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Social Media: Taking Relationships Online

One of the CLICK Conference speakers this month, Dr. Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD said it very clearly: "Social Media = Real-Life Relationships."

The added dimension of social media to today's professional Web sites is one of the new opportunities online. Learn more about it—in every issue of CLICK and from the speakers at CLICK's first-ever CLICK Conference (see our story, below). Sponsored by Hoya, the Conference brought together great insights and data—and its first “real-life” community gathering of CLICK readers. Thanks for your enthusiastic support!

CLICK is the latest in a series of popular e-newsletters from Vision Monday, briefings designed specifically to provide practice insights, info and ideas about the ways ECPs can extend their patient connections and business via the web. Check out the CLICK archives at Tried something new on your Web site? Have a comment about CLICK? Tell us about it and we'll consider it for an upcoming feature in CLICK.
—The Editors

in focus

SOCIAL CLIMBING: Insights From the First CLICK Conference

LAS VEGAS—Nearly 200 eyecare professionals and others from the vision industry attended the first Vision Monday CLICK Conference, held at Vision Expo West earlier this month. Titled “Social Climbing: How the New Media Can Transform Your Practice,” and sponsored exclusively by Hoya Vision Care, the conference included a panel of expert speakers on the impact of social media.

“CLICK was conceived when it became obvious the transformation that our business culture and personal lives are undergoing thanks to the Internet was also something that was going to have to be managed for our vision care businesses,” said Marge Axelrad, editorial director of Vision Monday. She added, “The Web is now an integrated part of how patients learn about eye health, eyecare, how they find you and how they connect with you,” before introducing the Conference’s keynote speaker, John Garnin, senior sales manager of

“Your customers are using social media, you should be using it too,” said Garnin. “It can seem a little scary, the Internet can be like the Wild Wild West sometimes, but you can optimize it to help grow your business. Consumers value customer opinions. In fact, 78 percent of the public values a recommendation from a product user. As a business, you need to take advantage of the review concept and you need to be looking at it, because people are talking about you and you need to own it and be participating in the discussion,” added Garnin.

Panelist, Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD, FAAO from Bright Eyes Family Vision Care in Tampa, Fla, agreed: “Social media equals real life relationships and those relationships get people in your door and people in your door, buzz about your business, means revenue.”

“Having a website no longer means you are innovative,” stated panelist Kelly Kerksick, OD, director of professional services for Vision Source. “The opportunity now for eyecare businesses is to differentiate ourselves and that is accomplished by how we integrate social media tools, like Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, etc... It helps us get to know our patients in a less formal, more personal way, in addition to providing us with an easier way of tracking metrics because of the immediacy of social networking’s interaction with patients,” concluded Kerksick.

Brad Childs, a panelist, optician and EVP/COO of Eyetique in Pittsburgh summed it up this way: “Social media needs to be put in that tool bag of marketing tricks because it is another way to drive people through your doors. It’s a platform to stay in front of your patients. You may ask the question—'How much time is social networking going to take?’ Well, my response is—‘How much time do you need to invest in your business?’ Because the answer is one and the same. Everything we do is designed to accomplish one thing—get patients in our doors.”

“The electronic message here, and with CLICK, is to find ways to drive patients into the eyecare provider’s office. Social networking is an exciting opportunity for our practices and Hoya is proud to be the sponsor of this conference,” said Gregory Hicks, OD, of Hoya.

View all of the presentations made by the CLICK Conference panelists:
John Garnin
Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD, FAAO
Kelly Kerksick, OD
Brad Childs
Gregory Hicks, OD


CLICK Conference Tweets

Attendees—and those following on Twitter—tweeted during the CLICK Conference. Search for the Twitter hashtag #VMClick to see all the posts. Some excerpts:

@NateBW: Yup! :) RT @DavidPalmer82: is into himself. You are too, otherwise you wouldn't have a Facebook or Twitter :-) #VMClick

@DavidPalmer82: is into himself. You are too, otherwise you wouldn't have a Facebook or Twitter :-) #VMClick

@philcobizzle: If you have questions related to social media, tweet me. I run a social media business for small business owners. #vmclick #VisionExpo

@SpectaclesNJ: Tweetups are a fantastic idea from Nathan Bonilla-Warford. We look forward to hosting our first Tweetup for our community soon! #vmclick

@slhelland: #vmclick I love Dr. Nate's slides! Social media does not replace real relationships it allows you to build on them.

@PeriphVis: #vmclick is the twitter hash tag to follow! Lotsa great stuff coming out of the Vision Monday Click Social Media...

@philcobizzle: Groupon is great for cafes, lower end retail—does it make sense for a high end retailer? In my opinion, it can cheapen a brand. #vmclick

@slhelland: #vmclick Not everything you will do on Social media will be a homerun but you gotta take a chance.—Brad Childs, Eyetique

@mr_lbs: RT @VisionMonday: #vmclick RT @philcobizzle: Very interested to see how Yelp! & other location based services like...

@VisionMonday: The #VMClick conference, sponsored by Hoya, starts right now at the Veronese Room. We’re excited to hear the tech savvy speakers!


cool tools

WildEyes by CIBA Vision

Halloween is just a few weeks away! Demonstrate your coolness with this fun site—or with links from yours—that illustrates many cool Wild Eyes contact lens options for girls and guys. Super visuals and appropriate music showcases a variety of looks while the “411” provides other key info. And of course there’s the all-important warning that people should never share contact lenses, medical devices, whether Rx or plano, with anyone.


An unusual site, featuring optical illusions, puzzles, 3D tricks and unique screensavers, this Website is billed as “an edutainment center” to illustrate the world of color and dimension. Color imaging tools are available, some for a fee, some free, showcasing unique combinations. The Illusions section showcases a range of cool and colorful displays. A great learning experience or idea-generator for explaining how the eye sees various images and the color spectrum.

sites to see

Following the legendary designer’s print campaign and part of his elegant “World of Armani” is a new interactive online project, Giorgio Armani Frames of Life. This atmospheric and unique site enables the user to experience the advertising campaign and to personalize them according to one’s point of view. The user can choose to “become a director” or “become a photographer” creating a personalised video or an exclusive photo album, allowing an experience that can then be shared through social media platforms. also permits users to discover the Giorgio Armani archive eyewear collections. These include such pieces as Pure Oval (GA 789), a new edition of the classic, round optical frames that are strongly inspired by the ‘20s and Intellectual Chic (GA 828), a round shape that reflects the elegant taste of the ‘40s.


From colorful, sleek and oh-so-fashionable shots of its colorful and innovative eyewear collections, like the new Kinetics line and its Heroes group, to a feature-rich digital catalog and links to its fun Kirk Heroes History Book, Eyetunes/Eyemovies and Kirk Originals blog, this site is a comprehensive and imaginative take on fashion eyewear with the British designer Jason Kirk unique eyestyle-making signaturea. The company’s clever animations and international event invites are featured as are views and links to stores.