Most eye doctors don’t have a plan for social media, yet one-third of “healthcare shoppers” visit Facebook and Twitter to better inform their healthcare choices, according to PwC’s Health Research Institute.
Those who haven’t yet built a social media presence for their eye care practice may be lagging behind due to these five misconceptions:
Misconception #1: Brick and Mortar Presence is Enough.
Reality: Perhaps your eye practice has been around for decades and continues to serve generations of local families. That’s great and may continue to play out long term but won’t include room for major growth opportunities. While your core audience generates sufficient foot traffic to your practice, your potential audience lives online and is out there right now Googling local eye care practices and asking their friends for recommendations on Facebook and Twitter. If your focus is mostly on your physical practice, chances are your social presence is lacking.
Misconception #2: Social Media is a Side Job.
Reality: Let’s say your eye care practice is ready to transition to a more public presence and sets up a Google business along with a Facebook business page, a LinkedIn account, a Twitter handle and an Instagram account. Those sites are a lot to handle for a practice manager who is in charge of running everything else, since the sites need to display consistent content that reflects your core brand values and style. Whoever is running your social needs the marketing know-how to carry these projects forward, month after month, rolling out seasonal campaigns and charting growth through analytics. It’s no side job and does require daily attention.
Misconception #3: What Worked Yesterday will Work Today.
Reality: You won’t find all the strategy tips you need to run effective social campaigns by reading a book on medical marketing. Social media is different than it was even a few years ago. Trending topics now include customizable chatbots, short-lived content, user-generated content, social listening and social customer service. Consider keeping up with these trends while also managing Google and Facebook ad campaigns. It’s likely to make your head spin and enough motivation to hire on a full-time marketing director or partner directly with a digital marketing agency. Why not do more of what you do well—running a successful eye practice—while letting a digital marketing expert handle the rest? It just makes financial and practical sense.
Misconception #4: Reviews Aren’t Costly.
Reality: When potential customers search for you on Google or Facebook, they want to see five stars and stellar reviews. Approximately 40% of individuals viewing health information on social media look at health-related consumer reviews. Receiving such reviews creates hype but won’t happen at all without a marketing plan in place to obtain reviews from satisfied patients. After you implement a successful process for obtaining reviews, go a step further and securing customer testimonials to share via social posts.
Misconception #5: Videos Are a Waste of Time.
Reality: Sharing one-minute videos can generate sufficient brand awareness when coupled with an entire digital marketing campaign across multiple channels. Share short Q & A videos and patient testimonials. Get creative, or better yet, hire someone with digital marketing experience to create a video content library for your social marketing channels.