By Alan Glazier, OD
My kids are constantly comparing how many Instagram followers they have. It seems to be a mirror of popularity and, (I hope not), self esteem. I continue to hear ODs discuss and compare how many “likes” they have on their social media profiles, and I imagine some of us view it in the same way. However, in business unlike social, “likes” are not a sign of popularity, nor should they impact your business self-esteem. “Likes” are accumulated with two specific purposes in mind. (1) To repeatedly get your brand in front of those who connect with your business page in the hopes that something you will post will cause them to visit your office more than once a year and (2) in the hopes that one of your connections will “share” your posts, enabling you to indirectly market to their circle of friends. The most important of the two is getting in front of “friends of friends”, or #2.
As consumers, we tend to pay attention to and trust that the things our friends are doing are positive and may be good for us as well. When a connection shares your posts and someone sees your brand in their friends feed, they pay more attention to this kind of “marketing” than they might had they seen your sign, or an ad you ran in a local paper. They can connect with their friend and ask questions, the answers likely to be more trusted than the information they glean about your business from your website or page alone. They can see if one or more of their friends is a client, and the more connections that you share, the more trust you elicit via the online connections.
Historically, when searching for a new provider, you might pick up the phone and ask a friend who they go to for their specific health care needs. At work, you may have leaned over the cubicle or walked to the office next door with your corporate “list” of providers to see who your colleagues recommended. Add to that those people who use social media connections to share information on providers they recommend as a piece of the modern marketing “pie”. Who have your friends “liked” = higher level of trust, resulting in increased word-of-mouth referrals to your business, so build up those likes, create useful, fun and compelling content so they share it, driving the “friends of friends” marketing engine in your business
Photo: Copyright: andresr / 123RF Stock Photo
Dr. Glazier is the owner and founder of Shady Grove Eye & Vision Care in Rockville, MD, a large medical model 4 doctor optometry practice. Dr. Glazier holds a B.S. from the University of Maryland and a Doctorate from the New England College of Optometry. He is a fellow in the American Academy of Optometry and a Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry. Dr. Glazier is an author, lecturer, professional blogger and industry consultant. In both 2011 and 2012 Dr. Glazier was selected as one of the most influential optometrists in the country by the VisionMonday organization. He is the recipient of many awards and honors related to his cutting edge use of the internet to market his practice, including a DARE award, Optometric Business Innovator awards and a Voltage award by SmartCEO magazine. He is co-founder of the industries first virtual conference, CEingIsBelieving and founder of the industries most influential social media group, ODs on facebook, with over 10,500 members. Dr. Glazier’s patient care interests include dry eye and specialty contact lenses. He lives in the Washington, DC suburbs with his wife Laura, sons Jacob and Ari and goldendoodle Tbone