Holiday Marketing Tips for Aesthetic Medical Practices

aesthetic medical marketing tips for the holidaysHalloween is just around the corner, which means that Thanksgiving and the Winter Holidays (Christmas, Hannukah, New Years, etc…) will be here before you know it.

Is your practice ready for the holiday season?

If your practice is like most of the aesthetics practices we’ve worked with here at Total Social Solutions, chances are you aren’t, and that could be hurting your business.

Tips to Plan for Holiday Marketing Success

In order to ensure success of any marketing campaign, it’s important to plan ahead and make sure that your entire staff is aware of, and potentially involved in, the process and execution.

  1. Pick a theme for each month, preferably around a holiday.  For November, you’ll want to plan a Thanksgiving theme.  For December, the Winter Holidays, for January New Years and so on.  But be creative, not generic or cliche.  Generic would be “Thanksgiving Specials at ABC Dermatology,” and cliche would be “New Year, New You at XYZ Plastic Surgery.”
  2. Plan your content through the end of the year, and assign duties to different staffers and vendors.  This should include social media posts, blog content, and newsletters.  Be sure to include your practice’s personality, such as photos of holiday decorations around the office, pictures of holiday parties and team building meetings.
  3. Plan specials and/or seasonal tips surrounding each theme to include in social media and your newsletter.  Keep your specials simple and include clear calls-to-action.
  4. Use a system that everyone can access and track deliverables.  Try Google Apps and create a spreadsheet to track themes, content and specials; share access and edit rights with key staff members and vendors to help keep track of progress.
Tools for Success

Google Apps for Business:  Use to collaborate with your team on marketing themes, specials and more.
Free Professional Images:  Find photos and graphics that you can legally use for free.  These images are all in the public domain and are free to use for commercial purposes.

Need Assistance?

hire a medical marketing agencyIf you and your staff don’t have the time and/or skills necessary to manage your holiday marketing needs, then contact us at Total Social Solutions and speak with one of our experienced aesthetic medical marketers about hiring our team to manage your online marketing needs, including:

  • enhancing and executing your social media strategy;
  • utilizing your email list for better conversion;
  • improving your search engine rankings through SEO (search engine optimization) and blogging;
  • video marketing;
  • …and more!

medical marketing consultants

 

When are my fans on Facebook?

when are my fans on facebookIf you follow all of the well-known social media experts, like Mashable, Social Media Examiner and Social Media Today, you know that days and times that Facebook users tend to access the popular social network changes. These averages are watched and reported on as often as possible, giving business page owners new insight into Facebook user behaviors to determine when to post on Facebook, what day and time it’s best to boost a post or advertise and more.

However, average user behavior isn’t quite enough when we’re trying to grow our businesses. That’s why Facebook gives us more information to help us determine when OUR fans are online, giving us more information about our target demographic.

This video will serve to show practice owners and office managers how to find out when your fans are likely to be online so you can reach more of your audience and grow your medical aesthetics practice more effectively using the power of social media marketing.

When are my fans on Facebook?

As you can see there are a few pros and cons to relying solely on Facebook Insights.

My.TotalSocialSolutions is what we use for our clients. It’s a platform that manages messaging, reputation monitoring, and engagement opportunities. However, it’s also a reporting system that allows us to track all of our social networks in one convenient location. What it offers up, though, is more than that. It offers the opportunity to see what days and times our fans are actually engaging with our posts through liking, commenting, sharing and clicking through.   Facebook doesn’t quite narrow it down to this detail in their insights (yet).

Additionally, you can customize your date range and narrow it down or broaden your numbers from 1-90 days in total. This gives you more control over your data and a bigger picture of how your users behave with your Facebook page.

If you’re already a client, we are already managing this data for you and using it to your advantage. If you aren’t a client and want to know that your social media marketers are leveraging this higher level of reporting, contact us for a free Facebook evaluation and quote.

Your Website is About to Die a Slow Death

Mobile-Friendly Website DesignDo you still have the same website you had built in 2008?

Did you know that your site is likely not mobile responsive and therefore will lose its current standing with Google and other search engines?  Additionally, your conversion rate is slowly falling as more and more people use their mobile devices to surf the web.

Google announced that they will begin actively pushing websites down in the search results if they do not have a mobile-friendly design structure.  Most websites built before 2014 fall into this category and will begin to see a drop in web traffic and business over the coming months.

Not sure if your website is mobile-friendly?  Google has released a helpful tool to check the mobile-compatibility of your website.  You can visit the Google Developers Mobile-Friendly Test to check your website’s mobile responsive design capabilities and use that information to decide your next move.

I didn’t pass the mobile-friendly test.  What do I do now?

Total Social Solutions now offers website redesign services to plastic surgeons, dermatologists, medical spas and medical weight loss clinics with customized, mobile-responsive design as well as ongoing content marketing services to help your website maintain a competitive edge.  We get our clients ranked #1 on Google.  We also ensure your newsletter design is mobile responsive to increase conversion on your monthly specials.

Contact us now for a quote!

We’re currently accepting new clients for web design and development services and are also available to discuss ongoing internet marketing efforts that your practice may be in need of, including:

  • Social Media branding and design
  • Newsletter branding and design services
  • Content marketing via blogging, social media and YouTube media
  • Strategic newsletter and e-blast marketing
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) services
  • Increased ROI (Return on Investment) in the form of appointments and phone calls
  • Call Analytics and Appointment Tracking
  • Monthly Reporting

Contact us today for a free, no-cost, no-obligation consultation.  One of our representatives will discuss your personal needs during a 1 hour consultation and how we can help you with your current marketing needs and help you get your new mobile-responsive website.

Yelp, YouTube and Google Plus: Ignoring these three social networks will guarantee lost business

No matter how much internet marketing you’re doing, chances are you’re missing out on a lot more business for your practice because you’re not taking advantage of certain websites and social networks.  Why?  Because no one has explained to you the value of using these online tools.

You can get a lot doing your SEO (search engine optimization), and Facebook can be a great way to drive traffic and sales, but even being visible on the top 2 websites in the nation (Facebook and Google) may not be enough, and you can still double or triple your business if you start utilizing a few websites that your competitors aren’t using or at least aren’t using right.

Yelp, YouTube, and Google+ are some of the most powerful and underutilized social networks that can bring a tremendous amount of traffic and business to your practice.  Below, we’ll break them down to explain why they are so valuable and how you can dominate the search results for your area by using these and using them well.

Yelp Tips for Aesthetic Medical Practices

Yelp for BusinessYelp, love it or hate it, is a powerful tool for a few different reasons.

  1. Active Yelp users are ready to buy and they’re ready to buy right now.
  2. Yelp is now powering GPS inside of luxury vehicles, your primary target market (and now General Motors is even looking to integrate Yelp into GPS)
  3. Yelp powers the Apple iPhone Maps app.

Looking at just these three points, you know that:

  1. Your target market is on Yelp, and
  2. They are ready to buy!

Finally, Yelp users are some of your most important customers, no matter how much they are spending with you, because they are what are called “Brand Ambassadors.”  They willingly share their experience in your practice, driving more business to your door.

Does this mean that you HAVE to advertise on Yelp? Not necessarily, though it helps.  But many business owners won’t even claim their Yelp business page (or set one up), brand it and maintain it while driving existing clients to the page to leave reviews.  By simply nurturing this online space and paying attention to it while asking patients and customers to leave reviews and check-in, you’re already ahead of the majority of your local competition.

YouTube Video Marketing Power

You Tube Video Marketing for Plastic SurgeonsYouTube is the next underutilized social network,  and it’s likely because many people think that it it requires a lot of money or time to generate good videos. While it does take a bit of planning, good videos can generate a lot of positive SEO (search engine optimization) value, as YouTube is owned by Google and is often found in search engine results pages.  YouTube videos are also tremendous sales tools as they allow people to get to know you and your practice before ever setting foot in your practice while also showing them demonstrations of different procedures. Having a well-maintained YouTube channel gives your website incredibly strong back links as well as great educational tools you can post everywhere else online including Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Best of all, not all of your videos have to be professionally filmed, cut and branded.  You can film 30 second-3 minute videos using your mobile device, a camcorder or even just using your webcam and produce a ton of useful content for your patients and potential patients.  Then, start uploading one of these videos each week, publishing all over your social media channels and your website to boost your SEO value and social media engagement.

Google+: The Misunderstood Social Network

google plusGoogle+ is under-appreciated and underutilized, largely because most people don’t understand how to use it.

Google Plus was created as a social media platform to rival Facebook; it’s for this reason that many people only see it as a social network and they fail to see the other wonderful benefits that come with having a Google+ page.

While your demographic does not necessarily use Google Plus as a social network, it’s still incredibly valuable to your business to have a well-branded Google+ presence, a verified Google+ Local listing (it’s the new Yellow Pages) and to post regularly on your Google+ page.  It gives your website tremendous value as Google favors these backlinks. Posting daily to Google+ will also help drive more traffic to your Google+ Local listing, even if potential patients are doing a simple Google search and not actively using the social network or Google maps. Finally, your Google+ page will integrate with your YouTube channel, adding even more power to your Google search results, placing you higher on the search engine results pages (SERPS).

If you need help putting together a strategy to better use Yelp, YouTube and Google+ for your aesthetic medical marketing needs, please contact Total Social Solutions for a free consultation.

Aesthetic Medical Marketing: What NOT To Do

Plastic Surgery CouponsWhile our team was working on our clients’ content for next month, we happened to stumble onto a website called Plastic Surgery Coupons and it sparked an immediate reaction among our team.

This website peddling coupons for plastic surgery isn’t the only offender (although the very thought of using a coupon to discount a breast augmentation or facelift, like you would a box of cereal or jug of milk, is rather offensive).  Discount sites like Groupon also allow aesthetic medical practices post group discounts for surgical procedures.  Most often, the discount is for a breast augmentation or a liposuction procedure.  It allows a potential patient to pay up front for a procedure that they haven’t even had a consultation for.

Internet Marketing Isn’t Just About Getting Patients Through the Door

medical marketing strategies - it's a fine lineWhile our aesthetic medical marketing agency is devoted to showing our clients real ROI through increased patient calls and appointments, there is a line that should never be crossed.  Yes, Groupon and Living Social get a lot of traffic that can get your practice more exposure; yes, people are Googling “discount plastic surgery.”  However, ethics dictate that this type of marketing is distasteful at best.

Most people don’t want to see the discount plastic surgeon.  If you’re having a difficult time getting patients through the door, it’s better to spend money on classy marketing tactics and PR instead of discounting invasive procedures.

If you must use Groupon or similar sites to drum up some business, use it for non-invasive procedures like facials, microdermabrasion, or skin care products.  While those don’t bring in top dollar for your practice, it gets people through the door and provides the opportunity for them to experience your practice.  Once they’re there, wow them with an amazing customer experience and get to know them.  What are their concerns about their appearance?  What are their hopes and dreams for the future?  Connecting with them helps them come back again and again, and the next time they think, “I’ve always wanted to get a little liposuction in my thighs,” they will think of you first, because they have established a relationship with you and wouldn’t dream of going anywhere else.

Discount Sites Kill Online Reputation

plastic surgery coupons are dangerous

Coupon sites can be explosive for your business…but in a bad way.

You’ll notice above that I said, “If you must use Groupon…”  At Total Social Solutions, more times than not, we discourage the use of group discounting sites like Groupon and Living Social, not because they don’t work, but because of the sudden negative impact it can have on a practice.

Many of the new clients we sign on who have a bad Yelp rating ran a Groupon special “once upon a time” and were torn apart by those customers who came in for treatments.  Each negative review typically begins with, “I purchased a Groupon for laser hair removal,” or, “I found a Living Social deal for a facial,” and the one or two star review begins to describe the “worst customer service,” late appointments, cancelled appointments, or a bad treatment experience.  A single Groupon or Living Social deal may bring in a slew of new business, but your practice often walks away with a tarnished online reputation.

 Aesthetic Couponers Rarely Return

The premise behind these popular discount sites, as stated above, is that you woo people with an amazing deal in the hopes that they will return again and again for more treatments, providing long-term value and profitability.

While it makes sense that this could happen, the truth is rarely that cut and dry.  Why is this?  Consider the audience for a moment.

Groupon users, Living Social deal seekers and Extreme Couponers are looking for the next deal.  They live their lives based on scoring the “best deal,” not shopping for a new service provider.  They are rarely brand loyalists; they most-often shop based on price and price alone.

While this isn’t true of all discount site users, it is true about the vast majority who will set foot in your practice.  So while you’re expecting to wow them with amazing service and treatments that make them feel pampered like they’ve never been pampered before, the truth is that almost all of them will never return, but instead go to your competitors down the street when they run their own online deal.

Bottom-line is that you want patients who see the value in your skill, expertise, education and service.  You want patients who are willing to pay top dollar for that experience.  You want patients who come to you because you’re the best of the best, and even though your competitors are running Groupon specials down the street, they wouldn’t dream of going to them, because they trust you and you alone.

Do you have a Groupon/Living Social horror story about your business?  Share it in the comments!

Jennifer Kilkenny of Total Social Solutions Announces ROI Program for Social Media Marketers in Las Vegas

It’s been an exciting week here at Total Social Solutions, as our Operations Manager was interviewed by the locally famous Downtown Podcast in Downtown Las Vegas, discussing our unique ROI (Return on Investment) system for internet marketing.

In the audience was Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, and Matt Mullenweg, founding developer of WordPress (which this site has been built on), who was also interviewed on this episode to discuss his work with Bitcoin.

During the interview, Jennifer discussed how Total Social Solutions got its start doing social media marketing for medical aesthetics practices, the struggles we faced as a start-up to show value to our clients, and how we overcame those obstacles with a unique call analytics system that allows us to track and record all phone calls coming through social media and newsletter marketing campaigns for our clients.

View Jennifer’s interview below.   Scroll down to see the episode in its entirety.

 

Every Facebook "Like" Provides Food for Starving Children

How much is a Facebook post “like” worth?  What about comments and shares?

In order to attract more traffic to their pages, many admins will posts messages encouraging fans to Like, Comment & Share to help a sick child, a starving family, a disabled veteran, an abused dogReal ROI on Social Media

They aren’t asking for prayers, and they aren’t claiming to spread awareness about the disease, hunger, plight of military vets or animal cruelty; they are claiming that each Like, Comment and Share is worth money to the victim in the photo.  How? Because, they claim, Facebook will pay for every action taken by fans.

Of course, most of us know that Facebook won’t donate anything for these actions.  They’ve never agreed to.  The post author is simply lying in order to get sympathy traffic to their page and increase their fans in the hopes of promoting their scam products later on.

That and the moral & legal issue of exploiting an animal or another person for the purposes of gaining more Facebook traffic aside, an important lesson is to be learned here.

Post likes, comments and shares aren’t a bottom-line metric of success…for anyone who is using social media to drive more business.  Each of those thousands of likes doesn’t put one single penny in the bank, let alone the dollar claimed by the original poster.

While these metrics are useful in other ways to garner more traffic and get some of that oh-so-popular word-of-mouth buzz, the ultimate success metric is more money in the bank for your business. How do you know you’re getting this? More phone calls & appointment requests are the best way to measure success for any marketing plan, including newsletters, Google advertising, billboards, TV and radio ads…I could go on. And our specific tracking mechanisms are in place to provide this metric for all of our clients.

Watch the video to see how we measure success on our interactive marketing efforts for our clients:

Not currently a client?  

Find out how we can grow your business using interactive marketing campaigns that have driven over 200 phone calls into our clients’ practices per month*.

 

*Of course, results vary, and these are some of our more mature accounts.  We will discuss expectations for your account when meet to discuss what we can do for your business online.

What Does the New Yelp Mobile Review Feature Mean for Aesthetic Practices?

Negative Yelp Review in Progress

Angry Patients = Negative Yelp Reviews…right in your waiting room.

Yesterday, I received an email from Yelp announcing its new feature: the ability to leave reviews for a business from your smartphone.

Until today, the Yelp mobile app allowed for mobile check-ins and the drafting of reviews. However, in order to officially submit the review, you had to be on a computer logged into Yelp.

This seems rather tedious, but it had its benefits, including:

  1. Allowing customers to simmer down before clicking submit (we say a lot of things in the heat of the moment we later regret), and
  2. Ensuring that reviews were left at an IP address separate from the business, proving that the review wasn’t left by an employee.

Most people with smartphones will connect to whatever WiFi access they run into, and this includes WiFi that some businesses provide for free to their customers. With the new review feature, our team expects to see many more filtered reviews simply because the reviewer posted from their phone accessing the business’s WiFi and IP address.  Posting from the business’s IP address has long been known to trigger filtered reviews, as it appears to be a fake review left by the business and its employees, rather than a genuine customer review.

To break it down, three things could happen if Yelp doesn’t take appropriate precautions:

  1. Yelp may become further inundated with fake reviews,
  2. More honest reviews could be filtered, and
  3. More negative reviews can be left for businesses before the business has the opportunity to make it right.

We’ll specifically tackle number 3 below:

Quick Tip to Leveraging the New Yelp Mobile Review Feature:

Don’t allow your reception area to turn into a waiting room, or you’re likely to get a negative review before you ever see the patient.  This is an important change, because at least before this feature, you had a chance to make it right before the patient ever had a chance to leave a review.  With this new feature, every second counts.  If your patients are allowed to sit in a reception area long enough to write a review complaining about how long they had to wait, they’ve waited too long.

Of course, this makes it harder to run a successful practice, but if your business prides itself on timely appointments and customer service, this will give you a leg up on your competition, who may begin seeing more negative reviews due to long wait times.

For ideas on how to best leverage Yelp for your business, contact your Customer Satisfaction Manager right away and ask about our Yelp Help training for your staff.

Not a client?  Want to learn more about how to make Yelp work for your business?  Contact us for your free social media analysis and report, and we’ll send you a free copy of our e-book, No BS ROI: Social & Interactive Marketing for Medical Aesthetic Practices.

"Looking Good on Social Media" cited as a reason for uptick in Cosmetic Surgery business

social media fueling plastic surgery business increase

You can’t be camera shy in the new social media age.

Photo sharing, LinkedIn profiles, and social media in general are fueling a larger need to look better once only reserved for celebrities frequently on television and in movies.

Now that we’re all essentially in the spotlight on our social media profiles, 27/7/365, looking our best is becoming more and more important.  This is especially seen in plastic surgery practices as business has grown despite a lack of job growth and a poor economy in recent years.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons even reported in their 2012 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report that social media has been cited as a driving force behind the increased business plastic surgeons are seeing in their practices.

Which begs the question:

Why aren’t more plastic surgeons utilizing social media for aesthetic medical marketing to drive business when there’s clearly a demand on social networks?

HIPPA Violations

Social media is fraught with news of privacy violations, so it’s natural to feel concerned that using social networks to market your practice could be risky for patient privacy.

Solution:   Since the AMA began publishing regular standards for using social media for medical marketing, we hear these concerns less often.  Our social media experts, and any social media marketing company or individual, should be well versed with the AMA standards before starting a medical marketing campaign on social networks.

It’s Too Time Consuming

Doctors are far too busy to do marketing, and much of their staffers are busy managing patients and dealing with day-to-day operations of the business. Who has the time to post on Facebook, or even know the best way to do it for the best results?

Solution:  Outsourcing your efforts to a firm or an aesthetic medical marketing contractor with the knowledge necessary to successfully market your practice on social media resolves this problem.  Make sure you have open and regular communication & meetings to ensure your needs are being fulfilled, progress is being made, and ROI is successfully measured.

Negative Reviews & Comments

Many medical aesthetic practices are very anti-Yelp and review sites, as they’ve heard many horror stories about negative reviews that have destroyed businesses.  Unfortunately, not taking control of your online reputation by avoiding it can be more detrimental to your practice.  Additionally, the negative experiences with social media as reported by other medical aesthetic practices are actually the exception to the rule.

In a recent study conducted by the Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, only 1.5% of respondents said they felt social media negatively impacted their businesses.

Solution: Become an active participant in social media! Ignore the stories you hear about negative social media experiences and how Yelp destroyed the medical aesthetics practice down the road from you.  Take an active role in your social media so that you can respond to negative comments & reviews and take action to correct any issues that come up.

Can’t Measure or Show ROI

Money in and money out is important to you, as it is to most plastic surgery practices.  So how do you know if your Facebook page is making any money?  Most social media marketers tell you that ROI is all about engagement and community.  While engagement and community is definitely an important piece of the puzzle, it doesn’t pay the bills.  Therefore, it’s not true ROI.

Solution:  Come up with a way to measure your ROI through increased phone calls and appointments into your practice directly related to your online efforts.  Contact us to find out how we do it, and we’ll get you setup on a campaign that we can generate GUARANTEED ROI for your practice.

 

You want to be where the demand is!

If social media is fueling higher demand for cosmetic surgery, then you need to be on social media to make sure you are the first surgeon they see when they decide to act on this desire to look better and feel better about their appearance on social networks.   Being active on your social spaces and having a community of loyal fans & followers who actively participate on your spaces and recommend you personally, in addition to coming in for your services, fuels business through that ever important word of mouth buzz.  Go where the demand is and get started on your social media campaigns today.

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