Hospital Marketing: Facebook Ads Offer New Targetability


Specifically targeted groups – even if they are smaller in number – are very valuable when using Social Media for your hospital.

Unlike traditional media, Social Media is a conversation, a dialogue. You are more likely to build that relationship with conversation and dialogue when the group is more narrowly focused.

 Facebook Ads offer many opportunities to define your audience for your hospital with several new ones just released mid July.

  • Location: Target by country, state, city based on the users IP address (not their network or hometown). Pretty straight forward but maybe you are doing a mobile screening event outside of your customary market region or you excel at a certain procedure that is worth driving a distance for. Use this feature to place your ads outside your area.
  • Age and Sex: Offers a little more targetability than some media outlets. Your goal is to increase number of mammograms? Target women 35 plus and avoid teenage boys getting the ad.
  • Birthday: This is a new target feature. The obvious is to create an ad that appears to the user on their birthday wishing them a happy birthday from your hospital. Take it one step further and make the connection to enjoying more birthdays (or their family having them around for more birthdays) by them taking advantage of a certain service line/screening.
  • Keywords: These are based on a user’s profile and offer insight into the consumer. Target sports enthusiasts or those who enjoy gardening with ads for your hospital’s spine care.  Target those who enjoy grilling with recipes for healthy sides from your hospital’s cardiac care center.  This feature auto populates. Spend some time looking for users with activities that are a match for your hospital’s service lines.
  • Education: Allows you to target based on education level. Most beneficial if you are trying to reach graduates of a certain school (perhaps a nursing school for recruitment).
  • Workplaces: If you are looking to promote your hospital/service lines to employees at certain workplaces this can be a valuable filter. Perhaps there is a message you want to get to the workers at XYZ factory?
  • Relationship: Facebook users can choose Married, Single, Engaged, or In a Relationship in their profile allowing Facebook Ads to appear based on a user’s marital status. This feature could be beneficial in promoting your hospital’s Sleep Disorder Lab by targeting married women with ads that ask if their husband’s snoring is keeping them awake.
  • Language: Target specific segments of the population based on their language. If you use this, make sure the ad is in their language.
  • Connections: This is a newer filter allowing you to target or even exclude users based on events, pages, and applications that they have joined.  Maybe your hospital has a Facebook Page and you are using ads to increase the number of fans. Use this feature to keep the ads from appearing to those that are already fans.

A very general ad with little or no targeting may result in more click thrus – but can also result in wasted dollars. After all, a Facebook user out of your hospital’s marketing region, female and 18 is probably NOT the target audience for your hospital’s prostate screening event. In this era of having to be most frugal with budgets, why send her the ad and waste the money? Target instead.



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