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Let’s be social. How we became America’s Finest Optical Retailer in 2015.

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Earlier this year we entered an industry contest to become America’s Finest Optical Retailer. We really entered hoping we would score an honorable mention in the top 10 – but we ended up winning 1st place!

Today’s blog post is dedicated to the how and to the what we did to achieve the title. I am excited to share the top 5 elements that helped us score a perfect 100% in the categories of ‘individuality’ and ‘website,’ which put us over the top for the win. 

1.  w e b s i t e

One of my patients who was a marketing exec told me years ago that the purpose of the Oakland Vision Center website was to serve as a glossy brochure to get new patients to schedule an appointment. And only that. Nothing less, nothing more. I remembered when he said when I was designing a new website last year. And yes, I designed it myself for a whopping $250 with the help of squarespace. They make web design easy. Choose your template, add your information and select photos with their Getty Images partnership. It’s seamless. 

My only advice. Keep it simple.

2.  # l i f e s t y l e   b r a n d

Nowadays, what is just as important as your mission statement – is creating and curating a lifestyle brand. When you go to the apple store to purchase a computer or phone, you’re not going there because there’s a sale. You are going to purchase a computer or phone that gets you the experience. There is a lot of value in an experience. An experience gives you a feeling, an emotion – a reason for you to want to belong.

I believe that this is the single most important reason why we won America’s Finest Optical Retailer as it sets the tone for everything else. There is no website without the lifestyle brand. There is no social media without the lifestyle brand. There is more value with a lifestyle brand.  We thought long and hard to find our lifestyle brand that was authentic in voice and true to our mission statement. We Love Eyes / #weloveeyes was born. Heck, I even named my new product line We Love Eyes. 

What would your lifestyle brand be?

3.  s o c i a l   m e d i a

Starting January of 2015, we started getting social. We began to take photos and curate our lifestyle brand on 4 platforms: instagram, Facebook, twitter and google +. Out of the 4 we selected, instagram has been our most successful in the sense that it has referred dozens of new patients from a completely new demographic. Those numbers keep increasing everyday. 

We post twice a day, seven days a week on all 4 platforms in order to keep our audience engaged and the content fresh. The best times during the week to post are before work (9am), lunch time (12pm) and right after work (5pm). I use an iPhone 6 plus (for best photos) and the VSCO Cam app to take and edit photos. It’s that easy.

We make sure the photos are fun and that they tell the story of We Love Eyes: fabulous glasses that have personalities, fabulous people that stay connected through social media and fabulous eye care that is fresh and memorable. 

4.  s h o p   l o c a l

A really popular social media campaign is the ‘shop local.’ It’s encouraged a movement within our city and has really helped grow our social media following. One day a patient asked me “Where did all the bookstores go?” They went online, that’s where. That’s why it’s so extremely important to shop local. We love Oakland, and it’s been such a rewarding experience to share the ‘shop local’ message with our patients. We made business cards that reinforce this message as well. The beautiful thing is that almost 100% of patients agree and want to spend money not only at Oakland Vision Center, but at other Oakland businesses. It’s a win-win for everyone.

5.  t e a m   c o n t e n t

Our website and social media pages are always changing. We need ideas. We need creative thinking. We need inspiration. What better than to receive these ideas everyday from the team. Our #teamselfie says it all. We look to each other for stories. We look to each other for laughter.

I listen to my staff as they speak the captions that I copy write everyday. Creating content has been a collaboration from the very start. It can be extremely time consuming, so having the entire  team help with creating content has made the process fun and easy. 

Love and ?,

Dr. Tanya Gill


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  • Written by Tanya Gill

    Dr. Gill is also a member of the Ocular Surface Society of Optometry. In addition to her Doctor of Optometry, Dr. Gill also has a BA in Integrative Biology and a BS in Vision Science, both from UC Berkeley. Go Bears!
    In 2015, Dr. Gill developed and founded We Love Eyes, which is a green cosmetics company that produces eyelid and eyelash cleansing products that are natural, non-toxic, and vegan.

    More Articles by Tanya Gill

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    Find us on Broadway between 19th and 20th in Oakland’s Uptown district.



    • 1960 Broadway
    • Oakland, CA 94612


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