Customer perception is an important consideration when running a business, and running a practice is no different. Good perception can be the difference in referrals and negative reviews. Social media can be a great platform for patients to connect with your practice on a different, more intimate level. ODs like Tanya Gill utilize social media to grow awareness and gain “fans” of her practice, but gaining followers is the first step to having a successful social media presence. Followers are people who want to know what your practice is up to, who may tag you in posts, and who have had a generally positive experience with you and will help share information about your practice with others.
In a recent article for Eyecare Business, Dr. Gill shared a few tips on how to grow your follower base. First and foremost, social icons should be added to pages on your website, blog, emails, and printed materials like business cards and in-practice signage. Next, be sure your content is worth following. Learn about and understand your audience and post regularly. For eye care practices, posting content that addresses topics like health news, eye care and nutrition tips, new products and services available at your office, and new staff spotlights are great places to start engaging. Once you’re comfortable with this process, it’s time to build your audience.
4 Ways to Gain New Followers
Asking current patients to follow you is a great way to get started. Having in-practice flyers or signs asking patients to follow you on social media is both simple and effective. You can also ask patients to share your page and recommend some of their friends follow you, too.
Give and Get
Everyone loves free stuff. Dr. Gill gives patients free lens cleaner for a follow, which has been working well for her. Coupons can be another effective trade for a follow. Following local hashtags can help you understand what your local social market is interested in, helping you tailor your content to their interests. These kinds of follows can help you appear on suggested follows of other locals, which will hopefully give you more in return. The bottom line: giving is receiving.
Following other local businesses on social media can put you on the radar for potential patients. With this, you might get follows in return, upping your numbers. You can also partner with a local business as Dr. Gill has done. She mentioned her practice partnered with a donut shop down the street and offered a coupon for a free donut for liking both businesses on Instagram. This is a great way to build comradery within businesses and the community.
Promote the Pages
This may be a no-brainer but putting some money behind your pages and promoting them to your target market on social media will help increase potential viewership and followers. The important thing is knowing who specifically you’d like to target, which may be another conversation altogether. While this can be daunting, there are a number of resources you can utilize (which we can address in the future) to make the process less stressful.
You’ve increased your followers, but now what? How do you keep them interested in your page? Posting consistently will help you stay relevant and current. Dr. Gill wants to make sure that practitioners know to stick with the basics, “…inspiring photos tell the best stories.” She goes on to suggest a few ways to improve photo quality so that they’re more visually appealing, like increasing contrast, exposure, and sharpness. Using local hashtags, interests, and news can also help you create posts that are of interest to your followers, keeping them interested in your page.
Social media can be a fantastic tool to help grow your practice and connect with your patients if it’s used correctly. Following these suggestions can be a great starting point for growing your followers, but keep in mind that improving your social media presence won’t be an instant cause and effect. Patience and persistence will be key throughout the growing process.
Don’t forget to follow EyePromise® on our social media pages!
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