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Posted on Friday, February 27, 2015 - 05:35 by NancyRausman

Looking for ideas to get your staff involved in social media?

Our social media expert Sabina has plenty of ideas which she shares with our ODLingo clients each month. Here is an example of a couple of her suggestions from this past January:

1: Get A New Year's Resolution!

Everyone has something to aspire to in the new year, whether it is spending more time with family, eating healthier, exercising, or finishing school. Throughout the month of January, take a picture of each staff member working on his or her resolution and add a sentence about what the goals are. Encourage fans to share their New Year Resolutions as well.

Example:
Our ophthalmic technician’s New Year’s Resolution is to lead a healthier lifestyle. With a family history of diabetes, she doesn’t want to be the next one going down that road. Check out a few of her recipes for eating healthy and staying fit. What is your New Year Resolution?

2: January 28th Is Fun At Work Day!

Work is not always fun but there are moments in the day when fun happens. When that time of day comes, take a picture and post it with a sentence or two about the fun that is happening in the picture. Add some hashtags like, #FunAtWorkDay.

Social media ideas can be plenty, but it does involve some thought and planning ahead. It is worthwhile to have periodic brainstorming sessions to get staff involved and gather all of your creative ideas in one place. Then you can plan them out over a period of a few months so the whole endeavor will be less cumbersome.

Some great ideas and sources of content to share include:

  • Q & A Session with your Optician(s) 
  • Sneak Peek at your new products or special service
  • Ask for product reviews and recommend your favorite products 
  • Articles and blogs - industry related or just entertaining, interesting or fun
  • Breaking industry news - subscribe to Google Alerts
  • Announcements or information about local or global causes or events
  • Jokes, facts, trivia and predictions
  • Frame styles, fashion and fitting tips
  • Contests or challenges
  • Seasonal or holiday related content
  • Videos, photos and infographics
  • Unique staff hobbies or skills, post links to employee bios 
  • Commentary on news or sports (you might want to stay away from politics though!)

Stay tuned...in the next digital tip, I will share advice on how to train your staff to safely post on social media.
 
Want to hear more about our social media services or need help with developing your social media posts? Contact Daniel at Daniel@eyecarepro.net  or phone (412) 532-6542.

Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 11:26 by admin

We would like to thank our speakers, exhibitors and registrants for participating in the third annual Seeing Is Believing Virtual Conference. If you were not able to attend the live virtual conference or just missed out on a few educational sessions this past January, you can still visit the exhibitor theater as well as attend over 20 COPE and CE courses. Course topics like, 'Building your Two Million Dollar Practice', 'Retail Strategies', 'Collagen Cross Linking' and more will be OnDemand until April 30th, 2015. So don't miss out, register here, SiB Registration: If you've already registered, you can log in to the conference here: SiB Log In

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Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2015 - 13:39 by NancyRausman

Many business owners are apprehensive to say the least about letting staff members represent their business on social media.  And based on a number of “staff gone wild” horror stories out there, this fear could be justified….unless you take the proper steps to train your staff to post responsibly.

Those that refrain from allowing their staff to take an active role in social media outlets such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest etc… are actually minimizing the impact social media can have on getting their Practice name out, engaging patients and creating buzz in their local community. Alternatively, involving your staff in social media marketing can exponentially increase the effectiveness of your outreach. 

Before we go into some steps on how to engage your employees in social media, here are some reasons you want your staff to contribute to social media in the first place:

Your employees can be some of your greatest brand ambassadors. Hopefully more for better than for worse, your staff represents your brand and each one has a lot of expertise and ideas to share. With the right guidance, you can engage your staff to promote a vibrant and valuable image of your Practice on social media. 

Chances are you employ a diverse staff, each one being connected to a different circle. Tapping into the combination of all of these circles simply casts a larger net. According to Michael Idinopulos, chief marketing officer of social optimization software PeopleLinx, “People don't buy from brands; they buy from people they know and trust." So the more people out there that know and trust your Practice and the people associated with it, the better!

Because each staff member is different and communicates differently, each of them will bring their personal expertise, sense of humor and interests to your social media. Consequently, your content will reflect and appeal to a greater diversity of personalities and individuals. 

You might discover that one of your staff members is really knowledgeable or talented when it comes to social media marketing and can be a great asset to your Practice. In this case, you can shift the responsibility and give yourself more time to grow your Practice in other ways. 

You will get more content out there if you share the responsibility. We know you are busy, maybe even too busy to worry about keeping up with social media. On a practical level, if each member of your staff is contributing to the social media effort, you will produce more content and be more effective.

Once you’ve made the decision to allow your staff to help out with your social media you are ready to take the next steps: engaging your employees and planning your social media strategy. Look for part 2 of this topic in an upcoming blog. 

Do you need help getting started or have questions about your Practice’s social media? Contact Daniel at Daniel@eyecarepro.net  or phone (412) 532-6542 to find out more about our optometry-focused social media services.

Posted on Sunday, February 1, 2015 - 06:08 by NancyRausman

It's a new year and now is the time to plan out your integrated marketing calendar for the upcoming year. Planning ahead will get you organized and allow for the proper time and organization to create higher caliber and more effective marketing campaigns. Here is a 5 step plan and some helpful campaign download links to get your marketing off the ground and patients in the door…
 
Step 1
Brainstorm Campaign Ideas: Brainstorm ideas for thematic or time-related/seasonal campaigns:

  • Make a list of all the holidays (national and local) and eye care observance days (Glaucoma month etc.) and their dates. Consider running a FSA campaign late in the year. Here is one idea: Use It or Lose It campaign.
  • Now list seasonal themes (ski season, spring allergies, beach season, back to school, college vacations etc.) you might want to use for a campaign. Download a free allergy video and campaign here.
  • Add any specialties or relevant eye care or product topics that you might want to highlight (children’s vision, dry eyes, UV, transitions lenses, etc.). Try this campaign with a pediatric focus.
  • Think about local events such as country fairs, sports, educational or cultural events, that you might want to participate in or base a campaign around.
  • Finally add any other ideas you have about fun or interesting campaigns you have seen or thought about. Here are someunusual marketing ideas from a blog post on The Optical Vision Site that may spark some creative inspiration of your own.    

Step 2
Plan out event calendar: Next schedule any events that you would like to host or participate in such as lectures, trunk shows, holiday parties or charity events. These can take the most time to plan and you want to make sure that if you are going to invest the time and money, that you give yourself plenty of time to do it right.
 
Step 3
Assess your marketing channels: Jot down every potential patient-facing channel you have - even if you don’t think you will use it in a marketing campaign. This list will include both on- and offline channels including your office, email lists, mailing lists, website, Facebook, Linkedin, local media, business directories, local advertising, text messages etc… When it comes time to planning the campaign, you want to make sure you hit as many relevant channels as possible to create one, unified message about your brand and your promotion that will reach a broad range of people. 
 
Step 4
Decide how many campaigns you want to run (we suggest at least quarterly, if not monthly): Pick your favorites from the brainstorming list above and schedule them out in the calendar.
 
Step 5
Plan the campaigns: In addition to a schedule, theme and the channels that will be used to promote the campaign, be specific about what the promotion will be and make a clear call to action (CTA) for each campaign that states what you want the customer to do. For example, do you want patients to schedule an eye exam, purchase a second pair of glasses, buy contact lenses, enter to win a prize? Next, think about how you will promote this on each of the channels above (flyers, emails, interstitial website ad, Facebook posts, Facebook ads, paid local advertising, press releases etc…).
 
Remember, the key to an integrated campaign is that it is one consistent message and certainly when it comes to planning, this makes life easier. Once you have your language and your graphics in place, you can reuse them in the various materials you will use.
 
With an idea of what is in store for your Practice marketing this year, you can decide whether you want to hire a professional to help you achieve your goals.
 
Need some ideas or help creating an integrated marketing campaign that will work to bring in new revenue? Contact Daniel by email at Daniel@eyecarepro.net  or phone (412) 532-6542.
 

Posted on Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 07:08 by NancyRausman

Facebook Kills Organic Reach - What does this mean for your Practice Marketing?

After months of gradually reducing organic reach for “overly promotional posts,” come the New Year, Facebook will finally be ending organic social marketing for good. According to a Facebook study, there is now far more content being made than there is time to absorb it. On average, there are 1,500 stories that could appear in a person’s News Feed each time he logs onto Facebook. For people with lots of friends and Page likes, as many as 15,000 potential stories could appear any time they log on.

As a result, competition for any story to gain exposure in people’s News Feeds (the place on Facebook where people view content from their family, friends and business Pages) is growing. Facebook has determined users don’t want to see promotional content and as a result, less of it will be appearing within the News Feed.

Facebook defines any of the following as being promotional:

  1. Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  2. Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  3. Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

Facebook recommends that page owners continue using the most effective strategy to reach their targeted audience and suggests a combination of engaging Page posts and advertising to promote the message more broadly.

How does this announcement impact your Practice’s Facebook marketing?

While we can never really predict exactly how these changes will impact our marketing results, it basically boils down to this: In an effort to maintain the best user experience, Facebook is distinguishing between two types of posts - self-promotional and non-promotional - and saying that if you want to promote, you need to pay. This isn’t such a big change considering Facebook has been on a downward trajectory with organic reach for quite some time and their ads are relatively inexpensive and quite effective.

A Facebook ad campaign can be effective in bringing new and existing patients to your website or into your Practice by offering a coupon or other incentive or featuring a particular service, product or event. You can target the ad to Facebook users in a particular location, demographic or specific interest. Check out this page to learn more about Facebook ads.

For other options to reach a broader following and push your business into news feeds you may want to consider paid posts, these are very effective for marketing your unique content and cost very little:

  1. Boosted Posts: boosted posts let you select which people you want to reach, their location, age, gender and interests
  2. Promoted Posts: promoted posts also let you select the audience you want to reach, but with more targeting and budgeting options than Boost Posts

EyeCarePro has seen clients with great success running targeted Facebook ads and promoted/boosted posts. Here’s a good example of a promoted post that elicits conversation.

Description: Sponsored-Post for Dec. 18th Soft Sell.png

 

 

On the other hand, if you are creating high-quality, engaging, non-promotional content that fans are finding interesting, fun, educational and entertaining you should keep on doing what you are doing. Content that benefits your audience and creates engagement is what Facebook wants to share with users. You want your posts to elicit the following type of response from readers:

  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Shares

The key here is engagement and the best way to achieve this is through a strong, loyal Facebook fan base. When Facebook sees that fans like your content and keep the momentum of a post alive, they will give them more visibility. So Facebook is basically saying give us quality content or pay. Anything else is a waste of your time.

Here are some tips on how to create engaging content and build your fan base using Facebook campaigns

Develop a core following that will help propel your Facebook posts to being noticed, try to:

  • Get your staff involved in posting and commenting on your Facebook. Ask them to reach out to their friends.
  • Ask your fellow business partners who are supportive of your business to join and comment and share on your Facebook.
  • Identify those that are vocal in your community and on Facebook, invite them to comment.

If you need help writing quality content, want some advice on running professional Facebook ads or just need some direction or assistance with your Facebook strategy, we are here for you.

Contact Daniel at Daniel@eyecarepro.net or phone (412) 532-6542.

 

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Daniel Rostenne Daniel Rostenne is a leader in the online optometric community and has made a career of creating and promoting effective web sites for optometric practices. He is a COPE educator, editor of Optometry Web, a regular speaker at eyecare events & conferences and has been widely published in Optometric e-zines. Daniel is an expert in Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Optimization, in particular as it relates to best practices for Optometrists. You can sometimes find Daniel daydreaming on Google+.

Contact Daniel: 866-886-4442 or danielr@eyecarepro.net

Nancy Rausman Nancy Rausman is the managing editor of the EyeCarePro blog and Optometry Web Newsletter. She is responsible for providing ECPs with educational content that helps them advance their practices through technology, management strategies and digital marketing.

Contact Nancy:nancy@eyecarepro.net