VICTORIA, Australia—Leigh Plowman is an Australian optometrist whose website, Optomly is geared toward helping fellow practitioners get new patients through their websites or via social media. Because most ECPs are utilizing the internet as an extension of the exam room, Dr. Plowman created Optomly to educate them on the best way to communicate their messages.
“Social media and the internet were destined to overtake the phonebook as the place where people find an optometrist,” Dr. Plowman explained. “It’s like having your own television station, it gives you the chance to reach a wide group of people in your community and most importantly, it helps you grow the number of people you know.”
Dr. Plowman has written posts such as “Facebook Posts: To Pay or Not to Pay,” which weighs the pros and cons of creating Facebook ads versus creating frequent posts; “The 5-Step Framework to Generate More Patients” discusses ways to deal with patients at various levels of awareness; and “How Your New Practice Logo Gives You Free Advertising” breaks down the different ways to go about selecting a logo that will appeal to patients.
As the owner of Optomly, Dr. Plowman is not only sharing these strategies, but also employing them himself. In an April piece titled, “When Your Social Media Post Goes Wild,” Dr. Plowman used a popular post he shared on his Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. The post, which encouraged ECPs to add great images to their websites, received 2,301 views on LinkedIn, 1,511 on Instagram and 322 on Facebook.
“If you find images that your audience love, you’ll get way more engagement with your post, and exposure for your practice. Even though video is on the rise, compelling images are still critical to success on social media,” he wrote. By sharing the post to his website, he proved his own point of taking note of what people respond to and giving it more exposure.
In addition, Dr. Plowman also creates Facebook Ads in order to garner the attention of potential clients. “One of my most recent promotions was for a free PDF guide ‘Growing Your Practice with Social Media,’ which I created for people who had watched my videos or visited my website,” he explained. “I was able to get eight new email subscribers for $2.82 each. My lifetime customer value is over $1,000, so this means that my return on investment is significant. Even if I factor in my time to create the ad, it's still highly significant. That's why I love Facebook Ads.”
Aside from the visibility aspects of having a social media presence, Dr. Plowman believes that being engaged online makes ECPs overall better business owners. “As ECPs think about creating campaigns, they become clearer at recognizing their strengths and communicating value to patients. You get better at communicating phrases that patients use, such as ‘I can't see the writing on my TV.’ And, as you involve other team members in your social media strategy, they feel more connected and involved in your practice."