Aesthetic businesses are engaging patients and driving social media revenue. Can you?
There’s no question that social media is omnipresent in our day-to-day lives. We use it to connect with friends, family and peers. We log in to share stories and celebrate milestones. But now, more than ever, physicians and aesthetic businesses are tapping into the enormous social community (1.6 billion monthly users on Facebook alone!) to convert engagement into lead generation and revenue. The question is, can you do it too?
First, know that you should absolutely try. In healthcare, the online space is critical for marketing, and social is at its dynamic center. According to Pew Research, 1 in 4 adults share their health experiences online. 40% of U.S. consumers say that health information that they find on social media directly impacts how they deal with their health. And with the U.S. aesthetic market booming (with an anticipated 8% CAGR between 2017 and 2021) social platforms are quickly becoming the go-to resource for vetting products and accessing procedure education. It’s a low-cost way to discover a new physician or a practice before ever booking a consultation.
In this context, social media offers practices a new way to engage with existing (and prospective clients) about services, offers and the kind of experience patients can expect from a practice. If used right, it can be an important arm of an aesthetic marketing strategy. But many practices don’t even know where to start. At DS Group, that’s where we come in.
Create a Strategy
It all starts with the critical strategic questions: What do you want to achieve on social media? Where does it make sense for your business to be active? From Facebook and Instagram to Twitter, YouTube and Snapchat, there are many different platforms to explore on social media and it can be easy to over-extend your efforts rather than remain focused. Know your patient audience – their demographic and how they digest digital content. Do your research on the time commitment for each platform and the best practices. Then, plan accordingly so that your social marketing strategy is realistic.
Understand the Investment
Most practices don’t realize that social media is no longer the ‘free’ or ‘organic’ opportunity we thought it was. Most social algorithms these days make it difficult to reach your hard-earned audience without paying to ‘boost’ or sponsor content. In what insiders call the new ‘pay to play’ rules, go into social marketing expecting to allocate funds to boost your best content so that your audiences will actually see it. The successful practices that do this know the drill, so follow their lead.
Content is King
A careful assessment needs to be made about what content will be relevant for you to share, and on which platforms. What can you offer a follower that they can’t get anywhere else, and what might pique their interest? This may be sharing press clips, practice news, and accolades. It may also involve pulling back the curtain on procedure step-by-steps, before and after pictures and ‘how it works’ video clips so that patients can really see what makes your practice new, better and different.
Social used to be much more curated than it is today, but with the rise of real-time photo or video sharing on Instagram Stories or Twitter’s Periscope, consumers are gravitating towards unscripted transparency and authenticity. Keeping this in mind, think about how you can strike a content balance that feels right for your brand. Also, plan to build engagement on social media first, and dedicate the time to do so. Focus on driving revenue second and as a ‘bonus’. If a social presence feels too ‘commercial’, most followers will be turned off. With engagement, dollars and revenue will follow.
Most of All, Choose the Right Support
From understanding how to boost and target content to key audiences and selecting hashtags to scheduling posts, hiring or investing in the right social support is vital. Find a social community manager who understands the space and also understands strategic planning, your brand, goals and the privacy and legal nuances of engaging socially while remaining HIPAA-compliant. It will save you time and worry and it will save you money.
Interested in learning more about our results? See our practice development statistics here.
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 Pew Research. The Social Life of Health Information. 2014
 https://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/8z5w49/aesthetic_market / Reported in BusinessWire