ECPs Using Social Media for Practice Growth
BUILD YOUR BRAND ONLINE
We do a tremendous amount of social networking for our business. My brother Kenny and I have been using it to build our brand for about six years.
With social media, you can be either proactive or reactive with it. We love it for online branding, and building two-way communication with our customers and patients. We can keep people up to date on our latest products, news, and events. We have used it to help build ourselves as a global lifestyle brand.
Being a downtown New York City business (two locations), where our clients are middle- to high-end employees of companies like Apple or Google, you HAVE to be plugged into the Internet and social media. It’s a bit of a cultural shift, but I don’t know how you can be on the Internet and not be aware of social media. Being cutting edge in eyecare goes hand-in-hand with being cutting edge in everything else, and that includes social media
NIPPING THE BUDS WITH TWITTER
Twitter allows us to solve problems and nip things in the bud in real time. My brother Ken does this throughout the day. Where else can you communicate with a company president in real time?
Tweeting requires more real-time responses. You have to allocate some extra time for it. Sometimes, it can be more rewarding to work ON your practice than IN it. The progress you can make during time when you are not seeing patients can be enormous. There is definitely a cadence to using Twitter, and you become more fluent with it over time.
Another good example of the power of Twitter is that we can tweet that there’s a 3 pm appointment suddenly available. The patient who might have had to wait a few weeks for an appointment might see that and take advantage of a sudden free spot in our schedule. They get in sooner, and we don’t lose the business from a last-minute cancellation.
FEEDBACK FROM FACEBOOK
With our Facebook page, we can hear how we are doing. Our customer service department monitors it constantly.
We can announce new available styles and products for the dispensary on Facebook. It’s absolutely great for that. We can also introduce news about new treatments there also.
Facebook doesn’t require as much real-time response. There, we can post photos of new frame styles or make announcements. For example, we have a music program we call “Moscot Music Saturday Sessions,” featuring live acoustic NYC artists who perform in the store on Saturdays, and we announce upcoming events on our Facebook page. We also use it to announce new products and technologies we are using.
MOSCOT also has a charitable organization called Moscot Mobileyes, which gives free quality medical eyecare and eyewear to underserved populations. We have been able to use Facebook to set up a page for the foundation, and we get some donations that way. If we don’t get funding, we cannot keep the charity going. The Facebook page helps bring in some funds we wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.
PAYING ATTENTION TO YELPERS
Yelp! has become a platform for people to speak their minds. You have to react to them. Once you get over the emotional aspect, you have to quell negative reviews. Positive reviews on Yelp! drive in new business, but you have to deal with the negative reviews; we react within days. You don’t want it out there too long. A proper response can lead to a positive review. A neg review is something you do not want. Bad news on the Internet has a way of traveling further than positive news.
A lot of the negative reviews often involved problems with insurance coverage, more than anything else. You just have to strip away your emotions from it, and respond to them and take the negative reviews seriously.
Harvey Moscot, OD, is Director of Eyecare and VP of MOSCOT, with two locations in Manhattan, a Web store, and a wholesale division. He can be reached at email@example.com.