Md. OD taps social media for practice success

June 19, 2012

Patients at Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care enjoy Patient Appreciation Day 2011. Alan Glazier, O.D., is shown talking to a patient in the center.

Alan Glazier, O.D., is an early adapter of social media and new technology who has translated his savvy into return for his practice in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Rockville, Md.

When Dr. Glazier decided to host his practice’s first annual patient appreciation day, he turned to the power of Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and other social media tools.

Dr. Glazier wanted to thank patients and find a way to give back. He decided to combine a trunk show with the patient appreciation day.

After three months of planning, Dr. Glazier sent professional invitations, garnered a lot of social media attention, offered patients significant discounts, and arranged for Washington Redskins cheerleaders, a cappuccino bar, food, drinks and entertainment.

More than 80 people participated in the patient appreciation event.

“We got a lot of local press, a Facebook page, and lots of revelry,” he said. “It was a big success. I think patients really felt appreciated.”

Office staffer Lori’Elle Fisher, CPOA, at right, speaks to a local reporter.

Not only does Dr. Glazier use social media to communicate with patients, he also uses it to connect with fellow optometrists.

Dr. Glazier started the “ODs on Facebook” group to facilitate discussions between colleagues.

With close to 2,000 ODs and other industry professionals in the group, ODs are obviously seeing the added value of sharing information on clinical and practice management or just discussing what’s on their minds.

“I’ve had a great response,” said Dr. Glazier. “I have an opportunity to make it what I want it to be, which is different from others out there. Social media is very inclusive. We can all learn from each other and get input from those who might have insight.”

Dr. Glazier didn’t foresee the success of the group and joked that it could have been called “The Accidental OD.”

After 18 years in practice, Dr. Glazier said it’s still imperative to stay up to date on the latest tools and to get involved in social media. He offered advice for those just starting out.

“It’s important to really be a fly on the wall,” he said. “Observe what’s going on out there. Slowly dip your toe in the water because it can get overwhelming.”

The Redskinettes pose with some of the younger patients during the Patient Appreciation Day event.

Dr. Glazier helped develop the AOA’s own social networking tool for members, AOAConnect. He was part of the Social Media Committee that first beta-tested the community. For more info, visit http://connect.aoa.org.

Members can search for “ODs on Facebook” on Facebook to join the group. Shaw Lens is currently sponsoring a contest on the page for a 1,000-post thread in which commenters can win $1,000.

And while on Facebook, make sure to join the 7,000 fans of the AOA by liking the AOA page.

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