“Social media enables a small business to earn eyeballs and ears.” Guy Kawasaki
Facebook Twitter Instagram, These three are the holy grail of social media world.These platforms integrate seamlessly and are a must for aesthetic practitioners finding their way into social media marketing.
Facebook is the number one global social media network. It is a virtual meeting ground where friends, family, and colleagues come to read what you choose to share. With more than two billion monthly users worldwide, Facebook has become an essential component of a cosmetic surgery marketing program. Aesthetic clinics can build brand loyalty, establish the expertise of their medical staff, engage with patients on a deeper level, and drive traffic to their clinic website.
For clinics new to social media, Facebook is the place to begin. Your customized Facebook business page can feature your product and service offering, highlight multiple locations, provide appointment scheduling, offer monthly specials, and grow a fan base. Your page can be promoted via e-mail blasts, Facebook ads, promoted posts, and your Facebook network of fans directly. Content sharing also means having Share buttons on your website and blog for social media optimization purposes to encourage visitors to share your content.
Setting Up Your Business Page
Business pages are where the information about your clinic posted. Posts should include all of the key messages on your clinic website landing page, products and treatments offered, special training, awards, and information about the practitioners.
Make sure the categories you selected are the most applicable. (From your page, click “Edit Info” to be able to review and edit your Basic Information page.) If you choose the general category called “Companies & Organizations,” a possible second-tier category of “Health/Medical/Pharmaceuticals” might be a suitable choice. If you choose general category “Local Businesses & Places,” then the second-tier “Hospital/Clinic” may be a better choice. Select the most relevant options so patients and colleagues can find you in as few clicks as possible.
Creating a unique URL helps you to get found more easily and direct people to your page. For example, our URL for our global beauty site Beautyinthebag.com’s page is zacebook.com/Beautyinthebag. Once you choose a unique URL, you will need permission to change it.
The Administration panel will help you manage your page. Use it to view statistics, social insights, and a log of your own activity as you grow your page. You are also able to assign page roles such as Admins and Editors. This is the preferred way to give staff and vendors access to your page, rather than allowing them to log into Facebook using your account details. If the relationship goes south, as an Admin, you can remove them as Editors on the page, thereby rescinding any access.
Take full advantage of adding custom applications to the top of your page. Apps let you highlight specific areas of focus beyond the basic information on your main page, like subpages so that fans can learn more about each service line, and view embedded videos. You could also use apps to post additional locations and job openings, or share information about upcoming events or announcements. Choose other apps to
highlight to allow for a greater level of personalization. Within these apps, users can learn more about all of the services, products, and treatments you offer and view embedded videos. You may also create secondary pages, such as for additional clinics, allied practitioners, and locations. The goal is to display your best content or elements that keep users engaged and that get them to stay on the page.
Your clinic Facebook page should include all the information a new client would need to make a decision to try or buy.
Pictures of faces, especially eyes and lips, capture attention because they are nice to look at, and there is eye contact. Content should be light—and have a positive tone. If you are trying to market a medical spa or a clinic, lose some overly technical or clinical language. Keep it professional in that you are talking to prospective patients and media, but avoid any kind of complicated words and descriptors that require lengthy explanations, words that are hard to spell, or phrases that will not be picked up by a search engine.
Choose your content themes judiciously. Politics is off limits, especially in the current world climate. With sex, you have to be careful as a healthcare practitioner. Avoid posting and reacting to anything that could be misconceived or that someone could potentially take offense to. However, on Facebook you are able to go back and edit the post if needed. In general, ascribe to the adage, “When in doubt, leave it out.”
Plain text does not perform well on Facebook. Try to make it look as magazine-like as possible. Visually interesting and appealing posts work best. Experiment with different types and formats of content to see what generates the best results. Avoid repetitive content on Facebook. If you are going to post on Monday, do not post something similar on Tuesday. Mix it up to keep it interesting.
Avoid posting only information about your clinic, practitioners, promotions, or specials. Include other content that will be relevant to your fans across a wider range of topics.
12 BEST CONTENT BUCKETS
- Beauty trends
- Celebrity news
- Fitness and nutrition
- Health and wellness
- Patient safety
- Seasonal themes
- Skincare tips
FACEBOOK’S CALL TO ACTION
Facebook integrated a call to action (CTA) on pages that are free to use, at least for now. CTAs help drive people from Facebook to take action such as booking appointments or making a purchase.
To add a CTA button to your page, Go to your Page’s Cover Photo and click on Create Call-to-Action.
There are five CTA buttons to choose from:
1. Shop Now—Promote a new product or treatment, special offer, or limited edition
2. Learn More—Showcase a new blog post, direct visitors to your website or microsite
3. Sign Up—Enroll for a newsletter, blog, event, webinar, or mailing list
4. Book Now—Book an appointment or schedule a treatment
5. Download—Promote e-books and white papers, brochures, and special offers
Choose your CTA and the Destination URL that you want to link to (e.g., your website home page, blog, or specific landing page). Facebook also allows you to track your clicks to the CTA you have chosen to see how it is working, and this can be changed at any time.
Growing Your Fan Base
To build up a base of fans and followers to market to, engage with others in your own field and related fields, and your community, in order to cross-promote your social media efforts and expand your audience. Aim for alliances with people who have bigger followings than you do, but have a similar target audience of consumers with common interests, such as beauty, health, wellness, fitness, and skincare.
Follow colleagues, affiliates, partners, and neighboring businesses on social media. It is a great way to show support for their businesses, too. You should also follow brands and vendors you work with, suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors, as well as organizations you belong to, universities, and institutions you are connected with.
On the right side of your Facebook page, under Community, there is a tab called Invite Your Friends to Like This Page. Use this feature to invite people you already know and are connected with (not patients) to like your business page and build a fan base.
Geo-targeting is an effective way to segment your message to target a specific audience or demographic based on their location—country, state, or city. Facebook and Twitter feature tools that allow you to share the right kind of content to your audience. Instagram also has this feature on their Sponsored Post ad platform.
With Facebook Insights, you can also learn the locations, dominant languages, ages, and gender among your social media audience. This knowledge can help you cater campaigns to specific target audiences, which will provide a better return on investment (ROI). The more targeted your campaigns, the more effective and less expensive they will be, with a lower margin for error.
Another way to use geo-targeting is to like and friend local businesses and community organizations in your market who are more likely to friend and follow you back because they are familiar with your practice.
Facebook Ad Strategies
If you noticed a decline in how many Facebook fans have been viewing and interacting with your organic posts over the past few years, you are not alone. Until about 5 years ago, every time you posted content on your Facebook page, approximately 16% of your fans would see your update. Fast forward to now, and only about 2% of your fans will ever lay eyes on your content. The new algorithms have slashed organic reach down to single digits, which makes it more expensive to grow your fan base.
One reason for this is that there is so much content being put out on Facebook that news feeds are overloaded, which makes getting eyes on your posts far more competitive. Facebook is also trying to show users the content that is most relevant to them, so some content gets screened out automatically. Similarly, organic posts on Instagram have dropped to the bottom of users’ feeds, which has made it next to impossible to grow followers without some investment in sponsored posts.
Facebook is the premier social platform to keep up with loyal patients and attract new ones through targeted ads and boosted posts. Of all the social channels in play, Facebook offers a highly sophisticated advertising platform that is widely considered the gold standard. It allows you to create targeted ads for different audiences, set a daily or campaign budget, and measure the results across devices.
Best practices are to test different types of targeting to find the most responsive audience to which to promote your clinic services. Experiment with interest categories, friends of followers, and website audience lookalikes. Try these tactics in separate ad sets to determine which will deliver the best results and help you build a brand.
FACEBOOK AD TARGETING TIPS
•Do not target too broadly—Narrow your audience by adding only one key interest category at a time. For example, start with “Ghent Cosmetic Lasers” and then broaden this category after you have run your campaigns for a week or two, adding “BOTOX Ghent” or “BOTOX, Facial fillers Ghent,” and so on.
•Target by city, zip or postal code, or region—If your clinic is mostly local, target your audience by their zip or postal code. This can also be helpful if you know that a specific city or zip code offers good conversion rates. Identify the cities/areas that convert well in Google Analytics in the “Audience Insights” section.
•Test images first, then copy—Images are a critical success factor for ad performance, second only to copy. If you are not getting results, switch out the image first to test it. If that does not help, change the copy as well. Keep trying different combinations until you get the traction you want.
•Use action words—Tell your fans what you want them to do. For example, “download an e-book,” “schedule a consultation,” “sign up for our newsletter,” or “RSVP to a seminar.”
•Use your connections—Target people who are either connected or not connected to your Facebook page. If you want to reach a new audience, select “not connected to your Facebook Page.” If you have an offer or new product, select “connected to your Facebook Page” to reach people who already know your brand.
•Create custom audiences—Facebook lets you upload customer e-mail addresses or other identifiers to build your own audience targeting. This strategy can be very effective and may be best managed by a digital agency for best results.
•Try lookalike audiences—This allows you to target people based on data from fans of your Facebook page. Take your top 10 best customers, search their e-mail addresses and names on Facebook. Go to their Likes and create a spreadsheet of common interests. Look for any similar Likes across your top customers to know whom to target.
Boosting a Post
Because of the way Facebook works, most of the content you post is not going to be seen by very many people. Boosting posts so more of your target audience see it in their news-feeds—for example, women in the United Kingdom aged 25–45 who like beauty, cosmetics, Botox, or lasers—is an affordable viable tactic that moves the needle. This may cost $20, or you can spend thousands if you want. But Facebook will show you exactly how many people you could be reaching at that level. If you spend $75, you may be able to reach 3,000–20,000 people who fall within that target audience.
The more targeted you can be, the better. You can target by geographical area, gender, level of education, marital status, shopping and lifestyle preferences, and more. It is a small investment, but in my experience, it really works. Without boosting your content, you may get discouraged by a lack of engagement because your posts will not be seen by the majority of your fans.
Contests and Competitions
Contests and competitions can help grow your fan base, but this strategy will not move the needle for your bottom line unless the participants are targeted so they are among the audience that you want to reach who can convert to become paying patients.
Generally, it is best to postpone these tactics until you have a sufficient following to market to. For some clinics, that may mean 500, for others it may be 1,000 or more. Dreaming up clever competitions and essay or photo contests to generate excitement online is a good way to test the waters. Everyone loves to have the chance to win something. But you may end up with 25 or 50 entries, some of whom may be serial contest entrants. If you do go there, set aside an ad budget to promote your contest through Facebook ads and boosted posts.
Twitter: Promoting Your Clinic in 280 Characters
Twitter is an entirely mobile form of communication, largely because the posts are only 280 characters as of November 2017, and therefore simpler to do on the go: users can tweet through their computers, tablets, or mobile phones from anywhere.
The advantages Twitter offers include brevity (280 characters) and immediacy (users communicate in real time). This can be beneficial for the dissemination of time-sensitive news. Once something is tweeted and retweeted by another user, it is forever in the public domain and cannot be retracted.
To build a meaningful base of followers, focus on these categories:
Good content is readily shareable. It should be compelling and quality information that is of interest to your followers. Engagement can be nurtured with your audience by asking questions, engaging in debate and dialogue, and even asking for retweets. Rewards can also be offered by way of social-media-only deals (last-minute appointments or treatment courses, gift with purchase) or by posting behind-the-scenes images of the clinic that are exclusive to your followers.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of time on Twitter, consider automating specific posts. I prefer automating Facebook to Twitter, but never go from Twitter to Facebook. Note that this is not considered best practice, but it is a huge time saver for busy clinics without a social media team in place.
The idea of a doctor tweeting while he is doing a laser treatment or a facelift, can demedicalize what you do. Maintain your professionalism online.
it concerns promoting products and brands to consumers. This practice has become a big issue in social media marketing circles. In response, social platforms are making it harder and harder to skirt around this rule. Facebook and Instagram are launching new tools that require an influencer to list the brand as a business partner on a piece of sponsored content. Watch this space!
From Tweeting to Treating
Twitter options for customization allow you to brand your Twitter account easily. The best strategy is to link your Twitter to your Facebook page so that posts are automatically shared with Twitter. Thus, if you are not ready to dedicate a lot of time to tweeting, Facebook posts will serve as content to at least keep it going until you can focus on this channel more seriously.
Create a profile with information about your clinic and brand. Strive to build your following, reputation, and customer trust through sharing photos and “behind the scenes” glimpses of your practice (i.e., special promotion for Twitter followers). Assign someone to monitor comments that users post about your clinic, brand, and practitioners.
Choose your Twitter account name wisely; for example, many practices have one account for the practice, and one for the individual physician(s): @johnsonaesthetic and @drjohnjohnson. You can use a maximum of 15 characters for your username, and it can be changed any time.
People use the hashtag symbol # with no spaces before a relevant keyword or phrase in their tweet to categorize those tweets and show up in a Twitter search. Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other tweets marked with that keyword and can appear anywhere in the tweet. Hashtagged words that are trending will be listed in “Trending Topics.”
Example of hashtagged tweet: #Laserresurfacing now avail at Dr. Smith’s Aesthetics Clinic Surrey! #freeconsultation bit.ly/smithaesthetics.com
If you tweet with a hashtag on a public (not private) account, anyone who does a search for that hashtag can find your tweet.
To Delete a Tweet
You can only delete tweets sent from your account. Locate the tweet you want to delete. Hover your mouse over the message—Done! If it has already been retweeted after you posted it, you cannot retract it, and it could get retweeted again and again indefinitely.
Retweeting Others’ Content
Twitter’s retweet feature helps you and others quickly share a tweet with all of your followers. Users may type RT at the beginning of a tweet to indicate that they are reposting someone else’s content.
Example of a retweet: #RT @Wendylewisco Just had my brown spots lasered away with the newest fractionated system #NYCPlasticsurgeon @drbryangforley #nopain
To advertise on Twitter, go to business.twitter.com/. Twitter offers a sophisticated self-service platform—Twitter Ads Manager—to help you create campaigns, promote brand awareness, and gain new followers. But your campaigns will only be as successful as the quality of tweets you create to promote, and users are much more likely to engage with tweets containing visuals, images, and video.
Targeted campaigns offer four options for goals:
•Get website traffic
•Grow Twitter followers
•Promote brand awareness
Promoted tweets help to reach a wider audience or to spark engagement from your followers. They are clearly labeled “Promoted” to denote that you have paid for their placement. These tweets can be retweeted, replied to, favorited, and more.
You can target by “Location,” “Language,” “Age,” “Gender,” “Relationship status,” “Interested in,” and “Education” on Facebook, and “Country(s)” on Twitter. If you want to send out a post to people who speak Spanish, geo-targeting is an easy way to do it.
Twitter allows businesses to locate their current customers or seek out potential customers. For example, if you open a medspa in the neighborhood, you can create a geo search to identify anyone tweeting about beauty, skin, makeup, and so on, within your area. After locating those individuals, start reaching out to invite them to come try a treatment and experience your medspa.
Instagram is a free app (like Snapchat) to be downloaded from Apple Store or Google Play to use it. The network, which Facebook owns, is almost entirely mobile. There is a web version, but you cannot take photos or create new posts, and other functions are limited.
The app allows users to post their own photos and videos regram content of interest to their followers. As on Twitter, hashtags function as subjects for each post and provide a link to related posts that use the same hashtag. But Instagram is based mainly on photo and video posts and requires someone or something to take photos of, other than before and after photos of patients. This can include photos of your clinic, community events, your clinic or brand represented at exhibitions, your team, award ceremonies, a staff birthday, and/or any other snapshots that lend themselves to creating attractive images. Instagram users are elitists when it comes to photos; only the best and most attractive images will get liked and shared, so keep that in mind when selecting what to post.
To succeed with Instagram, choose someone to manage your content who has a good eye for detail and at least basic photography skills so that the images are high quality. You need to be creative. If you have amateurish, blurry, unappealing pictures on Instagram, they will not get regrammed, and people will unfollow you. To ace Instagram, you need to have some style and good taste and a clever mind, and know how to manipulate images.
On Instagram, you can tell your brand’s story in a creative and visually appealing way. Therefore, it is important to consider how Instagram fits into your overall brand marketing strategy before taking the plunge. Is your objective to increase awareness, shift perception, or reach a new audience? Who will manage Instagram? What subjects will make interesting posts? How will you represent your brand?
The Instagram Mystique
Instagram is a place to discover, have fun, and be inspired. Users see curations of individual moments, experiences, and elements throughout the world. The Instagram community expects brands to showcase their own moments, experiences, and elements that are transformative and aspirational. They are passionate about authenticity and insist on transparency.
Facebook has more text that requires more reading, whereas Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are short-content platforms. Experimenting and to be the first to know and the first to use are qualities that rank high among Instagram users. Instagram users can be celebrity obsessed, and feel connected to celebrities because they can directly communicate with them on their phones.
Visuals add a dimension to content that words alone cannot always convey. Instagram provides a platform to change, personalize, and share photos taken with your phone. It allows you to enhance colors, add filters or a frame, and share photos with other Instagram users and on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. It is the most important real-time photo-sharing platform, despite many others. Instagram is effective as a platform for talking about beauty products, cosmetics, skincare, as well as places, events, and travel. You can essentially tell your brand’s story in a creative and visually appealing way, using photos, graphics, or videos.
Consider how this platform will fit into your overall brand marketing strategy. What is your objective? Are you interested in reaching a new, younger patient segment? Are you looking to raise your profile and increase awareness? The next question is what kind of content you plan to post, where you will get it, who can create the visuals needed, and who will manage Instagram postings. Getting the whole staff involved is the best way to make Instagram work for an aesthetic practice.
Instagrammers are posting, liking, and sharing primarily on their smartphones. Another distinction is that you will be posting on Instagram in real time primarily, although you have the ability to upload drafts to be posted at a later date and time. This is important if you are posting about an event or presentation—you need to post while it is still going on or it loses its impact and relevance.
Your Instagram strategy comes down to what your goals are and who your target customers are. If you are not utilizing Instagram in your clinic marketing, you are missing out on huge potential traffic and business.
Your Clinic on Instagram
Your Instagram profile is where people will look to find out more about your clinic. Instagram only gives you a maximum of 150 characters to explain your practice, so be concise, clear, and strategic in choosing your words. Add your location, a brief description, and a link to your website. If the account is in the name of the practice rather than the doctor, it may be best to use your logo or a graphic symbol. If it is in the doctor’s name, you can use a headshot. Keep in mind that it will be cropped into a thumbnail-sized image and viewed on a smartphone screen. Add Twitter/Facebook/Snapchat names, and connect your Instagram to your Facebook page.
Getting started on Instagram is pretty much like other platforms, but it has a language and culture all its own. The challenge for healthcare practitioners is that it is all about visuals and videos. Text is used much more selectively, and often in the form of a string of catchy Instagram-specific hashtags. Using relevant, searchable, popular hashtags helps get your content found and followed. Stay vigilant to avoid posting any patient photos without express written consent, whether in the clinic, before and after procedures, or at a patient seminar.
To get active on Instagram, you have to follow other users, like their photos, and share their content. To start using Instagram, engage by following others who know you, liking their photos, and commenting on their posts. Next, announce to your fans and followers that you are on Instagram and go.
Engaging with Instagrammers
To engage with other Instagrammers, tag any brands, like skincare products or lasers, included in your photo. This will increase the likelihood that they will share the photo with their followers. Include the location of your photo or video when it helps tell the story of the image. To respect patients’ right to privacy, do not tag patients or post photos or videos of patients without their express written consent.
Another way to engage with other users is to like and comment on their photos, and of course to respond to comments on your own images. To create strategic relationships on Instagram, find the brands and people you enjoy and can learn from in your followers and follow them back.
Instagram requires a fair amount of upkeep. You need to include a caption, emojis, and at least five hashtags, but many users go for 20 per post. If you sell products in your practice, they are perfect to use in images to put on Instagram. A product in a beautiful setting, or a lovely smooth forehead would be fine.
The way to attract your target market is with content that connotes a compelling and inspiring story that makes people want to get on board with your brand and learn more. Don’t be afraid to mix it up a little, and include images, videos, graphics, and memes. If you post the same kind of content every day, your feed will become boring, and followers will quickly lose interest.
Focus on what makes a provocative and eye-catching image (color, symmetry, form, balance, etc.). For example, don’t just upload any old snapshot of skincare products; make it something “Insta-worthy” by adding a personal touch—show someone using the product, someone testing it on his or her hand, a collage of products with flowers and a shiny mirror, the product with a textural background, or the product in a garden or held up against a backdrop of a city street scene. Instagram is all about the visuals, so aim to build a cohesive and reproducible brand identity. Use the same filters, add your logo or a border, and establish a style that is unique to your clinic brand. Entrust your Instagram to someone who has good taste, has an artistic eye, and gets who your target clients are and how to engage them.
Consumers really use the platform by scanning an image, so if they don’t like the image, they won’t engage with the post. This underscores how important nailing the visual is on this platform.
Posting daily is often considered best practice. Less than that and you lose momentum; more than that and you risk annoying followers by clogging up their feeds with things they are not interested in or do not want to see. For example, a picture of your new puppy or a staff member bringing her baby to the office may get a deluge of likes and comments, whereas a special deal on a filler may go practically unnoticed. It is all about how you package it. Pay attention to the engagement you get to gain a sense of what your followers really care about. Other popular themes are travel, great views, fashion, décor, food, art, and all things beauty.
The keys to Instagram are creativity and inspiration, which is why, in my humble opinion, many practices have lost the plot. It is one thing to promote the occasional pictures of a lip filler, glycolic peel, tattoo removal, or even a cute rhinoplasty, but that is not really what Instagram is all about. If you are posting a stream of full body photos with pasties to cover nipples and private parts, this may be offensive to some people, or it may attract the wrong kind of followers.
Similarly, too much text on an image, a fuzzy or out of focus image, or a pixelated photo is sure to be overlooked. Instagrammers have an even shorter attention span than other social media users, and 100% of them are looking at their feeds on a mobile device because it is an app.
You can add up to 10 photos and videos to a single Instagram post, so users can swipe through to see each individual piece of content. These albums are a good way to combine photos and videos to tell stories and convey information in a more engaging way.
A useful feature within the Instagram platform is when you are about to post your message you have the option to have it automatically post immediately to Facebook and Twitter as well. This is a time saver, although it is not considered best practice.
Showcase Your Services and Products
Instagram is a cool way to show what you have to offer, but it cannot be all about you. Grow your followers by offering educational content, creative product shots or other posts of interest that are shareable.
Balance fun images with pictures from your clinic. For example, kids, dogs, and team photos score high in positive reactions. If you need inspiration or ideas, check out some of the big brands that are growing fast on Instagram in the beauty space, including Sephora, WunderBrow, and CoverGirl.
10 INSTA IDEAS
1. Behind-the-scenes photos that followers cannot get on other platforms
2. Staff or team photos
3. Event photos or videos
4. Photos shared by your followers (with written permission)
5. Demos of services: spa treatment, consultation, injectables, etc.
6. Memes and GIFs
7. Boomerang of Slo-Mo videos
8. Clinic tours to showcase what you offer
9. Action shots of the doctor at work
10. Instagram Stories
Tag People and Brands
When you tag someone in a photo, he or she automatically receives a notification, and the photo is added to his or her “Photos of You” section. This will ensure that the person tagged sees your image, and increases the likelihood that he or she will share the photo with his or her followers and comment on it.
Include the location of your photo or video when it helps tell the story of the image. Use the Add People feature to tag accounts in your image when they will help you reach a broader audience. Remember to follow privacy regulations; to be safe, avoid tagging patients.
The intro to a post is important to get right. Do not just post an image without a description or it loses some of its value. Choose story lines that are authentic to your brand and are well conveyed through captivating imagery. Each graphic requires some explanation of what it is, and why Instagrammers should like and share it. Keep it to about three lines on your phone because on Instagram, it is really all about the visual.
Use Relevant Hashtags
The preferred order of posting on Instagram is text, emojis, and then a string of hashtags.
Hashtags are an integral part of Instagram, and posts almost feel naked without them. Many posts include a long chain of hashtags. Keep captions short and pithy. Incorporate a few hashtags but not so many that they detract from the simplicity of the post. Use the same hashtags throughout your social platforms for consistency, and add to your core list as needed.
Hashtags are searchable on Instagram, so they are important in helping people find and follow you, and in regramming (i.e., sharing). You can post additional text or hashtags in a comment below your post, and it will work the same way as your description in terms of searchable text.
Instagram also allows you to edit posts once they go live. Go to the three-dot button on the upper right corner of your post, and click on the drop-down menu that offers the options to Archive, Turn Off Commenting, Edit, Share, or Delete.
Another way to engage with other users is to like and comment on their images, and respond to comments or questions on your own posts in a timely manner.
Check for hashtags that have the most users, which indicates that more people are searching for them, but keep them relevant to your text. Use the most important hashtags first, as more hashtags will not get found in searches. Get keyword savvy about what your clinic offers. For example, if your post is about skincare, include #skincare #beautyproducts #skincaretips #beautifulskin, for starters. You can also get creative. Since I travel so much, I will often use the hashtag #OOTD for “office of the day” instead of the more familiar “outfit of the day.”
25 RELEVANT INSTAGRAM HASHTAGS
- #Brazilianbuttlift or #BBL
Optimize Your Posts
Instagram does not offer the analytics features that Facebook does. Therefore, you will need to get your numbers and results from third parties for now. One good tool is Iconosquare that offers a way to track what is and is not working. You can see most liked and commented on photos and videos, optimal days and frequency to post based on your followers, best performing photo filters, and stats about your followers and who you are following.
Getting Likes and Shares
As on every social platform, to get likes and shares you need to be very active and visible on Instagram. Commenting, regramming, and liking posts from accounts you follow is an essential strategy to build up your profile. The way to cultivate a following is to follow like-minded users and follow back people who follow you and like, comment, and share your posts.
No one is going to see your posts if you do not have followers. Use the free tools to search e-mails and Facebook for current fans you have. Once you have enough fans, start posting images or a 10 second video that relates to your brand. Instagram offers another opportunity for you to build a relationship with your customers. Know your audience to include the right language that they can relate to. Make your clinic brand popular and friendly to give them a reason to continue to follow and engage with you.
Find influencers from the aesthetic industry, colleagues, vendors, brands, and local businesses who are relevant to your brand to follow. If you have separate personal and professional Instagram accounts, consider making the personal one private to block patients from following you. The clinic or business Instagram needs to be public to build a following and promote your brand. Do not follow current or past patients.
Ideally, your ratio of followers to people you are following should be substantial. For example, Middle Eastern Instagram makeup artist, blogger, and cosmetics queen Huda (@Hudabeauty) has 20.8 million Instagram followers, yet she is only following 284 accounts as of July 2017. That ratio is not realistic for an aesthetic clinic, however. You need to follow users to get followed back, but once you reach a sufficient ratio, you can start unfollowing users to improve your numbers. Whom you follow makes all the difference, and creating strategic relationships is key. (For example, chances are that Beyoncé and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will not follow back.)
Whether your subject is a person or an object, capture it in a context that gives a sense of your point of view. Posting high-quality images or videos daily or every other day may be sufficient to keep it growing. Produce images and videos that feel at home on the platform by editing and using cool filters and other tools. These effects give images that unmistakable “Insta” look that people will respond to. Post photos and videos of beautiful and unexpected moments that will feel authentic and immediate. The more good content you post, the faster you can build up followers.
Instagram Stories have quickly surpassed Snapchat as the “go-to” platform for photo and video disappearing content. This allows users to share photos and videos in slideshow format. It is a good idea to separate your followers to test out this strategy and judge responses accordingly. Stories go beyond filter options and can encompass text, drawing, stickers, and other cool features to make these unique to your brand. This plus live broadcasting features make Instagram Stories an ideal vehicle for clinics to take their creativity to a new level by creating attention-grabbing photos and videos. Subjects may include a sneak peek at a new treatment or product, or a behind-the-scenes look at a day in the life of the clinic or a specific practitioner.
Ads are a fact of life in the digital world. There are no free rides anymore. Most Instagram users are not exactly fans of the ads that pop up, but they have grown accustomed to them as they have on every other maturing social network. Social media is big business and has overtaken traditional forms of advertising, most notably print. Instagram will notify you if your post is performing better than other content, and suggest promoting it. It takes literally 2 minutes to do so; go to post and click Promote, and you will be prompted to make your selections in terms of what you want to get more of, objective, destination, action button, audience, budget, and duration. You can promote a post for as little as $10.
One strategic way to build your Instagram page is to align your clinic or brand with influencers. Influencers represent a new frontier in marketing—one where brands rely on the popularity of individuals within a specific niche, and then leverage that influencer’s relationship with his or her audience to reach their target demographic. They don’t have to be celebrities (although that can help). An influencer can be anyone with a strong following and the ability to sway. It should be someone your customers can relate to or that they trust in your industry. They can help you gain a new audience that you may not have otherwise been able to reach. Your goal is also to engage the group of individuals who are already interested in your products and services.
Influencer marketing has sired a cottage industry with firms that specialize in identifying and engaging social media influencers, but your influencers are likely hidden in plain sight. If you really want to find out who influences your patients, just ask them. They will point you to sources that actually make an impact on their decisions. What blogs are on their must-read lists? Whose Instagram pages do they eat up? Instagram is the top platform for brands and companies to hunt for influencers.
A large following alone does not always an influencer make. Followers can be bought; long-term engagement cannot. Once you have developed a list of potential influencers, take a deeper dive into their level of engagement, their organic mentions in social media (other fans and followers talking about the influencer), and their standing with like-minded individuals of importance to your target audience.
People who post a lot of content that is obviously sponsored risk losing their credibility quickly. Be careful to choose someone who is selective about whom he or she partners with and discloses their affiliations in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or other relevant regulations.
Do not start off by contacting influencers offers to “partner with them.” Instead, flirt a little. Take small steps to make your presence known. Once you have your whittled-down list, engage with each on their social media and blog posts. Make comments, ask questions, and try to contribute to the conversation. Notice who responds and who does not.
As you build up relationships with potential influencer candidates, ask them to review your product or try a complimentary treatment, and even create content for you. Compensate your influencers by acknowledging them, promoting their work, sharing links and tagging them, or offering treatments and discounts, but most influencers today expect to be compensated the old-fashioned way—with cold, hard cash.
There is no financial baseline to follow, or any standards for fees influencers charge. For example, a C-list Kardashian (not KKW) may charge $100,000+ for a single post, while one of the Housewives of (fill in blank) may ask for $25,000. Once the agents, handlers, and lawyers get involved, they need to get their 15% off the top, too. A local beauty blogger may be happy with a lip filler treatment to write about her experience in your clinic, which may be more impactful to your brand.
When you work with an influencer, start by making a list of “asks” to arrive at an arrangement that works for both of you. This may include a blog post, three tweets, a Facebook post, Instagram stories, Snapchat stories, video for YouTube, and so on. You may use influencers to run sponsored posts on their accounts to amplify their reach. It is best to let the influencers post on their channels to expose your brand to their fans and followers, which will be greater than your clinic’s network.
Where possible, try to develop a personal relationship with the influencers you have identified on your own, and work out an agreement that seems fair to both parties, with clearly defined parameters to avoid potential misunderstandings. You don’t want to enter into a relationship that goes south, especially with someone who has 50,000 fans to trash you to. Return on investment (ROI) can be measured by assigning unique trackable URLs for each influencer, or supplying them with promo codes. This will let you know who is swaying and who is playing.
Betting on the right influencers can elevate your profile to the next level and put you on the map. But this is a double-edged sword and needs to be managed carefully.
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