I like hard data, mostly because somebody other than me did the monotonous research, and it takes the guesswork out of a lot of things. Wildfire (owned by Google) recently released a report outlining seven strategies for getting maximum value from your social media posts. A few may seem like common sense, and a few may surprise you.
- Tap into fans passions with photos or video media. On Facebook, posts including a photo album, a picture or a video generate about 180%, 120%, and 100% more engagement than the average text post, respectively.
- Ask questions. Question posts generate about 90% more engagement than the average text post. While open ended questions require fans to consider and write out their answers, make it quick and easy by asking closed questions. Ie. Did you know that sunglasses can protect your eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration?
- Tell users what you want from them. Ending a post with an instruction to “Like” or “+1” this post usually results in a higher number of those actions. Wildfire discovered posts on their own fan page had 4 times as many likes when the phrase “LIKE if you’re as thrilled as we are” was included.
- Treat your fans like they’re VIPs. According to the research firm Razorfish, the #1 reason fans “Like” or “Follow” a brand on social networks is to get access to exclusive content, promotions and deals. Offer your patients privileged content (discounts, contests, etc.) that’s offered exclusively to your fans and followers.
- Invite one-on-one interactions. Give your comments a personal touch by responding to them personally. Make your fans feel heard and appreciated addressing them by name whenever possible, and respond to their comments one-on-one.
- Take your relationship to the next level. Actively invite personal conversations by soliciting their opinions on relevant topics. Wildfire found that their most engaging posts are consistently the ones that invite people to post any question about social media – which is always answered. Without violating privacy issues, would your patients like the ability to get answers from you about general eye issues?
- Humanize your brand. For some reason, people get excited about behind-the-scenes access. Post VIP content, such as a video of you performing a clinical procedure or a pic of the staff dressed up for Halloween. Give your practice a personality.
Reviewing this list, most of these posts are designed to connect on an emotional level, provide value, and operate as an extension of the outstanding customer service they received in your office. Have you found similar results with your posts?
About: Steve Vargo, O.D., M.B.A. frequently writes and lectures on using technology and digital media for marketing eye care practices. He also practices optometry in St. John, In., where he lives with his wife and 2 sons.
I recently met Blaine Ung, President of the Eye Care Division of HeartSmart Technologies based in Irvine California. Here is the synopsis of our discussion.
NewMediaOD: Please tell us about HeartSmart and why Eye Care physicians should take notice.
HeartSmart: First of all, thank you for giving us the opportunity to share HeartSmart’s story. Our nation has a really big health problem on our hands. The American Heart Association estimates that 81 million American are at-risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and the total direct and indirect costs of CVD will exceed $800 Billion by 2030.
It won’t come as any surprise to your readers that CVD is the No. 1 killer of men and women worldwide resulting in over 17 million deaths annually according to the World Health Organization.
Prior to the launch of HeartSmart’s Eye Care Division in January of last year, HeartSmart worked exclusively with cardiologists, internal medicine and primary care physicians.
We started the Eye Care Division because Optometrists & Ophthalmologists perform over 96 million eye exams annually and there is a linkage between eye health and overall health.
We advocate that Eye Care physicians play a major role in detecting and quantifying patients who might be at risk by incorporating a carotid artery ultrasound screening into their comprehensive eye exam routine.