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By Leigh Plowman
Optometrist, blogger, digital marketer at Optomly

 

Independent optometrists cannot just sit back and wait for patients to come in the door. With increasing competition from corporate practices and online dispensing, you need to look for new ways to grow.

As optometrists, we need to be where our patients are. According to Sensis Social Media Report 2016,1 87 per cent of Australians access the internet daily.

Facebook has more than 1.86 billion users2 and continues to grow. Australians now spend on average 12.5 hours per week, or one hour and 47 minutes per day, on Facebook.1 According to the report, 48 per cent of small businesses have a social media presence but only 20 per cent of these create ads to bring in new customers.1

Your practice can take advantage of the power of Facebook advertising to thrive. Facebook Ads can help your practice to attract new patients and retain existing patients.

Advantages of using Facebook Ads

  • Facebook has the best audience targeting of any online platform

According to Facebook, about 10–15 million Australians use Facebook each month. Facebook uses many different interactions such as likes, comments, shares and views to form an impression of interests, likes and other behaviours. For example, if you want to target a 44-year-old female who likes Tiffany & Co and lives within 30 kilometres of your practice, you can.

You can also create matches of your existing patient data base. For example, you may have 7,000 or more patients in your practice management software. A large number of these people have mobile phone numbers. You can match these mobile numbers to people who use Facebook. This gives you two advantages: you can create Ads like ‘Use it or lose it’ to your existing patients on Facebook, and you can attract new patients who have similar likes, interests or behaviours to those of your existing patients. In addition, you can encourage both of these groups to make an appointment with you.

  • Facebook Ads are inexpensive

With Facebook, you can spend as little as $1 per day on Ads and you can turn Ads off at any time. You can also increase your budget to get more appointments.

  • Free Ad viewers

Whenever someone likes, comments or shares your Ad, your Ad cost goes down. Facebook sees this as a key measure of how well your Ad is being received and how much to charge you for the Ad. If more people like it, you pay less for your Ad. Potential patients can choose to tag friends or share your Ad, just like an unpaid post, which means that their friends see it free of charge, and you get more free advertising and awareness for your practice.

Leigh Plowman’s Optomly website

READ ALSO

Part 2: Target your audience with Facebook Ads

 

References

1. Sensis Social Media Report 2016

2. Facebook Newsroom

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