What if I told you there was a way to connect with your patients in a genuine way that showcased the value of your procedures? And what if that same platform also allowed your patients to get to know your practice’s team and values? Oh, and it is free. You would probably say “Sign me up and tell me how to do it!”
Say “Hello” to Instagram.Instagram is easy to use, extremely popular, and offers you direct access to your ideal audience. In the next several weeks, we will dig into how to use Instagram for your practice, but first, I want to make sure you understand why Instagram should be a big part of your 2017 inbound marketing strategy.
Why Your Plastic Surgery Practice Needs to be on Instagram.
1. To Visually Represent Your Practice
One of the primary reasons someone undergoes plastic surgery is that they want to improve a part of their body they view as a problem area. So what kind of evidence do you think they are most interested in? Before and after pictures.
A big reason to use Instagram, a visual platform, is that it allows you to showcase the beautiful transformations you have helped create. People who are considering plastic surgery often want evidence that you are the right practice for them. There is no better way to do that than to show photos of a variety of procedures they may be interested in. Beyond wanting visual proof, your patients likely want to know what to expect from a particular procedure. Instagram allows for lengthy descriptions for each photo - positioning you to put your potential patient’s worries at ease.
Another reason to use Instagram’s visual platform is the opportunity to introduce your audience to your office and team. As much as we like to pretend, people don’t really love surprises. This is especially true when it comes to medical procedures. By sharing photos of your interior space, potential patients can get a feel for your aesthetic and know what to expect when they come for their consultation. Introducing them to your team will also help them know who to picture when they come in and help them feel like they already know you. The more approachable, down to earth, and welcoming these photos are, the better.
If you’re really feeling like a go-getter, a great reason to use Instagram is the ability to post videos and use Instagram Stories. You can now post videos 1-minute in length (instead of the limiting 15-second videos). You could use these videos for anything from procedure explanations, to office tours, to client testimonials.
One last word of advice - be sure to use this visual platform to the best of your ability. Use professional photos and try to make it as visually appealing as possible.
2. To Offer Value, Not Self-Promote
If you spend time around here, you will quickly learn that one of the main reasons we suggest social media marketing is that it allows you to offer value to your patients where they are already hanging out. Thus, it’s not hard to guess that one of our top reasons why you need to be on Instagram is to offer value.
The Instagram accounts that have the highest level of engagement (comments, likes, and conversions) have one thing in common. They focus on offering value to their followers and don’t use the platform to self-promote. Sure, we want you to share information about your practice and services, however, the focus needs to be on your patients.
It is easy as practitioners to want to share how many surgeries you’ve conducted, how many clients you’ve served, and showcase the certifications your staff has. But how is that serving your patients? Instead, do a series of posts that answer frequently asked questions or share stories about how you have given someone their life back after reconstructive surgery. This shows your patients you’re credible instead of just telling them.
The key with using Instagram strategically is to give people an idea of what it would be like to be one of your patients. When people inquire, what are they most nervous about? Challenge yourself to create content that puts them at ease and confirms that you are a practice that puts the needs and wellbeing of your patients first. You want them to feel confident that their safety, happiness, and satisfaction is your priority.
By taking the focus off yourself, you are, in fact, strengthening your credibility and likeability with potential patients.
3. To Show Your Practice’s Personality
We are the first ones to admit that we don’t think every social media platform is for everybody. But if you’re interested in sharing more about your practice beyond just the services you offer, Instagram is for you. As we alluded to in point number one, showing the personality behind your practice is a key element to helping your potential patients feel comfortable selecting you for their plastic surgery needs.
Instagram is just that - a social platform - it is meant to help foster relationships. As you’ve likely heard, people don’t do business with companies - they do business with people. And the same goes for the medical field. Often, medical procedures become very transactional and sterile. And yet, there is such an opportunity to add warmth and personalization to the interactions with your patients.
Because of the notorious Hollywood-esque reputation plastic surgery has, there is a fantastic opportunity to disrupt and disprove negative stereotypes. Plastic surgery is for people of all shapes, sizes, and ages.
Instagram is a great place to share the story of why you chose the field of plastic surgery and why you’re passionate about helping people feel as beautiful as they look. Show your potential patients that they will be treated with care and professionalism from the moment they step into your practice to well after their procedure is done.
Instagram has become a platform where people share more about their passions and interests - who they are as people, not just their profession. By doing this, you encourage your potential patients to have a conversation with you and to open up about their questions and concerns regarding plastic surgery.
4. To Target Your Ideal Patients
Another reason you need to be on Instagram is for the capabilities it has to target your ideal patient. Instagram offers a decent search capability that you can use to target your patients based on interests, hashtags, and location. And let’s be honest, finding your target audience is kind of the point, right?
By intentionally targeting your ideal patient, you can craft visuals and content that will interest them. With Instagram’s advertising capabilities, you can take this even further (more on that in an upcoming blog post!). See, the key to effective social media marketing is knowing your audience, offering value, and connecting with them where THEY hang out.
One of the best ways to target your ideal patient is to use strategic hashtags. Hashtags allow your posts to be easily found by people who are interested in similar topics. So, relevant hashtags may include references to your location (#MichiganPlasticSurgery), different procedures (#Rhinoplasty), and different products (#DermalFillers) you use. When your ideal patient does a search for these key terms, if you used that specific hashtag, your post will show up. The great thing about this is that it helps bring people who are ALREADY interested in your services to your profile. The key then is to make sure your content and visuals are so powerful that they decide to reach out to you!
If you have a plastic surgery practice that is looking to strategically engage current and potential patients in 2017, you need to be on Instagram. Instagram is a powerful social media tool that will help you provide value in a way that is relevant and personable. In upcoming weeks, we will dig into how to get started on Instagram and how to get the most out of the platform. Stay tuned!
Want a jumpstart on using Instagram for your Plastic Surgery Practice? Contact Outlet Creative Group today!