Need inspiration for your practice social media? Look to your peers. Here are five creative strategies that Dr. Justin Bazan of Park Slope Eye in Brooklyn, NY, uses to further myopia management awareness and education on social media.
Myopia messaging on social media has the potential to be a powerful tool to educate and engage parents and other stakeholders about the condition and the importance of early treatment intervention. In fact, one recent study based in China found that school-based family health education delivered weekly through social media resulted in a modest reduction in childhood myopia rates.1
Still, if you are stuck in a perpetual cycle of posting mainly generic stock images of kids in glasses, your myopia management posts may not be achieving a high level of engagement or reaching a broader audience. If you feel like you’re in a social media rut, follow these five tips to elevate your myopia messaging and expand your practice’s reach.
1. Create Eye-catching Content No Matter Your Design Ability: Dr. Justin Bazan uses the online design-platform Canva to create visually-memorable informational content that he reposts at regularly scheduled intervals via Post Planner. With parent permission, sharing photos of your myopia control patients in your practice is another great way to find compelling imagery, no design skills needed.
Dr. Bazan offers this additional tip that he says is simple to execute yet impactful: When you write your post, make sure to include a direct link to your practice where a parent can easily schedule an appointment for their child.
2. Consider Health Risk Messaging: Dr. Bazan believes statistics can elicit a strong emotional reaction that inspires action. For example, a recent Facebook post included an infographic comparing progressive myopia levels and the increased risk of a child developing myopic maculopathy, retinal detachment, PSC cataract, and glaucoma. “Parents inherently want to protect their children, so sending messages of risk definitely helps motivate them into taking action,” Dr. Bazan says. In these types of posts, you can also feature the value of early detection through timely comprehensive eye exams. Make sure to use this content in moderation. While risk information is helpful to parents, too much may scare parents away from a conversation on myopia.
3. Encourage Parents to Share on their Social Platforms: Patient success stories are often an important part of a practice's social media. In addition to posting these to your practice’s website or social media channels, ask the parent if they will share it to their own social media so you can potentially reach hundreds of new parents. Video testimonials serve as a great call to action, prompting people to reach out for more information and/or schedule an appointment, Dr. Bazan explains. “I definitely encourage the office to ask those enthusiastic parents to share their stories to help others who are considering myopia management,” he says.
4. Don’t Hesitate to Try Something New. Dr. Bazan encourages optometric offices to experiment with social media. In addition to his usual YouTube patient testimonials, Dr. Bazan’s is considering other approaches, including myopia management messaging through platforms such as TikTok to reach the whole family. Another creative idea: Show different levels of uncorrected myopia in real-world environments with a TikTok or Instagram Reel To further engage parents, ask them to share a comment about their own experience growing up with myopia.
5. Engage Colleagues Beyond the Podium: Social media offers you the opportunity potential to connect with a far greater number of colleagues than those you may encounter at optometry meetings alone. Instead of just flicking through your PowerPoint at the podium, share some of your most compelling slides to your social media platforms or post a survey so your fellow doctors can weigh in on their myopia management style, best practices, and lessons learned.
1. Li Q, Guo L, Zhang J, et al. Effect of school-based family health education via social media on Children's Myopia and Parents' Awareness: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2021 Nov 1;139(11):1165-1172.