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Get Your Staff’s Social Media Gears Turning [Part 2]

Get Your Staff’s Social Media Gears Turning [Part 2]

Looking for ideas to get your staff involved in social media? Our social media expert Sabina has plenty of ideas which she shares with our ODLingo clients each month. Here is an example of a couple of her suggestions from this past January: 1: Get A New Year’s Resolution! Everyone has something to aspire to in the new year, whether it is spending more time with family, eating healthier, exercising, or finishing school. Throughout the month of January, take a picture of each staff member working on his or her resolution and add a sentence about what the goals are. Encourage fans to share their New Year Resolutions as well. Example: Our ophthalmic technician’s New Year’s Resolution is to lead a healthier lifestyle. With a family history of diabetes, she doesn’t want to be the next one going down that road. Check out a few of her recipes for eating healthy and staying fit. What is your New Year Resolution? 2: January 28th Is Fun At Work Day! Work is not always fun but there are moments in the day when fun happens. When that time of day comes, take a picture and post it with a sentence or two about the fun that is happening in the picture. Add some hashtags like, #FunAtWorkDay. Social...
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5 Reasons You Want Your Staff Involved in Social Media [Part 1]

5 Reasons You Want Your Staff Involved in Social Media [Part 1]

Many business owners are apprehensive to say the least about letting staff members represent their business on social media. And based on a number of “staff gone wild” horror stories out there, this fear could be justified…unless you take the proper steps to train your staff to post responsibly. Those that refrain from allowing their staff to take an active role in social media outlets, such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., are actually minimizing the impact social media can have on getting their practice name out, engaging patients and creating buzz in their local community. Alternatively, involving your staff in social media marketing can exponentially increase the effectiveness of your outreach. Before we go into some steps on how to engage your employees in social media, here are some reasons you want your staff to contribute to social media in the first place: 1) Your employees can be some of your greatest brand ambassadors. Hopefully more for better than for worse, your staff represents your brand and each one has a lot of expertise and ideas to share. With the right guidance, you can engage your staff to promote a vibrant and valuable image of your Practice...
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Create an Effective Marketing Plan to Bring in Revenue this Year

Create an Effective Marketing Plan to Bring in Revenue this Year

It’s a new year and now is the time to plan out your integrated marketing calendar for the upcoming year. Planning ahead will get you organized and allow for the proper time and organization to create higher caliber and more effective marketing campaigns. Here is a 5 step plan and some helpful campaign download links to get your marketing off the ground and patients in the door… Step 1 Brainstorm Campaign Ideas: Brainstorm ideas for thematic or time-related/seasonal campaigns: Make a list of all the holidays (national and local) and eye care observance days (Glaucoma month etc.) and their dates. Consider running a FSA campaign late in the year. Here is one idea: Use It or Lose It campaign. Now list seasonal themes (ski season, spring allergies, beach season, back to school, college vacations etc.) you might want to use for a campaign. Download a free allergy video and campaign here. Add any specialties or relevant eye care or product topics that you might want to highlight (children’s vision, dry eyes, UV, transitions lenses, etc.). Try this campaign with a pediatric focus. Think about local events such as country fairs, sports, educational or cultural events, that you might...
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Don’t Start 2015 Without These 6 Local SEO Musts

Don’t Start 2015 Without These 6 Local SEO Musts

The one SEO fact you can be certain of is constant change. So what are the essential, must-have components of local SEO for 2015? Here is the forecast of what your Practice needs to be on top of the SERPs this year. 1. NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) Accuracy and Consistency The seemingly small detail of having accurate and consistent NAP information across your website and online real estate can have a tremendous and increasingly serious impact on your overall online visibility. The good news, this is an easy thing to fix. Go through each business listing, social site and citation and check that your NAP is correct and written exactly the same way in each instance. 2. Claimed/Verified Business Listings You want to be in control of each listing for your Practice to make sure the information is accurate and consistent. Claim your listings on all local business directories including Google, Yahoo, Yelp etc. and make sure the information is up to date (especially the NAP!). 3. Categories/Descriptors While you are working on your business listings, make sure that you pay attention to selecting the most relevant categories and descriptions for your Practice, especially if you specialize...
7 Cost-Effective Online Marketing Strategies For Your Eyecare Business In 2015

7 Cost-Effective Online Marketing Strategies For Your Eyecare Business In 2015

Last month, Best Image Optical’s founder and CEO, Mark Dolabany, presented an American Board of Opticianry (ABO) certified course at the Opticians Association of Massachusetts (OAM). In an ongoing effort to help the independent eyecare professional build their brick-and-mortar business and compete with online optical retailers, we have outlined his course today to help you start thinking about the marketing strategy of your business in 2015. “While traveling on the road and visiting my customers, I find that our conversations turn to the internet and what can be done for a brick-and-mortar business to increase their exposure on the internet. I try to share my knowledge and experience with the independent, and relay to them the steps that my own independent business has taken.” – Mark Dolabany The following strategies were put together to help independent market their business cost-effectively. Here we briefly touch upon strategies that will help you increase your exposure on the internet and grow your business if you are committed to taking these steps. Before we proceed, there are two terms we’d like you to get familiar with: Keywords and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). A...
Seeing is Believing (SiB 2015) Returns to a Screen Near You Jan. 28 and 29, 2015

Seeing is Believing (SiB 2015) Returns to a Screen Near You Jan. 28 and 29, 2015

The Seeing is Believing virtual conference (SiB 2015) is returning on Jan. 28 to 29, 2015, from 12 pm-7 pm EST for its third year with 20 COPE-approved CE credits with 10 courses on practice management. The two-day virtual event is a convenient alternative to conventional trade shows featuring some of the industry’s top thought leaders and educators. This year’s show introduces a new advancement for exhibitors with a vendor video theater, where virtual attendees can watch a vendor education video and take a quiz to earn a vendor special show offer. This year’s speakers include well-known industry influencers including Jay Binkowitz, Optometric consultant and President of GPN; Matt Geller, Founder of OptometryStudents.com and NewGradOptometry.com; Stephen Newman, ocular nutritionist and author; Alan Glazier, CEO and founder of Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care, author and consultant; and Laurie Sorrenson, practice owner and frequent lecturer. Topics will span the gamut of optometric interests including advancements in research, medical treatments and technology and marketing, staffing and business strategy. Attendees are encouraged to chat with the instructors and interact with their...
Facebook Kills Organic Reach – What does this mean for your Practice Marketing?

Facebook Kills Organic Reach – What does this mean for your Practice Marketing?

After months of gradually reducing organic reach for “overly promotional posts,” come the New Year, Facebook will finally be ending organic social marketing for good. According to a Facebook study, there is now far more content being made than there is time to absorb it. On average, there are 1,500 stories that could appear in a person’s News Feed each time he logs onto Facebook. For people with lots of friends and Page likes, as many as 15,000 potential stories could appear any time they log on. As a result, competition for any story to gain exposure in people’s News Feeds (the place on Facebook where people view content from their family, friends and business Pages) is growing. Facebook has determined users don’t want to see promotional content and as a result, less of it will be appearing within the News Feed. Facebook defines any of the following as being promotional: Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads Facebook recommends that page owners continue using the most effective strategy to reach their targeted audience...
Bright Revenue Ideas for the Holiday Season

Bright Revenue Ideas for the Holiday Season

The holiday season is a time for big spending, and with a little strategy, your Practice can get more than its fair share of it. Here are 6 quick marketing ideas that can boost your Holiday Season revenue even more. • FaceBook Ads Now is the time to consider spending $100 on Facebook ads. The Holiday Season is indeed a social one and ‘sharing is caring’. Consider a FB ad that attracts your community to your FB page and encourages them to engage and share your content. Practice awareness leads to more appointments, which in turn leads to more sales. • College Students Holiday time is about family time and that means students come home for college breaks to reunite with friends and family. Most universities have at least a few weeks off around the New Year, allowing students time to schedule a yearly eye exam and update their wardrobe with a new pair of specs or a refill on contact lenses. If college students are part of your clientele, run a student promotion through January such as a discount on frames or lenses or a relevant giveaway with a purchase. • Gift Givers While it may be hard to pick out a pair of prescription glasses for a loved one, sunglasses and frame...
Benefits of a Paperless Office

Benefits of a Paperless Office

If you’ve ever spent too long hunting through stacks of paper for an invoice or searching through paper files, you may have wished for a paperless office. You wouldn’t be alone. As soon as computers began appearing on office desks more than 20 years ago, so did the idea of paperless, electronic communication. But despite all the time that’s passed, most businesses are far from operating without paper. The arguments for tossing the piles of paper are strong. By eliminating paper in file cabinets, for example, a company can create more room and reduce off-site storage costs. By exchanging information electronically with vendors and customers, a business can make information quickly accessible — and conversely more private and secure through the use of encryption, passwords and other security measures. For some businesses — like those in the healthcare industry, which are governed by the Health Insurance Portability and Privacy Act (HIPAA) — paperless records may be a regulatory requirement. But the process of going paperless can be daunting. There are the costs of new equipment and software to consider, as well as that of converting paper records into...
Press Releases: Can You Say Free Advertising?

Press Releases: Can You Say Free Advertising?

Using your local newspaper is a cost effective marketing tool Few optometrists understand the ins and outs of writing and more importantly, getting their press release published.While this free advertising service is not always successful, when it is, it can reap great rewards, helping build your business credibility offline and online and grow word-of-mouth referrals. So what are the practical steps to utilizing your local newspaper: Content – Before starting down the path to a press release, you need to be a news generator. Don’t think from your perspective but from the newspaper’s perspective. Do you have new equipment? A new doctor has joined your practice? You are opening a new office? Or do you wish to call attention to a eye care condition that is important to your community? All successful press releases start with great content ideas. Writing – Press releases have a formula and once you’ve read a few you quickly can replicate the tone and voice of the news release for your purposes. Newspaper writing is succinct and non-promotional. The recognition you will receive will be more subtle and frankly, more powerful, if you are not overt in the promotion of your...
What is your Lab IQ?

What is your Lab IQ?

Judy Canty once wrote a sage article about taking charge of your own destiny entitled “The Sky is NOT Falling.” She noted that in response to all the noise about a recessionary economy, some practices are motivated to advertise more, and about the same percentage are motivated to advertise less. As with advertising, there are at least two trains of thought about getting the most bang for your buck when choosing an Optical Laboratory. One type of practice is on a continual search for the best price on every item. They search the market looking for specials and throughout the year divide their business differently among the many labs that they use. These practices may pay lab bills that total $5,000 a month, but each lab they use knows them as a $300-$1,000 a month customer. Another practice takes that same monthly $5,000, which adds up to $60,000 of business a year, and places it with one laboratory. The practice makes a concerted effort to build personal relationships with the personnel of that lab: their salesman, a Customer Service Representative (CSR), and that lab’s management. In response to their business volume and loyalty, they are often receiving better prices...
Five Important Things to Consider Before Creating Your Blog

Five Important Things to Consider Before Creating Your Blog

It seems like everyone today is starting a healthcare blog. Sounds easy and is easy on the surface, but blogging is a lot of work and needs a well thought out plan before getting started. Blogs can be a great addition to your website. They are an excellent means of delivering health information quickly to a broad audience in a more colloquial and comprehensible way. Once your blog is up and running, it is easy to add new content and cross-market your blog with social media such as Facebook and Twitter posts. Your blog can be well integrated into your website and with some forethought refer the reader back to your website for even greater information on the subjects you are writing about in your blog. This will keep your website content fresh and make a positive impact on your search engine results. It’s important to determine what you want to accomplish and what type of content you want to create to build engagement with your community. Before launching your eye care blog, review these five important considerations: Determine how much time you will need to invest to produce a quality blog. In addition to writing, you’ll want a separate pair of eyes to edit. Many optometrists choose...
It May Be Time to Get Out of Your Office and Connect with your Local Community

It May Be Time to Get Out of Your Office and Connect with your Local Community

    Online marketing is an important strategy to grow your business, but offline marketing tactics can boost the effectiveness of your online marketing and vice versa. One very effective offline strategy is the planning and provision of community events. Your involvement in local events is a powerful tool for getting your community to know you as their eye care professional. Here are five marketing tips to get you on your way… Identify opportunities for eye care education in your community. Align your Practice with businesses where eye protection or eye strain is a part of the work environment. PTA’s, hospital staffs, clinical groups, nursing and retirement homes are just a few examples. Develop your offering. Document what you are offering so that when you make contact, you have your talking points prepared and you also have information you can quickly send by email or postal mail. Your offering should be free of charge and contain a few topics (which gives you flexibility with different audiences) that you will present. Decide if you are willing to provide lunch or coffee and dessert to go along with your presentation as this is a strong “door opener”. ...
C&E Vision Releases myCloud – Web Based Transaction Archive

C&E Vision Releases myCloud – Web Based Transaction Archive

C&E Vision, one of the industry’s largest optical buying groups, has just released a new service called myCloud™ to its members. myCloud is a cloud based transaction archive that holds 6 years of member monthly statements, vendor invoices and product purchasing reports. Although C&E Vision has been providing monthly statements and vendor invoices online for some time, this new service allows members the ability to gain access to 6 years’ worth of data as well as analyze purchase data by vendor sku with a breakdown that shows tax, freight and number of products ordered over an extended period of time. “We all know how important statement and invoice data is for record keeping but sometimes life gets in the way.” says Steve Wagner, Principal of C&E Vision. He continues with “With unforeseen issues such as fires, floods, or simply misfiling our members need access to their information within minutes when researching is necessary.” In today’s age it is crucial to have needed information at your fingertips and C&E Vision is there to help. With over 6 million invoices and 300 thousand statements members will be able to access what they need when they need it....
Web Marketing is Now Essential to Sustain a Healthy Patient Flow

Web Marketing is Now Essential to Sustain a Healthy Patient Flow

While optional in the past, increased competition and the number of users finding doctor information on the web has changed the game to mandatory. Today’s healthcare and insurance systems have fostered an environment for the healthcare consumer to take control of how and where they spend their healthcare dollars. More and more of these dollars are coming out of the consumer’s pocket and that gives them more decision-making power. Healthcare decisions look more and more like retail decisions as patients search for information on quality, cost, availability and product proximity. Optometrists must be prepared to translate the experience they provide – your brand story – into readily accessible information that addresses the healthcare consumer’s search needs. Here are 6 areas to consider when marketing to this information seeking healthcare consumer: If you only had three words, which ones describe your Practice. You’ve just made the first step in communicating your unique optometric brand. Once you’ve settled on your three words, check that all of your marketing conveys these ideals. Make sure your site is mobile responsive. According to a recent Pew study, 52%...
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