason for this was that the text on the ad’s image took up more than 20% of the space. Facebook has now eliminated that rule. You are no longer limited by how much text you can put on an image. Facebook will still recommend less text is better, but they won’t punish you for having more text. 

Instant Messenger

If you are looking for ways to improve your pharmacy marketing, then Instant Messenger (IM) might be your favorite new tool. Independent pharmacy owners know that creating relationships with your patients is a competitive advantage. By using IM, you can start these relationships even earlier. Instant messaging with a potential new patient is akin to having a phone call. Some patients even prefer it. 

To direct potential patients to start an IM conversation, all you need to do is select the Send Message option for the call to action button in your Facebook ad. When a Facebook user clicks on that ad, it will start a message right in Messenger. Here is a picture of what it looks like. 

Why Use Messenger Ads In Your Pharmacy Marketing?

The statistics show that users read IMs at an astonishing rate. Read rates for an IM message are often above 80%, which blows email out of the water. There are two types of Messenger Ads: 1. An ad the direct people to start an IM conversation (as above) 2. An ad that shows up directly in Messenger.

1. IM Ads Get Noticed
IM ads practically force users to pay attention. It’s like having an email show up in your inbox. You have to open it to what it says to clear the notification and satisfy your curiosity. Anytime you can skip the user’s busy newsfeed and get your ad looked at, you should take that small advantage.

2. They Focus on Conversation
As we stated above, engaging with a potential patient for your pharmacy in a one-on-one method is very powerful. This method allows your pharmacy to have a conversation with a patient in the way they want to.

3. It’s New
Most pharmacies in your community are not using IM ads. This opportunity will allow your pharmacy to be different. It can be a Purple Cow advantage. And since one-on-one conversations are so crucial in relationship building, that’s a significant bonus.

Navigating the Do’s and Don’ts

When it comes to combining pharmacy terminology and Facebook advertising, the result is as clear as mud. While Facebook has made a concerted effort to jump all-in on the pharmaceutical advertising bandwagon, for the local pharmacy, this can be complicated.

Specific Drug Names

If you want to advertise your low-cost sildenafil and want to put that name in your ad, then be prepared to build an ad that meets pharmaceutical advertising criteria. This criterion requires you to include the FDA’s language, which is essentially a digital version of the patient section of the package insert. Here are some screenshots of companies that are running specific drug names ads on Facebook. You can go to their page and look at each of their ads. Unless you want to comply with these rules, we recommend not using any specific drug names in your ads.

Disease States

You can get into detailed targeting of patients with certain diseases state using Facebook. However, you want to be careful of what language you use in your ad. Facebook seems to allow language such as: “Are you diabetic?”. While not allowing language that says: “Here is a remedy to control your diabetes.” These differences seem to go along the lines of making a claim. You never want to make a claim in an ad, even if what you are advertising is FDA approved for the indication. Otherwise, you would need to comply with the rule above.

We recommend you use terms that describe the disease state. Here’s an example: ABC Pharmacy has a new low-cost option for helping your blood sugar. Or you can say Call ABC Pharmacy and speak to our pharmacist about lower-cost options for <insert symptom you want>. The text on your ad image might say New Options For Diabetics!

You Might Still Get Denied On Specific Ads

Sometimes there are zero reasons or logic for what Facebook does (or should we say what the Facebook bots do). There have been many instances where the exact same ad image and copy are approved for one ad set and denied in another. Don’t bang your head trying to figure it out. Just make some tweaks and try again. You can always ask for another review, and about 50% of the time, that works. When it doesn’t, just keep trying new iterations.

Setting Your Pharmacy Marketing Advertising Budget on Facebook

Due to Facebook’s great targeting, you don’t need to spend much on ads. You want to keep your budget low, especially when you are first starting. Once you know what is working, you can increase your ad spend to improve your pharmacy marketing reach. We recommend starting at no more than $10 a day for most pharmacies. Some pharmacy owners in large cities may need to set a limit at $20 a day.

Let Facebook Tell You Which Image and Copy Combination Is Better

Pharmacy marketing is a lot of guessing at first. You think you know what will get patients’ attention, but you are guessing until you run the ads and see what works. Facebook has a great feature where you can create different headlines, calls to action, and images for an ad. Then, they mix and match to see which combination gets the most engagement. Once you know a winner, you can increase your budget and reap the benefits of an optimized ad.

Minimize Where Facebook Shows Your Ads

The placement area is one place we always override what Facebook has prepopulated. For pharmacies, we find the best placement is in the Facebook feed of users. Unselect all other options until you are a pro at Facebook advertising.

Facebook Feed Placement

Improve your budget efficiency by only selecting to show ads in Facebook New Feed, highlighted in yellow.

Unselect all others.

For more information on other pharmacy marketing methods and learning how to improve pharmacy sales for your pharmacy, check out these past pharmacy marketing articles.

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