Social media is where many, if not most, of your patients spend vast amounts of personal time. You can leverage posts to sites like Facebook and Instagram to market to them where they already are, rather than hoping they open promotional e-mails or postal mail messages. Here’s how our practice, which has a vision therapy focus, and no optical retail business, uses social media to communicate with current, and prospective, patients.

Make Time & Assign

When we first opened the practice, we both would make an effort to post to social media. We would post on average 2-3 times a week during our downtime between seeing patients or after hours. As the practice became busier, this became a task that was somewhat neglected and went to the wayside.

In an effort to keep our social media presence consistent we decided to delegate the majority of posting to our receptionist. We have found it’s a great use of her downtime between other reception tasks! She shows great initiative in finding new, hot optometric topics to post about.

We have looked into using tools such as Hootsuite for planned automatic posts. We ultimately decided that while this takes the burden off the person responsible for posting, we did not believe the cost outweighed the benefit.

Another tipping point was that a lot of our posts are very individualized for our patient base and community, so some of the pre-populated posts would not be a good fit for our social media flow. Our receptionist keeps track of how many times per week she posts.

For example, if we have an excess of patient testimonials to post she will make a plan in her calendar to space them out and post them at later dates.

Multi-Purpose Posts

The two sites we typically post on are Facebook and Instagram. We have them linked together, so any posts on Instagram are easily shared directly to our Facebook page.

Another great tip is to incorporate links to your web site within these posts to draw more traffic to your practice web site. We sometimes post a “teaser” on social media and include a link to our web site for the full article/story. Within our web site we have a blog section for these types of posts.

This story originally appeared in Review of Optometric Business