Social Media

Social Networking that Happens Away from Your Computer

By Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD

Last Thursday, June 30, was the second annual worldwide Social Media Day. In Tampa, there were multiple events (called meetups) where social media fans and professionalsmet to talk shop and blow off steam. Although we typically think of social media as networks like Facebook, Twitter and others, we should never forget that the ultimate goal of all this online interaction is to forge real life relationships. (Real life social media relationships were the focus of my presentation at Vision Monday’s Click Conference.)

Social media meetups like Social Media Day are a fantastic way to effectively market yourself and your practice.They are similar to any other networking mixer, with a few important differences. First, the people who attend social media meetups tend to be influencers–they are likely to spread a positive message about you or your practice on their social networks.

Second, almost by definition, the people who attend these kinds of get-togethers are heavy computer users. They may either have symptoms of computer vision syndrome, or at the least, are concerned about the possibility. So you will almost always have something of interest to say to them that often leads to themtaking your card and eventually scheduling an appointment.

Third, you can learn a lot in these kinds of meetings. People are always talking about their latest success with Facebook or Twitter or what the latest and greatest app is for reaching people. Going to a social media meetup is like catching up on the last six months of podcasts you didn’t get around to listening to, as well as blog posts that you’ve been too busy to read.

So, even if you didn’t get out for Social Media Day, there are almost always social media events going on in the bigger cities (and in smaller towns, too). Check http://www.meetup.com/everywhere,Facebook events and local blogs to find out what’s going on. And, don’t forget, you can always host your own!

Did you attend a Social Media Day Meetup? How did it go? What did you learn? Did you get any patients from it?

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD,is owner of Bright Eyes Family Vision Care in Tampa, Fla., where he specializes in Vision Therapy and Orthokeratolgy. He is a frequent lecturer on social media and founder of Peripheral Vision.

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