Social Media Marketing for Medical & Aesthetic Practices
Instagram and Facebook Social Marketing Strategies that Work

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Elevating your Social Strategy: Social Media for your Medical Spa

Social media platforms such as Facebook, TikTok and Instagram are your Medical Spa’s best opportunity for reaching new patients and fostering a thriving community within your patient base.

Gone are the days when social media platforms were used only to view cute pictures of nieces or connect with old friends. These platforms have evolved to also cover the brands and interests your patients want curated in their feed. 

Your patients have opened up their contacts to include your practice, but they still want their feed to feel personal to them. If done well, your Medical Spa can deliver a personal connection via social media platforms to seamlessly target and engage your prospective patient base and increase your practice’s bookings

Why Your Practice has NO CHOICE but to Engage in Social Media

The last thing your practice wants is another task on your long to-do list. We have heard reasonings on both ends of the spectrum of why medical spas are reluctant to engage with social media.  Some new practices are overwhelmed and think they need to establish themselves first in-house before tackling social media. Other established practices are regularly booked out with phone lines always ringing, and don’t feel the need to market themselves online.

But the truth is, every medical spa NEEDS a social media marketing campaign. Social Media helps unify and grow your patient base (and practice) at a level that truly cannot be reached without them.

You still might be wondering: But WHY does my practice need social media? Let’s look at five reasons why social media is essential in the current beauty climate.

1. Patients EXPECT your Practice on Social Media

Simply having a presence on social media sends a positive message about your practice.
 
Patients perceive brands on social media (Instagram and Tiktok in particular) as popular, relevant and engaging. On the flip side, your prospective patients will likely assume your practice is barely starting up or behind the times if you don't have a social media presence. Both of these assumptions will discourage patients from booking with you.
 
There’s no way around it: your patients expect it, so your practice simply MUST be on Social Media.

2. Patients RELY on Peer Validation

More than ever before, people are turning to their friends and peers before making booking decisions. No matter how hard you try to convince them, prospective patients need an outside, financially unmotivated source to confirm the quality of your practice.
 
Prospective patients absorb peer validation in different ways. For example, prospective patients are highly influenced when a friend posts about their experience with your practice. These posts are especially effective if they include before and after visuals of their treatment transformation.
 
Peer validation is also gained on a more general level by the information on your social profile.  A high number of followers, posts with high engagement (comments and likes), high profile patients etc. all give your practice social media clout. Also, you would be surprised at how deep prospective patients will read into your comment section...The testimonials found in your comment section often lead to deeper looks into your practice and ultimately, bookings!

3. Patients Use Social Media as a Discovery and Research Platform

Google is not the only source for today’s patients to get more information, Social Media is increasingly being used as a research and discovery tool!

Prospective patients can be led to your practice’s account through many different search routes. One might look up medical spas in their area in the search bar. Another might see your practice recommended in a friend’s story or post and investigate further. Someone else might see an ad for your practice and click to learn more. Recommendations found in comment sections are also a common route to your practice’s page.

Realize that many of your visitors come seeking more information, so provide them with clear content about your practice and treatments. Provide educational posts and videos to inform interested prospective patients about the ins and outs of your specific treatments.

Gear your content towards prospective patients who are looking to discover and research your practice!

4. Patients WANT an Insider View into what a Treatment will Look Like

Interest in beauty treatments are at an all time high, but many have no idea what a procedure actually consists of!  Many would-be-patients are hesitant because they don’t know what they are signing up for. They often wonder about the invasiveness of a treatment, how long the procedure takes to perform, and what the recovery looks like. The unknown makes prospective patients feel less inclined to book with your practice.

What can you do to overcome these anxieties? Provide a virtual patient experience! A thorough video (of a CoolSculpting treatment for example) will often melt away the last of your prospective patients' reservations as they see a positive experience unfold.

Videos also have the added bonus of humanizing your practice. Trust begins to build with your practice as prospective patients watch the expertise of your injectors and begin to recognize their faces in your content.

Additionally, a video builds trust because it gives an unfiltered view of what the practice itself actually looks like (unlike a potentially manipulated photo shopped picture). Visually seeing the waiting room, treatment rooms etc.  leads to firsthand trust that your practice looks sanitary, medically professional, and provides a quality experience.

If you want to capture your prospective base’s attention and boost your bookings, visually SHOW THEM your treatment experience! Virtually invite prospective patients into your practice!

5. Patients want to see RESULTS!

Showcasing treatment results is where it’s your practice's time to shine!

Nothing can replicate the effectiveness of authentic “before and after” content. Whether it's in picture or video format, proof of the transformation process is KEY in influencing future bookings.These visuals can do most of the “convincing” of why a patient could go forward with a certain treatment and open a window into a patient’s experience.

Your practice can compile the before and after content yourselves, or you can re-share user generated content. Patient’s before and afters have the added testimonial benefit of including your patients’ satisfaction with their results.

Before and afters almost sell themselves. Would-be-patients need validation that your practice will deliver the results they are seeking, and nothing sends that message better than effective before and after content!

Commit to a Social Media Presence

Now that you know WHY your practice needs social media, you need to commit to a strong social media effort.

We know the sheer number of social media platforms can seem intimidating. It might feel like you have tackled one significant platform only to be told you need to up your game on new and upcoming platforms (Tiktok anyone?). All while continuously responding to your flood of direct messages. And launching new content and campaigns on all other marketing channels.

It feels like a lot. But don’t give up!

Each social platform offers many resources to help you. Start with the main platforms your prospective patients are using, and then  grow from there. Utilize free tools and analytics of each platform to help your practice, at whatever stage, to succeed in all branches of your social media presence.

We will begin by tackling the two social media giants for medical and aesthetic practices: Facebook and Instagram. We will end with some general principles for all other social media platforms.

Market your Med Spa through Facebook

Next to Youtube, Facebook takes up the majority of the online social media landscape (Pew Research Center). It has grown well beyond a simple platform to connect with friends and families, to an immense space for business exploration and transactions.

Medical aesthetics is a prime industry for Facebook’s expertise as interest is at an all-time high for all things beauty-related. Facebook marketing can capitalize on that interest by dropping ads directly in front of those most likely to be interested in coming to your practice.

Out of all the social media platforms out there, Facebook wins hands down in its ability to target VERY specific audiences. Their targeting tools allow your practice to hone in on who is seeing your ads, down to the details of their very city, gender, age, interests, etc. It almost seems too good to be true.

So let’s jump in on how you get there!

How does Facebook Marketing Work?

Facebook marketing all begins with deciding what you want. Always keep in mind your practice’s goals and objectives as you formulate your Facebook marketing strategy.

Before getting to the ad level, there are initial decisions that need to be made. Determine your budget. Decide your campaign level (ex: auction). From there you will need to choose your practice’s campaign objective (brand awareness, reach, traffic, app installs, video views etc).

We suggest that Med spas should generally stick to the lead generation objective. You want to increase your bookings by gathering more patients. The lead objective will help funnel the information of high-interest prospective patients back to your practice. From there you can reach out directly to them with other marketing channels like e-mail or text.

However, you might opt for different objectives at different stages in your practice’s development. For example, you might choose the  “reach” objective if you are a brand new practice just trying to get your name out to as many people as possible.

Determining what your practice most needs at the time is crucial for getting the results you want. Realize that your goals will change as you grow.  You will need to continually monitor and assess what your company needs. A great starting place is targeting those who have the highest interest. Later you can expand your reach as you monitor your initial ad’s effectiveness and become more familiar with Facebook ads.

Become Best Friends with Facebook Ads Manager

After you have determined your campaign and objective, you will need to flesh out the details of your Facebook Ads.

Facebook Ads Manager will help you develop your content and determine the scope of your marketing campaign. Become familiar with the ins and outs of this helpful tool.  This tool helps you perform three functions: 1) create ads for your med spa, 2) target specific audiences, 3) track and assess your performance.

Let’s dive into how to be successful in each area.

1. Create Effective Facebook Ads

The Ads for your Medical Spa need to stand out. Subpar ads will quickly be ignored and skimmed over. Instead, capture your prospective patient’s attention with high-quality representations of your practice.

Media content will likely be the first thing your patients see. Invest in high-quality photography of your practice. The most basic ad looks like a Facebook post with one or more pictures (but its reach is larger than just your followers). You could also create a Carousel Ad that consists of an album of ten photos (or videos) about your med spa- in a panorama or click-through format.

What photos should you include? Prospective patients WANT TO SEE your practice’s treatment results!  Before and after pictures can often be a deciding factor in the decision to book with your practice. So make sure quality before and after shots are a priority!

Even more than pictures, your practice needs to focus on VIDEO CONTENT.  It can’t be overstated how effective video content is for engaging your patients. All the leading medical spas are implementing video into their marketing strategies. Videos allow your curious prospective patients a direct view into your treatments and transformation process that can’t be matched.

Video Ads can play within your prospective patients’ feeds, stories, or videos. Video Poll Ads are a cool tool because they encourage more interaction than a typical video ad. First, your prospective patient will be given a choice of what they want to see. For example, they could be given options to see weight loss or sharpened features. Once the patient makes the decision, they are shown the relevant procedure video. Explore your content options!

With whichever form of media content you decide, make sure to couple it with clear CTA’s (calls to action) that tell your prospective patients what to do. A call to action such as “Book Your Appointment” should be prominently placed and connected to an easy link to fill out their information.

Your Facebook ads can be the direct route to bookings- make sure each ad counts!

2.  Target Prospective Patients

It doesn’t matter how captivating your ads are if they aren’t being seen by the right people! 

You need your ads to reach the groups of people who are most likely to be interested in medical aesthetics. But how can you determine who might be interested? Facebook uses 5 criteria to target users:
 
1. Custom Audiences 
This strategy re-targets people who have previously engaged with your practice. This engagement can be as simple as a previous view of your website.

2. Behavior 
This target collects a base of users whose behavior shows they could be interested in medical aesthetics. For example, those who regularly buy cosmetics could be targeted by this behavior.

3. Interest 
This criterion targets those who have signaled interest in a certain topic. They will have indicated on Facebook that they are interested in a certain field,  such as plastic surgery. This feature is often a gold mine as they have freely offered that information to Facebook. 

4. Lookalike audiences
This net targets users with similar characteristics to your existing patients. They will have similar online traits to patients who have previously booked with your practice.

5. Demographic
The demographic category is the broadest net. This target is determined based on age, gender, or location. This strategy is best when used with other targeting criteria.

Narrowing down your marketing efforts to those who are most likely to be interested in your medical aesthetics is smart marketing. The better you can focus on the most promising target group,  the more likely your ads will convert new patients!

3. Track your Performance

Unless your ads are generating more traffic and bookings, the money you put into Facebook isn't worth it. Once you have created your campaign and ad strategy, you need to track how well your ads are performing, and then make any necessary adjustments.

Ads Manager uses many metrics to evaluate your marketing. One Metric is Performance. You will be shown charts and numbers showing the amount of people you reach, those who click on your ad, and the overall cost. Demographics will show you how your ad is doing within different ages and genders. Placement tracks how well your ad is doing on different platforms (like Instagram and Facebook). 

Analyze your data with the intent of improving your facebook ad strategy. As you better understand prospective patients' behavior on different parts of your site, you can know better  which visitors to focus on (who are most likely to become patients). 

There is a direct correlation between your facebook ads and your practice’s bookings. Do your research to give your ads the most convincing power!

Optimizing Instagram for Your Medical Spa

Next, we will move on to Instagram. While Facebook has a larger audience base across all adults in the US, Instagram is especially relevant for the 18-29 age demographic. For example 73% of users in this age bracket check in with instagram at least once a day. (Pew Research Center). Instagram is a gold mine for your younger (prospective) patient demographic.

To engage its younger and media literate demographic, Instagram has developed many specialized features that allow your patients to view content in whatever medium they prefer. For example, they can choose from specialized posts, Reels, IGTV, IG Live, and direct messaging.

While your medical spas should consider paying to have your Instagram posts boosted, there are many other things your practice can do (on your own!) to better build and engage with your patient base.

Mercedes Zavala, the founder of Blush Co Aesthetics and a close partner with Med Aesthetics, is our resident expert on optimizing Instagram for medical and aesthetic practices. We will go through her tips on attracting, retaining, and converting patients through Instagram marketing.

It all begins with your Instagram Profile.

Make your Instagram Profile LOOK ITS BEST

Your prospective patients generally give you about six seconds on your profile before deciding to leave... or stay and follow your account. So, MAKE YOUR INITIAL IMPRESSIONS COUNT! Focus on what your prospective patients will first see when viewing your account.

In order to do this, you’ll need to first set up the right kind of account. We highly recommend setting up a BUSINESS ACCOUNT, instead of a personal one. A business account gives you many more options in the search reach, the ability to respond, and analytics for your account.

Now that your account is set up, you are ready to fill out the fields of your Instagram profile.

1. Profile Picture
Begin by choosing a high-quality image to represent your practice. You could choose between the brand logo for your practice or a photo of your provider, doctor, injector, etc. Make sure that whatever picture you select fits squarely within the circle dimensions offered.

2. Name Field
Besides your handle, the name field is the only text that is actually searchable. So make sure your practice’s name is clearly listed in your name field. Often a patient won't know your handle, but will type in your practice’s name. If your name is listed in the name field, Instagram will bring up your page.

*Expert tip: Besides listing your practice's name, consider including keywords that prospective patients might be searching for in the name field. For example, list your city. If you include Dallas Med Spa in addition to your practices’ name, you will now show up for anyone looking for a local practice in Dallas. Including key words in your name field generate brand awareness and help you show up in a BROADER or local search.

3. Additional Information
Underneath the name field, there’s an additional line where you can include specialties or credentials, etc. that will help you stand out in the industry. You could include a title like MD, to direct more prospective patients’ searches to your page (and boost your credibility!).

Patients also need to know where your practice is located and how to connect. Make sure you have your correct address and contact information listed. Your address can be linked to prospective patient’s mobile navigation, so they can see exactly how far away your practice is from them.

*Expert tip:
If you have multiple locations, you don’t need to create a new account for each of them. On your main page, make patients aware of each location. Clearly list the locations of each practice. Then in your saved story albums, highlight each practice. You can save location-specific stories, re-post patient posts, and highlight your staff and treatments in each location.

4. Contact Options
There are different button options, but it makes the most sense for aesthetic practices to offer the contact button where patients are given the option to call, text, email your practice for more information. Facilitate that instant connection!

5. Link In Bio
You are only given one line to include a link that directs your patients to another page. Make it count!

While most practices use this field to link to their main website, you should consider finding a way to direct prospective patients to multiple specialized pages. You can accomplish this by housing multiple links under one landing page link.

While a website is made for wide exploration, a landing page is designed to guide prospective patients to calls to action for specific treatments. You certainly can add your main website as one of the links, but we suggest the first links should lead to bite-sized pages of content. Here are three links you should consider:

1. Promotions or Specials. This link should go to a page listing your promotions. It should also include an email sign-up link for your practice’s newsletter.
2. Direct Consult/Booking.  If your practice is ok with prospective patients directly booking, this is a great sign-up location. If you would rather talk with patients as they book, you could create a form that collects their contact information, treatment interest, and any relevant skin or body concerns/history. From there, you can follow up via e-mail or phone call.
3. Reviews. A link to your Yelp, Google Business, or Facebook profile so your prospective patients can see what real patients are saying about your practice.

Everyone benefits from a clean landing page. Your practice gets contact information from prospective patients, and you provide a distraction-free experience for patients that are simply browsing your profile.

*Expert tip: Campsite.bio is a free tool that allows you to quickly make a landing page for multiple links under one main link.

Tackling IG Direct Messaging

Instagram DMs (direct messages) can feel overwhelming. They can feel endless. It can seem like the wild wild west with questions all over the place about treatments, costs, hours, fat treatment comparisons, etc… There’s a reason why the vast majority of messages to businesses/practices never get answered.

However, don’t miss out on this invaluable way to connect! Your (prospective) patients will feel valued if their questions are responded to, and will ultimately be more inclined to book with your practice.

So how can you stay on top of your direct messages? Use Instagram’s direct messaging tools to make responding more manageable!

Start by setting up your saved replies feature (provided only within a business profile). Saved replies are responses you can set up in advance for FAQs (frequently asked questions). You will need to set up a brief shortcut and then the full message you want to have autofilled for each common question.

For example, maybe you are constantly being asked about the cost of a specific filler, but you would prefer to have that conversation on the phone and not over direct message...You have the power to guide the conversation! When that question pops up in your DMs you could type in the shortcut "fillercost."  Then your saved reply would autofill with “Hi there! Our pricing for filler varies by desired treatments & filler type, starting at $600 for one syringe. I’d love to get you on the schedule for a consult to determine which treatment is right for you!”

Responding to all your direct messages is possible! Use direct messaging tools to save time and be consistent with your replies to all your patients.

Best Types of Instagram Content

Instagram has grown to be much more than a photo-sharing app. Your practice now has a range of content options that can engage with your patients in many different ways. The top of the list is video and  messaging capabilities. 

Your focus should be on creating content with value. Interest in the beauty industry is at an all time high. With so much interest your goal should be to educate, entertain, and build trust between your practice and your prospective patients.  Cater to this demand with this kind of content: before and afters, video, and user generated content.

1. Before and Afters: People want to see what they can expect from your treatments. Showcase the transformation of your current patients with high quality photography. Along with the visual proof, give detailed information on what products were used, results, recovery time, and specifics behind your injectors and doctors (treatment specialties etc.). All these details can be major factors in prospective patients' decisions to book with your practice. 

2. User Generated content:
User generated content is any content (text, images, video, reviews) that is created by patients and NOT by your practice. If a patient tags your practice in sharing how happy they are about their treatment or results- thank them and SHARE their content to your audience! 

Consider creating an album highlight reel that saves all forms of your patient’s testimonials. First, share their posts in your stories, and then add it to the testimonial  highlight. This practice serves two purposes: 1) a testimonial base for your potential patients to view and 2) a way to reward and recognize those patients that are posting content about your practice. 

3. Video: Patients want to see what the treatment process itself is like. You can set up a nice camera, or even just your phone, to capture the treatment experience--starting with set-up and ending with the post treatment experience. You can share video over stories, lives feeds, or Insta TV.  Catch prospective patient’s attention with easily digestible snippets of content. Videos have significantly more engagement than photos- more likes, comments, shares. So keep your cameras rolling!

Now that you know what kind of content to post, you might have the question: How often should our practice post? We suggest posting no less than 3 times a week. It’s important to remain consistent with your social media presence. Patients need to know what to expect from you, and a constant presence creates that understanding. With your Instagram posting, focus on frequency and consistency!

*Expert Tip: We are often asked about using hashtags. Insta allows for up to 30 hashtags, we suggest using at least 11 each time. Include at least 5 branded hashtags (practice name, specialized treatments etc). Also use hashtags that tie in your location. For example, if you were based in Los Angeles:  #downwntownlalife or “#momsofla. Always, target the demographic you are going for in each specific treatment.

Pay Attention to Instagram’s Data

Now that you are rolling out your content, how can you know what's working? There are 4 metrics, easily accessible in the analytics dashboard on your IG account, that are most relevant to your aesthetics practice.

Ask yourselves the following questions as you look at each metric. ‍

1. Follower Growth

Are you gaining new followers? What content is generating these new followers? Is there any content you shared that led to a drop in followers? (off brand content, or content that doesn't resonate with your audience)

Assess what is bringing in new patients and what is not. Make the changes needed to create more generative content!

2. Audience Engagement

Is your audience engaging with your content? (comments, share, likes).

Duplicate the posts that are getting the most engagement. Use what works!

3. Brand Reach

Are you reaching new accounts each month?

Increase your reach by posting content frequently and consistently, showing up in stories, and creating shareable content for your patients

4. Brand Mentions

Are patients tagging your practice in their photos? Mentioning you in their stories?

Again, strive to create shareable content! Consider offering incentives for your patients to share their experiences with their following (give-aways, discounts etc). reaching new accounts each month?

Ultimately, Social media is about how well we connect and engage with our audience. Be active and engage often. The stronger the connection, the better your marketing flow will work overall!
‍‍

Best Practices for Other Social Media Platforms


Once your practice is performing well on Facebook and Instagram, you should consider expanding to other social media platforms as well (TikTok, Yelp, etc). The larger your social presence, the wider your reach for gathering more patients to your practice.

It might feel overwhelming to figure out the nuances of each new platform. However, while each platform has their unique angle and set up, there is crossover across all the channels on what works. Here are three best practices that can apply to all social media platforms.

1. Recycle Content Across your Platforms

There is no need to reinvent the wheel with every post. Re-use your content! A video that patients responded well to on Tik Tok, will likely be successful on instagram (and vice versa). Re-use your content over multiple platforms.

2. Engage with your Patients

Whatever the platform, interact with anyone that engages with your content or practice’s page.  Even if it's just a smiley face or emoji, show appreciation and engage back. A simple like or “thank you” goes a long way. Responding to comments brings you to the forefront of your patients’ minds when they see your name in their feed. It also humanizes your practice.

Creating connections at the end of the day is what will win over prospective patients.Your practice needs to feel approachable and trustworthy to your patients.  Whether it's a reply to a direct message,a re-posting of user generated content, or a like on a comment: engage, engage, engage!

3. Create a Brand for Your Med Spa

Seek to create a consistent brand across all your social media content. You can accomplish your unified brand front by creating content ahead of time. Be strategic!

Pay attention to other leading medical spa competitors. What are they doing that's working? Pay attention to the way they brand their social media, as you come up with an aesthetic for your own practice. For example, you might observe that other practices use the same distinctive color palette across all their platforms, or showcase their treatments in a specific way.  Learn from those around you, and create a unified brand to represent your practice!

Optimize Social Media for your Medical Spa

Whether you are just opening your doors, or it takes months to book an appointment, social media can help your practice.

Start where you are and focus on the main platforms your prospective patient base is using. These platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, are gold mines in their ability to target and reach a broader audience about your medical spa. Always seek to be genuine in your engagement and interaction with your prospective patients on social media.

Using free tools and organic strategy, you can attract, retain and convert patients through your thriving social media presence.

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