Engagement on social media is all across the map for our plastic surgery clients. Some can’t wait to try out the latest new trick or tool on their favorite platform (or more likely, have a staff member who fits this description). Other practices approach social media with a 10-foot pole and it’s tough for them even to keep a Facebook page going strong.
For better or worse, the reality is that most online growth is happening on social channels. So if you’ve decided it’s time to get in the game, or you’re looking for ways to extend your investment in social media, check out these top tips.
Use TikTok Wisely
Almost half of TikTok users in the US are under 30 years old. For procedures typically performed for younger patients, including rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, and non-surgical treatments, this audience can be a gold mine.
That said, simple math tells you just about half of TikTok users are older than 30. That may come as a surprise, and it’s important not to think of TikTok as just a place for “the kids.” Instead, think of it as a place where you can try out fun, edgier content and really let your practice’s personality and humor shine through.
Businesses most often use TikTok to increase brand awareness, promote products in an organic, entertaining way, and attract new customers by sharing on-trend content that is consistently entertaining and authentic.
How to Get Started
- Open a TikTok Business account and link to your website in your profile.
- Record some unique, personal content.
- Add sound and video effects to make your video more fun and catchy.
- Post your video with a relevant description, hashtags and @ tags.
- Keep an eye out for users making content about your practice and share it as well.
Already on TikTok and looking to move the needle? Here’s some extra credit for you:
- TikTok advertising: Any ads you run on TikTok still need to have the fun, snackable vibe that all other content on the platform has. Consider starting with in-feed video ads of around 15-30 seconds max.
- Collaborations with TikTok influencers: There are countless influencers on TikTok. Pro tip: track down “nano influencers” with a few thousand fans in your market for your biggest bang for the buck.
Consider Instagram Reels
Think of Reels as Instagram’s answer to TikTok. Reels are built right into the Instagram app and any Reels you post will permanently stay on your profile – unlike Instagram Stories that disappear after 24 hours. The adoption rate for Reels is still rather low, especially compared to similar engagement on TikTok, but we expect the large Instagram user base to adopt this approach to content more and more.
With Instagram Reels you can create and share videos up to 60 seconds in length (but shorter is better). Then you can pump up the entertainment from your own audio, a catalog of licensed music, or even audio from other videos. Reaction videos to content from other users have been particularly popular so far on Reels.
One of the biggest benefits of Reels is that these videos are featured in the Instagram Explore tab, which gives you a chance to reach a wider audience of potential patients who aren’t already following you on Instagram.
How to Get Started
- Navigate to Reels in the Instagram app. Then tap the plus-sign button, or swipe right from the main feed to get to the Instagram camera. With the Instagram camera open, scroll to Reels at the bottom.
- Record a Reel and when you’re done, improve the production quality of your video with effects including audio, augmented reality, and playback options. A Reel can be recorded in a series of clips, all at once, or using video uploads from your camera roll.
- Preview your Reel and add additional effects like stickers, drawings, or text before publishing the Reel.
- Share the Reel to your followers by tapping the Share button. You’ll also want to tap Cover to change your cover photo and write a caption so you can get the most mileage out of your Reel.
Don’t Force the Phone Call
This last tip is very relevant for social users but increasingly relevant across all online engagement. We hear all the time that “if someone’s serious, they’ll call us.” That may have been true a decade ago. It just simply isn’t now.
Users on all social platforms expect to engage with your practice through instant messaging, text, chatbots and email. And even email is now the equivalent of sending a telegram in the age of instant communication.
It might seem like a poor investment to provide instantaneous customer service on social media platforms, given that many of the questions and inquiries you get will be from people who are just starting to consider a procedure. Don’t fall for the trap.
In a Nielsen survey commissioned by Facebook, 64% of people said they would prefer to message rather than call a business. That number will only increase. And according to Gartner, 60% of all customer service requests will be managed via digital channels within a year. Your front office phones should keep ringing for some time, but you should also have staff busy managing social media, text and email messaging on their computers and devices so you can nurture and make the most of these leads over time.
How to Get Started
- Develop a social media customer service strategy.
- Create channel-specific templates to respond to common questions.
- Try using a chatbot on social and on your website to provide basic answers quickly.
- Provide training for your front office staff on social media customer service best practices and develop a schedule for who’s “on point.”
- When volumes get high enough, implement one of the customer service tools like Zendesk and Sparkcentral that can aggregate conversations across channels.