By Zvi Pardes
Head of Content Marketing, EyeCarePro
July 10, 2019
Engaging patients and your community on social media plays an important branding role. While even the most successful Facebook posts won’t immediately generate a horde of new patients, it does serve a vital purpose of placing your practice in the back of people’s minds while establishing what makes your practice and expertise unique. So, we’ve put together five actionable tips that you can use to revamp your social media presence on Facebook.
Editor’s Note: Always get a signed HIPAA marketing authorization form before featuring patients in any social media post.
Tip #1: Be Spontaneous, In-the-Moment and Fun
Do your eyes glaze over and skip polished and sales-y marketing posts? Of course, they do! And your community of potential patients is no different. Keep your content fun and organic. Fun moments in the practice…staff milestones (e.g. birthdays)… a dog wearing glasses…a patient trying on a great pair of frames—these are the kinds of content that get liked and shared. Post fun pictures or videos of the doctors or staff, @ back to their profiles (@Drjones) so you can reach their circles of friends too.
Tip #2: Online Networking. Tagging is your Friend.
Everyone is on Facebook, so use that to your advantage and connect with your community to help promote your office through tagging. Posting that picture of a patient with great new frames we just mentioned? Tag them. Celebrating a staff member milestone or achievement? Snap a picture and tag them! By sharing your posts with other people’s timelines, your post suddenly breaks through the limits of your own practice page. By tagging, your post could very well be seen by all friends of those tagged—and even friends of friends! Want to ramp that up? A little creativity and strategic tagging goes a long way to generating lots more exposure.
Pro Tip: Ask patients to post selfies of their new glasses while tagging the practice and make sure to make the post public. The idea is to use your patients to market for you.
Tip #3: Video for the Win!
We’ve had lots to say on the power of video! After all, who doesn’t like video? Take that and run with it on Facebook to grow your practice. With the right topics, and of course the right tagging habits (see above), you’ll be able to reach a wide audience with your brand using precisely the topics you want to focus on. Video topics can include:
● Medical specialties or topics
● Patient testimonials
● Patient success stories
● Addressing popular questions or myths
● Staff or patients reviewing or trying on glasses or contacts
The most powerful tool for video on Facebook is Facebook Live video streaming. It creates an alert on other pages that a live video is happening, and it has the best potential for building views.
Tip #4: Delegate and Mix-it-Up
Of course, you’re busy! It’s hard to constantly be coming up with the kind of content that works on Facebook…So make it a group effort. We suggest designating someone on a rotating basis to be responsible for regular posting. Make sure to engage as many staff as possible so you get lots of different ideas and perspectives: doctors, opticians, receptionists, you name it! The goal is to make 2-3 posts/week with a local flavor. The person posting or coming up with content would be responsible for taking good photos, videos, and coming up with the text that can be the basis for each post.
When creating posts, be sure to mix it up between practice photos, eyewear, eye health and anything that is locally relevant. Just don’t forget to get patient consent in a signed HIPAA marketing authorization form before splashing their picture across the web.
Tip #5: Engage, Engage, Engage
Now it’s time to conquer Facebook and build followers. And you do this by making it as easy as possible for those who have interacted with your posts to learn more about you and follow your page.
Don’t assume people will take the time to go to your practice Facebook page and get your contact details. Provide contact information right on your post, especially within video and anything else you are boosting.
At a minimum, this means your phone number, and/or a link to your web site.
Pro Tip: Use bit.ly to create a shortened url link that’s trackable. That way, you can see exactly how many visits to your web site the post has generated.
If your post is generating engagement, don’t relax! Make sure you’re always inviting people who have liked or shared your posts. Ask your friends if you can invite them, too. Not only does this grow your own followers—always a good thing—it also shows up on their friends’ feeds and stands as a tacit recommendation of your practice. Have your friends invite their friends too, and ask your staff to do the same.
We hope you’ve enjoyed these Facebook tips we’ve been showcasing. With diligence and creative thinking, there is no reason that your Facebook page won’t work for your practice to get out there and get noticed. If you have any questions, feel free to personally reach out to me anytime.
Zvi Pardes is the head of content marketing at EyeCarePro, which provides ECPs with educational content that helps them advance their practices through technology, management strategies and digital marketing. EyeCarePro serves both industry and practices and is the only company of its kind solely focused on the optometric space. Contact him at email@example.com