Some tips on making community connections
Independent pharmacists offer health advice and guidance. They serve as valuable members of the community. Yet when they try to market themselves via social media, they may fail to engage.
“Use the internet to reinforce what you already are to your community,” marketing guru Elizabeth Estes, chief idea officer at Ebus Innovation, told a crowd at the McKesson ideaShare confer-ence in San Diego. “In today’s social media spaces, your message can’t always be, ‘I have this sale going on.’ You have to connect.”
How can you do this? Congratulate the local high school team on a big win. Put community photos on your Facebook page. Be a clearinghouse of health tips, useful information, and friendliness.
What about reaching new customers? Estes offers these tips:
• Google will soon be lowering the search rankings of websites that look weird on a smartphone or iPad-style tablet. Make sure your website is properly “optimized” for mobile.
• “Claim” your business via www.google.com/business and get a free digital listing to help your pharmacy stand out.
• Go on Yelp, the business review site, and vet the listing on your pharmacy for accuracy. “Google is placing a big emphasis on reviews, and they’re starting to rank Yelp higher,” Estes said.
Ask people to write reviews, Estes said, and tell them, ‘I’m glad
you had a good experience. This is what we pride ourselves on.’”
• Use Facebook advertising to target potential customers, such as new moms or diabetics, by zip code, and offer them special deals or sign them up for newsletters. You could even target fans of other pharmacies and offer them details about transferring their prescriptions.
“With Facebook,” Estes said, “you can narrow it down and have much less waste. It’s a really powerful tool.”