6 Reasons You Aren’t Making Money on Social Media

Whether you’re using social media as part of your aesthetic medical marketing strategy or not, chances are you haven’t been able to see real ROI (Return on Investment) from social media marketing.  In the video below, we discuss 6 common reasons why medical aesthetic practices aren’t making any money from social media, and how Total Social Solutions can be the missing piece of your marketing puzzle.

Six Reasons You’re Not Making Money on Social Media:

  1. Social isn’t a part of your current business process.   You have a system that has worked for you for years, and it doesn’t include posting on Facebook and Twitter.  You have HR issues to manage; advertising on television, on the radio, in the newspaper; you’re busy caring for patients, managing your finances, and just running a successful business.
  2. Social media is time intensive.  Because of all that you already do (which is likely too much as it is), there’s simply no time to “mess around on social media.” That’s why you need a dedicated person or team to handle it for you.
  3. You aren’t investing enough time into your campaigns.  If you are on social media, you’re not spending enough time on there.  You’re only posting once per month, or maybe even once per week.  You aren’t catering to the different social networks and you aren’t working on strategies to really make it work for you.
  4. You aren’t putting your fans and followers first.  Many businesses only post when it’s time to announce a special, a new product, a new service, or a speaking engagement.  This is a mistake.  If all you do is talk about YOU and only ever ask your fans and followers to buy from you, they will tune you out.  You have to be willing to give freely in the form of useful, engaging content.
  5. You can’t keep up with the changes.  The Internet moves incredibly fast. A social network that was relevant 5 years ago (think MySpace) is not even worth your time today.  You have to be quick and relevant, or you’re missing huge opportunities.
  6. Your competitors are ahead of you in the social media space.  If you aren’t on social media, your competitors are, and they are rocking it.  They have established themselves as the local expert, but you should be the local expert!  They just have better marketers.  But you can have better marketers, too. You just need to invest in social media marketing and get your brand and name out there so you can level the playing field with your competitors.

Why do you need to do social media?

Think back on the 90s when everyone was telling you that you needed a website. Did you get that website right away, or did you say, “I’m just going to keep advertising in the yellow pages?” Did you regret that decision? Today, if you don’t have a website, your business doesn’t exist. It’s not going to be too long for social media to be the same way.

What do you need to be successful on social media?

You need skilled copywriters who have the time to blog and write effective content for social media that is interesting, relevant, educational and with compelling calls to action to drive business to your practice.

It’s labor intensive, so you need people who can devote a good chunk of time into not just writing posts for Facebook, but working on strategies and fitting those posts into the social network they’re being posted to. Additionally, your content needs to be focused on what you do in your practice, so you need someone who is very knowledgeable in what you offer in your practice, not just any writer or social media marketer.

  • You need to constantly monitor your social spaces, respond quickly and stay relevant.
  • You need professional visual design and graphics, which requires designers with years of experience.
  • You need cutting edge solutions from people who know how to do this for you, do it the right way, do it the legal way, and make you more money on social media.

Are you able to do all of this in house? Or would it be more cost-effective and easier to let an experienced agency manage your online campaigns for you?  At Total Social Solutions, we know what works and what doesn’t. We’ve worked with dozens of medical aesthetics practices like yours, and we’ve been able to increase ROI for all of those practices through social media marketing.

Isn’t it time you found your competitive edge?  Contact us for a free social media evaluation, and let’s get started on the road to your social media marketing success today!

Is Your Social Media Marketing Firm Breaking the Law on Your Facebook Page?

co-authored by Eric Fredericksen, esg., Jake Laban MBA

Some of our clients have been vocal about the watermark that is found on a large majority of  images we use on their social spaces.

It’s not particularly wonderful feedback we’re getting from them either.  They simply do not like the watermark.

Can’t say I blame them.

We’ve been very open about why this watermark is there, and have even published a blog article detailing the reasons why.  You won’t see a lot of social media marketers using their licensed images with watermarks.  In fact, most social media marketers don’t license the images they use on their clients social spaces at all.

They outright steal them from places across the Internet.

 Posting an Image on Your Facebook Page Without Consent of the Photographer is THEFT

 We’ve discussed copyright infringement via social media on our blog before, but it’s a consistent issue, particularly in the very visual field of cosmetic surgery marketing.   Bloggers are actually being sued for using images that they don’t have permission to publish on their websites; Facebook pages are being shut down without warning because copyright holders are reporting the images.  Pinterest users have shut down their own accounts completely for fear of being sued!

When we address these copyright concerns to our clients and others in the field of aesthetic medical marketing via social media, the most common responses we hear are as follows:

 

“Everyone uses these images online, so it’s acceptable.”

 

“So many other pages and businesses are doing it, and they haven’t been shut down or sued, so why should I worry?”

 

“If the copyright holder shows up and complains, I’ll just take it down and apologize.  No harm done.”

 

In reality, there’s plenty of harm done to your reputation, your business assets, and the online spaces you’ve worked so hard to build up and utilize.

 All of that can be tarnished with a single complaint of copyright infringement.

What’s worse is that you may not even know that your business is doing this, because you’ve put your faith and trust in a “professional” who isn’t properly licensing images for your business.

One such example is SomeEcards, the popular ironic and sarcastic e-cards that are distributed via email and social media.  The problem is that many will upload these images to their Facebook pages, even though it specifically says in their Terms of Service that this is prohibited:

“Someecards User will not use this service to create advertising, promote a product, brand, Web site, social media program, or Facebook fan page. Someecards are for personal use only, and can not be taken off the site. Only the social networking buttons on the site can be used to share the content.”

 “Only the social networking buttons on the site can be used to share content.”  That means you cannot download the image and then reupload to your Facebook photo album.  You have to click the Facebook “share” button, which will share the link to the webpage where the e-card is located.  Otherwise, you are violating the intellectual property (I.P.) rights of the owners of SomeEcards.  Other large originators of visual online content, notable Getty Images, are aggressively defending their I.P. against this exact type of theft by small business owners.  We here at TSS have even had our own I.P. stolen and improperly posted for another company’s commercial benefit; and we too, vigorously defend our I.P.

It would be like Dr. McGillicutty FACS down the street taking your Before & After photos and publishing them on his own Facebook page.  Even if there was a small attribution to you on the image, he/she still stole the image and can be held legally liable for copyright infringement.

 

Copyright Myths Revealed

Myth:  If you use an image, but source the owner with an image credit and a link, then it’s not copyright infringement.

Fact:  Unless you received permission from the owner of the image, your publication of that image is copyright infringement and is punishable by law.

 

Myth:  If a copyright holder contacts you about an image requesting its immediate removal, as long as you comply, there are no further legal actions.

Fact:  The copyright holder can still sue you for thousands of dollars even after you comply with removing the image.

 

Image Licensing by TSS

While we license our images from a specific online stock image website, those images are licensed to us and not our clients.  Because we hold the license, we may publish the images on our clients’ social spaces on their behalf so long as they contain a watermark somewhere on the image.  Furthermore, once the client is no longer a client anymore, they must immediately remove all images licensed to Total Social Solutions, or they could be liable for copyright infringement by the original creator of the image.

This is why we have the watermark on our photos, to protect your business from lawsuits and the removal of your communities from social networks like Facebook and Pinterest.  We’ve worked hard with you and for you to grow these communities so that they are true assets to your business, and we don’t want legal issues to affect those communities or bring potential lawsuits to your doors.

SEO and Social are finally, clearly intertwined (and converging)

People are constantly changing the way that they are using the internet. In 2010, when Facebook was only a couple of years old (but had definitively vanquished MySpace), search and SEO strategies were focused on a ‘publish or perish’ paradigm. Website owners were rewarded for prodigious content production and article marketing with high search rankings.

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SEO is joining Social Media for the ultimate Internet connectivity platform

At the time social media had very little to do with search, or with a business’ digital marketing strategy. Social media was a place for a rare few businesses and was largely occupied by individuals (most of them playing Farmville and Mafia Wars, you may recall).

Today, social and SEO are slowly growing closer together. When your clients are looking for an injector, they are likely to ask their friends on Twitter or check out Yelp. Many consumers find search rankings on Google to be a less reliable indicator for a reliable business than crowd-sourced opinion.

The search world has a new player in Facebook.  Facebook’s Graph Search now allows users to enter human language searches (like ‘spas my friends like’) to extract answers from the Facebook network.  If this catches on when it emerges to production, it will represent a massive change to how people select service providers.

As these two mediums converge, we start to see that success in social media together with success in SEO comprise your overall comprehensive digital marketing strategy. The best businesses can, and should, be successful in both.

This has changed our blogging strategy as well.  Initially our team offered syndicated blog content to be placed on client blogs, for the purpose of broadcast on social media. Our clients benefited through using a large amount of informational blog content at a very low price, with more backlinks to social media. As the year passed, and as Google evolved its search algorithm, we learned that we can offer even more value to our clients with a far smaller quantity of exclusive blog articles. We have switched our packages to support a more holistic view of the SEO/Social relationship by giving clients the OPTION of a higher quantity of syndicated content, or original and unique blog content. This has led to much better partnerships between our team and our partners’ SEO firms. In addition, we’ve made available to our clients the option of purchasing original, unique, and custom blog articles to assist their overall digital marketing goals.

In 2013 we’ll continue to see a convergence between search and social.  Your SEO vendors will continue to try to figure out social media by applying SEO principles to social.  In the meantime, here at TSS we are going to continue to focus on delivering metrics that show how social is delivering business to you.

Please contact us if you need help with your blogging and SEO strategy.

6 effective tips for running a great social media promotion

How to use social media to grow your business - running promotions.At Total Social Solutions, we pride ourselves on doing a fantastic job in-house in running social media promotions for our clients.  At the same time, we strongly believe that an educated client is a strong business partner. As such, we wanted to share a few tips that will help you build and run your own effective promotions:

 

  1. Call to action:  Make sure that it is abundantly clear what you’re asking your audience to do.  Whenever possible, make it EASY by providing the link or phone number, right there.
  2. Be brief, be bright, be gone:  Most social media platforms reward people who are succinct and get to the point. Take note and make sure you get your point across quickly.
  3. Spell out the benefits:  Make sure your audience knows what they’re getting.  Remember, using dollar amounts (“save $100”) is more effective than percentages (“save 25%”).  If your product has obscure benefits, make sure you spell them out (“Latisse will make your lashes look beautiful!”).
  4. Know your platform:  Posting on Facebook is conducive to images.  Best practices on Twitter involve using #hashtags in order to promote virality.  Make sure you’re using each platform correctly.
  5. Ask your audience to help:  Don’t forget to ask for a share, retweet, or a +1 on your posts.  That will help promote the reach of your promotion.
  6. Use the right tools:  Consider using the paid-for tools in order to ensure the reach of your posts. Sometimes a very small investment (e.g. $5 for a promoted post on Facebook) can have huge effects on how many people see your posts.

Making sure you follow these rules and you’ll be able to make the phones ring with the click of a button… which is what this is all about.

 

Why social media is the new SEO… the future of search is social.

Months ago, Total Social Solutions published this article about the advent of Google’s new ‘Search Plus Your World’ default search platform. This was the first move by a major search engine to incorporate social media into traditional search results.

Social media is stronger than SEO

Google has repeatedly stated the integration of social and search will deliver more relevant search results for users. The prevailing logic has nothing to do with social media, SEO, nor even technology. To get some perspective on this, let’s take a big-picture look.

Since the beginning of mankind, we as a species have relied upon the recommendations of other people. Family members, friends, and thought leaders have been the primary places that we turn to in order to know what to do, where to go, or what purchases to consume. The reason we trust the recommendations of friends or relatives more so than strangers is that we trust people who are close to us.

So, it should not be surprising that Google, Facebook, and other online behemoths are interested in having our online experiences mimic your real, not-online life. Their beliefs are simple: if search results can mimic your cocktail party experience, you’ll be more likely to use their platform.

Google+ Local & Yelp are more powerful than search engines

In the latter portion of the 20th century, Americans enjoyed the expert restaurant reviews of Zagat contributors. Zagat became the ultimate authority, and the one place that a traveler could turn to in order to get information on restaurants (and eventually other businesses) in another city. For years, Zagat enjoyed revenue from consumers of these reviews through sale of their print books and online subscription-based services.

With the growth of Google+ Local, Yelp, and other countless online review sites, the market for paid review results went away permanently. Recognizing a synergy, and as a direct competitive offensive towards Yelp, Google bought Zagat, and its entire database. Google then rolled Zagat into the new Google+ Local. We published this article on the topic after the launch of this new platform which will be a major competitor to Yelp. Google+ Local is already a formidable force due to its high search visibility. It will only grow. The great news for TSS clients is that we support your business’ Google+ Local listing, contact your account coordinator if you have questions on optimizing this listing.

We specialize in Google+ Local optimization

Finally, the rumors have been circulating for some time that Facebook is developing a search tool. The vision of Mr. Zuckerberg and his team is that Facebook can be a place where users can poll their friends and family members about goods, services, and experiences that they are considering buying.  Concrete evidence of this Facebook search tool has yet to surface.

What this means for you and your business:

  • Social media is the bleeding edge of search.
  • In the not-too-distant future, search will be driven by social media.
  • Traditional SEO techniques will be largely supported by social media results due to search algorithms shifting to favor social content

Think about that statement… social media is not just the cutting edge, but is ahead of the cutting edge of search. If you want to get ahead of the competition, and stay ahead of the competition, your presence on social media will give you a huge advantage over your competition. The further ahead that you can pull today; the more ground the competition will have to make up in the future.

Your TSS account representative can help you position your brand for success today, and into the future. Contact us for more information, so you stay ahead of the constantly changing competitive market.

Value of a facebook fan (or any social media follower) vs. email

So you’ve collected your customers’ emails. Great work!

But think about the limits of email.

Email is a 40 year old platform. Many organizations (and some large corporations) are doing away with email. In its place, they’re using instant messaging and social media messaging platforms.

Wonder why?

Well, for the answer, let’s look at why social media, as a platform, is so much more valuable than traditional email:

  • Two-directional:
    • Social media allows for rich, two-way communication. Email provides that, but social media allows for this discussion to take place within a full-featured ecosystem. Participants can see everything about the other parties. This includes their likes, dislikes, relationship status, and more. This information contributes to a better form of communication.
  • Multi-media:
    • Social media platforms allow for users to share text, links, photos, and videos. These multimedia files are shared with individuals, groups, communities, clubs, and other collections of users pulled together within. It’s a more flexible sharing system.
  • Permanence:
    • Emails change often. As people change jobs, Internet providers, etc, it is not uncommon for many people to have up to 10 emails! Social media allows a person to have one distinct URL that is personalized to that person, and permanent.
  • Affiliation:
    • One of the most important things that social media allows (that email groups cannot) is the ability for users to affiliate with a brand with user-controlled data sharing. That brand-consumer relationship can be as public, or as private, as the user would like it to be.
  • Viral:
    • This is the big payoff. If your company posts an interesting piece of content, your followers can ‘like’, ‘comment’, or ‘share’ that content which will be visible to their entire network. Because of this, your brand name can get exposure to thousands (or even millions) of people who are not directly connected to you. The more engaging and interesting the content, the better a chance that your content will ‘go viral’. Want to post viral content? Take a look at one example of a form of viral content here.

Emails are still important for delivering your newsletters and traditional emails; also for inviting people to join your social media community. The great news for TSS clients is that we will help you recruit your followers using email platforms, and will coach you through proper use of social media and traditional email messaging platforms going forward.

We are here to help you grow! Contact us to learn more.

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