A Fresh Face for Facebook

Well, well, well. Look who’s back. You mastered the art of blogging, and now you think you’re ready for something more, like Facebook (dun, dun, dun). Good! Facebook isn’t just for posting pictures of cats and trying to avoid that strange relative that comments on everything you do. Facebook may just be the perfect fit for your health organization.

Blogging offers interaction, but Facebook demands it. That’s why it was created: constant interaction. You’re interacting with your followers and vice versa even when you think you aren’t. Simply skimming through a post counts! And nothing feels better than a “like,” the ultimate sign of approval that lets you know that your followers really are listening to your health information! How can these likes and comments bring success to your health organization though?

Benefits of Facebook you need to know:

  • It’s relatively free. There’s no charge for a Facebook account, but you will need to put a good amount of time and effort into it. You’ll want to remain active and keep visitors engaged. Facebook also has an option for advertising that comes with a fee, but it creates highly targeted ads.
  • It creates a targeted, engaged audience. Social media involvement creates loyalty, satisfaction, and a positive experience with a specific audience.
  • Constant interaction helps you to get to know your audience. With communication running all ways, from you to your audience, your audience to you, and your audience to each other, you’ll be able to learn valuable information to understand your audience’s needs and wants.
  • It can help build your brand. Facebook is another way to show the world who you and your health organization are. It can help you build a great reputation, just remember that you’re in charge of it.
  • There’s a place for a donation button and a fundraising page. Yeah, you heard me. Well, read me.

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There’s always a catch.

Setting up an account for your health organization is not like setting up a personal page. You’ll want to read the terms and conditions, privacy information and other instructions. However, it will look similar to a personal page. Here’s what healthcaresuccess.com considers to be a good page for health organizations:

  • Logo and branding that carries throughout the Facebook page
  • The “Wall” tab presents the organization’s news feed and visitor comments
  • The “info” tab has a “request an appointment/information” option, phone numbers, and the organization’s mission
  • Other tabs for pictures, videos, events, questions and links

What now?

Once you’ve set up your page, it’s time to be engaging, which may be hard for you if you’re anything like me (using bad jokes is only okay when I do it… hardly). You’ll want to check out this site for more information, but I’ll summarize. Be relatable. Ask questions. Post relevant content with credible sources. Offer incentives and rewards. Learn it, live it, love it. Repeat these tips over and over again in your mind. Don’t think I won’t check out your Facebook page to make sure you’re listening.

What makes a successful Facebook campaign? Clear goals, defined target audience, a clear message and evaluation. Thanks for asking. Similar to blogging, you want to be likable. You want people coming back to see what you have to say. You want people to share, like and comment on your posts. You want people talking about your health organization, because that is how you spread your health information.

Although I really want to see the cute things your pet does (and trust me, I genuinely do), leave it for your personal page. Your health organization’s Facebook page should be professional, but inviting. Don’t be a robot randomly sending out information. Tell your fans why the information is important and how they can get involved. Start a discussion! It’s your responsibility to be engaging. Scary, I know, but I believe in you.

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This is a lot of information, so perhaps looking at an example would help. The World Health Organization looks great to me. The first thing I noticed was that they post regularly, without being overbearing. Secondly, they post and share informative news articles and ask questions that furthers their mission and brand. These posts allow people to engage and share their thoughts. Their pictures and videos are easily found, along with their organization’s website, where you can donate. You can find their hours of operation and telephone number, reviews, and other relevant information without a problem.

All this talk of Facebook has reminded me that I have a cute picture of my cat to post. Now go off into the world of Facebook, and make me proud. I’ll be watching!

Best of luck,

Bekki C.

 

 

 

Read something you agree or harshly disagree with? Let me know! The cool thing about opinions is that they aren’t facts and can change at any time, including mine. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

A Blog About Blogs: How to Blog Your Way to Success

So, you’re thinking about using a blog to promote your health organization (or you clicked on the wrong link. There’s still time to go back.). The first step is admitting that social media is beneficial, if used properly of course. Blogging is a great way to get your ideas, thoughts and news across to large audiences. It’s like a microphone that can reach anyone in the world!

The word “blog” is a cross between “web” and “log,” which offers you no useful information other than the fact that I never knew that, and I think it’s cool. Even cooler, though, is that your blog is an expression of you, or your organization’s character. You can be as funny, serious, breezy or whatever other personality you want your blog to have while getting across valuable information to your audience.

As with everything, there’s a right way and a wrong way to blog. You want people to read what you have to say, right? Otherwise, you’re just talking to yourself, like that diary you kept in middle school that you don’t like to talk about (or the one you stole out of your sister’s bedroom).

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Define your goals.

Please do not just start blogging about anything and everything like you would on one of your personal social media accounts. Remember you are blogging on behalf of your health organization, so I imagine your most important goal should be something along the lines of passing on important health information. Your blog has a greater chance of success if you know what you’re trying to accomplish. What are you hoping your blog will do over the course of six months? A year?

One of your goals will likely include people knowing more about your organization. That’s perfectly fine! Include a link or talk about the organization, just don’t do it too much or in an obvious way. You don’t want to be a used car salesman.

  • Be yourself.

No one is more you than you. People will know if you’re faking it because something will  feel like it’s missing or it just won’t read well. Plus, if you’re always being yourself, your blog will be consistent, which will allow you to gain loyal followers.

Also, people read blogs because they like to get the facts with some flair. This is the one place where your opinion is always welcome. If people want the dry facts, they’ll read a newspaper. You’re a blogger, not a reporter.

  • Talk about what you know.

If I tried to blog about biomedical engineering, it would be an absolute disaster. It would be filled with dry facts that I pulled out of textbooks and jokes that I don’t even understand. If your area of expertise is fitness, then you fill that blog of yours with fitness related material and don’t stray. You’ll always be focused and have plenty to talk about. Don’t be like Joe down there trying to blog about how argyle sweater vests are no longer in style.

 

So now you know what to say, but you still need to actually put it onto your blog. Don’t forget about the importance of layout. Visuals matter. Have you ever walked into a house that was so cluttered with home decor (or maybe actual clutter), that it was just unappealing? People will have the same feeling about your blog if it’s filled with nonsense. Here’s another bullet point list of tips.

  • Carefully format every post.
  • Constrain your column width. Narrow columns are more visually appealing and are much more easily read.
  • Use headers, sub headers and lists.
  • Grammar doesn’t go out the window! Use correct punctuation, capitalization and so on.
  • Fonts matter. Use something that can be read without squinting.
  • White space is good. It gives the reader’s eyes time to rest.
  • If you’re using a colored background, make sure it goes well with your font color.
  • Images are great, but too many distracts from what you’re trying to say.

Girls Gone Strong is a great example for layout. The home page has its recent blogs available so that readers can scroll through to find what post would interest them. The post then has a clean format, nice and narrow with white space. It also includes visuals that help to tell a personal story.

I send you on your way to start your successful health blog. Be sure to check out other health blogs to get an idea of what you think works and what doesn’t.

Best of luck,

                      Bekki C.

 

 

 

Read something you agree or harshly disagree with? Let me know! The cool thing about opinions is that they aren’t facts and can change at any time, including mine. I’d love to hear your thoughts.