Use social media to market LASIK to millennials

December 7, 2017

Recently at our laser vision center, we widened the scope of our social media outreach to include millennials who may be interested in finding out more about available refractive eye care options.

Recently at our laser vision center, we widened the scope of our social media outreach to include millennials who may be interested in finding out more about available refractive eye care options.

Keep in mind that millennial patients tend to access services where they are most convenient for them and when they have an immediate need, whether it’s Pearle Vision in the mall or 1-800 Contacts online.

Unless millennials have kept the same doctor since childhood, often they do not have a regular eyecare provider.

Let’s discuss best ways to reach this demographic group.

Related: Managing your employees’ social media use

Using social media

We have effectively incorporated Instagram and Facebook into our social media marketing strategy. On Instagram, for example, we post pictures of patients taken after their successful LASIK procedure. On Facebook, we often post testimonials, and we also use the site’s paid ads to target more potential patients.

An effort of which we are particularly proud is our practice’s volunteer partnership with a local food pantry. As part of this community service program, we donate supplies, money, and time to the food pantry, making monthly trips to the facility.

Through social media efforts, we make sure potential patients know about our involvement and how they too can support the program. In fact, for every paid surgery we perform, we donate a portion of the proceeds to our food bank fund which in turn provides a week’s worth of food for a family.

Related: Using social media to improve the way you connect

Social sharing of our activities has received a tremendous response from millennials. We know this group is concerned with social justice and the belief that we are all connected and need to care for one another. We have learned there is much value in demonstrating to these potential patients that we take a lead role in helping our community. In addition, we provide a way for them to take part and make a difference in a tangible way. All of this community action translates into rich social media content.

Social media messaging

Our social media and marketing messaging involves talking about LASIK and driving the desire in patients to take the first step toward getting an examination to find out their choices. Millennials are curious to learn about LASIK and see what they might be missing out on in their lives, yet they do not necessarily want the pressure of making an immediate decision.

Once a patient has decided to learn more about LASIK, we provide educational materials on the technology we use, what to expect during the preoperative workup, and they can see the technology in advance to ease any anxiety. Social media easily helps us accomplish this.

 

Practice website

Our practice website (www.clarityrefractive.com) provides comprehensive education for potential LASIK patients. We have incorporated videos and links to helpful forms on every page as well as a calendar so interested individuals can make an appointment online for a consultation.

The LASIK section of the site is divided into sections that include defining LASIK, its evolution, what makes a patient eligible, testimonials, frequently asked questions, and a LASIK kit that reviews what the patient can expect at the first visit.

The sections on defining LASIK and the procedure’s evolution ensure that patients have the opportunity to understand the benefits of today’s advanced procedure. On the site, we explain that LASIK is now even more accurate using wavefront technology that performs a high-technology analysis of the optical characteristics of a person’s eye. Patients learn that LASIK is a customized excimer laser treatment.

Related: Mastering social media marketing for your practice

Testimonials

Patient testimonials can be very important to practices-they provide “real-world” information to potential patients.  In fact, polls indicate that 80 to 90 percent of potential patients read reviews.1,2

We have found great value in encouraging patients to write unbiased reviews and testimonials. These reviews are featured on the practice website as well as on social media and online review sites like Yelp.

Financing

Offering patients a procedure with a significant price tag requires that you also make available a way for them to pay for it. We use CareCredit as a financing option, and we make sure patients know that financing is available. We include this information on our website and social media outlets as well.

Related: How ODs can capitalize on social media in their practices

Confidence and outcomes

We have been able to maintain and grow our LASIK practice due to confidence in our optometric network and commitment to integrated patient care between these ODs and our surgeons. About 70 percent of our patients come from our OD referral sources, and 30 percent come from word of mouth.

Another key to providing excellent outcomes and happy patients is technology. Using the newest version of iDesign System and the iLASIK Technology Suite (Johnson & Johnson Vision), we have a 99 percent patient satisfaction rate. We convert almost 85 percent of our patients to this procedure.

Results

Thanks in large part to our social media push over the past 12 to 18 months, we have seen a 30 percent increase in our overall patient consultation volume and a 10 percent increase in surgical volume.

The internal marketing department at the practice manages the social media accounts. As we seek to grow surgical volume further, we will consider all options in terms of how to optimize the potential of social media channels.

 

References

1. Grace K. The importance of patient testimonials and online reviews for your medical and dental practice. IntellaHealth. Available at: https://www.intellahealth.net/importance-of-patient-testimonials. Accessed 11/22/17.

2. Testimonial Tree. Three surprising ways patient use online reviews of medical doctors. Available at:  http://get.testimonialtree.com/?s=Three+surprising+ways+patient+use+online+reviews+of+medical+doctors.  Accessed 11/22/17.

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