Social media is a predominantly visual platform; even Twitter stats show posts with pictures get 35% more retweets. Because your success capturing a patient’s attention online is going to depend a lot on a few milisecond’s worth of visual impression, creating a visual brand for your business is essential to your online success.
Step 1: Define Your Brand
Who are you? What personally motivates and inspires you in eyecare? Who are your patients? What impact do you want to have on them and your community?
Defining your brand can be a challenging process, but answering these questions can help you distill the key points. Throw out the idea that a “brand” is something commercial or fake. If it feels fake then you’re missing the boat. Your business brand needs to be an honest expression of what your profession means to you, and what you want your patients to take away from their experience with you. Think about niche services you provide, specialties, and personal passions.
Traps to avoid: we all want to offer comprehensive care to all of our patients. A brand that’s too broad or generic often fails to connect with anyone. Focus on things that are special and unique, so that patients with unique needs can immediately tell you are an expert for them, and patients that maybe consider themselves more average (hint: most people don’t!) still see you as a specialist.
Step 2: Visually Express Your Brand Definition
You may need to hire help on this step unless you are also a gifted artist or graphic designer. A logo that visually reflects your brand can be a great first place to start because you can use it not only in your brick and mortar branding but all over your social media. A designer will typically work up several logos or images for you to consider. Aren’t sure which one connects best? Phone a friend! Our friend Daniel Brunson of Hicks Brunson Eyewear recently reached out with a survey of 5 designs he was considering to update the logo for his independent optical to better connect online and asked us to vote for our favorite. Getting opinions from your friends and colleagues can help narrow down the image that connects best to patients and consumers if you are feeling lost.
Visual definition is more than just a logo though; it’s a look. Your visual brand should be defined in the posts you chose to share, the images you use, the color scheme, and the photo editing. Think about the message you are trying to convey and what those words “look like.”
- A sports vision practice could focus on images with athletes, use stats and data in their visuals, and use lots of videos to show motion. Think bold colors and dynamic images that show action or movement.
- A luxury optical may want to focus on a color scheme: think monochromatic or go with bold colors. For example, post pink frames on a light pink background with pink nailpolish. Just make sure if you pick a look that is based on a color story that you stay consistent. Having a visual theme, whether it’s a background or a color story or a style of editing your photos in an artistic way can help make your product look more high end.
Step 3: Create a Personal Connection
We all feel safe posting product and stock photos, but what does that really say about you? Make sure you intersperse your social media with photos of you, other coworkers in the office, and local community places and events. Studies show Instagram posts with human faces get 38% more interactions. That number goes way up if it’s a face that we recognize!
Being present in your office social media doesn’t mean this becomes your personal account, but be sure to fit you into your visual brand identity. By becoming a fixture in your patient’s online lives, you’re establishing that connection and patient loyalty that helps small businesses succeed in their local communities. You’re not just the office they go to every 2 years, easily tempted away by a competitor coupon. You’re the ECP they see popping up in their feed a few times a week, sharing their passion and expertise. You’re more than that doctor they went to last year; you’ve become a part of their online lives showing up right beside their friends and family as they scroll through their feed.