In last blog we described the story of Lindsey: A long-term patient who presented some unique challenges to you, her optician. Namely, she had done quite a bit of independent research online, putting you in a difficult position. Fortunately, you were able to quell her concerns and offer a pair of progressive Trivex photochromic lenses to fit her diverse spectacle needs.
But there are some ways you can prevent this situation from recurring. After all, the average consumer today consults 10.4 sources online before making a purchase. Wouldn’t you want to be one of those sources?
Opticians have a lot to gain from improving their online presence in terms of patient education, marketing, and brand reputation. But of course, your online presence and your offline interactions with patients are intimately connected.
Learning from Lindsey
After your experience with Lindsey, you decided to make some much-needed additions to your practice’s marketing plan. It’s 2015 after all, and any business without a substantial online presence is at a disadvantage.
You decide to set up a Facebook Page and begin posting articles, photos, and blogs related to eyewear and the decision-making process. You set up a LinkedIn profile and joined some relevant groups, such as Optometrist UK, Optician Magazine, Independent Eye Care Professionals, Eyewear, and Eyewear Professionals — you participate in discussions with your industry peers.
You also set up a website, using a simple, low-overhead tool like WordPress or Squarespace, using it to provide complete information about your practice and share educational information with potential patients.
You spend around an hour per week maintaining your social media profiles and updating your website — much less than you had expected. In fact, you find yourself learning a thing or two from your fellow LinkedIn group members and others on social media. It turns out that updating your website naturally keeps you up-to-date on the eyewear industry, leading you toward new information and sales strategies you wouldn’t have otherwise encountered.
But most importantly, you find that your online efforts are bringing more patients to your practice. How can you capitalize on these potential long-term customers?
….The question about ROI of social media is sometimes answered as follows: The ROI of social media is that your business will still exist in 5 years! This is why the term ROI in the context of social media is filled with the additional content: ROI is to be understood as “Risk Of Ignorance” …. The quote from Digital Darwinism and the Need for a Digital Transformation, Prof. Dr. Ralf T. Kreutzer, Marketing Department, Berlin School of Economics and Law