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Who's In Your Social Circle?

Hopefully, for you and your practice, that circle is widening as you build your connections to patients and your visibility in your community and online.

The folks who joined us in Las Vegas for our 2nd Annual CLICK Conference last month learned a lot about social and digital media trends and some really powerful, practical hands-on tips and ideas. The event was sponsored by The Hoya Free-Form Company, just prior to the opening of International Vision Expo West.

We bring you some of the highlights here in this Special Edition of CLICK, and, for the first time anywhere, direct VIDEO links to what transpired, to our terrific speakers and their presentations.

Keep up with the latest digital and social media trends via the CLICK Archive, 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




The CLICK Conference Speakers:
Build Your Brand, Stay Focused,
Make the Social Media Commitment

LAS VEGAS—The expanding influence of digital media and how social influence is changing brands' and eyecare businesses' profiles on the web was the focus on this year's CLICK Conference, a live networking and information event at which nearly 200 attendees were treated to presentations from speakers from within the eyecare professional community who talked about what's working best for them.

"I absolutely hate Vegas, so it takes something really special to get me out here and this event is it," said speaker Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD of Bright Eyes Family Vision Care, Tampa, Fla. "With 750 million people on Facebook at least some of them are your patients. This is completely mainstream now. It's organized and there are people to help you. It's no longer 'Are you ready for social media?' Its 'Social media is ready for you.' It's not just the geeky social influencers of a few years ago anymore; it's moms and dads and grandmas." Watch Bonilla-Warford's CLICK talk HERE and see his presentation HERE.

Suzanne Berardi-Gould, director of creative services for the 43 location Doctors Vision Center spoke about her organization's four-month old digital media campaign and how they got it started. "We redefined our marketing plan. We wanted to directly engage with our patients but we also had to engage with our doctors and our staff. They were a key ingredient, so we had digital workshops to educate them." And that education is constant. "One thing we know is that social media moves fast; it's like a 24-hour network news. We had to try a lot of things. Some work, some don't, but you have to experiment," she added. Berardi-Gould showcased several campaigns, highlighted DVC's "Digital Doc" and highlighted several other features of the company's web, Facebook and Twitter pages and campaigns.
Watch Berardi-Gould's CLICK talk HERE and see her presentation HERE.

Next, Gregory Hicks, OD, of Family Eye Care Centers and the director of professional affairs for event sponsor, The Hoya Free-Form Company, gave the audience a brief message about the importance of supporting the social media efforts of its customers. "What Hoya is trying to do is provide lots of tools that all provide meaningful content for you to use in your own online tools." Hoya's extensive online technology concepts and resources for ECPs were highlighted in a lively video animation. Hicks' also shared his perspective on how online presence and resources can extend a professional office's reputation.
Watch Hicks' CLICK talk HERE and see his presentation HERE.


The conference concluded with a panel of web and digital media experts that discussed trends and offer their insights into the opportunities and messages for eyecare and optical retailers' social media participation.

Tony Hessburg, president and strategic director ELEVEN, is a Twin Cities-based company offering strategic branding, marketing and interactive services, spoke about the importance of social media as a marketing tool. "The first step is to understanding that your business is a brand. Social media interactive marketing is a two-way street. At any given time, your audience can opt in or out," he shared. "Social media is not an advertising channel but a means to forge direct communication with consumers in a personal way."

While Daniel Feldman, CEO of DBA Communications, a Denver-based web design, social networking, advertising, and marketing firm, quantified, "If the average person has 135 friends on Facebook, every time they hit the 'Like' button they are telling 135 people that they 'like' doing business with you. Social media is a marketing tool and the person you put in charge needs to have a marketing mindset."

"People are gonna say bad things about you," added Tim Welch, managing partner of eMarketing|PrizeLogic, a series of agencies involved in digital branding, interactive campaigns, online promotions, marketing, website and content management. "But as long as you have enough people saying good things about you, those bad things will get pushed to the bottom and will go away. Allowing people to engage in your brands is very important."

During the panel discussion, Richard Mueller, creative & technical interactive director of ELEVEN, helped wrap up the conference by addressing the topic on many attendees minds—how do you measure it—social media's efficacy when it comes to your bottom line? "In social media the ROI isn't so much measured in dollars but in the relationships you build, your 'army of evangelists' who believe in your brand. Those genuine interactions are what drive the return on investment."

Watch Hessburg, Feldman and Welch's talks and see their presentations HERE. Hear and see the questions the audience posed to the Panel during the CLICK Conference Q&A HERE.


A project involving both the ASUS and Intel brands, this is a "journey" which promises to celebrate "the extraordinary creativity and imagination of people all over our planet." In Search of Incredible is seeking amazing stories from around the world, which will be introduced as films on this site. With the help of a creative photography, video and artist team, including the singer Jason Mraz, the site encourages visitors to submit what they find "incredible," from sights to sounds, moments, special projects. Submissions can be accompanies by photos, videos and other materials. The site's images and structure are very striking.


Described as an "interactive museum of science, humanities and culture," WebExhibits is filled with very rich visuals and information to help people better understand such pressing issues as Causes of Colors or the relationship of modern art, the science of color and human vision in Color Vision and Art or the story of Calendars through the Ages and how we organize our lives. The site includes a range of teaching tools on these subjects and many others with actual lesson plans on each. There is an extensive section on this dynamic site which explains the "web exhibit" difference, including how web exhibits differ from other information on the internet and how to create your own web exhibit.


The American Optometric Association (AOA) has launched a new, easy-to-use Website to help answer consumer questions about contact lens safety. The AOA Contact Lens and Cornea Section (CLCS) created the site with the assistance of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO). "With more than 30 million Americans wearing contact lenses for vision correction, we saw a need to be able to answer questions that may come up outside of normal business hours," said Thomas Quinn, Jr., OD., AOA CLCS Council Member. "This site has been created to become a one-stop resource for questions regarding contact lens safety." A wide range of information can be found on the site. Topics covered include lens replacement schedules, purchasing contact lenses and contact lens wear in various environments.


The AOA has also become very proactive in disseminating information and providing resources to eyecare professionals about the advent of 3D technology and its impact on eye health. With the influx of 3D in movies, TV, computers and schools, more people will need to be properly educated on 3D and its effects on vision, the AOA points out. This site, geared to the public, provides a media recap of new developments in the realm of 3D, and answers frequently-asked questions about 3D. The site also highlights the just-released new white paper, "3D in the Classroom," an important new AOA Public Health Report. In addition, optometrists and eyecare professionals can visit for tools and resources to help educate patients on this public health initiative.


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