OCT 2018

MedEsthetics—business education for medical practitioners—provides the latest noninvasive cosmetic procedures, treatment trends, product and equipment reviews, legal issues and medical aesthetics industry news.

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Page 34 of 68

For Sam Rizk, MD, FACS, a facial plastic surgeon in New York City, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter "have been the most benefi cial to my practice, in that order." Plastic surgeon Sheila Nazarian, MD, specializes in mommy makeovers and therefore tends to use social media to reach a younger audience. She spends a lot of time on Instagram, posting at least once a day. "Instagram and Facebook are critical," she says. "Those are the two I choose to spend my time on. Instagram is where you are going to fi nd your younger patients. My facelift patients are on Facebook. Mommy makeovers and breast augmentation candidates might be on both, and I've converted from both very effectively." Create a Consistent Brand Practitioners can improve their odds of converting patients from social media by maintaining a consistent brand mes- sage, or voice, across all marketing media. Dr. Buford credits social media with helping him develop and maintain his brand presence. "All of your marketing and branding must be consistent," he says. "Your website and your social media should have a specifi c voice." Just as different providers have had success with different social media channels, there are varying strategies on how best to use these sites to communicate with prospective patients. In her fi rst few years on Instagram, Dr. Nazarian primarily posted before-and-after photos. "Now I lose 400 followers any time I do that. What my followers want to see from me is more aspirational images about my life and less about the surgical procedures themselves." She does offer educational content on her website in the form of videos that she fi rst posts on her YouTube channel. "Google is closely linked with YouTube and having original videos on your site helps your SEO as well," says Dr. Nazar- ian. "YouTube is more important than Snapchat. People spend a lot of time on my site watching my videos." Dr. Buford fi nds that video testimonials and educational content are key to inspiring both his website visitors and social media followers. In his videos, he often undergoes new treatments himself. "It invites patients into my practice and makes them feel comfortable because they see that the doctor is using it," says Dr. Buford. He also asks patients if he can video their procedures. He posts the videos on YouTube, then shares them on his website and social media. "If we have a great patient with a good story, we'll ask if she minds if we fi lm the procedure," says Dr. Buford. "About 90 percent of my patients don't mind at all." Getting patient buy-in to allow before-and-after photos on social media has paid off for Dr. Rizk. "This is the biggest success we have had in driving new patients," he says. "Since I specialize in only a few procedures and am considered to be an expert in my fi eld, we only post face and necklifts, rhinoplasties, revision rhinoplasties, eyelid surgeries and lip procedures. We have been able to get patients to allow us to post their full-face photos, without resorting to covering their eyes or partial faces." To protect patient privacy online, he always adds a label and watermark to the images so they are less likely to be lifted and used on other sites and can be tracked if the patient wants the images removed. Dr. Buford encourages practitioners to worry less about likes and more about leads. "It's not about how many follow- ers you have or even the engagement," he says. "What we fi nd is that a lot of our clients are the silent majority. We get a lot of conversions from Instagram, but they don't necessar- ily comment or like posts. They tell us that they watched a video on lips or breast surgery and came in as a result." In addition, he encourages physicians to focus on building their followings organically rather than paying third parties for followers. "I've never paid a dime for any followers," he 32 OCTOBER 2018 | MedEsthetics © GETTY IMAGES MAKING SOCIAL MEDIA PAY "Instagram and Facebook are critical. "Instagram is where you are going to fi nd your younger patients. My facelift patients are on Facebook ."

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