We sat down with Emilie Seitz, whose Instagram page EyeSeitz chronicles the daily life of an optometry student, to see what advice she has to share on using Instagram to boost your social media presence, and how optometrists can use instagram marketing.
Seitz feels the strength of Instagram over Facebook is users can discover your practice without knowing your name, letting you reach more people.
While using the right hashtags and posting on a regular basis are both key ways to build an attractive brand on Instagram, her advice is to “respect the process” and let your Instagram following grow organically.
Instagram “gives you the opportunity to connect and be real,” and rather than obsessing over the perfect post or the number of your followers, being authentic will help you get more engaged and invested followers. She says that while photos make for a more scenic profile and are good for engaging first time visitors to your page, videos offer a “more real and raw and authentic view of who you are.”
Seitz says that optometry students don’t have products or services to market, but they can use social media to market themselves to practices and prospective patients.
“What keeps the patient coming back is how invested they are in you,” she says. “That’s one thing Instagram has taught me.”
A strong Instagram presence can help you differentiate yourself from your peers and be a more attractive candidate for practices that are hiring, especially since it shows you are willing to take on the responsibility of marketing through social media.
Seitz says that the Instagram optometry community is “a tight-knit community of optometrists helping other optometrists,” and points to Dr. Arian Fartash’s GlamOptometrist as “definitely one of my inspirations.” When it comes to growing your Instagram presence, Seitz recommends cross-posting, following back, and connecting with people who have more followers than you. “It’s important to remember that Instagram is about interaction,” she says.
With companies like Hubble investing much of their marketing budget into social media, the entire marketing landscape for optometry is changing. Seitz reminds us that “what we have over these companies is they don’t have a face – you as a doctor have a face, a story.”