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Say Anything | Sep 2018

Readers Comment on The Use of the Internet and Social Media

HOW DO YOU USE THE INTERNET OR YOUR WEBSITE TO ATTRACT PATIENTS TO YOUR PRACTICE?

HOW DO YOU USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO ATTRACT OR INTERACT WITH PATIENTS?

Brian S. Boxer Wachler, MD<br>• Boxer Wachler Vision Institute, Beverly Hills, California

Brian S. Boxer Wachler, MD
• Boxer Wachler Vision Institute, Beverly Hills, California

"We use our website to help prospective patients get to know us and to provide information about medical conditions and procedures—particularly the procedures that we pioneered for keratoconus and other medical conditions. There is a select group of patients and fans who want to have a more personal connection to the practice. Social media sites provide that forum for us to show a more personal side to the public.”

Frank A. Bucci Jr, MD<br>• Bucci Laser Vision Institute, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

Frank A. Bucci Jr, MD
• Bucci Laser Vision Institute, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

"We use a digital marketing strategy that combines keyword, banner, geotargeting, and pay-per-click advertisements to direct traffic to our website. We provide educational videos and testimonials on the site, as well as forms to capture potential patients’ contact information. On our practice’s Facebook page, we share educational content, LASIK patient videos, and fun facts about our practice to interact with our audience. We also run small Facebook paid advertising campaigns.”

Daniel H. Chang, MD<br>• Empire Eye and Laser, Bakersfield, California

Daniel H. Chang, MD
• Empire Eye and Laser, Bakersfield, California

"With the help of our marketing manager, Sarah LeVan, we have found that Google advertisements, social media, and organic searches are the top three ways we attract visitors to our website. Google ads helps us target prospective patients in our region who are looking for the services we provide. This strategy has helped us increase traffic and the average time spent on our website as well as decrease our bounce rate. On social media, we have found that information about our doctors, staff, and patient testimonials tend to attract the highest engagement. We always include a link to the corresponding page on our website to find more information about the service we highlight in each post. People like to relate to other people; they like to learn about the physicians who care for their health.”

John J. Destafeno, MD<br>• Chester County Eye Care, West Chester, Pennsylvania

John J. Destafeno, MD
• Chester County Eye Care, West Chester, Pennsylvania

"We do a lot of search engine optimization for our website using keywords such as cataracts, LASIK, and dry eye to drive traffic. We also send press releases about new procedures. We have invested a lot in our website so that it is a great experience for patients. We have (not too wordy) written content, videos of many procedures, and buttons that are easily visible. We also write articles for local media so that we have a presence outside of just our own practice marketing. For social media, we primarily use Facebook, and we post about eye conditions, art, or interesting optical illusions. We find that doing too much on social media is distracting, and it takes a lot of time to maintain. If you don’t perform constant maintenance, your social media presence can look tacky and unkempt. In my experience, it is best to focus your efforts on one area and keep up the premium look and experience.”

Damien Gatinel, MD, PhD<br>• Rothschild Foundation, Paris

Damien Gatinel, MD, PhD
• Rothschild Foundation, Paris

"I built my website (www.gatinel.com) in 2007. Initially, its purpose was to provide basic information about my professional skills and about anterior segment and refractive surgery. I had planned to feature some of the 3D iconographic material that I had created for papers and book chapters, but the content was professional and it was unclear if the website was for patients or colleagues. This led me to develop and structure a more comprehensive website. Because my website is now relatively comprehensive, it ranks well on organic searches and gets about 2,000 new visitors a day on average. It includes a feature for visitors to ask specific questions, which I answer when they are interesting or relevant for the patient community. In the early days of the internet, the average visitor to my website was a refractive surgery candidate and not an older patient considering cataract surgery. I notice that this is no longer true, and an equivalent number of the comments and questions I field are related to refractive and cataract surgery topics. Regarding social media, I use Facebook to interact with patients and colleagues. In addition to my personal account, I created a professional account (Dr Damien Gatinel) to avoid the overlap between the private and professional spheres. I believe that posting material regularly on social media increases my visibility and can provide additional traffic to my own website.”

Michael Greenwood, MD<br>• Vance Thompson Vision, Fargo, North Dakota

Michael Greenwood, MD
• Vance Thompson Vision, Fargo, North Dakota

"Our practice uses the internet to provide easy-to-read information for patients that is eye-catching and fun. We use Facebook Live to broadcast refractive surgery, and we also share things such as lip sync videos and fun activities we do around the community.”

Detlef Holland, MD<br>• NordBlick Augenklinik Bellevue, Kiel, Germany

Detlef Holland, MD
• NordBlick Augenklinik Bellevue, Kiel, Germany

"We use Facebook and our website for patient education, marketing, and searching for new staff members. We also try to find patients who may be interested in enrolling in studies in which we are participating. We also use these media in cooperation with athletic leagues for which we sponsor teams; this includes soccer and handball. We plan to start using Instagram in the near future, especially to make our company more attractive to young people. Regularly, we post about our activities at the practice and our scientific achievements. We plan to use social media more in the future because it is cheap and effective.”

Imane Tarib, MD<br>• Mohammed V Military Hospital, Rabat, Morocco

Imane Tarib, MD
• Mohammed V Military Hospital, Rabat, Morocco

"I am a regular user of different social media platforms like Intagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. As I am in residency and work at a university hospital, I use social media to connect with colleagues from other countries, spread awareness about ophthalmology-related matters, and get updates about innovation and events in the field, as well as any training opportunities such as surgical, medical, and research. As a matter of fact, I originally connected with Florian T.A. Kretz, MD, FEBO, through LinkedIn, and it led to a 6-month research fellowship in Germany.”

Melissa Toyos, MD<br>• Toyos Clinic, Nashville, Tennessee

Melissa Toyos, MD
• Toyos Clinic, Nashville, Tennessee

"The key to success on the internet and social media is to consistently interact across many different platforms, giving patients information they need. We try to use social media to organically attract people who are interested in the services we provide. Pictures, videos, blogs, and mobile website optimization are a few of the things we have done on social media to increase our visibility.”

Dan B. Tran, MD<br>• Coastal Vision Medical Group, Orange, California

Dan B. Tran, MD
• Coastal Vision Medical Group, Orange, California

"We provide a lot of information about all of our procedures on our website so that potential patients can make an informed decision both on a procedure and the technology they prefer. On social media platforms, we post things that are unique but always relevant to eyes and eye health.”

Michael Y. Wong, MD<br>• Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia

Michael Y. Wong, MD
• Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia

"We have evolved our marketing message to be primarily digital. We engaged experts to clean up our website and add photos, animations, and current events that give personality to the medium. We perform search engine optimization to place higher on search results and pay for top-of-page advertisements. Most of our monthly advertising budget goes toward advertisements targeted to people who previously searched a relevant eye topic, such as LASIK or advanced technology IOLs. We try to use social media to show the staff or doctors doing fun things. This brings personality and a human quality to the practice. We also encourage patients to leave positive reviews on social media.”

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