By Ansel T. Johnson, OD
Dec. 16, 2020
Your patients spend substantial personal time on Facebook and Instagram. That time, spent for their enjoyment and escape, can also be ideal to receive messaging from your practice.
Fortunately, a new service is available that makes social media marketing easier and more effective than ever. Here are the details on the new service my practice is optimizing, IDOC Social Media, that has improved our ability to reach patients on social media, and make an impact with our messaging.
Social Media Is Where Patients Turn to Learn More
Having a social media presence is as important as having a web page 20 years ago. Patients looking for an eye doctor may be as likely to look up your practice on social media as they are to look up your practice website.
With so much riding on our social media marketing, we knew we needed an efficient, reliable way to post regularly. We wanted our current patients to keep us top of mind, and wanted prospective patients to easily find us—and easily understand who we are. Social media allows patients to see us more informally and get a feel for our practice culture.
A Solution that Simplifies Reaching Patients on Social Media
Prior to implementing IDOC Social Media, I would schedule and post my own social media. I personally did most of the posting because I enjoyed it, and loved showing off the culture of our office and our ties to our community.
At first I didn’t feel the need for help with social media marketing since we already had a strong social media following that was growing steadily. The reality, however, was that it was becoming burdensome. I also wanted us to post on a regular schedule, rather than having posting dependent on how much time I could spare on any given week. Our posts needed to be more consistent, and we needed to feature our products more often. I especially wanted to feature more contact lens products.
Other Articles to Explore
In addition, IDOC Social Media allows for a customization of graphics, which I could not easily do on my own, and which enhances my practice brand. That means, for instance, placing our practice name or logo on a photo that otherwise would show a product without relating it in the photo specifically to our practice.
IDOC Social Media posts three times a week to Facebook and Instagram. The service allows you to choose to pre-approve every post, or give IDOC’s marketing specialists the freedom to design and post as they see fit.
I spend no more than 30 minutes per week on my own personal social media marketing now. I know the information and photos IDOC posts does the heavy lifting for my social media marketing. IDOC posts will always be presented in a polished and powerful way. The same post is adapted to make it right for the particular social media platform it is shared on. That means a post for Instagram may look slightly different from one posted to Facebook.
Show Patients Who You Are
There are two main types of social media posts that my practice shares. One features the products and services that we offer and the other type of post relates to the personalities and culture of our practice. For instance, one of these posts might show our staff in Halloween costumes, celebrating an employee birthday or participating in community philanthropy.
On special theme months, with themes like sarcoidosis, we feature patient success stories with photos. We also feature other business owners who happen to be our patients, and other photos that show our connection to people in our community. In addition, we take photos of new frames as they come in. We are careful to always ask patients’ permission before taking their photo to use on social media, and we have them sign HIPAA Marketing Authorization forms.
Here are a couple recent posts created and distributed by IDOC Social Media:
Capture Attention with Custom Video Posts
IDOC Social Media will also help you customize videos to post on your social media pages. Here are a couple examples (click photos to view the videos):
Impact of Social Media Marketing that Works
Before enlisting help from IDOC Social Media, my posts were haphazard, featuring whatever photos and messaging I happened to feel like sharing each week. My approach worked in establishing a strong following, but I knew we could do more to use social media in a more targeted way. For those who are novices or new to social media marketing, this service can be a good start, but I would encourage any doctor or key staff person to be engaged on some level for greater success.
There is a strategy and science to social media marketing. Utilization of IDOC Social Media has greatly enhanced an already strong social media presence. We have seen significant increases in post engagements and likes, which I measure. Within 30 days of implementing IDOC Social Media, my Facebook engagements increased by about 34 percent, and on Instagram, increased by about 124 percent.
Our patients keep up with us more regularly and powerfully now on social media, giving us another avenue for patient communication and long-term growth.