By Maria Higgins, OD
January 21, 2015
Promote your practice by concentrating on the top social media sites.
BE IMAGE-RICH. Search enginespick up social media posts that include photos and videos.
POST ENTERTAINING INFO & IMAGES. Posts shouldn’t be a chore to read, but something that will make patients laugh, educate or capture their attention.
REUSE POSTS. You can use the same post on Facebook and then on Instagram, and post a link to your YouTube video on Google+ or Twitter.
Many ODs today have Facebook accounts, and other social media accounts, for their personal use, but not yet for the benefit of their practice. My practice makes use of six social media sites: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube leading to a greater bond with our patients, and the addition of new patients. I enjoy maintaining my practice’s social media pages, so I do it all myself. However, it is time consuming, taking at least five hours per week, so I may soon need to delegate it.
I use Facebook most of all, as our target demographics have been shown to use Facebook the most. I post anything eye-related that I find funny, clever, important or interesting, including song videos that mention eyes or glasses, cartoons about eyes, events like trunk shows and gallery openings, pictures from our photo booth of my staff in new frames, charitable causes, our new window displays, anything touting being proud of being unique, activities we participate in like fashion shows, shout outs to other independent local businesses we patronize, blog posts and inspirational quotes. The best content for Facebook includes personal posts. People want to know about the staff, the owner, the patients–the people involved in the practice. The posts that get the most ‘likes’ are those where we post pictures of ourselves.
The Facebook page of Dr. Higgins’ practice, Unique Optique. Rather than posting dry health and promotional information, Dr. Higgins tries to find content rich with photos and videos that tap into the sense of fun of her patients–that “eyes are cool and sexy.”
I use Instagram almost as much as Facebook. Instagram allows you to tell a story with pictures and photo filters and hashtags. My Instagram account posts directly to my Facebook business page, as well. I have a hashtag that I use called #UOonLocation, where I will take frames out to my local fellow business owners, take their picture in them and use it to plug both of our businesses and the frame manufacturer. We also use #ShopPatrickStreet for the businesses that are located on my street, which is one of two main streets in Frederick. The best posts for Instagram include clever hashtags and artistic photos.
Instagram post by Dr. Higgin’s practice. Dr. Higgins says that Instagram is the most visual of all the social media sites, and that works well for pictures of frames or patients, or funny cartoons, like the one pictured above.
My small town has a large Twitter contingent. I use Hootsuite to post to Twitter (as well as Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn) for me. I rarely actually get on Twitter, mainly because each post only lasts a few minutes in cyber world and I feel my time is better spent on other media. A typical post is what was also posted on Facebook that day. The best Twitter posts are clever, short ones or shout outs to other Twitter users. It is better to customize the Tweet to the 140-character requirement of Twitter.
Recent Twitter post by Dr. Higgins’ practice. Re-tweets by enthusiastic patients are always a great way to go.
I have read that Google + reviews have a lot of weight in the search engine optimization world, so we do try to encourage patients to review there. DemandForce sends our patients an e-mail encouraging them to post to Google + when they review us on DemandForce. A typical post is also what was on Facebook that day.
Google+ post by Dr. Higgins’ practice. Dr. Higgins’ says you can re-use effective Facebook posts on your Google+ page.
I also use Hootsuite to post to Linked In. I find that this is more a network of my professional contacts and that it is more business oriented. Keep in mind that LinkedIn is like Facebook for professionals whose companies block Facebook but allow LinkedIn. A typical post is what was on Facebook that day. The social media gurus say that you should not post the same info on multiple sites as many of your readers will look at multiple sites. I just have not yet found time to stagger my posts. I find the best posts here are the more technical, scientific posts.
Dr. Higgins’ practice description on LinkedIn, including two “endorsements” from patients. A key advantage of LinkedIn is its ability to show endorsements from those you are connected to.
I use You Tube to post any videos that I may want to share, so they are all organized in one place. Video carries more weight, so it has been a goal of mine to make and post more videos. We have videos on there from anniversary parties that we have had, our official office video, testimonial videos and videos from a business plan competition I competed in and local community participation videos.
Dr. Higgins, as featured on her practice’s YouTube channel. The doctor has an opportunity to introduce herself directly to patients on YouTube. Click HERE or the image above to play video.
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