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.


How To Advertise Your Pharmacy on Facebook


Time are tough for pharmacies. And unfortunately, it looks like times are only going to get tougher.

In the last few years, we’ve continued to see insurance reimbursement decline, more and more patients have been forced to go mail order, and expenses continue to steadily rise.

Profits have taken a tumble, and it doesn’t look like we’ve hit rock bottom yet.

So, it’s becoming more and more important to make sure your marketing is doing what it’s supposed to be doing – driving sales.

Often times, that’s not the case.

The days of putting a generic “Visit Us” ad in the newspaper are over. So, are the “Hey, stop by our pharmacy” radio spots.

The cost, the inability to track and calculate an ROI, not being able to change the ad within minutes, and the lack of interactivity have led many pharmacy owners to look for other marketing avenues beyond the big three – TV, newspaper, and radio.

Of course, social media immediately comes to mind.

Just check out these stats –

  • 64% of online shoppers say that a video on social media helped them decide on a product to buy.
  • The average person spends about 20 minutes on Facebook or one in every six minutes a person will spend online.
  • 86% of women will look at social media before deciding to make a purchase.
  • 56% of online Seniors aged 65+ are on Facebook and 63% are between age 50-64.
  • Facebook Total Number of Monthly Active Users: 2.072 billion

Obviously, our patients are there, and more importantly, they appear to spend a lot of time there.

So, why aren’t we there? Or, why aren’t we seeing the returns we’d expect from advertising on social media?


It’s confusing.

Each platform has its own advertising system, rules, and best practices. It’s all new and seems to be constantly changing. We just don’t have the time to keep up. We have paperwork, insurance audits, and prescriptions to fill. And we’re doing all of that with less staff because of the pinch we’re feeling from the PBM’s.

Worse yet, as we’ve found out, just blindly putting ads on Facebook or Instagram usually equates to throwing money in the trash can.

We can’t do that anymore. We don’t have the money to waste.

Our advertising needs to be targeted, flexible, interactive, and instantaneously tracked.

Notice I didn’t say complex, expensive, or extremely time-consuming.

Pharmacies can advertise on social media successfully, and it can be done quickly and cheaply.

The following are 2 ads you can use to advertise your pharmacy on Facebook and drive more sales. From start to finish, they won’t take more than 30 minutes to create every month, and no more than 3 minutes to track daily. If you budget $150 per month, I guarantee you’ll see a far better reach and response than if you purchased traditional advertising.

The $5 Five Minute Per Day Facebook Advertising System for Pharmacies

1. Top of Mind, Tip of Tongue Awareness ad
The rumor running around the marketing world is that it often takes 8-10 impressions before a customer actually becomes a real customer. With the bombardment of ads we see today, it’s probably closer to 20 or more.

So, with that said, this ad’s goal is simply to remain fresh in your patients’ minds. You want them to know you’re alive, doing well, and solving the world’s problems one patient at a time.

Although most Facebook marketing experts will tell you that you’re wasting money when you boost a post, that’s exactly what we’re going to do here because it works really well with brick and mortar small businesses, especially pharmacies. Plus, it’s the easiest ad to create.

Make a post on your pharmacy’s Facebook page. Now, don’t just make a boring, generic post. Post something unique about your pharmacy that brings value to your patients. For example, you can:

  • Create a short 20-30 second video explaining how convenient you make picking up a prescription at your pharmacy – no long waits, free delivery, a drive-thru, etc. Simply find something that most pharmacies do a really bad job at and that you do really well, and talk about it.
  • Post a patient testimonial using an image. The key to a quality testimonial is that it doesn’t sound generic like “I love XYZ Pharmacy. They’re the greatest.” Instead, something like, “I was going to ABC Pharmacy and I’d have to wait 30 minutes to get a prescription. Worse yet, there would be times the doctor would call a prescription in for me, and I didn’t even know it. I finally had enough and switched to XYZ pharmacy and love it. My wait is never more than 10 minutes, I get to see and talk to the pharmacist every time, and if the doctor does call something in for me, the pharmacy calls me if I haven’t picked it up within 24 hours. They really go above and beyond.” Notice how specific that is. Notice how a potential patient can see herself in that exact same situation and immediately feel like you’re the solution.
  • Post a new offering and offer some giveaway. Most retail pharmacies have some sort of gift section. If you get a new line of gifts in, post a picture of the new gifts and ask people to comment underneath it of someone that would like it. Draw one of the names, and send that person a free gift.

Set the budget for $5 daily. Set the audience by typing in the address of your store and then selecting the appropriate radius. Let it run for a week, 2 weeks, or even the entire month depending on how well it’s doing. Bam.. You’re everywhere now.

2. The Authority Post
As a smaller pharmacy that can’t compete on price nor convenience, we have to find something that makes us shine – our purple cow as Seth Godin would say.


We need to establish preeminence. Walgreens may have a pharmacy that’s open until 10pm on every corner in America, Wal-Mart may have unbeatable $4 generic prices, but neither has the expertise we have when it comes to helping patients with their prescription medications. The dispensing of prescriptions may be a commodity, but the knowledge of those medications is not. And when it comes to someone’s health, when she is sick and in pain, the pharmacist with the most expertise will be in the most demand.

So, how do we establish that expertise? First, we actually help our patients beyond just dispensing medications. Word of mouth is still the most profitable form of advertising. If you help someone, I guarantee she’ll tell at least 5 of her friends.

With social media, we post articles (blogs) we’ve written that provide value to our patients. Then, we take those blog posts and advertise them on Facebook.

How do you know what to write about?

The easiest way to find a topic is to write an article about something one of your patients asked you about the previous week. If one person had that question, there are probably 100 more that also has that very same question. Not only are Q&A’s valuable, but they’re also easy to write.

You can also:

  • Write about topics that are in the news or on the front page of Yahoo and MSN. For example, the recent valsartan recall was an extremely popular topic. You could have easily written an article about the recall, and rode that wave of popularity.
  • Write about topics that are seasonal. For example, every spring we receive a ton of questions about the best poison ivy treatment available OTC. Write an article about it.

One thing I should mention…. Do not use an article written by someone else. That completely undermines the entire point of establishing yourself as an authority.

Set the budget for $25 and allow it to run for 1 week. Set the audience by typing in the address of your store and then selecting the appropriate radius. Just run one of these per month (or two if you have the budget and time).

That’s it. Those are the only two ads your pharmacy needs to create a Facebook marketing campaign that drives sales to your store.

The ads themselves take about 20-30 minutes to create while the daily tracking takes no more than 2 minutes per day. All in all, it should average out to 5 minutes per day to run these ads and no more than $150 per month. Surely you have that kind of time and budget available to help your pharmacy grow.

One last thing… The beauty of these ads, when done correctly, is that their reach will extend far beyond what you’d expect with traditional advertising mediums like the newspaper. How? Because of the ability to interact. Patients and non-patients will comment on the ads, which by way of the network, will show the ad to their friends for free. The more interactions you have, the more free advertising you get. That’s the beauty of creating viral content.

Happy advertising.