Jennifer Holcomb, Staff at Dr. Bedsole's Office
At our office, we like to establish a personal connection with our patients, much like any other practice would. Face-to-face time is our most effective form of communication. It beats email, texting, the phone... everything. But of course it's limited to the person you're speaking to, and further limited by only when you see that patient, which is usually at most once a year. In order to make up for the lack of face-to-face time, we've embraced Facebook.
Facebook gives us a chance to have almost that much "face" time, and with hundreds of patients at a time. Just like a person chooses to speak to you face-to-face, and you can see if they are interested in what you are saying, we believe that people like information that they have chosen to receive and that is not forced upon them - and that is interesting! Over 1000 people have 'liked' our page and become Facebook fans have because they were already loyal patients, one of their friends suggested that they like the page (and they did!) or they wanted to win something. In all cases, something compelled them to "like" the page, and now we keep in much better touch with them.
Regardless of how they got to our page, they have become an audience for our updates and fun giveaways. We think it is important to be focused on eye care while being very 'real' in the process. Having confidence in what your practice has to offer is the key ingredient to social media success. I love my job. I have faith in my Doctor so "sharing" our page with my friends and family just makes sense! We all practice and live in a small town so 'neighbors giving a gift to neighbors' is the feeling we get when a "fan" wins a contest. I love getting to call someone when they win, it's a feeling I imagine the flower delivery person gets on Valentine's Day. As a matter of fact our Valentine promotion was a lot of fun, I was able to deliver roses, chocolates and a beautiful pair of Coach sunglasses to the winner. We also had a Tax Day giveaway which was hugely popular with our fans - the number of comments we received was unbelievable. It got more "likes" than any promotion before and was talked about like crazy. I once again think it was because it was real and was something everybody could relate to.
We're happy to be a part of the social media at our office, and feel like this is just another part of our job - another way to keep in touch with our patients. It has made me love my job even more, and has been of great benefit to the practice. Dr. Bedsole values our advice and our help in social media and his trust in our judgment is very rewarding.
To sum it up, you have to remember to stay real - we're real people talking to real people out there. If you're not spending face-to-face time with your patients when they're in the office, you can't have real 'face' time with them on Facebook, and it won't work. My advice to Doctors out there - put your faith in your staff, value them, and let them surprise you with how they can help the practice with its Social Media. My advice to all staff out there - be committed to your practice 100% and don't be afraid to step outside the box and have fun. Have a look at our Facebook page.
Editor's Note: Since writing this article, Jennifer spearheaded a Graduation Photo Contest which brought over 200 new likes to the page has reached over 4,500 Facebook users - her most successful social media effort to date. Go Jennifer!