By Denis Langlois

Vancouver optician and social media guru Sheena Taff has a new award for her mantel.
The managing optican at Roberts & Brown Opticians received the 2018 best in marketing award at Transitions Academy.

The honour came a year after Taff was named Transitions Brand Ambassador of the year.
Taff, known on social media as “Optician about Town,” also conceived and organized the first-ever EyeStyle Influencers event at Vision Expo West. The event brought together industry social media experts and others to discuss key trends and topics driving social media in the eyewear industry.

Recently, Optical Prism magazine got a chance to chat with Taff about her award and work to promote eyewear online.

Q. What did receiving the Best in Marketing Award mean to you?
A. The Transitions Innovation award for best in marketing means so much to me because it shows that with a little creativity and an independent spirit, great things can be accomplished. When I was first nominated, I viewed this as a “David vs Goliath” scenario. At our shop, I do not have a large marketing budget or team; therefore it is imperative for me to be imaginative and think outside the box. I am always looking for ways to use a guerilla marketing strategy in innovative ways.

Q. How important do you think social media is to helping ECPs promote their businesses?
A. Like it or not, social media has a huge impact and presence in our society. I feel it is imperative for ECPs to not only use it to promote their businesses, but also use it to grow their personal brands. The idea that ECPs can inform and educate their patients, friends, family as well as the general public is an important part of promoting eye health.

Q. What do you enjoy about teaching other ECPs about the potential of online marketing?
A. I find that any online platform is exciting; you can use it however you want. Growing up when I did, the internet was in its infancy. The promise of what was to come seemed so far fetched. Now we live in this tech-advanced world and can reach people beyond our four walls. As an ECP, we have an opportunity to spread our knowledge and help people understand that eye style and health should never be an afterthought.

Q. What are some tips/tricks to help ECPs liven up their social media channels?
A. The best advice I can give anyone regarding social media is to be authentic. Followers are growing more sophisticated by the day, if you are fake or pandering, they will sour on you eventually. People are becoming more weary of their feeds being inundated with sponsored content or influencers that will peddle anything that is sent to them. If our genuine passion is apparent, people will respect it and we will not have to compromise who we are or what we value.

Q. Are you planning to hold more events like EyeStyle Influencers?
A. The #EyeStyleInfluencers is in its infancy and came together for an inaugural event at Vision Expo West. The event was a tremendous success and the support and feedback I received from my peers was extremely encouraging. With that said there are definitely future plans that are in the works. While I am not able to go into too much detail at the moment, I encourage everyone interested to follow @eyestyleinfluencers on Instagram to stay up to date.