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    Social Media, Store Websites, and the Pharmacist

    What you need to know about crafting your pharmacy’s 5-star online presence.

    Everyone knows that websites are important, that a thriving social media presence is key to building brand awareness, and that getting your name out there is the most important thing you can do for your business. 

    But how many pharmacists are actually taking the time to develop these vital resources? And even if you are confident that your website and social media presence are top-notch, it’s always good to have a refresher. 

    So here are five tips to help you increase your pharmacy’s online presence.

    1. Take another look at the basics of your website

    This might seem obvious, but so many websites don’t give their customers the information they need. Take a look at your pharmacy’s homepage and pretend you’re a new customer looking at the site for the first time. Is it obvious where your pharmacy is located? Is it easy to find contact information, including address and phone number? Do you provide easy-to-find information about the services you offer? Is there a way to read about your store’s history or who owns it? Can a new patient find out what products you have in the store? Are your store hours easily visible?

    Watch: Using social media responsibly

    2. Make your website great

    Once you have the basics down, start looking even deeper into what your website should and could become. Does it look modern and engaging, or does it look like something you would load up over 90s-era dial-up? In all likelihood you are not both a pharmacist and an expert web designer, but there are many services willing to help build your website and make it look great. Companies like Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, and dozens of others will make it easy for you to build and maintain your website. A well-designed website can make all the difference to a prospective customer. Think of it this way: You keep your store clean, organized, and updated, so why wouldn’t you do the same for your website?

    3. Use social media—and use it well 

    It is vital that you have a strong social media presence to help you stand out. Get involved in Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Make it easy for people to find your accounts—advertise them on your website, in your store, and to your friends and family.  

    Look at what other successful stores around you are doing. When are they posting? How often are they posting? What types of things are they posting? Looking at their strategies will help you form your own. Once you know what other stores are doing, adapt and find a way to make your profiles your own. Social media is about telling a story, so tell the story that you want your store to tell. If you’re a small family-run business, let people know that! Post pictures of you and your staff to show that you’re a small organization that really cares about the community. If you’re a larger operation, emphasize the range of services you can offer. Make a connection with your audience and they could become fans for life.

    Related article: Marketing your pharmacy through social media

    Consider Gatti Pharmacy in Indiana, PA. Drug Topics spoke with Jennifer Clark, Marketing Manager at the pharmacy, about successful strategies that she has used in a small pharmacy. She said that the best posts on Facebook and Twitter are the behind-the-scenes posts. “People love seeing our team and recognizing the people they interact with each week,” she said in an email. “I try to turn these posts into mini-stories that give people a true sense of who we are and what we do, beyond just filling their prescriptions.” She added that pharmacists should not be “afraid to be human and share your company’s story.”

    Up next: How do you deal with bad reviews?

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