Between lecturing, our own social media clients, and the great emails we get from the readers here at INVISION Magazine, we’ve fielded a lot of questions about social media. ECPs can get easily frustrated when they don’t feel like their social media is creating measurable returns on profits. The energy you put into social media can have a huge impact on filling your appointment books and growing your patient base in the demographics or specialty service areas you are seeking to curate. By avoiding these 5 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 Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms are oversaturated by ads already. Think about your own habits when you scroll through your Facebook feed. You make a decision on whether to stop and read or scroll right past within milliseconds. Don’t give them a reason to misjudge your post as an ad or spam! Avoid stock images, and don’t repost the same post over and over again. There are studies that suggest if you have fewer than 1000 followers to 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 goopy red eyes don’t tend to attract a lot of followers past other eye doctors. If you want to attract patients, think like a patient. The average person is interested in people and places they know and feel a connection with. So instead of a picture of red eye, film a short 20-30 second video of you talking about contact lens overwear. You can still use your platform to educate, but remember, you want people to click on your post – not quickly scroll past or gag.
3. Ignoring Content Analytics
Facebook is a powerful brand marketing machine, and the tools it provides for monitoring and managing your social media services is unparalleled. Make sure you are utilizing the data you are being given! Track the amount of engagement posts receive. Monitor the demographics of your followers (age, location, language preferences, and their hobbies) to better target their interests and thus boost their engagement. You can even track how many appointments get scheduled for each social media post you put out on Facebook but using a unique URL and phone number on your Facebook contact information. Track which types of posts get you the most appointments booked, and tailor your post creation in that vein!
4. Isolating Social Media From Your Other Marketing
This happens time and time again when we look at ECP’s personal marketing strategies. Social media cannot exist independently from the rest of your business. If you are running a social media contest, you need to promote it in office, on your website, and in any business publications or mailings, in addition to your social media to maximize engagement! The strategy is to convert your social media followers into in store patients, and of course your patients into social media followers so they are constantly connected and engaged with your brand. Make sure you have a unified approach – link your social media accounts to your office website; put them on your office business cards, and make them a part of your in office branding and patient education 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 to broad fails to really 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 patient demographic you really love working with, and focus a marketing message to them. If you can create a clear brand identity and become the expert in that special niche, it will drive general eyecare consumers to your office by default. If you are perceived as an expert in infant eye exams for example, 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!