Social media plays a huge role in building online visibility for your plastic surgery practice. It can provide a platform to build your brand, showcase your expertise, and connect with your audience. Potential patients want to work with a surgeon they feel they know and trust, and one of the most common ways they will interact with your business is via social media. Indeed, these days, NOT having a social media presence is actually a red flag for potential patients. The same goes for having poorly managed, infrequently updated pages.
As such, it is critical that you have a social media marketing strategy in place to create and maintain a professional, engaging social media presence. Social media strategy is what allows cosmetic surgeons like you to build brand recognition with the exact people, in the exact location, that you want to reach.
In this article, we are going to cover five important elements plastic surgeons need to consider when building their brand on social media.
Building Your Brand with Social Media Marketing Strategy
There are several elements you must coordinate in order to implement a successful social media strategy to build your brand. You need to consider which platforms you’ll use, your marketing goals, your brand message, your content, and how you’ll engage your audience.
Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need to be on EVERY social media network out there. Rather, you should research which social platforms are popular with your target audience and focus on building your brand on those specific channels. You will find that each platform has a different “feel”, and will serve a different purpose in your social media strategy. In general, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are good choices for plastic and cosmetic surgeons. For example:
- The visual nature of Instagram makes it a natural choice for plastic surgery social media marketing. Utilize Instagram for pictures, video clips, and visual story-telling. Be fun and conversational with your posts and get creative with different angles and filters. Share when new medspa products have arrived, and post pictures of your team and facility. For patients who agree, share successful before and after photos (just make sure to abide by HIPAA laws!).
- Facebook is a great channel to share pictures of outstanding work (again, with permission), post links to your latest blog, invite followers to special events, offer exclusive deals, and so on. It is also where a lot of people will reach out if they have questions, so make sure you are on top of your game when responding to comments or one-on-one messages. Be careful to keep your personal and professional Facebook profiles completely separate and have guidelines in place for how staff should respond to questions and comments on your Facebook page. This will ensure you have a consistent “brand voice”.
- YouTube is the ideal platform for posting videos where you explain a procedure or talk about how to choose a particular treatment. This is where you can dive a bit more into a bit more detail and demonstrate your expertise – while still keeping things conversational. However, never post videos of the surgical procedures themselves! Remember, you are trying to assuage people’s concerns – and you don’t want YouTube auto-queuing a gruesome surgical procedure video after someone watches your content.
One of the most important steps to building your brand on social media is setting SMART goals (which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based). Ask yourself:
- What is it you want to achieve on social media?
- Is your social media goal relevant to any of your business objectives?
- Is your goal attainable with the resources you have available?
- What is your timeline in which you hope to achieve your goal?
- How will each social media channel contribute to your success?
- How will you measure performance on each channel?
In the context of building your brand, you might set a goal of driving 25 new website visitors per week from your social media channels. Or getting three social influencers for your target market to share your content each month.
It is important that you have a system in place to monitor performance. This will help you determine if you are meeting your goals, and help you see what works and what doesn’t, so you can further refine your strategy.
Next is to develop your brand messaging. Most people make decisions using a mix of reasoning and emotional impulse. As such, effective messaging has to appeal to your prospects both logically and emotionally. It isn’t just what you’re saying to your audience; it is how you say it to them. Semantics are critical to striking the right balance.
As a plastic surgeon, you want your message to convey a sense of encouragement. Never use negative language that suggests that someone may/should feel “bad” about themselves. Instead, you want people to associate your brand with positive ideas like beauty, inspiration, confidence, and self-care.
You also want to use conversational language that encourages a sense of comfort and trust. Remember, you are speaking to laypeople, not medical professionals. Clinical terms and descriptions sound cold, confusing, and even scary to many people. And prospects who cannot relate to you will not choose your practice for their procedure.
You will also need to adapt the presentation of your message to appeal to the different audiences of each social media platform. For example, the type of visual, artistic presentation that works on Instagram won’t be as effective on LinkedIn. Think about the person you are attempting to reach on each specific social channel, what will appeal to them, and why they might care about what you have to say.
Establishing your platforms, goals, and brand message ahead of time will help you create much more effective content. You will understand what information appeals to your audience, how to optimize pieces for different channels to optimize performance, and make use of platform-specific features to stand out from the competition.
The entire point of building your brand on social media is to foster engagement. So, rather than using it merely to broadcast your own message, you should use social media as a way to have a two-way conversation with your target audience. If a follower posts something you find interesting, leave a comment or share it on your own channel (while giving them credit). People love to be acknowledged and will often reciprocate the gesture by sharing your content.
It is paramount that you practice “social listening”. The more you listen, the more you learn about your potential patients – their wants and interests. You can then turn around and create content that directly addresses these issues and share it on your own channels. You also want to respond to direct questions or comments as quickly as you can (generally within 24-hours, if possible). Many social platforms reward highly responsive pages with increased visibility.
How to Create Effective Social Media Content for Plastic Surgeons
When people browse on social, they are looking for interesting and entertaining content – not a sales pitch. While the occasional special promotion is OK, focus more on sharing visually interesting content that connects with their interests (and gives them the option to learn more). You also want to make sure to share a mixture of different content types. For example:
- Long-form “Evergreen” content – This is general education/informative content (often a blog) that can be recycled year after year with only small updates to stay relevant.
- Q&As – Answering commonly asked questions about different procedure types not only helps educate your audience but can also help with SEO.
- Brand updates – Keep people in the loop when you make changes to your practice, such as adding a new treatment.
- Visual content – Invest is quality images, videos, and infographics to catch people’s eye as they scroll through their feed.
- Interactive content – Post questions for viewers, surveys, and entertaining quizzes to get people talking.
Take Control of Your Social Media Marketing
With the Surefire Local marketing platform, you can run all your digital marketing, including social media, all from one place. By eliminating data silos, your business gains a 360-degree perspective on your marketing ROI. This means you get a single sign-on view of literally everything with a data-driven marketing intelligence platform that seamlessly aligns your branding and messaging to online and offline touchpoints as people move through the customer journey.