At A Glance
- Invest in a high-quality headshot to use on all of your platforms.
- Keep your page clean and simple so that it is visually appealing.
- Create a mission for your page to help with content and focus.
Most of you reading this have an online presence in the form of a website or Facebook page for your office. Social media platforms are a good resource for sharing general information about the office, and websites are good for booking appointments. You can even add a generic “About Us” section to tell a little more about you and your practice. Most of us are also on LinkedIn. But, beyond this, have you made any effort to brand yourself professionally on a more patient-focused social media platform?
Professional branding in eye care is an easy way to help patients find you online and get to know your professional expertise before ever meeting you in the office. A growing number of eye doctors are branding themselves on Instagram, so if you are looking for inspiration, this is the place to go. Otherwise, if you’re ready to start working on your own personal brand, I’ve put together a few quick tips to help you.
INVEST IN A HEADSHOT
Hire a professional photographer for a session, and choose two to three of the resulting professional photos to use on your social media platforms and websites. I suggest using the same headshot for your profile pictures to have consistent branding. You can use the other photos for bios, blog posts, social media posts, etc.
STRATEGIZE THE LOOK OF YOUR PAGE
It’s important to use good quality pictures and to be strategic about how they will look all together once posted. This is especially important for platforms where pictures are the main focus, such as Instagram. When people look at your profile, they see all the thumbnail pictures at a glance, so you want the pictures to be aesthetically pleasing. A strategy I use for my Instagram page is to alternate between posting well-lit photos and graphics with words on a white background. I suggest avoiding dark photos or too many busy photos.
DEVELOP A MISSION
Have a goal in mind of what you want to achieve with your page, and create content based on that goal. Here are some examples of goals:
- Patient education and informing the general public
- Marketing eye care services
- Building a searchable online presence
- Promoting your niche or expertise in optometry
CREATE INTERESTING CONTENT
Share posts and photos that will keep your patients engaged. Anything is fair game, from fun facts to the latest research, or from new hip frames to a brand new piece of equipment you have in your office. I try to keep things interesting by adding fashion, beauty tips, and words of inspiration to my page. When you don’t know what to say, try documenting your daily professional life. See Not Sure What to Post? for some content ideas.
Not Sure What to Post?
Here are some content ideas for pictures, stories,and videos:
- Introduce yourself
- Give a tour of your practice
- Share some of your favorite things in the eye care world
- Answer frequently asked questions
- Talk about a particular eye disease
- Feature your best-selling frames
- Describe the lens design process and which lens types are best for different hobbies or occupations
- Discuss the importance of dilation (and add that you can still drive afterward)
- Explain the difference between ODs and MDs
I chose to focus on one platform (Instagram), and I typically spend 1 to 2 hours a week curating posts and managing my page. Engaging in comments and likes is a great way to build relationships with followers. I have found that linking your social media channels to your web page makes them easy for patients to find. Also, using hashtags and tagging your office location increases your exposure.
A good online presence can be a great resource for patient education; it helps patients remember who you are, which can aid in patient retention; and it is a great networking tool. I recommend that your professional pages be made public, but that you keep your private pages secured to just family and close friends.