They say you need to bring on a local influencer or two who can promote your aesthetic medical practice on social media. This, they claim, is the only way you can grow and succeed on social platforms, especially Instagram.
Too often, though, the risk is far greater than the reward when working with social media influencers. To make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into, and the pitfalls to avoid, continue reading to learn about some real-world examples of what we’ve come across in our work with aesthetic medical practices since 2011, and why working with a social media influencer requires a lot of specialized attention.
Never Negotiate With an Influencer on Your Own
There are too many details to consider when managing contract negotiations with an influencer.
Yes, contract negotiations. You read that right. You should 100% have contracts with your influencers, but it’s more than just contracts covering what they get from you and what you expect from them in return. It’s also about evaluating your influencer’s reach and audience, a skillset that requires specialized software and an expert eye.
Analyzing an Influencer’s Audience
Have you received a direct message or email from an influencer asking to work with you? A beautiful local reaches out with a sizeable following and good engagement on her profile, and she offers to post about her visit to your practice in exchange for some free services and products.
Her account gets a lot of likes and comments, and she has a lot of followers. You can see she promotes other local businesses as well. It looks like a great deal, so you’re tempted to invite her in for free services in exchange for a post on her Instagram account.
Not so fast!
- Do you know how to evaluate an influencer’s followers to make sure they are real people and not bots?
- Can you tell if the real followers are local to you?
- Are her followers your target demographic? Do you know how to find out?
- Is her engagement real or does she buy fake likes and comments? Do you know what to look for to determine this?
- Do you have the time and expertise to look into any of this on your own?
Do you see how quickly this “great deal” falls apart for your practice?
Storytime: When the Influencer’s Audience is NOT Your Target Demographic!
We worked with a medical spa in Beverly Hills some years ago that wanted to try influencer marketing. We did not help select influencers, because this isn’t a service that we offer, but we posted content from the influencer and the practice whenever a new deal was struck.
One influencer was a model for a men’s magazine. She had a sizable following consisting of other models/influencers and male fans from all over the country.
The only locals who fit the practice’s target demographic were other Instagram models who also wanted influencer deals with the medical spa. The practice manager didn’t realize this issue until they had already performed multiple procedures worth thousands of dollars.
Had they worked with an agency that specializes in influencer marketing, they could have told the practice manager that this wasn’t a good deal for the practice and they were never going to reach the right people with this model.
Influencer Contract Negotiations and Expectations
Some influencers have agencies that represent them while others handle their own business. Either way, having someone skilled in negotiating with influencers is essential to ensure you get what you’re owed in exchange for your services.
We have seen too many times that an influencer scores their free services and walks out with free products and then takes more than a month to post or deliver content to the practice for internal marketing purposes.
In some cases, they post one photo and then never say anything ever again. Videos were shot, and multiple photos were captured, but the influencer lazily posted one photo and barely promoted the practice.
Having a solid contract in place ensures the influencer does their job and promotes your practice in a way that you both agree to beforehand. Otherwise, you get very little in exchange for your hard work.
Work with a Reputable Public Relations Agency
Public relations (PR) agencies are your best bet for securing good influencer deals, and they will also work with you to secure local and national news coverage. If you desire to become a key opinion leader in your field on a local, state, or even national level, your PR team will get this done for you while they secure legitimate influencer deals on your behalf.
If you are set on using influencer marketing, this is the best way to go about it. It’s not cheap, but it is effective.
This isn’t what most business owners think of when they imagine using influencer marketing as part of their social media strategy. For most of you reading this, you likely pictured exchanging some Botox for some promotion and getting a lot of new followers and phone calls as a result. The reality is far less exciting and far more expensive.
You Don’t Need Influencer Marketing to Be Successful on Social Media
There are other ways to get in front of the right people on social media. It isn’t free, but it is more affordable. It will also get you in front of locals who are ready to buy your products and services.
Invest in Advertising
Advertising on social media is less expensive than you might think. With the right marketing professional who understands the platform’s advertising landscape, you can be very successful at increasing your reach, engagement, following, and leads for your business. You also guarantee you’re reaching your target market in your local area, which means you’re always in front of people who would spend money in your practice.
You can combine influencer marketing with social media advertising as well. Just make sure you’re working with professionals who specialize in these areas.
Work With Other Local Businesses
Whether you’re just starting or well-established, coordinating with other businesses in your area can be a great way to gain more followers and leads into your practice. A medical aesthetics practice should collaborate with complementary local businesses like hair and nail salons, massage parlors, fitness centers, lash lounges, women’s groups, country clubs, mom groups in affluent communities, and yoga and pilates studios. Look around in your area for businesses, clubs, and organizations that you could collaborate with to increase your reach. Contact them directly, work out a joint event or promotion, and work together on social media to promote both businesses equally.
Make Sure Your Website and Social Media Work Together
You get local traffic to your website that should funnel into your social media. Don’t let these marketing channels operate in isolation from each other. Everything should flow back and forth. If your website is getting significant traffic from search engines, make sure that traffic also flows into your social media. Putting your social media buttons on your website is a good start, but you must also install code on your site that allows your social media advertiser to deliver ads to people who click on your website. These kinds of ads are known as “retargeting ads” and help you continue to market to anyone who visits your website, whether they contacted you to book an appointment or not. This allows you additional opportunities to convert.
Want to Grow Your Aesthetics Practice on Social Media Without an Influencer?
Total Social Solutions is a digital marketing agency dedicated to the field of medical aesthetics, working with medical spas, plastic surgeons, facial plastic surgeons, and dermatologists to grow their practices on social media. We offer organic social media marketing services, social media advertising, search engine optimization, email marketing, and more. We work with practices big and small, established and startup. Whatever your goals, we offer customized solutions to help you reach them. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.