- Social media has accelerated the consumer base of cosmetic surgery
- Not many providers capitalize on the benefits of social media, in a time when 1 in 4 U.S adults share their health experiences through online outlets
- Find a cosmetic surgery EHR designed to positively affect patient experience and outcomes
With the advent of social media through photo-related platforms (Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook), appearance has become valued more than ever. The old adage, “look good, feel good” seems to carry more weight, especially with millennials who are the primary users of social media platforms.
It’s no surprise that social media has become a major influence cosmetic surgery use. A recent survey by cosmetic surgery community website RealSelf found almost half of the 527 interviewees cited social media as an influence in getting cosmetic surgery. Not many realize that the influence of social media is more than just patients wanting to get surgery; patients are using social media as a place of review consultation to find what to get, and where to get it.
Imagine the typical thought processes of a prospective client. Their first step is not to visit each and every practice in their area, but to go online and research what they want, who has had the same treatment, and what others are saying about the provider. This is done through social media: Google, Yelp, and potentially websites like Realself that have patients reviewing your practice.
Social media is an avenue of digital marketing not many providers capitalize on; it’s platform inherently designed for sharing: pictures, reviews, success stories—all become instantly visible with a simple Google search. Social media can quite literally put a practice on the map to thousands of people. Instant and free advertising.
Cosmetic surgery-related social media is a prime example of this, as social media is accelerating the consumer base for cosmetic surgery. Let’s look at how social media is influencing the use of cosmetic surgery, and what we can do to capitalize on the market.
The Connectivity of Social Media
Perhaps the most cliché criticism of social media is the way it devalues human interaction to that of one behind a screen. This can’t be further from the truth. Social media facilitates human interaction in a way impossible by old methods because social media allows for an instant communication to a wider audience. Understanding the connectivity of social media is the key to marketing your practice and creating a larger patient base.
In an article by the Dermatology Times, Tom Seery, founder and CEO of RealSelf notes, “Connectivity has forever changed the ways prospective patients engage with your practice.”
Many practices acquire the bulk of their patients through social media alone, especially in the cosmetic surgery specialty. “I have just started out in practice in Beverly Hills, and roughly 60 percent of my patients are from social media, website postings, online advertising or RealSelf, Jason Emer, M.D., says in the same article. Social media connects patients to your practice and allows them to talk about their experiences to thousands of people.
How to Directly Influence Patient Experience
With websites like Yelp and RealSelf, social media creates a self-policing review platform where patients can document their experiences. Social media can essentially market your practice without you having to lift a finger.
“Patients today are highly influenced by what others say. They look to partner with you in the decisions about their procedure or treatment,” notes Seery. “In aesthetics, we’ve seen that half of consumers researched a treatment for more than one year. In this information gathering, people trust opinions of their peers, mainly reviews, and information posted by medical experts, such as answers to questions,”.
He also points out that 1 in 4 U.S adults share their health experiences through social media, which can be a double-edged sword.
“Patients can easily try and ruin your reputation with online media, such as Yelp or RealSelf,” says Dr. Emer.
How do you make it so your online brand reputation is positive and welcoming?
You create a system that diminishes the significance of bad reviews by having many good ones. Good reviews come from patients who have had a positive experience under your care. With these patients, you urge them to use social media a pedestal to speak their mind.
“Flood out the bad with the good. Influence good reviews by having happy patients give important testimonials. Not just that they are happy, but why. What was done that was different? How did the person, practice or procedure stand out?” Dr. Emer advises.
Social Media Marketing Is the Future of Healthcare Success
Many hesitate to use social media review platforms to market their brand. It does have its inherent risks. The idea of giving consultations and answering patient questions online through social media may seem like bad practice—as they are getting doctor expertise for free, but as we’ve seen with cosmetic surgery, it can grow your practice in leaps and bounds.
“Our data reveals that a doctor’s online performance rating is directly proportional to their level of activity in posting expert insights and engagement of patients in sharing their reviews and testimonials,” explains Seery. “Doctors may be reluctant to give away their hard-earned expertise for free online, but content is the future of marketing and acquiring patients from the web.”
Social media marketing is an investment; you put in time and effort to connect with patients and you will reap the benefits of online brand positivity, a wider audience base, and increased financial success.
PrognoCIS and Cosmetic Surgery
Getting the patient to your door is only the first step. Creating a positive experience they will rave about online requires every aspect of your practice to be user-friendly and functional. You want an electronic health record (EHR) vendor that understands the market. PrognoCIS EHR is designed for user-friendliness in mind. We designed our custom cosmetic surgery EHR, from the electronic medical records (EMR) to the integrated practice management software, to facilitate a positive patient experience. Our cosmetic surgery EHR is designed for various surgical treatments such as blepharoplasty, facial scar revision, forehead lifts, laser surgery, and skin resurfacing. We have various patient education materials available, as well as the option to import your own.
Schedule a demo with PrognoCIS today to see the extent of our EHR capabilities.
Picture Credit: Farrah Abraham Plastic Surgery/Flickr