Popular online platforms power low-cost eyecare marketing
When people in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Park Slope use Google to find eyecare or eyewear, the all-important first-page results include parkslopeeye.com. But when searchers click on that URL, they’re taken not to a website, but to Facebook. Here’s how Dr. Justin Bazan uses top social media sites as a low-cost way to bring people to his business. — JULIA CHANCE
This article originally appeared in the June 2015 edition of INVISION.
THE IDEA: Bazan’s social-media-only strategy was born out of necessity. “Our marketing budget in the early days was nothing,” he says. Hiring a Web designer to create and maintain a site for Park Slope Eye just wasn’t a cost-efficient option. So he and his staff created a strong Web presence using Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, Yelp and YouTube.
Bazan says he likes being in control of his online presence. “With a website, I’d have to go to somebody to let them know what changes I wanted and then pay them to do it.” Bazan was already an active social media user, so “transitioning to it for business purposes didn’t seem like a big deal,” he adds.
Park Slope Eye’s social media presence also helps potential customers know what to expect before they make an appointment. “Most people are finding us online, so we’re automatically bringing in people who are familiar with the services we provide right from the start,” Bazan says.
Bazan understands that people research online before they make an appointment, so he encourages people to use Yelp and Google Plus both to learn about the practice and comment about their experiences. When patients arrive for their appointment, they’re asked to check in via social media. During the wait, they’re given an iPad where they can view the shop’s curated YouTube channel of videos featuring eye health information, his practice’s specialties (which include Ortho-K) and customer testimonials.
In order to maximize his online efforts, Bazan ties all his platforms together. For instance, the store’s YouTube channel can be accessed through Facebook; every Facebook post is automatically tweeted; and the Park Slope Eye email signature promotes online contact lens ordering, appointment booking and more.
Social media also powers the practice’s paid advertising. Bazan says Facebook’s Ad Manager allows the business to identify and target specific demographic groups, and he has advertised on Yelp, too.
THE REWARDS: Bazan says Park Slope Eye’s digital word of mouth helps people “find us, book with us and leave their experience for others to read about.” Since each staff member is responsible for posting on Facebook on alternating days, everyone gets to infuse a bit of personality into the messaging.
Bottom line: Having so many virtual eyes on the business through various customer ratings and reviews is an incentive for delivering good service. Bazan uses online reviews as a way to give feedback to his team. He occasionally replies to digital reviews, too, as a way to stay responsive to current and future patients.