Social media is a predominantly visual platform; even Twitter stats show posts with pictures get 35 percent more retweets. Capturing a patient’s attention online depends on a few milliseconds of visual impression, so creating a visual brand for your business is essential to your online success.
Step 1: Define Your Brand
Who are you? Who are your patients? What impact do you want to have on them and your community?
Defining your brand can be challenging, but answering these questions helps distill the key points. Throw out the idea that a “brand” is something commercial or fake. Your business brand needs to be an honest expression of what your profession means to you, and what you want your patients to take away from their experience with you. Think about niche services you provide, specialties, and personal passions.
Traps to avoid: We all offer comprehensive care to our patients but a brand that’s too broad or generic often fails to connect with anyone. Focus on things that are special and unique, so patients with unique needs can immediately tell you are an expert and others see you as a specialist who must be great at the basics.
Step 2: Visually Express Your Brand
You may need to hire help on this unless you are also a gifted artist or graphic designer. A logo that visually reflects your brand is a great first place to start because you can use it in your brick-and-mortar branding and all over your social media. A designer will typically work up several options for you to consider. Not sure which connects best? Phone a friend! Daniel Brunson of Hicks Brunson Eyewear recently reached out with five updated logo designs he was considering for his independent optical and asked us to vote for our favorite. Getting opinions from friends and colleagues can help narrow down the one that connects best.
Visual definition is more than just a logo; it’s a look. Your visual brand should be defined in the posts you chose to share, the images you use, the color scheme, and the photo editing. Think about the message you are trying to convey and what those words “look like.”
For example: A sports vision practice could focus on images with athletes, use stats and data in their visuals, and post lots of videos to show motion.
A luxury optical may focus on a color scheme: think monochromatic or bold colors. Just make sure if you pick a color story that you stay consistent. Having a visual theme, whether it’s a background or a color story or a style of editing your photos in an artistic way can help make your product look higher end.
Step 3: Create Personal Connection
It’s easy posting product and stock photos, but what does that really say about you? Make sure you intersperse photos of you, coworkers, and local community places and events. Studies show Instagram posts with human faces get 38 percent more interactions. That number goes way up if it’s a face we recognize!
Being present in your office social media doesn’t mean it becomes your personal account, but be sure to fit you into your visual brand identity. By becoming a fixture in your patient’s online lives, you’re establishing the connection and patient loyalty that helps small businesses succeed. You’re not just the office they go to every two years, easily tempted away by a competitor coupon. You’re the ECP they see popping up in their feed a few times a week, sharing their passion and expertise. You’re more than that doctor they went to last year; you’re a part of their online lives right beside their friends and family.
This article originally appeared in the May 2017 edition of INVISION.