Social Media

Digital Aptitude Assessed : Create an Action Plan

By Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD

Last week, ROB published the Digital Aptitude Test, a simple quiz to help you determine how ready you are touse social media to promote your practice. Whether you scored high or low, you need a plan to be successful. Here are a dozen easy steps to help develop that plan.

If you are Pre-Digital:
Social media is not your top priority right now, but you should be getting ready for it. As discussed in last week’s blog, solve any major problems in your practice. In the meantime, take steps to build a strong marketing foundation.

1) Make sure your marketing calendar, regarding upcoming events and promotions,is current.

2) Learn how to make simple changes to your web site, and review its content at least quarterly.

3) If you are not doing so already, collect e-mail addresses to be used for e-mail newsletters.

4) When you register for conferences, sign up for a web 2.0 course to get more comfortable.

If you are Digital Ready:
Start doing research to make your first social media steps more productive.

1) Check out a few easy-reading reference books like Monica O’Brien’s Social Pollination to help you understand the online ecosystem and prioritize your actions.

2) Become more familiar with your personal Facebook account, and when you are ready, create a Facebook Page for your practice (not a second account!).

3) Spend time finding other optometrists who blog and use Facebook. Learn what you like and don’t like, and share information you think is relevant with your patients.

If you are aDigital Natural:
If youwant to be among the innovators in the online eye-care field, you’ll want to do all of the above and more.

1) ReadTrust Agents and Six Pixels of Separation to gain a deeper understanding of how and why individuals and communities thrive online.

2) Listen to podcasts such as Marketing Over Coffee and Small Business Big Marketing to find out what is cutting edge in social media marketing.

3) Be sure to research how your social media presence affects your ability to be found via search engines such as Google.

4) Make specific connections to other optometrists online, via Facebook, Twitter, etc., to share ideas, messages and links.

5) Don’t be afraid to try new things, but maintain a balance between what you find exciting and the established applications your patients are using.

Dr. Nathan Bonilla-Warfordof Bright Eyes Family Vision Care in Tampa, Fla., is a graduate of Illinois College of Optometry.He isa member of the American Optometric Association, and is currently immediate past president of the Hillsborough Society of Optometry, as well as chair of the Children’s Vision Committee of the Florida Optometric Association. Contact him at Doc@BrightEyesTampa.com.

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