Facebook Location Targeting for Pharmacies

So, you’re probably wondering how my ad popped up in your Facebook newsfeed while you’re at the conference. Right?

Well, that’s exactly what I’m going to show you in this article. Step-by-step.

But first,  why is advertising on Facebook important for your pharmacy?

Well, it’s no secret that insurance reimbursements are continuing to decline with each passing year.  Making matters worse, expenses keep rising. And if all of that isn’t bad enough mail order pharmacies keep taking our patients.

So with our profit shrinking, we have to make sure our advertising is doing what it’s supposed to be doing – attracting new customers as cheaply as possible.

Enter Facebook ads…

Not only are Facebook ads highly targeted resulting in much lower costs compared to traditional media like newspapers, but almost all of your potential customers are on Facebook. Better yet,  what they see on Facebook is influencing their purchase behaviors.

Take a look at these stats*:

  • 82 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds online in the U.S. use Facebook.
  • 79 percent of 30 to 49-year-olds online in the U.S. use Facebook.
  • 56 percent of U.S. online users ages 65 and up use Facebook.
  • The average person spends about 20 minutes on Facebook or one in every six minutes a person will spend online.
  • 64% of online shoppers say that a video on social media helped them decide on a product to buy.
  • 86% of women will look at social media before deciding to make a purchase.

Obviously, the Facebook pond has lots and lots and lots of fish in it, and sweetening the deal, even more, those fish are biting like crazy.

So now the question becomes – What are some Facebook ad ideas to target customers at my pharmacy?

Because this article is talking specifically about using geotargeting to attract more customers to your pharmacy, we’ll focus on that.  However, be well aware that the Facebook ad platform is extremely powerful, and there are plenty of different ad options beyond geotargeting that work extremely well for pharmacies.

Targeting Your Providers

First, let’s look at a Facebook ad you can create if you’re trying to get the attention of prescribers.

If you’re a compounding pharmacy or serve a particular niche in the pharmacy industry, there are probably tens if not hundreds of conferences and seminars your providers attend annually, especially if you have multiple state licenses.

Of course, time and money prevent you from setting up a booth at every conference you’d like to. Heck, attending one conference alone can set you back $2,000.  But, wouldn’t it be nice if you could?

Luckily for you,  advertising your pharmacy services on Facebook using geotargeting allows you to reach the attendees without even being there. All you have to do is create an ad, type in the address of the conference, set the radius you’d like your ads to show up in, and set the date for the conference dates.  Boom. It’s like you’re there, but now it’s only costing you $30.

And if you don’t think the attendees will see it, ask yourself this- How many times were you on Facebook during the last conference you attended? Breaks, during boring presentations, in the hotel room at night, while you’re drinking your cup of coffee in the morning, etc.

So if you specialize in BHRT and can’t make the next A4M conference, no worries. We’ll show you how to create an ad in the next section that the attendees will see while the conference is going on. You can do the same if you specialize in vet medications, and can’t make it to the annual state veterinary conference.

This is the exact ad we used to get your attention for this article.

Insider tip: Although we didn’t use a video in our ad, video does work really well here, especially if you’re dropping a knowledge bomb of significant value.  And if done correctly using the Facebook pixel, you’ll be able to retarget every provider that watched your video with future ads thereby increasing their familiarity with you. Why is this important? Because the golden rule of selling says so. To get someone to buy from you, they have to know you, like, you, and trust you!

Targeting Your Patients

The same thought process can be used to geotarget your patients and potential patients.

Almost every community, no matter how large or how small, has some kind of annual festival. And usually, if you have time, your pharmacy has a booth there.

Well, let’s say this year you’re understaffed and can’t afford to send someone for the 3-day event.  However, you still want to have a presence there.  No worries.

Create an ad, type in the address of the event, set the radius, and schedule it to run on the dates of the event.  Like magic, you’re there but not really.

Of course, this isn’t just for festivals. This can work for any kind of event where a significant number of patients and potential patients will be at.

Insider tip: Offers, especially time-sensitive discounts, work really well here if you have a front end to your pharmacy. Messenger ads also work really well if you’re attempting to sell a consultation. 

Ok, I see you nodding your head like you like what you see. But, how do you create a Facebook geotargeting ad for your pharmacy?

Easy. Just follow these steps.

In the example below, we’re going to pretend we’re a pharmacy that specializes in BHRT. Normally, we try to attend A4M BHRT symposium every year, but this year it’s just not in our budget.  However, we still need to be there somehow because there are too many providers there not to have some kind of presence there.  So 2019’s conference is in Houston, Texas on March 7th-9th. 

Step 1 – Set the location

Once we choose the campaign we’ll be using in our ads manager, we move to the adset page which looks like this –

Simply type in the address of the convention. For this example, I put in 1777 Walker Street, Houston, TX  77010.

Then set the radius. Depending on how populated the area, I choose anywhere from 1-3 miles (less for more populated areas and more for less populated areas).  For this example, I set the radius as 1 mile, which gives me a potential reach of 260,000.

If you notice, Facebook gives you a few different targeting options including:

  • Everyone in this location
  • People who live in this location
  • People recently in this location
  • People traveling in this location

The default option is “everyone in this location.” That is defined as people whose current city on their Facebook profile is that location, as well as anyone determined to be in that location via mobile device.

You can get cute and try testing which one works the best, but I usually leave it at “everyone in this location” even though I may target quite a few people who aren’t at the conference. If the copy of the ad is specific, you shouldn’t get very many oddball clicks thus keeping the cost pretty low.

Of course, if you’re a nerd like me, don’t let me stop you from testing. If there’s one thing you’ll hear over and over again with Facebook marketing is that you need to be testing.  So, if you have the time and interest, go ahead and test.

Step 2 – Set the budget and date

If you scroll down a little further, you’ll have the option of setting the budget and date.

For the budget, although it makes sense to set a lifetime budget on the ad, I usually choose a daily budget.

Here’s why… If you choose a lifetime budget and set the dates for a 4-day timeframe Facebook will be conservative on the first few days so you don’t spend your budget too quickly. However, like most conferences, those first few days are usually the most well attended days. If my ad is working really well those first 2 days, I don’t want Facebook slowing it down because of the lifetime budget concern.  So I’ll usually choose $20 daily budget and adjust it down or up every 24 hours depending on how well it’s doing.

Once the daily budget is set, choose Set a start and end date. Choose one day before the conference begins just in case any attendees get their early. For the end date, I’ll usually choose the end date of the conference as most attendees don’t stay after.

Step 3 – Write your ad

Boom. You’re now ready to write the copy for your ad as well as select the image and the platforms your ad will show up on. That’s for another article though.


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