Ten Reasons Your Practice Needs Meta Business Suite
By: Caitlin DeWilde, DVM
When every minute of the work day is action-packed, practices need all the help they can get. Marketing efforts for many practices may have shifted significantly, and goals may have changed from attracting new clients to attracting new hires. Luckily for us, the ever-popular content of cute pets, educational info and interesting or heartwarming cases continues to present itself every day. But managing all that content, hitting strategic goals and interacting with clients on popular digital platforms can be a lot to handle– but Meta Business Suite can help.
Meta Business Suite, the artist formerly known as Facebook Business Suite, is a free tool that connects and centralizes Facebook, Facebook Messenger and Instagram–plus their advertising options– all in one spot. In addition to streamlining and simplifying, this tool unlocks several features not available within each platform alone. Here are ten ways the new(ish) Meta Business Suite can help your practice.
Connect your practice Facebook Page and Instagram account
While the accounts have been “linked” for many practices for years, it’s been difficult to access both accounts from one place. Now, practices can connect both platforms and their functionalities in one place, available on both desktop and mobile app.
Post, Video & Story Scheduling, Oh My
While accessing the accounts in one spot is a handy feature, the ability to schedule to both Facebook and Instagram from a single location is a must have. Many practices have relied on paid third-party tools like Buffer, Planoly or Hootsuite for this, but now can enjoy the ability to schedule to both platforms (or just one!), as well as managing the posts afterward, for free. Meta Business Suite also allows practices to schedule Facebook and Instagram stories including swipe up links, stickers and mentions– although the mobile app offers slightly more functionality.
Scheduling social media content in advance is the most effective and efficient way to manage your team’s time and ensure your practice has a strategic social media presence. In addition to the ability to schedule the standard posts, photos and links, team members can schedule Facebook and Instagram carousels, plus use the “Create Video” function to turn a still image into a video (better for engagement!) and utilize pre-made templates to keep your editing and creative time to a minimum.
Speaking of content, Business Suite’s new Content Planner allows you to toggle between weekly and monthly views– so you can see exactly what’s already on the books. It event suggests days and times for future content, and lists some of the (non-veterinary) traditional and fun holidays and post templates that you can use as a launching point.
Just click any of the recommended times to start scheduling a post. You can sort by scheduled or drafted content, and by which platform. Using a monthly view will help ensure that you’ve got regular content and that you’re hitting your strategic goals by using a mix of videos, photos and articles.
Optimized posting times
Meta’s Business Suite provides better recommendations for not only what days to post, but WHEN to publish content. Make sure that you’re posting content at times when your clients are most likely to be using the platforms and seeing the content. This may have changed significantly from the standard morning/primetime thought, thanks to the changes in work-from-home workforces. To find out your practice’s optimized posting times, click the “Optimal Times” button when creating a post, and select one of their suggestions.
Managing a practice’s notifications has long been one of the most tedious tasks. While I DON’T want a notification every time someone likes a cute kitten post, I DO want a notification every time my practice receives a message, is mentioned on another page or garners another review. Meta Business Suite automatically prioritizes notifications, so you can see which messages are needing a reply first, or which posts are getting a ton of comments.
Better mentions and tags– plus resharing options
User-generated content is an easy win for practices (and teams!). It’s great to see when a client posts a picture of a happy pet in their home environment recovering after surgery with a message of thanks, or that Instagram-celebrity cat patient tags your team after a successful visit. This content is rewarding, often delivers a message of thanks to much under-appreciated teams, and is easy and engaging content for the practice to reshare. Finding it, however, has been more difficult, requiring the user to check both platforms and tags, hashtags, etc. Meta Business Suite’s new Mentions & Tags tab (under posts and stories) will let you easily see the posts (not just a list!) and quickly reshare Instagram posts to your Instagram story (with options to add text and stickers) and reshare Facebook posts to your feed.
Task List for the Whole Team
If you’ve got multiple people helping manage your social media and Facebook messenger, using the new Task List feature is a great way to put a to-do list of everything that needs to be created, deployed, or responded to for the whole team to see, and can be checked-off when completed. Right now, our practice’s task list has a task for the owner to review the next month’s posts, a task for our social media team to remember to post about an upcoming holiday medication rush, and a task to start an ad next week for a new technician position.
Automated Messaging Across Channels
During the pandemic, many practices began utilizing Facebook Messenger as an asynchronous communication tool with their clients. Between that, its ability to now be added as a direct chat widget on your website, and along with direct messages from a growing Instagram-using client base, the practice may have as many social media messages to handle as they do emails. Some practices haven’t used their messenger at all, and that’s ok too– because turning its functionality on comes with the burden of managing it, and if staffing or time don’t allow it, it may not be a good option for some practices. However, its integration with Meta Business Suite and its automated capabilities may be a time saver. Practices can now log into a single inbox to manage all comments and messages. In addition, messages can be assigned to a particular team member at your practice, marked “done” or marked for follow-up. The automations tab offers the same functionality as Facebook Messenger’s native tool, including instant replies, away messages, and automatic “smart” replies to Frequently Asked Questions. Never answer the “what are your hours” or “can I book an appointment” online questions again, and set up Messenger to automatically deliver a response based on the keywords you choose.
9. Hashtag organizer
If your practice is using Instagram, having the hashtags automatically loaded into your posts is a huge time saver! No more typing them out on repeat or copying/pasting from another file on your phone or desktop. Hashtags can add context to your posts and make your content more findable, on both Facebook and Instagram. In post creation, you can click on the hashtag symbol, type in your keywords and see lots of recommendations along with its use ranking– or enter your own. Click add and save to use later, and you’ll be able to apply these hashtags with a single click from here on out.
10. Better insights
While monitoring insights can be a frustratingly tedious and boring task, it’s essential to do at least monthly to find out what efforts are working– and which ones aren’t– so your team is not wasting time and energy. Now practices can look at Facebook and Instagram insights side-by-side, and see if goals are being met and what content is excelling, on which platform. This may be the data your practice needs to see which platform (or if both) are right for your specific audience. In addition, the insight homepage overview is a much more concise, easy to read overview with quick visualization of your audience growth and top posts.
Whether you’re using it on desktop or mobile, Meta Business Suite is a must-have for practices, even if you’re just using one platform. Meta has clearly placed an emphasis on making it easier to use ALL of their tools from this location, and it will likely continue to offer better service and functionality from this tool. Plus, any tool that makes a veterinary professional’s time used more effectively in the long run is worth the investment in time to learn it! If you haven’t already, click on over to business.facebook.com, connect your accounts, and dive in!
Possible Hashtag Sidebar:
Hashtags your practice might want to use:
#YOURPRACTICENAME #YOURPRACTICENAMESHORTENED (e.g. #ABCvet) #CITY #CITYABBREVIATION #CITYpets #CITYpet #CITYpets #CITYdog #CITYdogs #CITYdog #CITYABBREVIATIONdogs #CITYABBREVIATIONdog #dogsofCITY #CITYcats #CITYcat #CITYABBREVIATIONcats #CITYABBREVIATIONcat #CITYdogmom #CITYdogmoms #dogmomsofCITY #CITYdogsofinstagram #CITYdogdad #CITYcatmom #CITYcatdad #NEIGHBORHOODNAMES #NEARBYCOMMUNITYNAME
Possible Sidebar: Automated Messaging Tips
Instant replies are sent automatically in response to the first message someone sends your practice in Messenger or on Instagram. Customize your message to say hello, give them more information about your practice, or let them know when to expect a response.
SUGGESTED TEXT: Hi, [FirstName]! Thank you for reaching out. We will get back to you within one business day. If you have a more urgent issue, please call our office at 555-555-5555!
When away messages are on, your Page is “away” and sends away messages automatically. You can manually make your Page away in your inbox or schedule times for your Page to be away each week. You can customize your message to let people know how long you’ll be away and when you’ll respond. In addition, you can provide contact information for local emergency or on-call options should your practice not be available.
SUGGESTED TEXT: Thanks for reaching out, [FirstName]! Our office is closed right now. If this is a medical emergency, please call YOUR LOCAL EMERGENCY HOSPITAL #1 at 555-555-5555 or the LOCAL EMERGENCY HOSPITAL #2 at 555-555-5555. If this matter isn’t urgent, please feel free to leave a message and we’ll respond within 24 business hours. You can also book your pet’s appointment and request medication refills on our website at www.yourvethospital.com! We look forward to helping you and your pet soon!
FAQ Automated Responses: What Are Your Hours?
Respond automatically to anyone asking about business hours. Note that users will only receive this response if the conversation hasn’t been active for at least 30 minutes.
Our hours are:
Monday 9 AM - 6 PM
Tuesday 9 AM - 6 PM
Wednesday 9 AM - 6 PM
Thursday 11 AM - 6 PM
Friday 9 AM - 6 PM
Closed Saturday and Sunday. Visit our website to make an appointment online any time!
*Include button with title “Book Now” and your practice’s online booking page/appointment request form.
FAQ Automated Responses: What Is Your Location?
Respond automatically to questions asking about the location of the practice. Customize the message to include additional information about your location, such as options for parking or public transportation. Your Page will likely default to the message “We’re located at” and your address. Feel free to personalize with tips on navigation and add an attachment like a photo of your office. The Get Directions button will auto-populate with a link to directions to your practice.
SUGGESTED TEXT: We’re located at 123 Main Street, Your Town, Illinois. We look forward to seeing you and your pet!