There’s no denying the power of the local small business movement and its positive impact on growing the independent eyecare market. A 2016 review by the U.S. Small Business Association showed 54 percent of U.S. sales happen at small businesses. Finding local customers and advertising to them is a major goal of all digital media marketing strategies for a small business, and with today’s technology you can serve your message to very specific “hyperlocal” groups. This specialized marketing strategy is called geo-targeting, and you utilize it more easily than you may realize.

Social media marketing is a great way to connect with potential patients, but standing out in the most popular platforms like Facebook and Instagram can be daunting. That’s where geo-targeting your campaign to the potential patients and customers you care most about makes a big difference. You can do this by location (down to city and ZIP code), and even by age, gender, language or personal interests. Here’s how to maximize your social media message:

Pinterest:  The “Place Pins” feature is a perfect geo-targeting tool for business accounts. It allows you to post pictures of your office, services, and frames, all tagged with your location. Maximize the chance local searches will bring up your Pinterest account by making a dedicated board about attractions, food, and local things you love in your community. That way if someone clicks on a local restaurant from a picture on your board, they are more likely to click over to your account and see your local optical services too.

Instagram: Instagram is only searchable by hashtags, so on every post you should include a local one. For a doctor in Raleigh, tag #Raleigh and #shoplocalraleigh. Make sure you are following popular small businesses to see which trending local hashtags show up in their tag lists and follow suit.

Facebook: Why is Facebook the most successful platform for businesses? The amount of customer demographic information it provides is unparalleled, and Facebook ad campaign options let you tap into these demographics very specifically. When you post, you’ll see a button saying “Boost Post.” If you click there, you can choose who will see your post by targeting choices. You can specify location, age, gender, or interests. So, if you’re an eye doctor in Boston you might choose Boston (or even a ZIP code in the city), and interests like “fashion” for a high-end optical, or “sports” for a sports vision practice. 

Boosting a post costs money, but there are ways to target your Facebook advertising for free. Go to the Admin panel and under “Edit Settings” you’ll see a tab called “Post Targeting and Privacy.” Changing the settings here only allows you to specify targeting for the people that have already followed and liked your FB business page, but you can segment the content you want to specifically reach each sector of your followers. For example, a post about multifocal contact lens options can be specifically targeted to your followers 39 and up. 

Physically having a local address only does so much in an online search. For the biggest impact, make sure you promote and brand yourself as a local small business with all the tools social media platforms provide!


This article originally appeared in the July-August 2017 edition of INVISION.

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