Is it time to start digging a grave for Facebook and social media marketing? Critical factors are now in play that may seriously affect how you spend precious 2020 advertising dollars.

In this episode of the DrMarketingTips podcast, Jennifer and Corey reveal why social media may no longer be the place to be. They also break down what advertising and marketing options you should look out for in the short and medium-term.

Tune in to discover:

  • Why Facebook and social media may soon find themselves in a shallow grave
  • How data and privacy considerations are playing into the mix
  • Why Facebook’s ad platform is now completely saturated
  • Where you should start looking to put your ad dollars moving forward
  • How you can emulate major brands in creating and owning your own content

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Get Your Free 2020 Marketing Strategy Template & How-to Guide

Take the first step to successfully attract and retain patients in 2020 with a detailed plan for getting your practice in front of the right patient, in the right place at exactly the moment they are looking for you.

Download Now

Get Your Free 2020 Marketing Strategy Template & How-to Guide

Take the first step to successfully attract and retain patients in 2020 with a detailed plan for getting your practice in front of the right patient, in the right place at exactly the moment they are looking for you.

Download Now

Transcript Notes

Speaker 1: Dr. Marketing Tips. Paging Dr. Marketing Tips. Dr, marketing Tips, you’re needed in the marketing department.

Speaker 2: Welcome to the Dr. Marketing Tips podcast, your prescription to the answers you seek to grow your medical practice easier, better, and faster. This show is all about connecting practice administrators and medical marketing professionals with peers working in practices, learning from experiences, making mistakes, and sharing successes. Let’s get started.

Jennifer: Hey there, welcome to the Dr. Marketing Tips podcast. And this is Jennifer.

Corey: I’m Corey.

Jennifer: And today we want to tell you something, get ready for it. Get the hammer out and nail the last nail into the coffin, practically speaking. But Facebook and social media is about to be put into the grave. Hospice has been called. Facebook and social media in the world that we know it is getting ready to change, and Corey and I have been eyeball deep in planning sessions and coming up with budgets for 2020, and we’re relooking at everything we’re doing from a social media standpoint for next year and the years ahead. Whether it happens in 2020 or 2021, but if your marketing plan and your biggest marketing initiatives are all around social media, then it’s time to rethink what you’re doing.

Corey: Yeah, we don’t do a lot of hot takes on the Dr, marketing Tips podcast, but I think that this one really warrants it. We don’t do a lot of predictions either, but I agree with Jen in every sense of the word that by you know, two, three years from now, maybe five years from now, maybe six months from now, who knows. But social media, it’s on the decline, and if that’s how you are getting a lot of your messaging and marketing out there, then you might be in trouble. It might be time to start thinking about a different strategy.

Jennifer: Yeah. We’ve got some clients who, when we’re evaluating their budgets for the new year, you know, they spend a lot of money on ad boards and things like that, but they’ve seen their social media budgets kind of ramping up over the years. We’re really evaluating how much money we’re spending on social media, but also how much time and energy we’re putting into that content creation that’s just on social media. Part of that is, you know, when we’re on Facebook or Instagram or LinkedIn or any of these other platforms that you might be using for your practice, it is akin to kind of renting a house versus owning a house.

Corey: Yeah. And so if you’re renting or leasing this space, essentially what that means is Facebook, Instagram, wherever you are, they can sort of pull the rug out from underneath you. Then, since you never owned that piece of property, all of a sudden it’s just gone and you don’t have anything left. You have no equity. It’s just gone. Everything is gone.

Corey: So if you remember a couple of years ago, there was that platform from Google, it was Google Plus. And if you put a lot of time into that and you created a community there, that’s well and good, but as of I believe it was April this year, they shut Google Plus down. So if you invested time, money, blood, sweat, tears into Google Plus, well, they just turned it off.

Jennifer: Yeah. And part of the reason I think that we’re … I mean, we’re not the only ones making a prediction. I think Corey and I are pretty up on the trends and we attend some conferences a couple times a year just to make sure that we’re current. So to hear it from other experts out there, I mean, the fact is, you saw it during the last election cycle. You saw Zuckerberg testifying in front of Congress, you saw the awkwardness of that. You see the penalties coming down for privacy violations. You saw the changes after the Cambridge analytics and you’re seeing the headlines talking about the break up of monopolies, Google, Facebook, those kinds that are out there, and it’s just a matter of time before it’s done.

Corey: And there’s this whole big discussion about your data. Do you own your data? Or when you enter into one of these relationships, not only with social media, but with your phone provider basically, or your internet provider, your browser, are you forfeiting your data? Do they own it or is it yours?

Corey: You’re starting to see the lawsuits and things like that come into play, and the whole reason that these social networks exist and the way that they can make money is basically by selling your data. So they’re advertising networks. If something changes and they no longer have access or can easily pull that demographic data and that interest data from you, so if they no longer know that you’re a 45 year old female that loves baseball or corn dogs and Lynyrd Skynyrd, well, all of a sudden that-

Jennifer: Are you talking about me? Because I love all those things.

Corey: Who doesn’t? Who doesn’t?

Jennifer: I’m almost 45, but I love all those things.

Corey: But yeah, if you lose access to those things, all of a sudden you’re going to lose a lot of advertising dollars. And then, you know, at the end of the day, if they’re not making money, you know … It’s like anything, follow the money. So if the money dries up, why would Facebook still exist? It wouldn’t.

Jennifer: And I think a lot of this goes. So the last couple of years we saw Facebook in particular, because they’re the behemoth, you know, they went public, they were forced to monetize. A lot of that sense of community kind of went away. You saw the audiences that were there and were the most engaged kind of moving on, and then we saw the ability to get organic ranking really fall down. So I don’t think this is so much about Facebook and that organic ranking and advertisers, but as much as it is now about privacy.

Jennifer: So you know, you have GDPR that came down last year in the European Union, and you know, there’s American companies that are spending, U.S. based companies that are spending thousands of dollars a year just to maintain the minor regulations for dealing with companies in the EU. And then now you’ve got, at the end of October of 2019, you have a privacy regulation coming through, a law that was passed in New York, and we’re going to have until you know … I think it passes and we have until October 23rd, October 28th, to actually implement the changes from a privacy standpoint if you’re working with anybody in New York.

Jennifer: California has a legislation right now that’s also going to be signed, sealed and delivered I think they said October, maybe November. and then you’ve got Nevada. I think Nevada, North Dakota, there’s a handful of other states, and so it’s this hodgepodge and we all know they’re not going to pass this thing in Congress. They’re not going to do a national law. We don’t even have a national marijuana law, so how are we going to do it?

Jennifer: Instead, there’s going to be a hodgepodge of laws that are going to come from, you know, the 50 plus states here, and as companies and businesses we’re going to need to understand each of those individual privacy concerns. That privacy, those changes in privacy, that’s what’s going to be the driver to change social media.

Corey: Yeah, I totally agree. So it’s privacy, it’s data. And then it’s also going back to what we were talking about before with sort of owning the space and leasing or renting the space. It’s a real estate issue as well. And we’ve seen that for years on Facebook where if you actually go through your feed and you count how many things that you see that relate to you personally, friends and family versus ads, you’re going to realize there’s a lot of ads in there. They’re actually, Facebook, I think it was last year they basically said, “We are almost out of ad space. There’s nowhere to put more ads.”

Jennifer: So those, we can’t even spend the budgets that we’ve got. And it’s not because you can’t find a place to put those dollars. They are just, at this point, there are not enough eyeballs.

Corey: It’s saturated.

Jennifer: It’s completely saturated.

Corey: Yeah. And so at a macro level, Facebook, they want you to engage with the content. So you may have heard about this in a previous episode of the Dr. Marketing Tips podcast. You may have seen this on the news or somewhere else, but essentially what happened was they realized that people were getting inundated with brands and ad messaging. So what they did was they said, “We’re going to focus more on community engagement and try and get people back to the original reason that they signed up for the platform.” Because if you don’t enjoy using Facebook, you don’t get eyeballs on the ad content, then … Again, you follow the money and there’s not as much ad revenue there.

Corey: So they tried that strategy, it kind of works, but it pissed off a lot of advertisers. Now they’re saying, “Okay, well we’re going to do that, but we’re also going to focus on groups so we can build these sort of online communities, but within Facebook.” They just started doing that. You may have seen advertisements for Facebook groups, they’ve started to roll them out on T.V. Is that working? We don’t really have numbers on that just yet, but we do know that social media usage overall is down.

Corey: So last year Jay Baer did a study, and he said that social media usage in America increased an average of 7.7% for the past nine years, and in 2018 it was down 4%. The biggest loser in that is Facebook. So something to consider there is again, depending on what your audience is, they have either they’re on their way out, they’re not paying attention to the platform anymore potentially. Obviously Facebook is the biggest player, so there’s still going to be an audience there. But what we’re trying to say is that the writing is kind of on the wall that, moving forward, it’s not the place to be.

Corey: Hey guys, Corey here, co host of the Dr. Marketing Tips podcast, and I wanted to interrupt this episode just for a minute to tell you about Insight Training Solutions. So Insight Training Solutions is an ongoing employee engagement and training platform for your medical practice, meaning employees can log on and take these medical practice specific trainings whenever and wherever they are, and each training is meant to increase employee engagement, improved practice reputation, and develop some patient service mindsets.

Corey: If we’re being honest, something that we all know some of the employees may lack. Not calling anybody out by name, but one of the cool things about Insight Training Solutions is they’re always developing new content. They just released 10 Steps to a Phenomenal Patient Experience, where you’ll learn how to create a phenomenal patient experience, strengthen job security, and discover customer service secrets for your entire team.

Corey: So this course is in addition to the other ones they already have, which include Communication Across Generations And How To Understand Today’s Multigenerational Workforce, and How To Develop Overall Patient Experience. This is another course, the new approach to customer service. We’ve also Got Eight Ways To Wow Patients and you can sign up for a free trial to see what everything is about at insighttrainingsolutions.io. That’s insighttrainingsolutions.io or just Google Insight Training Solutions. You’ll be glad you did.

Jennifer: I completely agree, and I think we’re saying Facebook very loosely. What we’re talking about is social media in general, but specifically Facebook because they’re the biggest. I think that if you are a die hard and you want to stay on social media and you just want to keep doing what you’re doing and keep repeating it, which we know what the definition of insanity is, it’s doing the same thing every single day and get the same result, then you need to start looking at social media outside of just Facebook. Even outside of Instagram. you need to look at where there’s those micro audiences.

Jennifer: You know, if LinkedIn fits into your profile for your practice, and I would encourage you to take a look at it because I think we’ll have plenty of episodes that are getting ready to come through the pipeline talking about employee engagement being the new marketing. If that’s the case, go onto LinkedIn, start beefing up your company page, and then do some micro campaigns specifically for maybe a thousand people where you can go super targeted. But look at those different platforms like that where you can do micro targeting and where it’s not already saturated.

Jennifer: I think at the end of the day though, if social media is taking up more than 15% of your marketing budget or 15% of your time in marketing, then it’s time to start looking at some other channels. The solution in this is to be aware of it, one, and two, to start making plans. So let’s talk a little bit about the Netflix effect, because I think that is relevant. Because I think the real strategy for everybody moving forward is not just to forget about social media, because that’s kind of the delivery platform, but to start looking about the content we’re creating and the different ways that we might be able to capitalize on that content.

Corey: Yeah, I mean, you want to own the content you’re creating, which is exactly what Netflix is doing. So if you have a Netflix account and you’ve logged in, I’m sure that you’ve seen that every time you scroll in any direction on Netflix, it’s now a Netflix original. They’ve put so much money into developing and creating, crafting their own content, because they know that if they control it, they have the rights to it, they can monetize it and they can control every aspect of it. Amazon is doing the same thing. You’re starting to see a lot of these other streaming networks-

Jennifer: Netflix and Instagram are doing their own T.V. too.

Corey: Right, yeah. There’s Instagram T.V, IGTV it’s called. There’s all of these big, big companies and brands that are starting to do this. And I got to say that if they’re doing it, they’re probably right, and it makes sense to sort of follow in their footsteps. So one way that you can create and control your own content is through your website. So if you own that content you’re building content with, that can be video, that can be audio, that can be long form written things.

Corey: But it makes sense that instead of investing on just a couple of pretty pictures on social media, that you actually start to develop relevant content that people want and then put it on your website. Because if the social media starts to dry up, people are they’re still going to need you, obviously. They’re still going to look for your services. So what are they going to do? They’re going to most likely turn to a search engine, and so you’re going to want to have your content show up. If you do that correctly, then you may not even notice that the social media traffic is gone.

Jennifer: Well, yes, absolutely. I think those are good points, and I think that we’re not suggesting that you just get off of social media.

Corey: No, not at all.

Jennifer: But I think it’s time to change the mindset. Social media is a media delivery platform for you. It is not the place that you want to go and store all your content. It is not the place where you want to put all your eggs in that basket. What we’re suggesting is to double down on creating great content and having a plan for that content, and the place to start is with your current customer base or your patient base and your employees.

Jennifer: To dive into the analytics just like you would for any content, create the stuff people are looking for, put it on your website, then use the different social media channels to start disseminating and distributing that content to those different audiences. Just know that it’s more expensive now to reach those audiences, and you need to look at places outside the sandbox that you’d been playing in. Because those houses, they’re raising the rent and you might have to find a new place to live.

Corey: Yeah, I mean, I know that for some ad campaigns that we’ve run before, you know, we used to be able to get just a couple of cents per impression or per click and it’s quadrupled or more. And again, it goes back to real estate just because there’s more brands, more people, more practices, more businesses, et cetera, et cetera on social media. They’re either targeting folks or retargeting them from some website that they were on, and it’s just a big traffic jam. So the budget that you had doesn’t go as far.

Corey: And then from an organic standpoint on social media, there used to be a time when you had a thousand fans on Facebook and you posted something and you were going to reach a thousand people. Well, again, Facebook realized, going back to the point I was making a few minutes ago, that people didn’t want to see all that. So if you have a thousand fans now, you’re lucky if you reach 60 of them organically. So you have to pay to reach the rest, and that number is going to get higher and higher and that reach is going to get lower and lower.

Jennifer: I think it’s all really good points, and it’s all food for thought that needs to be considered. I think now, we’re recording this in early September, everybody is starting to think about budgets and what the game plan is for next year. I think we need to all be very aware of this, but we need to have a plan in place probably starting in 2020. Maybe it doesn’t have to be January, maybe it’s June or July, but we need to start thinking about what the strategy is going to be moving forward.

Jennifer: I’m going to encourage everybody to really, I’m going to say, pay attention to the news, but honestly pay attention to this podcast, because we will bring you whatever is most relevant as it relates to this kind of breaking story and evolving conversation, which is going to impact the way that we’ve been marketing medical practices.

Jennifer: And I’m going to say this, let’s end on this. We are seeing a cyclical time as it relates to marketing. So back in the day it was print, it was T.V., it was network television, it was radio. Then it became social media, websites, and content. Now we’re starting to see owned media. Meaning, you know, even as a company Cleveland Clinic is a great example. They are a media company as much now as they are a hospital. They have an entire media organization within the organization. They sell advertising on their blog, Health Essentials. They get 7 million visitors a month. They are a media organization with all of their owned content that they’re leveraging to drive patients to the hospital system. That is where it’s going.

Corey: Yeah. And they are not the only ones doing that, actually. So Northwell, which is a university. They just started a content plan called The Well, and it’s basically just a wellness blog. And so their whole point … There’s nothing really on it about Northwell Health, but the whole point of The Well is basically how to either stay well informed or make the right healthcare decisions for your family. It just so happens that it comes from Northwell Health, you know, but this is their version of the owned media platform. They made a blog and you can subscribe to it. You can get a newsletter in the mail every week or every month, whenever they do it. It’s its own basically separate entity that-

Jennifer: It’s a media company within a hospital system.

Corey: Exactly.

Jennifer: And that’s where things are going. It’s cyclical and it’s going back to, you know, some of the traditional things that people used to do, or organizations used to do, and then it’s just amplified because of the new tools that are available. So this is going to be an ongoing discussion. I think this is a a good place to stop this episode, but this is going to be an ongoing discussion. If you have any questions or want some feedback on it, or want us to take a look at anything you’ve got going on … Not from a sales perspective, but strictly we are community here at the Dr. Marketing Tips podcast. Reach out to Corey or I and we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction. So with that, I’m Jennifer.

Corey: I’m Corey.

Jennifer: We’ll see you next time on the Dr. Marketing Tips podcast.

Corey: Thanks guys.

Speaker 2: Thanks for listening to the drmarketingtips.com podcast. If there’s anything from today’s show you want to learn more about, check out drmarketingtips.com for our podcast resource center with all the notes, links, and goodies we mentioned during the show. If you’re not already a subscriber to our show, please consider pressing the subscribe button on your podcast player so you never miss one of our future episodes. And if you haven’t given us a rating or review yet on iTunes, please find a spare minute and help us reach and educate even more of our medical practice peers. Thanks again for listening, and we’ll catch you next time. Doctor’s orders.

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