Meeting News Coverage

Facebook: an inexpensive way to reach your patients

ATLANTA – Practitioners can customize ads on Facebook for the group they want in their exam chair, Justin Bazan, OD, of Park Slope Eye Care, Brooklyn, N.Y., told attendees at a continuing education session here at SECO.

Justin Bazan

Parameters include location, age range, gender, languages spoken, relationship status and other relevant terms to create a custom audience, he said.

“You can market to just that group or also friends of that group,” he added.

“I targeted fans of Visine (McNeil) who lived in Brooklyn,” Bazan said. “It cost $40 for the ad. There were more than 400 people who fit that category, and we got 62 clicks – people who wanted to make an appointment.”

Use Facebook to market to current patients who are due for an exam, he said.

“Go to your electronic health records and retrieve patients due for an exam,” Bazan explained. “Upload that email list to Facebook. Facebook can cross reference that list with Facebook users, and you can create an ad to send directly to them.

“The space is uncluttered,” he continued. “This is a prime opportunity to do things on Facebook. Nobody is doing this yet.”

Bazan also discussed “digital word of mouth.”

Instead of waiting for patients to post reviews online, solicit testimonials within your practice, he said.

“When people check in, let them know you’re taking testimonials,” Bazan said. “Have a customer appreciation event to collect testimonials, then send them out via Facebook posts and ads.”

Bazan said he aggregates all reviews posted about his practice on Google, through his online scheduler and through various blogs, places them on a WordPress blog and pushes them out to the Internet.

“I have a blog filled with key words that people look for, using the words of their peers,” he said. “This blog also pumps out to our Facebook page.

“It’s inevitable that you will get a bad review, but I say there’s no such thing as a bad review,” Bazan continued. “The experience can be taken differently depending on your perspective.”

Do not ignore a bad review, he stressed, and do not provide a generic response.

“Take it as an opportunity to educate,” Bazan said. “You have the power to educate the patient and the public. I had one bad review on my website, and I ended up having several other patients post comments defending me.”

ATLANTA – Practitioners can customize ads on Facebook for the group they want in their exam chair, Justin Bazan, OD, of Park Slope Eye Care, Brooklyn, N.Y., told attendees at a continuing education session here at SECO.

Justin Bazan

Parameters include location, age range, gender, languages spoken, relationship status and other relevant terms to create a custom audience, he said.

“You can market to just that group or also friends of that group,” he added.

“I targeted fans of Visine (McNeil) who lived in Brooklyn,” Bazan said. “It cost $40 for the ad. There were more than 400 people who fit that category, and we got 62 clicks – people who wanted to make an appointment.”

Use Facebook to market to current patients who are due for an exam, he said.

“Go to your electronic health records and retrieve patients due for an exam,” Bazan explained. “Upload that email list to Facebook. Facebook can cross reference that list with Facebook users, and you can create an ad to send directly to them.

“The space is uncluttered,” he continued. “This is a prime opportunity to do things on Facebook. Nobody is doing this yet.”

Bazan also discussed “digital word of mouth.”

Instead of waiting for patients to post reviews online, solicit testimonials within your practice, he said.

“When people check in, let them know you’re taking testimonials,” Bazan said. “Have a customer appreciation event to collect testimonials, then send them out via Facebook posts and ads.”

Bazan said he aggregates all reviews posted about his practice on Google, through his online scheduler and through various blogs, places them on a WordPress blog and pushes them out to the Internet.

“I have a blog filled with key words that people look for, using the words of their peers,” he said. “This blog also pumps out to our Facebook page.

“It’s inevitable that you will get a bad review, but I say there’s no such thing as a bad review,” Bazan continued. “The experience can be taken differently depending on your perspective.”

Do not ignore a bad review, he stressed, and do not provide a generic response.

“Take it as an opportunity to educate,” Bazan said. “You have the power to educate the patient and the public. I had one bad review on my website, and I ended up having several other patients post comments defending me.”

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