Save the date! This year’s biggest eyecare hashtag holiday falls on June 27. Planning ahead for how you’ll utilize this social media firestorm to drive patients through your doors can have a huge impact on your bottom line. Last year’s National Sunglasses Day generated over 500 million impressions, according to the Vision Council, with high-profile features on The Today Show and Elle magazine. It even included sports teams like the New York Yankees and Carolina Panthers. So, how can you make the most of this year’s National Sunglasses Day promotion? 

Utilize the power of social media. Many celebrities, athletes, and social media stars will be using the hashtag #NationalSunglassesDay. Repost your favorite celebrity looks on your office’s social media accounts. You can make this more interactive and increase your followers’ engagement with your brand by creating a poll to find out what their favorite look is.

Run a contest. This hashtag holiday is the perfect time for an online contest. Your followers will see the hashtag all over social media. Run a promotion for a pair of sunglasses or an office gift card and ask them to tag #NationalSunglassesDay and @YourOffice in their post to enter. For greater impact, comment on each of your contest entrants’ posts, complimenting their style! The key to successful social media is to make a personal connection and develop brand loyalty. That’s what separates you as a private ECP from online vendors or commercial chains.

Promote it in your optical. Make a feature sunglass section or capsule display in your optical and create branded signage combining #NationalSunglassesDay and your office logo. This encourages patients to participate in any contests you’re running online; even if you’re not running a promotion and just want to start a conversation about sunwear, it will tie your office into any social media activity they see on June 27. Extra credit: If you have a tablet, run a loop of last year’s social media features like The Today Show spot or stars who got involved with the hashtag to attract attention to your sunglasses. Video and motion stand out on the optical floor.  

Use The Vision Council’s resources to discuss local UV impact. It’s one thing to talk about the general dangers of UV light; it’s another to talk about a specific patient’s real-world risk. Check out invmag.us/061701 to see the Vision Council’s breakdown of the risk for major cities across the country, or check your local newspaper’s UV index reports. Talking about local risks makes the dangers of disregarding sun protection very real to your patients. Here’s a sample conversation starter when you’re talking sunglasses with a patient: “Did you know one-third of the year Raleigh gets ‘Extreme’ or ‘Very High Risk’ UV ratings from the EPA? It’s really dangerous out there if your eyes are unprotected!” 

Founded by two millennial ODs and social media entrepreneurs, Defocus Media (defocusmedia.com) manages social media networks for independent optical practices. Dr. Darryl Glover is founder of Eye See Euphoria (eyeseeeuphoria.com) and Dr. Jennifer Lyerly is founder of Eyedolatry (eyedolatryblog.com). For more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


This article originally appeared in the June 2017 edition of INVISION.

 
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