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

 

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!

How are Health Professionals Using Social Media for Medical Marketing?

 

 

We focus a great deal on medical aesthetics when discussing medical marketing on our blog as that’s the niche we’ve carved out for ourselves at Total Social Solutions.

While we cater strictly to medical aesthetic practices and beauty brands, it’s important to note that just about every field in medicine and healthcare can benefit from social media marketing.  In fact, some of the biggest names in healthcare are successfully utilizing social media as a way to drive business and increase ROI.

Those who aren’t are missing out on a lot of potential business.  From a pediatric dentist all the way up to a top neurosurgery center, all medical fields, practices and device brands can benefit from utilizing social media as part of their ongoing medical marketing campaigns, as demonstrated in the infographic below.

 

Healthcare and Social Media
Image source: www.master-of-health-administration.com

"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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