Social media is an essential marketing tactic for medical aesthetics providers. But when it comes to social media, there is definitely a learning curve. To get the most out of social media for your practice, you'll need to know what works, and what doesn't, and stay current with the frequent changes in platform policies and user trends.
If you're just starting out with social, stop stressing; it's easier than you'd think! Some simple improvements can make a big impact in terms of growing your brand, building your audience, connecting with patients, and converting clicks to clients.
Let’s look at the most common mistakes aesthetics clinics make and how to avoid them.
One of the first things you need to consider when diving into social media is where to focus your efforts. As the number of platforms continues to proliferate, it makes sense to choose only those that are the closest match for your target audience. Think about who your customers and viewers are, particularly in terms of age, income, and location. As nice as it would be to have everyone fall in love with your brand, it's just not realistic. You want to ensure that you're speaking as directly as possible to those folks who are most likely to engage—and to book an appointment. The top options tend to be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are all highly popular platforms for sharing videos, and there are some high-profile examples of treatment providers who use these channels to show off their clinic and procedures (with patient consent, of course). In addition to growing and developing your brand, you can provide videos about your clinic, your staff, treatments, tips and more. Depending on the execution, this can be a real asset in helping viewers feel more comfortable with you, and encouraging them to take the next step of booking an appointment.
Brands often aim to start their social media out with a bang, then fade out in a matter of weeks because they can't maintain that momentum. Trying to maintain a presence on too many platforms too early on often leads companies to ultimately neglect their pages when it proves too much.
If you are just starting out, consider becoming active on social media gradually. First, target the most important platform, which is often Facebook, and once you have a handle on it, add another. The right number of networks really depends on your ability to post, comment, and respond consistently. Keeping contained to two to four platforms while in the early stages of your social media implementation will keep you from running out of content. To start, pull from what's already available. If your clinic has a blog (and it should) you can share links to the blog to draw users to your website. You can also post links to other social media sites you have.
Your social media profile should be viewed as an extension of your clinic's website. The messaging should be akin to your waiting room, your website, or your office brochure. It must do a good job of representing you and your work accurately, engagingly, and professionally. Including your qualifications, experience, certifications, and unique achievements will help impress your visitors.
Ensure that you include the right details—office address, hours, and contact information—as well as relevant keywords in your profiles, to help prospective patients connect with you. Describe who you are and what you do, but be mindful of character and space limits, and try to follow basic search engine optimization techniques as closely as you can. Remember, your goal is engagement; people should be able to find your profiles and get a general sense of what to expect and appreciate about your clinic in as few steps as possible. Make it easy for them!
Another common pitfall for businesses that are new to social media is an inconsistent posting schedule. Are you not posting enough, or are you posting too much? And how can you tell which approach is the right way to go? It can be a fine line to walk.
A standard rule of thumb is to post at least once daily, but no more than three or four times at most. Remember, followers are interested in your clinic, but they do not want to be bombarded every hour with updates from you. Keep it light and keep it regular, and you should be on the right track.
Content management tools can automate the process to help you stay on schedule. If you find yourself consistently overstretched, assign the management of your social pages to a staff member, or explore hiring a social media manager. If others will be handling your social accounts, give them guidelines on posting frequency.
When you are posting to your social media sites, you need to carefully consider what will interest your patients. Of course, aesthetic services will be a focus topic. Related subjects are also a good bet, including health, fitness, and beauty.
Though research shows that fans appreciate it when brands engage with topical material, there's a big difference between sharing a news article about something relevant to your field, and throwing in political posts or movie trailers. Try to stay within certain themes that are relevant to your offering.
Bear in mind that your business social media accounts are different from your personal social media accounts. You have your own views on politics, religion, and current events, but those views don't belong on your clinic's professional profile. Avoid posting your opinions on those subjects when you are on your business social media account. Backlash can cost you customers, and could even draw your practice into conflicts.
Similarly, make sure you never post when you are angry about something, as you are likely to regret your words or provoke a negative reaction. In general, avoid social media altogether when you're angry, hungry, intoxicated, or unprepared.
If someone says something negative about your practice online, make yourself a model of courtesy and civility. This is a very public customer service interaction, and it requires careful handling. A classy approach will leave a favorable impression for other followers.
At the risk of sounding contradictory, while oversharing is a pitfall, so is not being personal enough. Social media is a good place to allow your personality, and the personalities of those who work with you, to shine. Just make sure your brand message is always aligned, and you keep the content comparatively light and customer-friendly.
Social media provides an opportunity to share your enthusiasm and passion for what you do with the world. Share successes, client testimonials, achievements, news, and advice. Your social media pages should give consumers a good idea of the attitude and style they can expect if they come to your office.
Similarly, do not make more than about one-quarter to one-fifth of your posts overtly promotional. People resent feeling sold to, and they will tune out your social media activity as self-serving—a little fun goes a long way.
Online inactivity is a big no-no. Merely setting up an account and waiting for fans to roll in is not enough; gaining new followers requires regular interactions and a consistent online presence.
When consumers ask questions or post on your social media sites, answer them. After all, the goal is to be as social as possible. When someone has a positive online interaction with your clinic, they can become an advocate for your brand and your work.
Eventually, you will have a growing community of people with good questions, including those who can help guide new followers to your website or clinic. Of course, cultivating a supportive audience takes time, so be prepared to put in the effort. The gains you can make in terms of enhanced visibility, traffic, and reputation will be worth it.
High-quality, original content and images are important. Your contacts see a lot of posts in their feeds, and recycled or unengaging content will not stand out. You can engage followers with content that's helpful, informative, funny, beautiful, surprising, or heartwarming. If you find yourself struggling with content, there are various services and strategies available to help you build a strong pipeline, schedule content, and judiciously repeat it.
As well, even though social media can often be construed as “casual,” do not get lazy when it comes to the items you post. Whoever is posting to your social media sites needs to triple-check the grammar and spelling to make sure you're always on point. These are often short messages, so mistakes stand out. Proper spelling and grammar is a must. To consumers of aesthetic services, this speaks to your precision and professionalism.
Take a moment to think about some of the things you have seen other people and other companies do online that get on your nerves. Because people are on social media all the time, they tend to have very little patience for certain annoying behaviors. Here are some of the things you will want to pay attention to:
Keep in mind that anything that you would find frustrating or irritating is probably something that your followers will, too. Put yourself in their shoes, and act accordingly.
Once you have started working with social media for your practice, you will want to track your efforts to see how things are going. Fortunately, the large social media sites, such as Facebook, have analytics attached to them. You can gauge how interested people are in the types of content you create, the content that performs best and where your audience is located. You can do this with other social media sites and your website.
This information is very valuable. You can use it to determine where to improve your efforts, the type of content that appeals to your audience the most, and how to target your content even better. It's a good idea to keep an eye on your analytics, and make adjustments as needed. Once you make changes, give it a month or so to see how they pan out, and then repeat the process.
One of the most important things to remember is that you can’t promise anything on social media that you can’t deliver. Regulators and social media sites alike take a very strict stance regarding claims, especially about cosmetic results. Violating those rules could put you at risk of having your account frozen or drawing legal action.
This applies to all posts, but the policies are even more stringent with advertising. Familiarize yourself with the rules for each platform. Facebook, for example, forbids Before and After images in ads.
Social media has woven its way into the fabric of our lives, and building it into the marketing strategy of your aesthetics practice is essential. Starting out with social can seem scary. But with these simple tips in mind, you'll find it easier than ever to spot growth opportunities, build your brand, and avoid social media blunders.
At Venus Concept, social media support is one of the many practice enhancement services we offer our clinic partners. If you would like advice or assistance in upping your social media game, the aesthetics marketing experts at Venus Concept are ready to help. Call us at (888) 907-0115.