How Facebook Changes May Affect Your Marketing Efforts

July 2022 ISSUE By Leon Klempner, DDS and Amy Epstein, MBA July 1, 2022
Marketing Internet/Website
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While internal marketing (patient referrals) is the most cost-effective way to build your practice, social media is becoming more important, particularly for younger doctors. And Facebook, owned by the newly renamed Meta technology company, is one of the most powerful social media advertising platforms available.

Forget the baby pics and meme sharing, the bottom line for Meta is the billions of pieces of information that people freely share about themselves daily on social media, which are then itemized and anonymized. Essentially, you become “the product,” as your likes and favorites are converted to data points. These countless data points create a targeted marketing system that can deliver ads, for example, to a man between ages 30-65 years old, who lives in Peoria, Illinois, runs in marathons, and is a Game of Thrones fan. This level of specificity is what makes social media advertising so effective.

Late last year, Meta made headlines by announcing it would be removing some targeting options for Facebook ads due to privacy concerns. This included perceived sensitive topic choices that advertisers could pick from such as “causes, organizations, or public figures that relate to health, race, ethnicity, political affiliation, religion or sexual orientation.” Recently, Meta eliminated even more targeting options on Facebook, explaining they were either not widely used, redundant, or too granular.

These changes certainly make sense from a privacy standpoint. However, they make social media marketing campaigns much less effective, and practices have already seen declining conversion rates as a result.

If you built a targeted customer profile based on options that have now disappeared, what should you do? Facebook offers the following suggestions:

  • Market to people who have liked your Facebook page or watched your online videos, since they already have a direct interest and are engaged with your brand.
  • Broaden your reach to target patients by geographic location, age, and gender, since these options remain available. While location targeting is powerful since it reaches only those in your market area, remember that not everyone is a potential patient.

At People & Practice, we’ve sidestepped this problem by developing custom audiences for each of our clients, based on our own data. We rarely rely on specific pre-built targeting demographics on Facebook like the ones they removed, or those that may be removed in the future.

Rather, we’ve built a carefully curated database of audience information, filled with persona and demographic characteristics of those most likely to convert into patients for your practice. Then, coupled with customized geographic criteria specific to your practice, we develop look-alike audiences, similar to those who are engaged with other practices we work with, and are already built into our individual Facebook ad programs. Our customized campaigns are then delivered to this audience, ensuring the right messages reach the right people.

In short, with more than a decade of experience running multi-channel digital marketing campaigns for clients across the country, we’ve identified key data points to target potential patients within social media platforms. We then pinpoint people just like your current patients and deliver customized ads to them on Facebook and Instagram that convert at a rate much higher than the industry average.  

*Leon Klempner, DDS and Amy Epstein, MBA are co-founders of People & Practice, a digital marketing consultancy exclusively for orthodontists. People & Practice builds trust in your practice online to help you get new patients in a digital era by convincing them (before even meeting you) that you’re the practice to choose. For more information or a free marketing analysis call 888.866.DOCS or email

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