We’re all familiar with the saying “Jack of all trades, master of none.” That saying always reminded me of the character Cliff Clavin from the old Cheers TV series. He was a self proclaimed expert in everything, but in point of fact, wasn’t really an expert in much of anything. In this day and age, we admire specialization. As a matter of fact, many of you are specialists, having chosen to go into Optometry instead of general medicine.
Where am I going with this? To the land of social media. There are thousands of social media sites around the world online. You have probably heard of maybe 20 or if you are really with it, upwards of 50 of them. Everything from Facebook, to Twitter, LinkedIn to Snapchat, Pinterest to Instagram, Myspace to Google+, Tumblr to Flickr, Tagged to Meetup, Foursquare to Yelp,…and the list goes on and on and on.
As we work with a number of eye care practices and optical manufacturers, we have been struck with the number of various social networks these businesses have joined for whatever reasons and then never done anything with them. We had one practice this week who asked us to list their Instagram account on a poster we were creating for their store and when we went to look that account up found they had not yet posted even one photo. Would you ask patients to come down and look at your eyeglass selection with no inventory on your shelves or frame boards?
The problem here is that we hear about whatever the hot new social media network is and feel we have to jump onboard and participate or be left behind. The best advice we can offer our clients and you, The Optical Vision Site reader is to stop and think about what and where you do before you do it.
Let’s assume you could open as many practices as you wanted without paying rent. How many would you open empty of product and equipment? Why should your social media be any different? Just having a account on every social media outlet in and of itself is worthless unless you do something with it. Worse yet, is putting a link on your website and having a prospective patient customer go to that empty page. Why would they ever want to return?
So where should you be? If your time and resources are limited, start with Facebook. Engage people there. After all, there are over 1.1 billion active users on Facebook. More importantly, the average person spends 7 hours a month on Facebook. Google+ may have over 500 million members, but the average amount of time spent there is 7………………….minutes a month. That doesn’t mean Google+ is worthless, but it does mean you have to work harder to get noticed. If you are barely spending time on a network, just say no to putting your business on there, unless you are willing to hire someone to do it for you. Most importantly, think about where your customers and patients spend their time.
If your practice caters to 50 year olds, Snapchat is not a good strategy. If your practice is 60% women, why would you spend time on Google+ that is 70% men or reversing the genders, Pinterest that is 65% women?
We would suggest limiting your social media to networks you will engage regularly with and on. Start with Facebook, since most everyone online is a member and if you want to take on another after building a strong presence there, look at Twitter, Google+, or Pinterest, but only if you are actually going to participate on those networks. Happy Sharing!!