In today’s world, social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. Facebook and Instagram are platforms that give optometrists an enormous opportunity to connect with their patients and grow their practice.
By utilizing both of these platforms, optometrists can spread awareness of their local brand to new patients and build deeper connections with existing ones. In this blog post, we’ll explore how to unlock the numerous benefits of using Facebook and Instagram for growing your eye care business.
Building a Community
Facebook and Instagram are the Meta company’s flagship social networking platforms. As of Jan 2023, Facebook has almost 3 billion active monthly users and Instagram about 2 billion. So its a safe bet that a large percentage of your target audience regularly uses one or both of these services.
Social media offers the chance to build a sense of “online community” around your optometry practice. You have the opportunity to share information about your services, products, events, and engage with your followers by responding to comments and direct messages.
One effective way to build a following on social media is by sharing helpful content. Blog posts, info-graphics, videos, and other educational posts related to eye care can all be used to educate your followers and position your practice as an expert in your industry.
Some examples of topics you could create content around might be:
Eye Care Tips: Advice on maintaining good eye health, such as tips for preventing eye strain, reducing digital eye fatigue, or protecting eyes in hazardous environments.
Product Spotlights: Highlight different eyewear products available at your practice, showcasing the latest trends in frames, lens technologies, and contact lenses.
Behind-the-Scenes: Take your followers behind the scenes of your optometry practice, giving them a glimpse of your team, technology, and processes. This helps build trust and creates a connection with your audience.
Patient Success Stories: Share inspiring stories or testimonials from satisfied patients who have experienced improved vision or eye health through your services. This showcases the positive impact of your practice.
Eye Health Awareness: Educate your followers about different eye conditions and diseases, raising awareness about the importance of regular eye exams and early detection.
Eye-Friendly Recipes: Share recipes that promote good eye health, such as meals rich in vitamins and nutrients beneficial for the eyes, like foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, or vitamins A, C, and E.
Community Engagement: Participate in local events or initiatives related to eye health and share your involvement on social media. This demonstrates your practice’s commitment to the community.
Q&A Sessions: Host live Q&A sessions on social media, where you can answer common eye-related questions from your followers in real-time. This fosters engagement and positions you as an expert in your field.
Fun Eye-related Facts: Share interesting and lesser-known facts about eyes, vision, or optical illusions. This type of content can be entertaining and educational, capturing the interest of your followers.
Seasonal Eye Care Tips: Provide seasonal eye care tips, such as protecting eyes from harmful UV rays during summer or addressing dry eye issues during winter. This shows your audience that you’re attentive to their eye care needs throughout the year.
Encourage Patient Referrals
Social media can also be a powerful tool for getting more patient referrals. By creating shareable content and encouraging your followers to share it with their friends and family, you can expand your reach and attract new patients to your practice.
You can also incentivize your existing patients to refer their friends and family by offering discounts or other reward promotions. To create a patient referral campaign, try the following:
Define Incentives: Determine the discount or bonus for both referrers and referred individuals.
Create Compelling Content: Develop engaging content that clearly communicates the referral campaign and encourages followers to share it.
Provide Clear Instructions: Explain how your followers can participate e.g. by sharing a promotional codeword that friends and family can use to redeem a reward.
Track Referrals: Implement a tracking system that measures how and when your promotional rewards are redeemed.
Thank Participants: Don’t forget to express gratitude when your followers share your promotional content and offer tangible benefits to them where possible.
Run a Branded Hashtag Campaign
Facebook and Instagram especially are highly visual platforms which lends themselves strongly to promoting fashion items. If you can encourage your patients to post photos of themselves using their eyewear purchases, it offers great “social proof” and encouragement to other potential customers.
To run an Instagram user generated content campaign, you should do the following:
Create a Campaign Hashtag: Come up with a catchy and unique campaign hashtag that represents your practice and the theme of the campaign. Make it easy for participants to remember and use in their captions.
Promote the Campaign: Spread the word about the campaign on your social media platforms and website. Explain the rules, benefits, and any incentives participants can receive. Encourage them to share their eyewear photos using the campaign hashtag.
Engage and Reward Participants: Monitor the campaign hashtag regularly and engage with participants by liking, commenting, and reposting their photos. Consider offering incentives like gift cards, discounts, or features on your practice’s social media account to motivate participation.
Feature User-Generated Content: Highlight the best user-generated content by reposting and featuring it on your practice’s Instagram account. Showcase satisfied customers and encourage others to participate. IMPORTANT: be sure to get permission from the original poster before re-sharing for commercial purposes (see below).
Measure Results: Analyze the campaign’s success by looking at engagement metrics, the number of participants, reach, and any impact on brand visibility or sales. Use this data to learn and improve future campaigns.
Watch the following for more tips on how to create user generated content (UGC) Instagram campaigns.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer many benefits for optometry practices to build a sense of “community” with their patients, retain existing patients, get more patient referrals, and stay “top of mind” with their audience.
By creating informative and engaging content, responding to comments and messages, encouraging reviews and incentivizing user generated content and referrals, you can establish your practice as a trusted authority in the field of optometry and build a loyal following of satisfied patients.