Erin Koetter, OD and her husband, Bryan, have always been dog people. Bryan grew up with Labrador Retrievers, and the two had a Labrador together before they got married. Five years ago they adopted Jetti, a golden Labrador who loves attention and people. Dr. Koetter says it was love at first sight.
When Dr. Koetter opened her practice, Eye Hub Optometry, in Houston, Texas, earlier this year, she didn’t want to leave Jetti at home all day. Dr. Koetter decided to bring Jetti into the office. Now the designated Patient Support Specialist, Jetti has her own “office” underneath the reception desk and often greets patients at the door.
“Patients love Jetti,” Dr. Koetter says. “She’s our office mascot.” Many new patients don’t know that there is an office dog at Eye Hub Optometry, and Dr. Koetter says their moods are immediately boosted when they are greeted by Jetti’s wagging tail. “Patients can play with Jetti while they wait for their exam. It can be a better start to their visit.”
Dr. Koetter opened her practice just six months ago, and she is the one handling all main aspects of the practice- including the marketing. While she is still perfecting her way of interacting with customers online and getting people interested in the page, she decided to start with something she knew the patients would respond well to: Jetti.
As Dr. Koetter continues to learn the ins and outs of marketing her practice on social media, she found that fun and friendly content gets better traction than serious and information-dense posts. Jetti has been steadily gaining a following on the practice’s Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok accounts, where she is often featured decked out in practice gear, posing with patients or modeling the latest frame lines the office has to offer.
Dr. Koetter says the best way to get more engagement on your practice’s page is to post content that makes the patients happy. She says the page must be one that people want to visit. “It’s important to post engaging content often,” Dr. Koetter says. “It’s all about making patients smile.” She also says it is rewarding to see the finished content as it is posted.
“No matter how silly it might look, it’s important to show some of both your personal and professional interests on social media,” Dr. Koetter says. Initially she wanted to keep her personal life off of social media, but realized it was a good business growth opportunity that wouldn’t cost anything out of pocket. She now uses social media to connect with patients, share office news and expand her network.
For practices looking to up their social media marketing game, Dr. Koetter recommends a more personable approach. She tends to steer clear of posting product advertisements exclusively, which she says can get repetitive and boring for followers. “Try to keep your posts fresh and educational,” she says. “It is a good place to post patient tips and tricks.” Dr. Koetter does occasionally use social media to show what new frames and products they have in stock but finds that most patients go to social media for fun, light-hearted content.
“Don’t be scared to get out of your marketing comfort zone,” Dr. Koetter says. Whether you have a set goal in mind for your practice’s online marketing presence or you are still figuring out what works, with the right tools and motivation, anything is paw-sible.