There was a time when a website was an effective vehicle to market and promote your practice. By listing the services and any specialty care you provide, your webpages would educate patients and market your practice 24/7. The challenge has been to get potential patients to find your website and stay long enough to lead to a phone call to make an appointment. Times are changing.
Now, social media has become an essential part of creating a community of followers for your practice. And the global community that uses social media continues to increase. TechCrunch reported in June that Facebook has two billion monthly users. That’s a lot of potential patients waiting to discover your office. Many of those users check Facebook multiple times a day.
The practitioner that sets the bar for recognizing the potential for social media and optometry is my friend, Alan Glazier, OD, of Shady Grove Eye & Vision Care in Rockville, MD. He literally wrote the book on engaging social media, Searchial Marketing: How Social Media Drives Search Optimization in Web 3.0 (Authorhouse, 2011), in which he teaches do-it-yourself methods of implementing a ‘’searchial’’ media campaign. Many know Glazier as the founder of ODs on Facebook.
There are many forms of social media sites that may align with helping to promote your optometric practice. You might even place the icons for such sites as Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn on your practice’s website. These, in turn, link to social media sites with your content to promote your practice. It’s all about building a community of followers who return to the site to view fresh content and refer their friends.
Regardless of the size of your practice, using new tools to share your practice’s “vision” and services will help grow your office. And it’s never too late to start.