The more patients identify and relate to your practice’s brand, the more likely they’ll refer you to their family and friends. It’s important to consistently post and share content on your social media pages that provides value and builds patient relationships. The following content strategies will help get you started.
Start Discussions Get to know your patients by starting discussions. Questions that work best include those about preference such as, “Do you prefer Calvin Klein or Nike eyewear?” You may include a query that politely challenges people. After posting a funny optical-related picture, you might add, “Can you provide the best caption for this photo?”.
Share Patient Stories Due to HIPPA, you should only use this strategy if you have written permission. Perhaps you saw a child for her first eye exam and caught a visual disorder that was misdiagnosed as a learning disorder. Get permission, and then take photos of the smiling child wearing her new eyewear and post about it. Other social media followers may relate to the same story.
Breaking News and Holidays If you’re able to weave hot, newsworthy topics into your posts, it can add relevance and credibility to your brand. Use tools like Google Alerts (google.com/alerts) to be notified of breaking stories when they happen. Occasions such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas can be great opportunities to share a fun fact or ask a holiday-related question such as, “How many pumpkins do you see in this photo?”.
80/20 Rule Balance your posts between non-promotional and promotional content using the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of your social media posts should be your own valuable, helpful, or personable information and 20% should include a subtle approach to selling. One approach is to make certain promotions exclusive to your social media patients, such as an extra 5% discount for quoting a code from your Facebook page.
Just like in real life, friendships and bonds between you and your social media audience take time. If you’re consistent, real, and genuine in your communication, you will foster interaction with patients that creates loyal relationships and brand advocates.
Samantha Toth is the resident Marketing Rockstar for Innereactive Media, a full-service marketing company specializing in the optical industry, in Grand Rapids, MI.