It's time to clear up some major misconceptions about social media (SM). Too many optometrists let these myths keep them from enjoying the practice-building benefits of SM. Well, read on if you're ready to get the real scoop. Read on if you're ready to let these truths set you free. It's time to stop being anti-social (media).
Myth 1: Social Media Costs Too Much
Social media is not free. Plain and simple, SM will cost you something. It may not require a financial outlay to use it on its most basic level, but SM does require a minimal investment of your time and a sizable investment of your creativity.
But, from a monetary standpoint, SM can be absolutely 100% free. In fact, to use all of the most popular SM platforms, you're not required to shell out any money. For example, you can create and set up a Facebook (FB) page for your business for free.
However, some businesses choose to fund their SM presence to enhance their marketing. For example, you have the option to "Promote" a post on FB in order for that post to gain more exposure. (Right now, it only costs around $10.) This often generates more fans and more engagement.
You can also choose to do a more formal advertising campaign and create ads and offers that are displayed on FB, which can help build your fan base, sell products or generate appointments.
Myth 2: Social Media is Too Time Consuming
Done correctly, SM requires surprisingly little time commitment. After the initial setup--which should take most people around a half hour--there is a very small time requirement. In my office, it's about five to 10 minutes a day.
My practice, Park Slope Eye, uploads at least one post per day. On even days, a member of the front desk team posts. On odd days, a member of the optical team posts. I post whenever I'm inspired. All of us take no more than five minutes to do it. If your staffer tells you it takes longer, he or she is doing something wrong. (Most likely browsing FB for fun.)
We also spend a couple or minutes engaging other local businesses with ours. Is the restaurant down the street displaying a local artist's works? You might want to "Like" it or "Share" it with your fans. This is often an overlooked, but essential, part of building a successful FB page. You'll develop actual community involvement by virtual means.
Monitoring user review platforms, such as Yelp or Google Places, takes even less time. The best part is that consumers largely create the content on your review page. This means that the public content is self generating and it only requires you to monitor and respond. You won't get a review every day. (If you do, you should be writing this article, because you would be the biggest SM rock star around!) Most practices probably get a few reviews a month.
If the review is positive, a simple...