14 Great Facebook Posts from Community Pharmacies
Write compelling messages that engage pharmacy customers without subjecting them to a “hard” sell.
If you haven’t done so already, then you probably know you should create a Facebook business page for your independent pharmacy. More importantly, you should be posting updates regularly. After all, it takes just minutes to set up an account and post updates, and the results can be quite impressive. According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound Marketing 2012, 77% of companies have acquired new customers on Facebook.
The problem is what to post. Coming up with effective messages can be intimidating. You need to engage with customers in ways that have value to them. And you need to generate enough suitable ideas to maintain a regular schedule of postings — nothing’s sadder than a Facebook page with no activity.
Here are some guidelines to help you overcome those obstacles:
- Be informal. The main purpose of a Facebook page is to maintain a friendly connection with current and potential customers. Messages don’t have to be slick. Simply think of your favorite customer and imagine talking directly to them when you write a post. You’ll know you’re doing it right if your messages receive a lot of “likes” and comments.
- Be visual. Messages that include a photo or other graphic element are more engaging. They lead to more sharing, which could expand your customer base. Explore Google Images for ideas or take photos with your phone. They don’t have to be high-resolution, artistic shots to be effective.
- Limit “hard” selling. Marketers suggest limiting direct sales pitches to no more than 15% of your messages. That’s a good guideline to follow; however, the most important thing to remember is that customers welcome direct sales pitches — as long as they’re about things they really want. So know your audience before you post!
Sneak a Peek at Some Top Pharmacy Posts
The best way to improve your Facebook page is to look at what other community pharmacies are posting on their pages. Four pharmacies — White Bear Health Mart Pharmacy in White Bear Lake, Minn.; River Road Health Mart Pharmacy in Eugene, Ore.; Parkland Health Mart Pharmacy in Desloge, Mo.; and Brandon Health Mart Pharmacy in Brandon, S.D. — have had a lot of success using Facebook. Take a look at some of their most engaging messages during the past year:
#1: Promoting a Cause
Promoting a cause that people care about is a great way to engage with them. And if the cause happens to also benefit your business, that’s a bonus. Example: Leading up to the holidays, White Bear posted many messages encouraging customers to shop local. All of the messages were simple graphic images that didn’t require additional text to communicate effectively.
#2: Revealing Your Sense of Humor
Cartoons are a great way to capture people’s attention. Example: White Bear posted a cartoon with an important message for independent pharmacy’s customers.
#3: Showing Support for Local Sports
Showing support for local teams reminds customers that your store is an important part of the community. Example: White Bear posted this heartwarming photograph.
“Congrats WB girls soccer, playing championship Thursday!”
#4: Introducing New Employees
Customers appreciate getting to know more about the people behind the pharmacy. Example: When River Road introduced a new employee on Facebook, it reinforced the store’s friendly image.
“Meet Mike Page! Mike is River Road Health Mart Pharmacy’s new delivery driver. Mike has many years of experience working in the world of pharmacy and he is happy to join our team. He has lived in the Eugene/Springfield area since 1978. He is married and enjoys fishing, antique shopping and riding his Suzuki Boulevard motorcycle. In general, he loves being around people and giving excellent customer service. Welcome, Mike!”
#5: Sending Holiday Reminders
By phrasing this post as a gentle reminder (with a generous offer and a cute photo), River Road Pharmacy turned what could have been a routine sales pitch into something many customers appreciated receiving.
“Father’s Day is June 17. Are you ready? We have a fun assortment of unique items just for Dad! Save 30% on any gift items purchased for Dad — through June 16. Come in today and SAVE!”
#6: Sharing Cute Pet Photos
Cute photos of pets — or children — turn everyday messages into compelling posts. Example: This River Road post informed customers that the pharmacy carries pet medications and offers competitive prices. But the cute pet photo is what captured their attention.
“Got pets? If so, you’re in luck! River Road Health Mart Pharmacy has the best prices around on our flea and tick medications as well as prescriptions and compounds for your pets ….”
#7: Recruiting Employees
Customers are happy to share job postings with friends and families. Note: River Road’s original post didn’t include a graphic image, but it easily could have. Many free images are available online.
“Now accepting resumes for a delivery driver position. Must have GREAT customer service skills, have a clean driving record, can pass a drug test, willing to do light cleaning duties and is a self-motivated individual! Pick up your application once you drop off your resume. Open until 3/14/12.”
#8: Using a Soft Sell
This creative post enabled River Road to reinforce its value as an independent pharmacy — without being heavy-handed about it.
“Tired of waiting in a long line for your prescriptions at the big box stores? Bring your prescriptions over to River Road Health Mart Pharmacy and we will get you in and out before you know it. We can save you time and money on your family’s prescriptions.”
#9: Expressing Your Gratitude
Who wouldn’t want to get a free cookie? Enough said.
“River Road Health Mart Pharmacy is celebrating our 3rd year of completed business, thanks to customers like YOU … Come in this week and receive a Monster Cookie Co. Cookie! Supplies are limited.”
#10: Promoting Your Location
Parkland Pharmacy posted a picture of its temporary location and a mock-up of its future new building. That’s a great way to show customers — not tell them about — your location.
“Our temporary home through 2013.”
#11: Revealing Your Personality!
Don’t be afraid to show some personality. Customers will feel like they know you before they even walk through the door. Example: Parkland employees displayed Halloween spirit in this post.
“Hope you got a chance to stop by our booth at ‘Freakytown’ and say hello to Michael Jackson, aka Jeremy Leach. He got rave reviews on the costume! We had a blast meeting all of you even though it was a cold and windy evening. Thanks for the awesome turnout! Keep watching for our opening date soon on the new store!”
#12: Asking Customers to “Like” You
By offering to discount sunglasses based on the number of “likes” received, Brandon Pharmacy encouraged customers to interact with this post. And the wacky photo is an inspired touch! Click here to read more about the success of this post in the Smart Retailing story, Get More Value from Your Website.
“We will take 1% off of sunglasses in September for every “like” that this post receives by midnight tonight. Max 50% off. Have a great holiday weekend!”
#13: Informing Customers
Posting vital information is a great way to encourage customers to share your message with their friends and family. Example: Brandon Pharmacy posted this chart about teen drug abuse.
“This is important for us parents to know. Please share it with other parents of school-age children.”
It’s easy to get up and running on Facebook, but being successful does require a commitment to maintaining your page. Learn from what your peers are doing, try some new things, and have fun!