Social Media

Facebook vs. Twitter: Which Can Better Market Your Practice?

By Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD

Like me, most optometrists have no formal training in marketing, publications or media management. So when they enter the world of social media these days, they can be overwhelmed with the number of options that exist online to market their practice. While I encourage eye doctors to not try everything at once, it can be confusing to determine which steps to take first. Blogging? Twitter? Facebook? YouTube?

Recently, a Twitter vs. Facebook information graphic caught the eye of some of us at Review of Optometric Business. It was full of great data about who uses each service and how, but it still did not tell the average optometrist which is more valuable for practice marketing.

Both Twitter and Facebook have desirable demographics: younger adults, more likely to be female, typically more educated. But these same people use the two services differently. Twitter is more for in-the-moment communication. This is great for instant updates of office events and quick responses to patients. Facebook allows for communication over longer periods of time for announcements and group interaction.

The single biggest difference is the number of users: Facebook has 750 million users while Twitter has an estimated 200 million. And more people use Facebook to connect with brands. In the end, it boils down to target audience. If your practice is looking to connect with the typical patient to stay top-of-mind and let them know what is happening, Facebook is more useful and efficient. If you are trying to connect with high-tech influencers, then Twitter may more precisely and quickly let you do this.

My thoughts: For the typical optometric practice, Facebook is a higher priority.

What do you think? Is Facebook or Twitter a more important channel for optometrists?

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD,of Bright Eyes Family Vision Care in Tampa, Fla., is a graduate of Illinois College of Optometry. He is a 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. To contact him: Doc@BrightEyesTampa.com.

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