Between lecturing, our own clients, and the great emails we get from INVISION readers, we’ve fielded a lot of questions about social media. It can be frustrating for you as an ECP if you don’t feel your social media activity is creating measurable returns. But the energy you put into social media can have a huge impact on filling your appointment books and growing your patient base. By avoiding these five common mistakes, you can maximize the time and energy you put into social media and reap the rewards.
1. Spamming Your Feed
Your followers on social media are already swamped. When you scroll through your own Facebook feed, you decide whether to stop and read or scroll past in milliseconds. Don’t give them a reason to misjudge your post as an ad! Avoid stock images, and don’t repost the same thing over and over. If you have fewer than 1,000 followers, limit posting to 2-3 times a week to prevent “spamming” the feed of your followers.
2. Disturbing Eye Pictures
As eye doctors, we never want to pass up on an opportunity to educate. But red eyes don’t attract a lot of followers past other eye doctors. If you want to attract patients, think like one. The average person is interested in people and places they know and can connect to. So instead of a picture of red eye, film a video of you talking about contact lens overwear. You can use your platform to educate, but you want people to click on your post, not gag.
3. Ignoring Content Analytics
Facebook’s tools for monitoring and managing social media services are unparalleled. Utilize this data! Track the number of engagement posts you receive. Monitor your followers’ ages, locations, language preferences, and hobbies to better target their interests. You can even track how many appointments get scheduled for each of your posts by using a unique URL back to your site. Track which posts get you the most appointments, and tailor your post creation in that vein.
4. Isolating Social Media From Other Marketing
This happens time and time again when we look at ECPs’ marketing strategies. Social media can’t exist independently. If you’re running a social media contest, to maximize engagement you need to promote it in-office, on your site, and in publications or mailings. The strategy is to convert social media followers into patients, and your patients into social media followers, so they are constantly engaged with your brand. Take a unified approach; link your social media accounts to your website; put them on your business cards, and make them a part of your brochures and signage.
5. Being Everything to Everyone
We all want to be the eyecare provider for our entire community, but a message that is too broad won’t connect with anyone. Don’t strive to be the most generic eyecare provider in town! Think about your passions, the special services you provide, the demographic you really love working with, and focus your marketing on them. If you can create a clear brand identity and become the expert in that niche, it will drive general eyecare consumers to your office by default. If you are perceived as an expert in infant eye exams, by default you’re a great all around eye doctor too. It’s a play on the perception ophthalmology has benefited from for years. Find a niche and be that specialist in your community, and watch your appointment books fill with patients of all needs!
This article originally appeared in the October 2017 edition of INVISION.