Digital Media Is Key to Reaching Your Multicultural Patients

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NEW YORK—As the diversity of the U.S. population continues to be one of the most important business and healthcare trends in recent decades, it's important that eyecare professionals learn more about how to serve multicultural patient populations – Asian Americans, Hispanics, and African-Americans among them – in their local communities.

Digital and social media play an especially important role in forging bonds with multicultural groups – families and individuals. Transitions Optical, which has been expanding its commitment to help ECPs become better educated in this area, has pulled together one of the largest troves of information, resources, explanatory and point-of-sale materials – often in bilingual versions, in its new MyMulticulturalToolkit.com website. The site is also linked to Transitions' professional sites and education areas.

Tackling what optometrists encounter in better understanding cultural vision care tendencies and attitudes, teaching how to deliver eyecare information and recommendations in a way that's meaningful to various cultural groups, and tackling language or cultural understand in the dispensary from opticians and front office staff, the MyMulticulturalToolkit.com is a fount of information and also enables users to tailor their own digital "dashboard" to pull together the information that's the most meaningful to their progress in this area.

As Transitions points out on the site, becoming a culturally competent practice is a true team effort. "In order to provide the best possible care to patients, everyone on your staff needs to be on board. That means not only delivering the same messages, but also communicating in a way that the patient can relate to and understand," the site points out.

The Transitions MAP (Market Area Profile) program is designed to help ECPs identify key consumer segments in their region or locality to access detailed information about the vision needs and behaviors of target audiences, along with the marketing tactics and tools to help reach these "high value" patients.

The company also provides guides to help ECPs engage culturally diverse groups through digital and mobile marketing, noting that currently Facebook is leading the way in popularity, with nearly half of ethnic minority populations visiting it regularly. While usage is high among all groups, the data shows that it is highest among Asian Americans. Twitter, too, is becoming an increasingly popular way to reach all demographic groups. African Americans, for example, are 30 percent more likely than the average American to visit Twitter, while Asian Americans are 26 percent more likely. MySpace continues to remain popular among ethnic minorities – Hispanics are more than twice as likely (54 percent) to visit MySpace than the average American.

Further, Transitions' multicultural team notes that ECPs should not underestimate the role of mobile when targeting culturally diverse groups. In fact, smartphone usage is the highest among ethnic minorities.

Transition Optical's Diversity Advisory Board member of professionals regularly blog about insights and best practices to better serve culturally diverse patients. They also respond to posts and questions.

Not sure how to get started and what you need to know? Take the Multicultural Quiz and learn more as you explore this important resource site.

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