Using Facebook to Fill Healthcare Seminars

Seminars are a great way for hospitals to reach out to patients with a particular medical issue.

If they’re marketed the right way, it’s a win-win for patients and hospitals alike:

  • Attendees get information on a procedure they may need, and they start to form a bond with a hospital or physician, which can lead to an ongoing healthcare relationship that’s built on trust.
  • Hospitals dispense valuable information about services they offer, such as heart disease or joint replacement, which increases patient engagement and, ideally, community health.
  • Marketing departments get qualified leads for new procedures, events, classes or programs.

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Plus, let’s be honest: Marketing directors want to be certain that the seats are filled — Nothing is worse than getting your top doctors to present only to find the room only a quarter full.

So when Parthenon client Abrazo Community Health Network recently planned to hold a seminar on peripheral arterial disease (PAD), we helped them tackle that challenge, and a few others — to the tune of a sold out seminar. Read on to find out how.

Start with strategy

Parthenon devised a strategy using Facebook to drive seminar attendance.

One of Abrazo’s biggest challenges was answering this question: How do you reach out to people who may have a disease when they don’t even know what the disease is?

The answer: You start with symptoms.

Leg pain, foot wounds that won’t heal — these are things people can identify with. So we created a series of Facebook posts that focused on those while giving the details of the seminar itself.

Targeted keyword marketing can boost attendance at hospital seminars.
Targeted keyword marketing can boost attendance at hospital seminars.

And we did that in 3 ways:

1. Use engaging image and copy

Once you make it into your target audience’s news feed (see below), you have to stand out. You need to get noticed.

Address a need, and provide enough intrigue to get them to click for more information.

You also need to be aware of restrictions Facebook puts on images and copy in ads. It helps to know what will trigger Facebook to reject an ad, and as social media professionals, we do.

2. Set a budget

Facebook is a relatively affordable media platform, but you have to pay to play.

Some studies show that non-promoted posts reach as little as 2% of your audience in their news feed, so even if you have a big following, your followers typically won’t see your posts without advertising support.

3. Target effectively

Target your ads to reach the appropriate audience in order to maximize your ad dollars.

Location and demographics are just the beginning — you also need to identify interests of people you are trying to reach.

For that, we used topics the potential audience may have searched online.

For example, for the PAD seminar, we used the phrase chronic wound, among others, to target people who had exhibited interest in treatments or procedures to treat non-healing wounds in the past.

You also need someone who’s actively monitoring your ads and making adjustments along the way to make the best use of your budget.


By using Facebook effectively, we sold out the seminar with a total ad budget of $850.

Our Facebook posts sent more than 3,400 people to the Abrazo site at a cost of 25¢ per click, where they learned more about the seminar and the hospital.

That’s a cost-per-visitor that hospital marketers can get excited about.