by Veatch Ophthalmic Instruments
| Thursday, November 12, 2015 |
Social Media is one of the most powerful digital marketing tools. Brand exposure is a critical component to increasing client engagement, and there’s nothing more helpful than social media outlets to help you increase your exposure and get in front of a varied group of potential clients for your ophthalmology or optometry practice. Although Facebook has previously taken center stage in the social media marketing arena, two new frontrunners are hitting the map in the form of Pinterest and Instagram.
Instagram is a playground for photo sharing addicts, and it is currently growing by leaps and bounds. As a free application for smartphones, it allows users to take a picture, apply a filter, and share images quickly and effortlessly across multiple social media platforms. As a practice owner, you can use this platform to post about happenings within your practice and accrue followers in the form of clients and prospects.
To get started, download the Instagram app and set up an account. Then take a look at what people are already sharing in regards to eye care. This can help you target potential and existing clients by using popular hashtags. In the Instagram app, go to Explore>Hashtags and see what’s already popular. You can then use these hashtags to help target your images towards the right audience and drum up followers.
Second, take creative pictures and use the hashtags you’ve researched. Be candid, compelling, and fun, especially if you attend community events where your community engagement can really shine. Once you have a good group of followers, run promotions using specific hashtags that represent your practice (#yourpracticename). This can be something as simple as a photo contest where you ask users to upload photos with that hashtag in order to win a chance at free or discounted services from you.
Pinterest, known as the online scrapbooking website, is a wonderful way to promote eye care. Pinterest has over 25 million users, and most of the brand engagement is generated by users, not practice owners themselves. That means that the best way to approach this social media outlet for maximum results involves selling your services softly by providing content that users will want to share over and over again.
Pinterest does also support business accounts, and is an effective way to provide visibility into your practice. Use light, engaging images and make sure you and your staff and patients are in them! Follow others in your field and create boards that offer unique topics to follow such as comedic posts about eye exams, educational pieces about eye care, inspirational quotes, and tips and tricks for maintaining healthy eyesight. Also, if you encounter something new or interesting in your practice or in your everyday life, share it! Research ideas by taking a look at other like-minded business owners and discover what types of pins are most popular on their boards. And most importantly, make sure that your pins direct users back to your site by including your practice name and website in the pin details. And whenever possible, engage with other users in the comments.
The world of social media is useful for more than simple social sharing: it is a portal to a world of potential customers and a platform on which you can market your practice. Share ideas that are unique to you, engage with other users, be active, and be down to earth. Social media is one of the most effective means by which to advertise your services in today’s world, and it can be found in the marketing toolbox of every savvy practice owner.