Social media has become a vital way for people to connect and communicate. As consumers spend more time on social networks, they are beginning to have much more profound effects on our behaviors and attitudes, which alters the marketing landscape for business utilizing these platforms in their regular strategies. In fact, social media now plays a pivotal role in presenting medical aesthetics as a feasible option for consumers active on the platforms.
As a provider, it is imperative that you understand how social sites play into clients’ daily decision-making and how to streamline your marketing strategy to harness the power of these platforms for your business.
The first social media website—SixDegrees.com—was created in 1997. Based on the theory that all people are linked to each other, even strangers, by six connections of friends to friends or fewer, the platform allowed users to create a friend matrix, send messages, post bulletin board items, and see how they were connected to others on the site. It wasn’t until 2004 that Facebook, the historically most popular social network to date, was launched. Since then, the social media market has grown rapidly.
With this proliferation of social sites, consumer use has grown exponentially. To start, the rate of United States-based adults using social media has shot up from 5% in 2005 to 69% today, with that figure rising as high as to 88% for 18 to 29-year-olds, according to the Pew Research Center. User growth and usage varies by platform, but our habits are mostly the same across platforms. For all social networks, a study on Americans’ digital habits found that in 2017, 35% of users posted on social networking sites daily, spending an average 23.6 hours online each week.
It’s hard to believe that in just 14 years, social media is now so integral to our lives that “selfie,” a term formed to describe taking a picture of oneself for social media, is listed in most academic dictionaries and there has become a product market to improve our selfies, from apps to selfie sticks.
The bottom line: These platforms have transformed the way we communicate, interact, and even view ourselves. And this is very much apparent in the medical aesthetics space.
While patients’ individual aesthetic choices are certainly influenced by many factors, including age, relationship status, income, and more, social media is becoming uniquely powerful in shaping personal perceptions of beauty and motivating aesthetic purchasing decisions.
As mentioned, the proliferation of the selfie is commonplace on social media, but it’s also a driving force for the adoption of aesthetic treatments. The desire to look good in one’s own social media images is a well-reported key factor fueling demand for aesthetic services today. With professionals reporting that younger patients up to those in middle age increasingly form impressions of their own appearance through their social media accounts, it’s clear that social media is an area in which consumers are more accepting of your insight. In fact, 55% of facial plastic surgeons said patients in their practice reported that they were motivated by a desire to look better in selfies in 2017, up from 13% in 2016. Another survey by review site, RealSelf, found that almost half of all patients reported social media as an influential factor when considering or opting for a cosmetic procedure.
Researchers have theorized that social sites have a greater impact than mass media and advertising on consumers because they incorporate a sense of authenticity, personalization, and day-to-day life that makes the content and images feel more immediate and relevant. Likewise, with celebrities and beauty influencers alike being more open about their aesthetic treatments via social media, many users are beginning to adopt a more positive view of these procedures at an even younger age . These factors, combined with the desire to look good online makes this marketing space ripe for your business.
So, with consumers on social media becoming ever more receptive to aesthetic treatments, it would be a major miss for aesthetic practitioners focusing on patient acquisition not to tap into these markets—or to do so but with an ineffective strategy rife with marketing mistakes.
Looking to get started with a strong social media marketing strategy for your medical aesthetics business? Download our latest report, “Going Social: How Social Media Is Altering the Marketing Landscape for Medical Aesthetics,” for six essential tips to strategize and define a clear marketing plan for a better business outcome.