Insights From Our Editors

Social Media Marketing: How to Make It Worth Your Practice’s Time

By Mark Wright, OD, FCOVD,
and Carole Burns, OD, FCOVD

Dec. 18, 2019

Social media is an important part of many of your patients’ lives.

Here is how to ensure you get the most out of the time your practice spends marketing on sites like Facebook and Instagram.

Marketing people say that one half of all marketing dollars are effective, and one half are not. The problem, according to them, is that no one knows which half of the dollars are the effective dollars. That’s why it’s important to measure. But what do you measure? You measure the marketing campaigns you are running against what you are trying to get people to do with your marketing campaign.

Here is specifically what to measure. In marketing you are trying to accomplish one or more of the following things:
1) Get your current patients to return.

2) Get your current patients to purchase more from you.

3) Get your current patients to refer you new patients.

4) Get someone who is not your patient to self-diagnose that they need care you can provide and become a new patient in your practice.

The first three things above are internal marketing and number four is external marketing.

Social media is a tool that can be used for both internal and external marketing.

Social media is not helpful when it creates likes, followers, and even comments, but does not result in the four actions listed above. If it does not result in the four actions above, it’s costing you time, effort and money, but is not productive.

On the other hand, social media is very helpful when it results in an increase in the four actions listed above.

How can social media be utilized in your practice? Here are five waysi to utilize social media in your practice:
• To increase your practice visibility.

• To increase your conversion rates.

• To engage with your patients so that their wishes are known and their interest is catered to.

• To create service channel platforms where patients can directly communicate with the practice.

• To stimulate loyal patients to communicate to others about the care, services and products they received from your practice (this, by the way, is more effective than any other marketing done by your practice) – get something within your practice to go viral.

When you use any of these five ways in your social media, remember to link them to the four actions you want. For example, link the reason to increase your practice visibility to increasing your number of new patients.

Or you may be trying to link practice visibility to services or products that your practice offers to getting more people to take advantage of those things (e.g.: I didn’t know you could examine an infant’s eyes, let me make an appointment for my baby!).

So, what do you measure to see if your social media marketing campaigns are effective? Measure the four items you are trying to accomplish listed above. If your social media is effective, then those numbers will be increasing.

References
i. https://www.digitaldoughnut.com/articles/2018/february/7-reasons-why-social-media-marketing-is-important

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