Optometry Social Media
Your practice has been cruising. The appointment book is solid.
Then you hear news that a new corporate optometry practice is coming. And their new store is right across the road.
Oh. And they’re fully owned by a health fund. AND they happen to have an the email and address details of 40% of families in your area.
Then you get a text message from a friend. It’s a photo of a Facebook Ad for the new competitor.
Your own Facebook Page is pretty lean. Not many people are ‘liking’ your posts.
Have you done enough to retain your current patients? Can you continue to grow?
Here’s a list of risks that your practice takes by not being active on social media:
- Online competition: If you aren’t communicating with your patients online, then your online competition probably is. You might have heard of Warby Parker, the online dispensing company based in the U.S.. Starting in 2010, Warby Parker used social media and their website solely for the first three years of business. Today, they have a website and optical stores in nine U.S. cities. The company has an estimated worth of over one billion dollars. And they have around 250 employees who are working ‘behind the scenes’. If you’re not active on social media, it’s likely that brands like Warby Parker will overtake you. And more of your patients will take a copy of their scripts to fill online.
- Local Competition: Local businesses are on Facebook too. Like Specsavers. In the race to the bottom, they want to put more of a squeeze on your margins. I saw an ad for $39 complete frames and single-vision lenses. This is tough to compete with, right?
- Being perceived as behind the curve– Your middle-aged patient tells you that they remember having a ‘trial frame’ refraction as a child. Then yous smile and turn to your computer. You show them images from your brand-new OCT. They’re surprised. And you feel vindicated. The same applies to social media. If you’re not active on your Facebook Page, are you acting like you’re behind the curve?
- Decreased visibility on Google: Google wants to send online traffic to websites that have the most useful information. If patients on social media share your website, then Google regards this as validation of being useful. If you aren’t active on social media, then you will miss out on additional online traffic from Google.
- Perception that you don’t care: You’re not just a glasses shop. And you’re not just a refractionist. If you aren’t active on social media, it may be perceived that you don’t care about your practice or the community you work in.
- Negative reviews hurt more: As previous, the more sparse your social media is, the more amplified that negative reviews appear.
- No reinforcement of recalls: Patients open their reminder letter in the mail. Then it gets put in their to-do pile, underneath the electricity bill. You know that the patient needed to come back for a review. Otherwise you wouldn’t have sent them a reminder. Given that so many patients are on Facebook, not being active means that your reminder letters are not reinforced. They may take a while to get to their to-do pile. But they check social media regularly.
- Your patients stop learning from you: If you aren’t active on social media, patients may miss seeing important vision-related information. Or may be confused by mis-information from other online sources.
- Your patients miss seeing your compassionate side: They miss seeing your support for causes like Optometry Giving Sight, Vision 2020 or World Myopia Day.
If you want to be an easy target for a new competitor, don’t spend the time creating a community around eyecare. Let them attract patients through social media and their website.
Do you know a friend who is struggling to know where to start with social media? Send this article to them, and tell them to drop me a line.