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Getting a Better Handle on Facebook

For many eyecare professionals, social media participation begins with Facebook. But, unlike a practice website, Facebook pages bring their own requirements about content, tone, images and interaction with patients and consumer fans.

In our features this month, we focus on Facebook. Included are the observations of an experienced web veteran, Bob Main, who consults with optical retailers and practitioners about how to make their social media and web presence most effective. We're pleased to bring some of these to you with this edition.

CLICK, Vision Monday's e-newsletter, continues to be an essential resource in its twice-monthly briefings to ECPs about web technology and Internet developments. Past articles, featuring specific examples, programs and tips that you can use today, are available in our CLICK Archive. Don't forget the CLICK Archive features dozens of Cool Tools and important Sites to See which offer content and resource ideas for your sites and your social media activities. The easy-to-access Archives are located under the CLICK button at

Have you tried something new on your website or launched a special social media campaign? Tell us about it and we'll consider it for an upcoming feature in CLICK.

—The Editors




Is My Facebook Page Really Doing Anything for My Practice?

By Bob Main

NEW YORK—As an Internet Practice Consultant, I constantly hear my clients say "I don't think I really get any business from my Facebook Page and I don't think it is worth the effort." Have you struggled with the same thought? What's up? Facebook is supposed to be this great marketing tool and you have a hard time seeing the benefit.

The thing to remember about Facebook and other social media tools (like Twitter and a blog) is that, generally, they are not "quick direct sales" tools. That is not to say that you can't get new patients that will quickly come directly from having a Facebook page. In fact, if a practice has a good social media strategy and a Facebook page is properly set up, they will get some new patients directly and quickly from their Facebook efforts. But for most practices, Facebook should not be viewed as a quick direct sale tool, like a PPC (Pay Per Click) campaign or an email campaign. The ROI and measurements of success are not the same.

Key point: The main purpose of a Facebook page (and overall social media strategy) should be to keep the patient (and potential patient) "engaged" while they are "outside" of the buying cycle.

In the U.S., the average eyeglass buyer purchases a new pair of eyeglasses every 2.2 years, according to Jobson Research. So that means the average consumer (your patient or potential patient) is not shopping for glasses most of the time or they are "outside" of the buying cycle. But during the time they are outside of the buying cycle, they are bombarded by TV commercials from the big box optical retailers about a"2 for $99 sale" or they constantly see ads online from e-commerce eyeglass retailers. Don't be naive, your "so called" loyal patient is being tempted, and your brand name is being diluted. So when your patient wakes up every 2.2 years and thinks "wow, I need to buy new glasses," it is not a slam dunk that they will automatically come to you and make a purchase.

At this point, you're probably thinking, "Hey, I don't have an unlimited budget to compete with the big box optical retailers' TV and newspaper campaigns." This is the beautiful thing about Facebook and highlights my key point. The main purpose of Facebook (and other social media tools) is to keep patients engaged (at a very low cost) while they are outside of the buying cycle. A properly structured Facebook page will do the following:

1) Have content that promotes engagement or entertains consumers. That includes contests, trivia questions, insightful questions or other things that invite a response.

2) Have content that educates. That includes short articles or videos on frame selection or trends in eyeglass fashion, etc.

3) Have content that gives them a reason to stay engaged. People are busy and if you don't provide fresh, interesting, entertaining, and engaging material they will lose interest and "unlike" your page.

4) Handle patient complaints (and compliments) in a quick, direct and professional manner. The key here is quick. I see many companies take several days to respond to a patient complaint. If complaints are handled quickly and directly, you will not only save that patient but will also demonstrate to your Facebook audience that you are a patient-oriented practice.

Most practice Facebook pages I see do not provide these things. Therefore, their Facebook followers don't stay engaged while they are outside of the buying cycle and the key benefit of having a Facebook page is lost. Most ECPs at that point say that Facebook and other social media tools are not delivering (sound familiar?). If a Facebook page (and other social media tools) are properly structured, they will deliver buying patients when they come into the buying cycle. Start with the basics and make sure your Facebook page is set up correctly.

Bottom line – be patient. Keep people engaged on your Facebook page. At the same time, you are keeping your brand name top-of-mind at a very low cost. When they wake up every 2.2 years and decide they need new glasses, then the pay off happens. An added bonus – a properly structured social media program can actually shorten the buying cycle.

Bob Main is an optical industry veteran, with over 25 years of retail optical experience and the last 5 years specifically engaged in internet marketing and social media. As an Internet Business Coach/Consultant, Bob's blog offers ECPs and optical retailers the information they need to learn how to grow their practice/business using the power of the internet.



Ways to Get 'Liked' on Facebook

By Paul Chaney

NEW YORK—CLICK has found Practical e-Commerce to be a great resource site for anyone operating online. A great recent piece highlights 15 steps/tools businesses can use to increase their "Likes" on Facebook.

Once a business has established a Facebook Page, a key challenge is to grow its fan base. This is accomplished, in part, through the use of the "Like" button. By clicking the Like button, a person expresses affinity for the brand or its products. It is the Facebook equivalent of an email opt-in.

Incorporate the Like Button on the Company Website

Facebook has nine different social plug-ins, which can be added to your business website to create a more personalized, social experience for visitors. The most popular of these is the Like button, which can be added to your site by copying and pasting some HTML code. Assuming the Like button is associated with your Facebook Page, when a person clicks it he or she immediately becomes a fan without ever leaving the website.

Add an Icon that Links to Your Facebook Page

Though you don't see them on every site, it has become commonplace to find links to social networks on business websites where the company has a presence. Usually, these appear in the form of small icons bearing the name or emblem of the network. Add a Facebook icon to your website linking to your fan Page.

In the current socially influenced Internet, company websites are no longer the nexus that they once were. A recent report by eMarketer, the online magazine, estimated that, in 2011 Facebook will reach almost 9 in 10 social network users and over 57 percent of Internet users. By 2013, the report said that 62 percent of web users and almost half of the overall U.S. population will likely be on Facebook.

Don't think of your website as a silo, but as a hub connecting visitors to all the places where you have a presence online. By making it one part of the chain of shared connections, not only do you provide a path to those outlets from your site, you stand a much better chance of garnering traffic from them back to your site as well.

Incorporate the Facebook Icon in Your Email Newsletter Template

Many email-sending platforms make it easy to incorporate social network icons within email templates. If your email service provider does not offer a similar feature, consider building social network icons – including one to your Facebook Page – into the template using HTML.

Add a Link to Facebook Page in Email Signature; Ask Employees to Do the Same

Email signatures are an often-overlooked marketing tool. A message that says, "Like us on Facebook," serves as a subtle, yet effective, reminder. Years ago, Hotmail used a similar technique to grow its user-base when it attached a footer in every email that said, "Get your private, free email at"

'Like' Your Page Yourself

I am amazed – or amused – to see how often Facebook Page owners have yet to Like the page themselves. How can you expect others to do so if you haven't? It is easy to overlook this simple step; but practice what you preach.

Paul Chaney is Social Media Director of Practical e-Commerce. He is also an Internet marketing consultant who specializes in helping small to medium businesses use social media for marketing. Paul is a speaker and author of a newly published book on social media marketing titled The Digital Handshake: Seven Proven Strategies to Grow Your Business Using Social Media, published by John Wiley & Sons.



RadBox is a new and useful web application you can use to bookmark online videos from all the most popular sites and then go back to watch these videos later from a central location. With this web application, you can bookmark videos in few ways or share them.

An instapaper-style bookmarklet will let you save an embedded video to the Radbox account with a single click without having to leave the page. There is also an option for you to email the video URL to an email address, just like the "Send To" feature in Google Reader. The option will help you bookmark videos even via your mobile phones. The application supports videos from YouTube, Vimeo, Metacafe, DailyMotion, CollegeHumor, Hulu, and others. It also enables posts of videos to Facebook and Twitter streams to share them; videos can be deleted or moved to an archive in your Radbox queue.



This tool enables the custom creation of an electronic business card for your practice or business. A range of resources on this site also enable users to use that
e-business card for their business and leverage it across a range of digital and social media platforms.

A Learning Center helps users learn how to get the most out of the platform for organization – either via the doctor or business owner's "personal brand management" or to help build relationships with others at the company, including human resource directors and recruiters.

Explanatory videos and a range of articles and webinars explain the basics. The personal e-business card signup is free; there is also a Pro version for a fee, with more services attached.


In addition to a host of rich resources explaining the connection of comprehensive eyecare to overall health, features a cool Eye Exam Reminder feature, which encourages users to be reminded about visiting their local eyecare professional.

A simple form enables reminders via email or text to set up a timetable for eye exam reminders. Another tool among the many on the site enables users to send a choice of e-cards to recipients to remind them about caring for their eyes.

The TAYE initiative is brought to patients by the Foundation for Eye Health Awareness. The campaign is aimed at increasing consumer awareness of the importance of vision health and comprehensive eye exams.


Fun in the sun is top of mind for consumers during the late spring and summer months, and Transitions Optical, Inc. is launching a new viral campaign and contest called "Life Less Squinty." By using tongue-in-cheek language and visuals, the campaign pokes fun at being caught squinting and reinforces the benefits of Transitions lenses and glare and UV protection.

Beginning with a "15 Minutes of Fame" contest, online and outdoor advertising will drive consumers to visit through June 30 to upload a photo that demonstrates their best "squinty" face. Photos will be posted to the site's "Squinty Billboard" and up to 60 winners will be selected to have their squinty photo featured on a real billboard in five select markets across the country. Outdoor billboards – in New York/New Jersey, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas and Atlanta – featuring the campaign's Squinty models will be up beginning May 16, and the winning photos will appear on the billboards beginning June 21. The billboards alone will make an estimated 121.9 million consumer impressions.

The website offers a side-by-side comparison of the Transitions family of products – including original Transitions lenses, Transitions XTRActive lenses and Transitions SOLFX sun lens products – and encourages patients to visit their eyecare professionals to learn more. Participants will also have the chance to share their Squinty photo on Facebook or Twitter. Eyecare professionals can align their local marketing efforts with the Squinty campaign by sharing the link on their practice website or Facebook pages.

Customizable counter cards and postcards are available through the Transitions Online Marketing (TOM) tool at


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