+61401395441 leigh@optomly.com.au

At uni, you may have had a common room. It was an area that you could access your locker, grab a bite in-between lectures, catch up with other students, cram for the next exam or discuss a difficult patient you’d just seen for several hours.

Then there were rumours of friends going to see other common rooms, like the one that the dental students had. They were said to have much better amenities like table tennis, pool tables and better cooking facilities. And more couch space to relax on.

Social media is like a huge digital common room. Like a common room, we use social media to connect, be entertained or learn from others. It gives us a way of relaxing with a busy lifestyle.

We know that the internet is becoming increasingly popular. Approximately 50% of Australians use social media everyday (according to Sensis Social Media Report). Australians on social media have an average of 297 friends contacts or followers. They like to connect with friends, family and create or join communities aligned with their interests.

Ignoring social media is a bit like choosing to never enter the common room. At Uni, this would mean missing out on the laughter, camaraderie, and learning that happens there. As a result, you might feel less engaged with your classmates. Study may feel boring or lonely.

To embrace social media in your practice, here are four key areas:

  1. To engage people as individuals

Each of your patients are the heroes of their own world. They have their own journey. They overcome struggles each day. They work hard to succeed in their work and personal lives.

Like Yoda from Star Wars, patients have a problem. They seek you out as their guide. In their case, they had and eye problem. In Luke Skywalker’s case, it was the internal struggle of whether or not he had what it takes.

Patients are all unique with their own interests, sports, and occupations. And then their role may change over time. Or even when they reach the front door of home.

Social media involves understanding that patients are individual, and that you are a guide in their journey.


2. Continuously over time

Trust is something that you cannot earn overnight. However, you can speed up the process with social media.

Posting valuable information online, and making it regular, gives you a head start in developing trust before any initial appointment.

Perhaps a patient read something that you posted about how you have new technology or tool for treating dry eye. Or that you can reshape their corneae overnight with Ortho-K. Patients like these are more likely to trust your recommendation before they meet you in person.

However on social media, patients may only notice your last post (or perhaps a couple before that). Some patients may have only just discovered your Facebook Page. Others may have followed you from the start. (But not seen your articles due to Facebook reducing the natural reach of Pages.)

Social media is a bit like a river- you must contribute regularly to it, or it gets carried away by the current of information. As a uni student, visiting the common room regularly means that you were more likely to meet other students and get to know them.


3. Directed towards an outcome

Who is your best patient? You know the ones that you can easily relate to, someone who listens well, and is motivated to do all of the things that you tell them. We all want many more of these patients.

The better that you can describe your best patient, the better that you can find more patients like them on social media. Things like age, gender, suburb, interests are all useful and there are many more ways can be used.

Your goal of social media may be to develop trust with patients like these. Write to them in the way that engages them, and their friends and family will follow.


4. Everywhere they are

Facebook is the number one social media platform currently. In early 2015, it had 1.44 billion active users. These are people who have logged in at least once in the last 30 days.

The next most common platforms are: Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube and Google+, according to Social Media Examiner.

Your best place to start with social media is Facebook. Post information there like you were speaking to your best patients. Think about the time that they are most likely to read it. This may be first thing in the morning, or sometime in the evening.


As you establish your reputation on social media, you will start to see more patients wanting to hear what you have to say.

Give your patients the awesome common room experience. Say something brief or funny or thoughtful or useful. Invite them to share. Make your social media presence a great place to connect.

Then you will reap the rewards of motivated patients who trust what you say.


Comment below on your favourite memory of spending time in the common room at Uni? 


Free Download: How to use Google to bring you more potential patients

Free Download: How to use Google to bring you more potential patients

Need new patients? Don't get left behind. Download the guide "How to use Google to bring you more potential patients" as seen in Optometry Australia News 2018


You have Successfully Subscribed!