As a marketing consultant for optometrists in private practice at IDOC, I am often asked about the different social media channels and whether it makes sense to participate in all of them. Much like social gatherings in the physical world, each social media platform has distinct characteristics, tone and purpose.
Most optometrists in private practice want to provide timely, relevant information and engaging content for patients and prospective patients, but have limited time, resources and budgets and so participating in every social media channel isn’t ideal. Understanding this, I recommend three channels to optometrists – Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
Facebook is the largest social network in the world at this point in 2019.
- Facebook is the social layer of the internet. Ultimately, people spend time on Facebook to connect with other people and places they like.
- The nature of Facebook is personal. I’m most apt to connect with the people I know in my real life on Facebook – my friends, my family, my neighbors – more so than other social networks. We all know how powerful referrals and recommendations are from our friends, family and neighbors for healthcare, and this behavior takes place daily on Facebook.
- Facebook is also the most widely used social media network across the different age groups in the United States, so you’ll be able to reach people of all ages in your local area through Facebook.
- Your practice Facebook page is the foundation of your social media marketing, and if you haven’t given it much thought, this is a great year to start doing that.
Instagram is another popular social media network in the United States and is owned by Facebook.
- It’s a highly visual platform. People share photos and videos primarily from mobile devices, but it can also be accessed from a desktop computer.
- While Instagram is popular with people of many ages, it is the social network of choice for many under 35 in the United States.
- It’s an ideal platform to use for marketing eyewear, and pairs nicely with your Facebook presence.
- If your business objectives include marketing to a younger demographic and bringing awareness to your optical, then consider adding Instagram to your social media marketing plan.
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, behind Google, and is owned by Google.
- The platform is comprised of videos shared by people all over the world. Its slogan is “broadcast yourself”.
- It’s social in that I can comment on videos and engage with the person/company who posted the video, but it’s more of a search engine.
- It’s an ideal way to explain specialties, talk through common symptoms people may be searching, and enhance the SEO for your practice website.
I know it can feel daunting to market your practice on social media, but these channels also present tremendous opportunity for you to speak to the people in your local market in places they spend time daily. I’d be delighted to work with you on a social media marketing strategy which helps you grow your practice!