Social media marketing tips to promote your practice

Inga Hansen from MedEsthetics talks to Doan Bui, Social Media Marketing Manager for Candela, on how practices and medspas can use social media marketing to build brand awareness and grow their practices. 

Inga: I'm Inga Hansen, and our guest today is Doan Bui, Social Media Marketing Manager for Candela Medical. We're going to be discussing how practices and medspas can use social media marketing to build brand awareness and grow their practices. 

Social media has become huge in our whole community, and I was wondering first why is social media important for aesthetic practices and medspas today? 

Doan: Well, there are many reasons why it's important; you should be on social media because that's where most potential patients are spending their time. Go where your customers are! 

I would also share is that it's an easy, low-cost way to market your services to current and new patients to move them through the patient journey with useful information. For many people, aesthetic treatments aren't cheap, so people will want to do their research, and social media gives them the information they need to make that purchasing decision.

Inga: Facebook is probably the best-known social media site, but there are a lot of them out there now. On which key sites do you think practices should have a presence? 

Doan: Some of the more popular platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. But I don't recommend trying to be on all of them, because it's a lot more practical to choose one or two channels and be consistent on those channels. If I were to pick one, it would be Facebook. There are a lot of daily active users on Facebook, and with the business account, you have access to powerful advertising tools and in-depth analytics. You can customize your page and include your contact information. People can even book treatments with you on Facebook.

Instagram is also great for sharing visual content. We're seeing more people turning to Instagram to connect, and follow influencers and celebrities. The great thing about social media is it helps make cosmetic treatments more mainstream and less taboo. 

Inga: There are many ways to use marketing whether it's creating overall brand awareness, promoting specials or new procedures and technologies, what do you think is the best use of social media as part of your marketing campaign? 

Doan: Well, before you jump into posting, I think it's essential to create a social media strategy that aligns with your business and marketing goals. It's important to know what you're trying to achieve with social media and what metrics you're trying to track. This way, you know what is working and what you need to adjust.

I find a lot of practice want to increase visibility to attract existing and new patients to book treatments. They also want to create a patient journey by sharing posts to educate patients on treatments, introduce products and services, and highlight your competitive advantage.

Inga: What kind of mix of posts should you be striving for in terms of how often should you be posting, how often should you post specials and behind-the-scenes information?

Doan: I like to call the mix of posts the content buckets. It's a great idea when you're starting off to make a list of what those content buckets are and what you're trying to share so you can see what content you already have versus what you need to create. 

A few suggestions would be having content about holidays and trending topics, giveaways, and promotions. Other buckets can be educational posts, so sharing things like how a product works or what a treatment can do for you or even the importance of applying SPF daily. 

It's also important to remember the 80/20 rule. That means offering educational and entertaining content to your audience about 80% of the time and promotional 20%. That way, your social media isn't just a huge billboard. You're providing useful, entertaining, educational posts to your followers. 

Inga: When you're putting these different posts and post buckets together, how do these campaigns differ if you're working on Facebook versus Instagram versus potentially Twitter or LinkedIn? 

Doan: So Twitter is the "in-the-moment" platform. Twitter posts should be concise, quick, quotable. The things you want to share on there are news updates, snippets that link back to your site or to promote your blog, or short videos.

Facebook is perfect for videos, and videos get a ton of engagement. It's also a great platform to share content that link back to your website, so blog posts, products, services, and inquiry forms to get their email information. 

On Instagram, you're going to want to post stunning photos or videos. There is so much content on Instagram, so you want your content to pop to increase engagement. Things like your treatment rooms or before-and-after photos, behind the scenes photos. Motivational quotes and testimonials also perform well on Instagram. 

Inga: A lot of practices want to make a big splash when they are investing in new devices and technology. And social media is an excellent place to do this. What kind of help is available from vendors that practices can be taking advantage of?

Doan: I suggest following the vendors' social media profiles. Whether you have skincare products, treatment options from Candela, or other services, you want to follow them to see what they're sharing that you can use those to generate ideas or to re-post. If you are re-posting, tag those vendors so they can share your content. We are @candelamedical, so be sure to tag us, and we can share your posts for better visibility for your brand.

Many vendors provide practice marketing materials with social posts and images. For example, at Candela, we have before-and-after photos, product and treatment shots, and waiting room videos. The Profound system, for example, has social media posts, images, and videos for all different demographics to align with your target audience. We also offer a collection of digital ads that can be adapted for your practice.

It's important to have different types of content to deliver your message effectively. The marketing rule of 7 says that a prospect needs to hear or see the advertiser's message at least seven times before they buy. If we are sharing similar posts, it will begin to resonate and hopefully compel the patient to reach out to you. 

Inga: When you mention the idea of knowing who the target patient is and who you should be reaching out to. Do you recommend utilizing paid advertising on these different platforms? 

Doan: Definitely. Facebook is great, but it's very much a pay-to-play platform. A lot of your posts aren't going to make their way into the newsfeeds of your followers. You have to spend some money to get those eyeballs on your content. I recommend starting with a minimal budget. Create your ads, spend a little money, and then begin tweaking to see what works. 

Inga: Now, when you're using the paid advertising, you had mentioned that Facebook offers some useful analytics. How often should you be checking those, and what kind of information should you be paying attention to? 

Doan: I generally go through the analytics once a week to see how they are performing and to see if we need to make adjustments. The analytics include the reach of your ads and the number of people clicking through to your site. If you have the right tracking between Facebook and your website through Google Analytics, you can see if people click on the button to book an appointment, visit a page, or request more information? 

Inga: For practices that are just starting on social media or those who are struggling to attract more followers. What are some good strategies to gain followers on these pages? 

Doan: The first thing is, you want to let your patients know that you're on social media. The best thing to do is to share social media handles by posting in your waiting room or on appointment cards. A lot of practices even often offer discounts to patients that share their experiences on social media. You can also partner with influencers with lots of followers to post a recommendation or share their experience at your practice in exchange for treatments. 

Another great thing about social media is the use of hashtags. People are following different types of topics like fitness or weight loss or beautiful skin. So if you're tagging your posts correctly, it gives people an easy way to find and follow you. Also, use your location when tagging. A lot of practices will tag their specific location, but you may want to make this a little broader and tag your city. So anyone interested in the city is seeing your post. The same goes for hashtags; you want to be more specific and tag your city in there as well.
Inga: Are there any cautions or 'don'ts' in terms of things you should not be doing with social media or need to be careful of that practices should be aware of? 

Doan: Besides spreading yourself too thin across multiple channels, another critical point is that if you have someone managing your social media for you, check and approve posts before they go live. Have them create a content schedule for you that you can review. This is your brand, so you want to make sure that everything aligns with how you want to promote your practice. 

Also, be careful about sharing protected health information and read up on HIPAA social media rules. The best practice here is to play it safe and be careful when responding to comments or sharing photos. Be sure you have written consent before sharing things. Some of the biggest HIPAA violations are posting images and videos without written permission or posting information that reveals a patient's identity.
It's also critical to not provide any health or medical advice over social media. Often, people will see a treatment, and they'll want to know if it's right for them. Tell them that you appreciate their message, but they should contact you for a consultation. Also, be careful how you reply to negative comments. It's important to resist the urge to defend yourself as the discussion can spiral out of control pretty quickly. 

Inga: And that's incredibly important because it is hard not to respond right away when reading a negative review online or a negative comment. I know it's complicated. Thank you so much for this information, Doan. This has been a great help, and we appreciate you sharing your experience with us.