With more than 3 billion people around the world using social networks every month, it is not a passing trend. Social media is one of the most efficient and affordable online marketing tools for medical practices. Over the years, social networks have grown from being a marketing tactic to an essential marketing component for practices of all sizes. Social media marketing is ideal for practices because it requires very less investment and, if executed correctly, it can help to grow your practice by leaps and bounds.
Effective social media marketing is all about maximizing your budget, energy and time to get the best return on your investment. Without a strong social media presence, your cosmetic surgery practice will have a tough time trying to compete in your industry, as most of your competitors will have one. However, with so many social networks to choose from, it can be difficult to justify investing resources in social media marketing. After all, the social media marketing space is competitive with thousands of other practices vying for the short attention span of potential patients.
Not all cosmetic surgery practices have big budgets. Smaller practices struggle the most when it comes to allocating funds for marketing campaigns, which makes competing unfair. However, social media marketing has leveled the playing field for most cosmetic surgeons. The world of the Internet offers equal opportunities to all practices, regardless of their size, budget or location. All you need to do is find the relevant channels in order to position your cosmetic surgery practice online. Traditional marketing channels can cost you a fortune and may not be impactful. Social networks are not only cost-effective but also offer a wider reach.
In addition, there are tremendous rewards for practices that get the social media marketing “right.” However, if you are part of the tiny percentage of cosmetic practices who have not implemented a social media marketing strategy, continue reading to discover why social media marketing is important for the success and growth of your practice.
1. Helps connect with your target audience
One of the best reasons for your cosmetic surgery practice to be marketing through social networks is that your target audience is spending time on these channels. According to a report by Statista, almost 70 percent of the U.S. population has at least one social media profile. With so many people using social media platforms every day, it presents a huge opportunity for practices to reach their target audience online.
Not only is your target audience on social media, but there is a good chance that most of them are checking social networking sites every day. Engaging your target audience will be easy if you are active on the same social networking platforms where they spend most of their time. In other words, do not make potential patients come to you – reach out to them!
Usually, people do not come to social media channels with the expectation that will be marketed to. However, this does not mean that users do not follow and interact with their favorite brands here. In fact, according to a report by MarketingSherpa, almost 95 percent of online adults are likely to follow a brand on social networks. However, when people engage with brands on social media, it is usually because they find the content valuable and unique.
The reason why your target audience may be more receptive to your brand message on social networks is because these sites allow you to be more conversational and show a different or personal side of your brand. The content that you share on these channels will contribute to your brand personality and help you convey your brand message. On social networks, you can make personal connections with your existing and potential patients, rather than just communicating marketing messages.
2. Improves brand image
When a new patient hears your practice name, what do you hope he or she says about your practice? Branding will not only differentiate your cosmetic surgery practice from local competitors but will also instill trust and confidence in your existing and potential patients. A positive brand image is necessary to ensure your practice is perceived well by your patients. Social networks can help you build a credible brand.
If your practice does not have a robust social media presence in today’s digital world, it might as well not exist for many potential patients. You would not want your office location to be difficult to find or to be far away from the places frequented by potential patients. Similarly, you should not have your practice’s social media presence be compromised, or separate from the online sites frequented by potential patients. You must be sure to establish links between your website and social media networks. More traffic to and from your social media profiles means new patient opportunities. The more people see your practice online, the quicker they will be to contact your office. Patients tend to search for experts to handle their specific problems. Keep this in mind as you implement social media marketing ideas into your cosmetic surgery marketing plan.
3. Improves your online reputation
Your reputation is the perception of your practice in the minds of your patients. It may take several years to build a positive reputation. A strong online reputation is necessary for the long-term success of your cosmetic surgery practice. Patients may or may not remember a product or service, but they are likely to associate practices with their care and compassion. One small mistake can give your practice a wrong impression in the minds of your patients. Social media marketing is helping new and small practices position themselves in the market and move toward the strong reputation building.
Through effective social networking channels, you can create great patient experiences that will add to the reputation-building. Remember, a positive online reputation will not just help you attract more patients. It will also help you stand out from your competitors and provide a superior patient experience.
4. Your competitors are doing it
In such a fiercely competitive healthcare marketplace, ignoring the idea of social media marketing is not even an option. A quick competitor analysis will tell you how many of your rivals are opting for social media marketing. The trick is to do it better than they are doing. Social networks offer a slew of options to experiment with branding and marketing your unique services. Your job is to make a social media marketing plan that fits your practice ideology and goals, attracts more patients and does not exceed your budget.
5. Helps you become a thought leader
One of the easiest ways to bring consistent traffic to your cosmetic surgery practice website is to update on social media each time you add a new blog post to your website. Social media platforms provide an opportunity to post useful and relevant content that increases awareness of your practice and positions you as a thought leader in your community. Posting blogs and articles is not the only way to create an online presence for your practice on social media. You can also join existing conversations by searching for relevant groups on LinkedIn or Twitter. Websites such as Quora are also great places for you to contribute to discussions, help patients with their problems and generate significant traffic for your website.
It is obvious that social media marketing has its advantages, so if your practice does not already have the profiles on the relevant social networks, create them. Fill out your practice’s information and post some engaging content to begin adding followers. You must ask your existing patients to “like” and “share” your page in order to help build your profile. With persistent efforts, the right social media marketing strategy will lead to increased traffic, improved SEO and enhanced brand loyalty.
Growing your practice is necessary. If your cosmetic surgery practice is not growing, you are bound to fail sooner or later. And to grow, you need to promote your practice and widen your patient base, continuously! You cannot rely on outdated marketing methods to give you an extended or global reach. Social media marketing can give you a head start and let you expand your cosmetic surgery practice. Especially for small or medium-sized practices, social media marketing offers greater opportunities to build a brand and reach out to potential and existing patients.
If you do not currently have a social media marketing strategy for your cosmetic surgery practice in place, you may be losing out on a significant opportunity to reach out to potential patients and make a stronger connection with your existing patients.