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Buffer your Pharmacy Social Media Strategy

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In this video, we’re going to learn about how you can use an application called Buffer to help you manage the Social Media marketing strategy for your pharmacy business.

What is Buffer?

Buffer is a Social Media Management Tool which helps you schedule posts, track the performance of your content and manage all of your Social Media accounts from one place. It’s designed to save you time, which is something that pharmacy businesses don’t have much of these days, and it’s free to use. I use on a daily basis and it’s something that you can easily use too.

How does Buffer work?

To demonstrate this, I’m going to show you how I’m using it for the pharmacy business I’m currently managing (see video above). To create an account on Buffer, on the homepage, click “signup for free” and either create your account using the social links or an email address below. 

You’ll then land on your dashboard. The first thing you’ll need to do is connect buffer to the social media accounts you have for your pharmacy over on the left. Now, as a free member, I believe you have the ability to connect up to 5 different social media platforms. As you can see, I’ve connected our Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram Business profiles, and we also have a twitter account, which I’m going to connect right now.

 

 

All you need to do is select the channel, click the connect button and Buffer will ask you to authorise the connection by inputting your Twitter credentials.

It’s all about scheduling

Now let me show you how I schedule some of my posts. Scheduling is really ideal for me since our pharmacy business is connected to four Social Platform and I’m really busy doing other cool pharmacy stuff. Let’s say I’ve found this video on Youtube by NHS Choices that I’d like to engage my audience with. Buffer will allow me to schedule the publishing of this post across as many of the connected social platforms I wish at either the same or differing times. To do this, copy the URL of the video and over on Buffer, from these icons here, select which platforms you wish to publish across. Since this is a video link, I’m going to post it on Facebook, Twitter and the company LinkedIn page. Then paste the link into the content box. You’ll see that buffer instantly shortens the URL to make it look nicer and a thumbnail will be created, which you’re able to play around with if you wish.

 

 

You can check to see what it’s going to look like over the other platforms by selecting them in the lefthand column here. Ok, so I’m going to add a bit more text in the content here, hashtagging the keywords, and this post is ready to go. Now, to schedule this post, click on this little arrow next to the “add to queue” button here and from these options, select “schedule post”. You’ll see a calendar pop up where you can select the time and date you wish to publish. I’m going to publish this tomorrow at 2.15pm. Then click schedule. That’s it, you’re done. If you click the queue button under the content tab of each social profile you’ll see that the post is there waiting in queue to be automatically published.

 

Image Campaigns for Instagram

Let me show you one more example involving Instagram this time. Instagram is good for image campaigns and here’s an image I created earlier using the application, Canva. I’ll make a video about the use of Canva soon because it’s so good for creating professional image campaigns – I highly recommend its use.

 

 

So I can simply drag the image into the content box and once it’s uploaded, I just going to double check it’s been loaded up on the other platforms.

Let’s write something like “We don’t just dispense pills you know #pharmacyisawesome. Let’s schedule it for the day after and when I click the button “schedule”, I can see that my post will be placed in the queue under the last entry I created.

With a free account on Buffer, you also have access to some basic analytics which is good but to get more advanced features, you have to pay a subscription fee. If you’re at the beginning stage of your social media marketing journey, then this isn’t necessary right now and you can always check your analytics on the individual platforms themselves.

Evaluation

Buffer is a great tool for Independent Community Pharmacy who are active on Social Media because it saves time which is really key in business today. They also have an app which is very handy if you’re on the move and works just as seamlessly as the desktop application. If you need any help with Buffer or have any questions about what kind of Social Media strategy you wish to employ, then please don’t hesitate to contact me at support@pharmacymentor.com.

Buffer App – iTunes

Buffer App – Google Play

Thanks for visiting and see you in the next learning module!

Saam

 

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6 Extremely Useful Apps in Community Pharmacy 2017

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Are you using any Apps in practice?

Something that I believe to be just as important as having the BNF, MEP and Drug Tariff in the Community Pharmacy setting is the Smartphone. Let’s face it, the iPhone 6 is probably the most advanced piece of equipment you’ll have in your pharmacy and it’s packed full of extremely useful apps. I’m gonna mention 6 of those which I use on a very regular basis which are helping me with my business and practice.

1) Google Chrome

Number 1 is without a doubt, Google Chrome. You have literally the world at your fingertips with this app, so if you’re posed with a question you’re not sure about, just Google it! Let me give you a quick example of how I used it the other day.

A woman came into the pharmacy with a script for Zoff Adhesive remover for her diabetic son, which we didn’t have in stock. In fact, it was a manufacturing problem. So she asked us to see if we could get an alternative for her. While the dispenser I was working with scrolled slowly through the pages of the Drug Tariff and C&D, I simply flipped open Chrome and spoke to it, saying “zoff adhesive remover alternative for diabetics”. It brought me to a forum where there were loads of alternatives and actually, she ended up buying a Boots plaster remover spray which worked even better than the Zoff. Google just saved the patient loads of time and the NHS a prescription item every month. Just Google it!

Download for Apple

Download for Android

2) Google Translate

Keeping on the Google train, Google Translate is an absolute gem of an app that all pharmacist must have. If posed with a patient who struggles with the same language as you, Google translate will help you. Simply select the language of the patient and speak into the app. Extremely useful and important in making sure the patient understands what you’re advising.

Download for Apple

Download for Android

3) Medscape

While the BNF remains the number one reference for clinical dosages in the UK, Medscape, in my opinion, is the best Clinical App for pharmacists out there. It’s the user interface that does it for me – very easy to navigate and the knowledge base is outstanding. It’s what I use to check clinical conditions, drug interactions, symptoms and treatment options.

Download for Apple

Download for Android

4) Facebook

Since I run a Social Media strategy for the pharmacy I’m contracted to, the Facebook app is imperative. But not only can I drive the business through the Facebook app, it’s extremely handy in helping me with specific pharmacy queries because of the groups I’m part of. If I have a query with a prescription I’m not sure about, for example, I can post it to the group where 5000 other pharmacists will see it and advise me of the best course of action.

Download for Apple

Download for Android

5) Pro Delivery Manager

Now, I lied at the start of this blog when I said I’ve used all of these apps because I haven’t used Pro Delivery Driver. I’m sorry about that. Having said that, I have full confidence that this app is going to be extremely useful for Independents and I’m trying to get the chain I work with to trial it. They claim to improve efficiencies and communication with customers and the Social Proofing seems to back this up. Are you using Pro Delivery Driver? If so, let me know what you think about it in the comments below.

Download for Apple

Download for Android

6) Trello

And finally, I can’t not mention Trello – the best productivity app in the world. I use it every day to schedule my tasks in the pharmacy and share objectives with the team across the company. It just makes communication so much better.

Download for Apple

Download for Android

Apps make your business and practice easier

 

So there you have it, the smartphone and some apps that go with it making life so much easier for me in the pharmacy. Of course, there are so many other apps that pharmacists and pharmacies are using to benefit their business and practice, and I’d love to hear about them. If you’d like to share how you might be using an app, comment below so our fellow colleagues can check them out.

Thanks for visiting and see you in the next learning module!

Saam

 

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PharmData – Drive your Pharmacy Business through Data Analysis

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What is PharmData?

PharmData is a platform that uses the data for Community Pharmacy provided by the NHS Business Services Authority and produces statistics for 5 Key Performance Indicators, which are:

  • Prescription Items
  • Prescription forms
  • Medicine Use Reviews
  • New Medicines Service
  • And EPS uptake

Not only does it produce great visual statistics for your pharmacy so you can track your performance over a period of time, you’re able to track your performance against your competitors and view the GP prescribing statistics in your area.

Data analysis is a crucial part of any pharmacy business because it can help you understand where your strengths and weaknesses lie, thus helping you make better business decisions. The great thing about PharmData as a comparative tool is that it highlights the threats and opportunities for your business which can help you adjust your overall strategy.

As pharmacy manager myself, as well as being the owner of an online business, I understand the importance of analytics. For the pharmacy I work in, PharmData is helping us understand our competition better and what the current market is like in our catchment area. I believe this to be an essential tool for Community Pharmacy.

Subscription to PharmData costs a very cool £2.99 per month and you can access the platform here.

For more business and innovation learning modules like this, click here.

Best,

Saam

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5 Reasons why
Independent Pharmacies should use Facebook

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I want to give you some statistics from the Social Media giant, Facebook, that I’m sure you will agree, are completely absurd.

  • 1.9 billion people use Facebook every month, which is an increase of 17% from the year before, and is more than Twitter, Whatsapp and Instagram combined.
  • 1.2 billion people log onto Facebook every day.
  • And every 60 seconds, 510,000 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated, and 126,000 photos are uploaded.
Ref: Zephoria Digital Marketing

Facebook cannot be ignored. In fact, we can’t get away from the damn thing, and in this video, I’m gonna give you 5 reasons why you, as an Independent Pharmacy, should start using Facebook for your business.

Popularity

Firstly, Facebook is the most popular Social Media platform by a long, long way. More and more people continue to use Facebook and if you think the elderly don’t use it, think again. According to a report by SproutSocial, 56% of adults aged 65 and over, use Facebook. If your patients and customers are on their, it’s ideal for you to be there too.

Free and Powerful Marketing Tool

Secondly, it’s a free and very powerful marketing tool that will improve your sales and strengthen your brand. Organising in-store events, creating promotional offers and targeting a specific demographic of your local area are just a fraction of the tools Facebook offer which can really help boost your revenue.

Deliver Better Healthcare

Healthcare isn’t bound by the walls of your pharmacy any longer. Facebook is an extremely effective channel for delivering health advice and can be used to help more and more people stay healthy.

Build Stronger Relationships in the Community

Building relationships has never been faster and more effective. Through Facebook, we can communicate with local businesses and the community with ease, and as every business knows, better relationships mean better business.

Push Forward the Profession

And finally, by harnessing the power of Facebook, you’ll be pushing forward our profession. The more we use Social Media in general, the more we will establish ourselves as primary care in the community.

We can use Facebook to help the NHS Crisis

Facebook is undeniably important, and not just for your business and our profession, for the healthcare system as a whole. I fully believe that if every pharmacy in the UK learns to implement a solid Social Media strategy, it will help with the NHS crisis. Medicines wastage, unnecessary A&E referrals and GP waiting times could all be indirectly improved.

If you’d like to implement a Social Media Strategy within your Pharmacy, check out the Pharmacy and Social Media Mastery Course where you and your team can learn how to drive sales, improve your brand and build a stronger community.

Saam