The Ultimate Social Media Posting Guide for Optometrists
Strategy and Example Posts
Can you use social media to increase your patient volume? Yes, if you do it right. Many optometry practice managers underestimate social media–its effects and how to use it.
So, why don’t you have a successful social media account?
Is it brand awareness?
Paying for sponsored ads or “boosting” your posts?
Do people just not know what optometry is?
While some of these options could be helpful to address, especially the last one, the top reason your social media isn’t helping you out is ENGAGEMENT.
Wait! Shouldn’t I invest in social media ads?
Short answer: probably not yet.
Long answer: Paying to advertise on social media is unlikely to bring in clients unless you have:
- A high converting website
- Solid SEO fundamentals
- Marketing strategies that are already generating some leads
Social media ads can help grow your brand and further establish rapport with current and prospective patients.
Before you get started, there are a few things to nail down first.
Start with a High Converting, Search Engine Optimized Optometry Practice Website
SEO gets your optometry website on the first page of a search result
Your website is your virtual representative to the public. Of course you want your website to look good. However, it’s equally–perhaps more–important to have a website that is easy to navigate, optimized for mobile use, and structured and written to increase your chances of being first result on the search page.
That’s SEO, friends (there’s more to it, but that’s the gist).
For an example, say your optometry practice has invested enough into social media ads to have great click rates and show up across Facebook and Instagram. Awesome!
Those impressions and clicks are nice, but if people arrive at your website and can’t figure out how to schedule an appointment they’ll look elsewhere.
Without SEO, people won’t be able to find you in a Google search after they clicked on your ad. It’s easy to shop around, if you can’t be found then you’ve lost your place in the race.
Conversion funnels make your marketing more effective
There needs to be an established funnel for acquiring leads once people land on your site. Collecting email addresses for a newsletter sign-up, for example, allows you to consistently market to people already interested in your services–while further imprinting yourself as a local authority.
A website optimized to collect quality–not junk or spam–leads will increase the longevity of your marketing campaigns AND the chances of those prospective patients walking through your door.
If you do have your website, SEO, and schedule down pat, go for ads if it’s in your budget! Otherwise, follow our tips to maximize the use of a typical social media account.
Maybe you’re wondering how to get a better website and more search visibility through SEO? You’ve come to the right place! Find out more and read about our proven methods (with data!) on our SEO page.
Social media is the new word of mouth – use it for marketing your practice!
Why engagement? Even in a digitized world, word of mouth remains the king of marketing–just not always literal words from physical mouths anymore. Likes, shares, comments, and (especially) your replies to comments feed into an algorithmic symphony.
That symphony can either become music to your ears and “what helps keep the lights on” or it can drown out any chance of getting through the noise.
Get through the noise – show up when people are searching
How do you play your part and make the algorithms work for you?
Don’t think there’s any noise? Take a scroll through Instagram and count the number of advertisements (from corporate and personal accounts). You’ll find that many brands are capitalizing on social media’s marketing opportunities–especially healthcare. Optometry is affected by both the pros and cons of the healthcare industry.
You’re necessary to health, most patients don’t have a choice but to seek you out at some point.
Healthcare has come under suspicion and many people don’t trust health professionals at face value anymore.
Don’t despair! We can help! Using your social media account can be a double-edged sword, getting you more new patients and retaining current patients for longer.
Choke-up, tighten your grip, here we go.
3 Practical Tips to Fix Your Practice’s Social Media
So you’re on board, social media isn’t the enemy. Let’s get friendly, or, “social.”
1. Follow a posting schedule
This is the most important tip. If you only do this, and nothing else, you will be better off.
No one can engage with your posts if you don’t have any. Why don’t some accounts post? Because they don’t plan them out (similar to many patients who don’t come in until it’s too late because they didn’t schedule in advance).
We recommend approximately four posts per month, or once per week. If you’re not sure how to start, make some simple holiday posts like this.
Making a schedule allows you to post meaningful, targeted content instead of off-the-cuff quotes that get ignored.
Lucky for you, we have a year-long “kit” of posts pre-made and ready to go.
2. Use high-quality visuals
Many studies have proved the efficacy of visuals over text, so suffice it to say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
Just make sure your picture says what you want it to!
Using high-quality images not only makes scrollers more likely to stop and read your post but can also convey professionalism and credibility.
It’s even better if you can use appropriate, user-generated content from patients, such as testimonials or photos of patients who love their new glasses.
But first, a word on HIPPA.
We don’t need to educate you on HIPPA, but it’s worth mentioning that you must acquire informed (written) consent from patients if you plan on using their likeness or personal information. A patient sending you a picture and some comments may seem like implied consent, but be safe–do your paperwork.
Infographics are a great way to catch attention and provide relevant health information or advice, further establishing your practice as trustworthy experts.
3. Reply to comments, even negative ones
That’s right, you have to engage too!
If you ask a question and get answers or receive any relevant input from a post, respond. This benefits you in a few ways:
Most importantly, the individual to whom you’re responding feels a personal touch in an otherwise inhuman arena. This sticks with people and can help your practice be their first thought when they need eye care.
All social media platforms want users to spend more time on their site/app. When they get what they want, you get rewarded. By contributing to conversation and therefore influencing the amount of time users spend engaging you help your posts come up more often and at optimal times.
From the first point, humanizing healthcare goes a long way in helping individuals trust health professionals. This leads to the ideal win-win scenario: practices see more patients more regularly and patients get the best possible care.
Examples of Social Media Posts for Optometry Practices
Ask and you shall receive! Here’s a sample from our social media kit for optometry practices, designed to save you from spending unnecessary time planning your posts. We’re pulling from May and December to demonstrate examples of creative content and holiday-centric posts.
This is just a taste, a starter from our full year’s-worth of ready-to-post content. Starting is the hardest part. Spend time developing your social media posting plan and you won’t regret it!
To be ultra-clear, paying for social media advertisements probably shouldn’t be your first move. Optimize your website for performance, your content for high ranking on a search engine results page (SERP), and get patients!
For the use of a generic social media account by your optometry practice, you can’t beat our social media posting kit! We take care of the prep so you can reap the benefits of consistent posts to help generate positive engagement.
Need help marketing your optometry practice or optical?
If you’re still stuck or just don’t have the time, contact us. We love using our expertise to help optometrists be as good online as they are in-person.
Social media, paired with SEO (search engine optimization) and digital advertising can get you on the map and increase the number of patients who find and reach out to you–especially on a local level.