Social Media

17The Role of Social Media in Attracting Plastic Surgery Patients

We live in a digital world. The unabated advance of technology has altered the way we communicate with each other—and sometimes for the better. With the dominance of social media in our lives, it is now easier than ever before to share or exchange information. As a plastic surgeon, you have the golden opportunity to build and maintain their brand online, thereby attracting new patients while maintaining a robust clientele.

The Basics

These days, when people think of social media, sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ immediately come to mind. At places like Facebook and Twitter, you can set up a user profile showcasing yourself as a professional or your private practice. LinkedIn in particular is ideal for a more resume-oriented profile, which highlights your credentials, educational background, and professional achievements. Social media, however, is not just restricted to the aforementioned websites. A blog can also be helpful in publishing valuable articles on different aspects of plastic surgery, or a YouTube channel can be a great place for posting informational videos. Some plastic surgeons have touted the value of social media in their marketing efforts. For instance, Michael Salzhauer—known by the nickname “Dr. Miami” and founder of Bal Harbour Plastic Surgery in Florida—once remarked that his social media efforts were more effective and less expensive than traditional pay-per-click marketing.

Online Interaction

The most successful plastic surgeons on social media are frequently engaging. They participate often on social sites, using them collectively as a platform for their voices to be heard. You can have conversations with potential clients and answer their questions if any. Such level of participation keeps your audience interested, and it increases the chances of some online network members stopping by for your service. However, be careful not to sound a lot more like a marketer than a plastic surgeon. Post special offers on your social media site pages at a reasonable level, and do so to give the impression that you are providing valuable information, rather than solely trying to convince people to choose your practice over that of others.

Customer Feedback

When patients receive excellent service from you, they are more likely to write a glowing review online or refer your services to their colleagues or loved ones. So, attracting plastic surgery patients also comes from positive customer feedback or referrals. Your online reputation is not just based on what you say and do, but also what others have to say about your services.

Search Rankings

Search engines like Google and Bing have made it clear that social sharing is increasingly factored in their search rankings. The aforementioned companies do so by drawing from user profiles, YouTube comments, and patient reviews, among other types of data. So, get comfortable with growing and maintaining your overall social web presence. Coupled with search engine optimization efforts—such as links to your blog or website, using effective keywords, and posting regularly—you can increase your search rankings when online customers are looking for plastic surgeons.

The Influence of Facebook on Plastic Surgery

Over the past few years, with the upsurge of social media, Facebook has proven itself as a predominant social network. The use of Facebook is a part of every ordinary user and potential consumers’ daily lives. Individuals and business alike, spend a lot of their time on Facebook every day, whether for socializing or for getting acquainted with the current trends. The phenomenon of sharing the personal moments has given birth to the concept of self-portraits or ‘selfies’ (as it is more commonly known), a trend that has spread like wildfire. All these trends of sharing have encouraged people to look at their best when taking photographs.

What caused the influence

There is a whole new world of beauty standards that applies when it comes to Facebook and selfies. As a natural part of human evolution, when a concept is introduced, it only gets more competitive with time. Similarly, posting self-portraits has seen its fair share of competition. With people looking for their best poses to capture, and to share their best-looking photographs; for appreciation, attention and joy.

For some, appreciation and attention are not the major factors that encourage them for looking good in photographs. It is but the memories that remain forever on Facebook, which need to be perfect. Whether it is their photo albums or anyone else’s, once a photograph is in there, it is there to stay. The urge to perfect that memory certainly plays a part.

As artificial this world may be, but for some, looking good on Facebook is a boost to their self-esteem. With easy access to media outlets and high quality photography work through Facebook pages, people find themselves charmed and encouraged to look more like what those ‘perfected’ images portrayed. Leading them onto discovering options of plastic surgeries.

Plastic surgery clinics and Facebook marketing

A poll in 2013 by the American Academy of Facial and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) foresaw a rising percentage in the demands of people willing to go through plastic surgery. Plastic surgeons predicted this to be because of social media and the urge to look beautiful when cataloguing themselves online.

Dr. Sam Rizk, a member of the AAFPRS, states; “I see a lot of men and women who are executives or high profile so they are in the public eye. Their photos get taken all the time and they never know where they may end up.” – Certainly a fact understood by most plastic surgeons. Such a trend may be used for the benefit of a clinic’s marketing strategy online. Using Facebook to scout a target market, and look for those who cannot resist beauty. This trend is mostly found among the younger demographic, who to a point might be a bit reluctant in going for such a treatment at first. Clinics and plastic surgeons may use Facebook marketing to their advantage, by easing the people interested, into accepting this treatment as a safe and affordable way to satisfy themselves. Sharing their contribution to perfection can also serve as a portfolio for clinics with their presence on Facebook, and a further cause of encouragement for the intrigued to pamper themselves in the name of perfection.

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