An Optometrist's Guide to Influencer Marketing with Zyloware

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When I started Eyedolatry back in 2011, the idea that optometrists would be doing most of their marketing online was still a relatively new concept. In the years that followed, just having a functional website has become a bare minimum; an active Facebook page and an inventive Instagram account are considered must have marketing tools in 2017.  But as the marketing demands on practitioners have increased, many practice owners feel left behind on how to stay relevant in the fast paced social media marketplace.  Everyone from optical brands to pharmaceutical companies are reaching out to ECPs to help them navigate the new world order, and one of the most successful digital marketing partnerships has come from optical frame company, Zyloware. Founded in 1923 by Joseph Shyer, this independently owned optical frame company is the oldest family-owned optical line in the United States. How have they stayed relevant? By embracing new ways to reach both doctors and patients.


Social Media Tip: Tell a story with your social media accounts. Find a way to use the optical frames you want to feature as a larger brand story that says something about the person or lifestyle you want to market to. A picture of a frame on your optical board won't drive much engagement. I love featuring eyewear with other jewelry on my eyedolatry_blog insta account because it tells the story of who I am as a doc: my eyewear is a style statement that I select with as much care as any piece of jewelry I put on each morning.

Getting Started with Influencer Marketing 

In addition to marketing their frame lines using social media and brand influencers, Zyloware's marketing website, We Are Zyloware features tips for doctors to make their own social media message successful.  They post sample Instagram and Facebook images that doctors can use directly, or as inspiration to create their own.  And they discuss in detail how to partner with local influencers in your community to create a bigger footprint for brand awareness. "The best part about working with brand ambassador is reaching people that we would never be able to reach on our own," states Gabrielle O'Brien, the marketing coordinator at Zyloware Eyewear. "Influencers become a reliable, reputable source for their loyal followers, so when their followers see them wearing our frames, they are more likely to follow us or like us on social media." Check out this great article featuring one of my personal eyewear style star crushes, @faceprint.eyewearlove .  

For your own small business optical, this is easily translatable into a marketing strategy for you. Find local bloggers or local Instagram influencers by searching for people that are hashtagging your city, or that might be part of a larger local blogger network or ring.  The key is finding social media influencers that are in your local community, and have followers in your local community.  That way when they post about a great frame their received from your office, or the fantastic eye exam they had with you, it can immediately impact your appointment scheduling and new patient eyewear sales. 

Take photos in familiar locations that other social media users will recognize as part of their local community! 

How Do You Know What to Post?
 

"My advice would be to first look at your analytics [on your social media or Facebook account]," counsels O'Brien. "Find out what content and posting times get the most engagement (likes and comments), then figure out what kind of content your audience enjoys the most.  Do they enjoy seeing your frames, a quote, eyewear displays, or pictures of you?" 

Photos of you and your staff are huge sources for increased engagement, and as a founder of a social media marketing service, Defocus Media, it's an easy strategy that is too often overlooked.  Beautiful faces of models don't make an effective local marketing campaign, even though that's what many ECPs default to on their accounts because its the marketing we see so often in our own lives.  Instead, focus on recognizable places and people to make sure your posts look less like an ad, and more like a post by a friend of family member.  We are much more likely to stop, look, and engage if the content connects with us personally.

Hey, I'm no model, but real people with real imperfections are a beautiful way to make your social media account feel organic and authentic.  The best ads and marketing campaigns don't feel like ads, and as a small business in your local community, creating that local personal touch is essential to standing out from larger corporate chains.
"Don't be afraid to post content that isn't related to your field; not everything has to be focused on eyes or optics.  The majority of your content is going to be optics/eyes, so it's refreshing to your audience when it's something different," advises O'Brien. Creating a brand is about curating a lifestyle, so it's great to post food, places, or images that connect with what your overall message as a small business is about. Unique, funky frames? Posting local art or architecture can help build your local community following and also says a lot about your business as being part of the art scene. Sports vision practice?  Posting sports images even when there is no direct link to eyes or vision involved helps connect your optometric office with the sports world.  The real crux is to have a complete understanding of what your brand is, then tell that story in everything your do.

Running Social Media Contests

O'Brien also has excellent advice for running social media contests to grow engagement. "When structuring a contest, we make sure that the content is fun and eye-catching, but also simple to enter. Establish that to enter the contest you have to follow our account @zyloware and the account of the brand influencer hosting the contest, like the photo, and then tag a friend in the comments.  We've had a lot of success from contests like this."

"For example, one contest that we did with our good friend @TheDapperJuan, he gave away two of our Randy Jackson Sunglasses.  It was open for three days and you were allowed to have multiple entries, as long as it wasn't celebrities or athletes.  At the beginning of that contest, we had 9,948 followers, and by the end of it we gained 604 new followers! We had increased brand exposure from a trusted source, increased our followers, and started to build strong relationships with a new target market."

Try It Out Yourself!

You know you want to win these Via Spiga frames for your own eyewear wardrobe!
Love my Via Spiga frames? You can enter to win your own and a chance to work with Zyloware as a future brand ambassador feature by heading to my instagram @eyedolatry_blog all week!

If you are looking for ways to grow your social media expertise or get involved with the mission and eyewear of Zyloware, you can email the marketing department at marketing@zyloware.com

Disclosure: The Via Spiga frames used in this post were care of Zyloware

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