Although the medical industry has approached social media hesitantly, it is an effective marketing tool worth the time and investment. It provides a great way for your practice to engage with current and potential patients outside the confines of your office. It also gives you the opportunity to showcase your staff and demonstrate your expertise by providing valuable content. Social media is one way to help new patients discover your optometry practice and, most importantly, help your practice grow.
We’ve got some tips to help you do just that, but first, there are a couple of points to keep in mind.
- Take time to carefully consider which platforms your practice should build its presence on. See which platforms your current and prospective patients are using to ensure you’re building a presence that will have an impact.
- You also need to keep your eyes on the prize and commit to being active on social media. If you only post every now and then, or worse, go dark for months at a time, you’re undermining the connections you’re trying to establish, as well as your end results.
6 Social Media Tips for Eye Care Experts
There are countless opportunities to develop social media content that’s both entertaining and educational, and in many ways, your creativity is your only limitation. However, social media is still a form of marketing, which means you need a strategic approach, patience, and consistency. Take a look at the following six tips to develop the kind of content that can support a long-term social media strategy.
1. Patient FAQs
Take the time to answer commonly asked questions that current and prospective patients would find informative and helpful. It can range from what to expect at an eye exam to when LASIK is (or isn’t) a good option. Be sure to tailor your posts to the platform you’re using — Twitter messages need to be brief, for instance, while Instagram is the right platform to showcase images and video, with space for a longer comment in the post’s text.
2. Quick Tips
Position your practice staff as helpful experts by sharing easy tips for handling various eye care concerns. For example, as the weather transitions to spring, you might share information on preventing and treating allergies that affect the eyes, or just before summer, what to look for in sunglasses to protect against UV rays. When back-to-school season comes around, it’s a great time to discuss the impact of prolonged screen exposure, a common issue for students at many education levels.
3. Staff Spotlights
Your social media presence can serve to build patient trust in your practice. You can use social media to share more about the people who make up your team, especially the doctors and technicians that interact with patients the most. Share photos from the office, offer up mini biographies, and feature staff in videos or other content that showcases their expertise and personalities.
4. Success Stories
This can include sharing positive reviews and testimonials, as well as mini case studies that put the spotlight on happy clients and problems solved. How are you providing quality care that exceeds expectations? Have you been putting new techniques, tools, or technology to use in your exams or procedures? Note: Always remember to comply with HIPAA and other confidentiality regulations and standards. You may have a great story to share, but make sure any patient at the center of that story is comfortable and on board.
5. Frame of the Week
Promote your selection of frames without pushing a hard sales pitch by keeping it fun. For instance, you could feature before and after pictures of happy patients, or even leverage user-generated content from patients who purchased particular frames. You want to let the product speak for itself — but include enough information for users to request those frames if they’re interested.
6. Ask Questions
Sometimes, the only way to know what your patients think, or what they want or need, is to ask them! Always look for ways to have meaningful conversations and engage with patients, especially on social media. Asking questions promotes a friendly, caring practice, and what’s more, it shows that you’re interested in them even when there’s not an appointment involved.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled
In addition to developing a consistent content calendar for your practice’s social media, keep focus on your patients (current and prospective) and pay attention to what they’re posting, sharing, and asking. Social media is a place to engage and discuss, so look for opportunities where you can be part of the conversation. Remember, people don’t want a sales pitch. Instead, bear in mind that this is a chance to build a relationship and present your practice as valuable to their lives.
Keep an eye on your competition and other practices, too. Pay attention to what they’re posting and how they engage with patients. This provides a good lesson, allowing you to avoid their mistakes and evaluate how they’re successful. Don’t be afraid to engage with thought leaders in your industry — it’s an easy way to add to your content while expanding your potential reach.
Social media can be a powerful tool for optometry practices, but it does require patience, because building your social media presence takes time. Follow the tips shared here to start developing a content strategy that truly engages and informs your patients and prospects.