Tag Archives: Medical Marketing

Social Media Mini Boot Camp 2014

I just returned from the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS) Annual Meeting Meeting in Hollywood, Florida where I gave a power-packed talk on the 12 things you need to do in 2014 for social media success.

Now, my talk presumes you are ALREADY doing some social media and relationship marketing to increase your online visibility. If you have not yet taken a dip in the social media pool, I highly recommend you start. (And if you need help, you can always ask!)

Here is the slide deck I presented – so take a look, make some notes, and even download if you so choose. All of us here at Cosmetic Social Media are here to help you make the best possible online impression.

To see our other presentations, check out our SlideShare channel!

Here are links to your recommended reading this year:

Social Media Marketing World in Sunny San Diego (Our Hometown!)

What better excuse do you need to come visit us, right?


  • it’s our hometown – and you know you miss us
  • we’ve got SUN – nearly always
  • we’ve got FUN – Courtney and I will make it so
  • Aaaand we’ve got the 2nd Annual Social Media Marketing World conference
  • Save $450 when you register by this Friday – October 25th!

Just check out this sweet video…

(if you can’t see it, ‘refresh’ your browser)

Okay… now for the deets (ask your kids)

Join 60+ Social Media Experts at Largest Social Media Marketing Conference

March 26, 27, 28, 2014

Social Media Marketing World 2014 is a conference designed to help you master social media marketing (brought to you by Social Media Examiner). Join Chris Brogan (co-author of The Impact Equation), Mari Smith (co-author of Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day)Michael Hyatt (author of Platform)Jay Baer (author of Youtility)John Jantsch (author of Duct Tape Marketing), Amy Porterfield (co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies)Mark Schaefer (author of Tao of Twitter)Michael Stelzner(author of Launch)Steve Farber (author of The Radical Leap), Laura Fitton (co-author of Twitter for Dummies), Lee Odden (author of Optimize)Joe Pulizzi (author of Epic Content Marketing)Simon Mainwaring (author of We First)Cliff RavenscraftPat FlynnMarcus Sheridan –just to name a few.

Go here to learn more: http://Ez.com/smmw14

Customers Won’t Be Ignored: Why Relationship Marketing Should be a Key Focus for Your Cosmetic Practice

I came across this quote from Peter Shankman, which I think is quite apropos to the way customers are behaving and how businesses need to shift their thinking. He says, “The last ten years were about social media. The next 20 years will be about customer service.”

Customers won’t be ignored. They have tools at their disposal that give them immediate access to brands and businesses. But who is listening to this empowered consumer?

Is your practice prepared to handle what Brian Solis calls “Generation C” (the connected consumer) for whom sharing experiences with others is key? Relationship marketing – what we feel is the next iteration of social media – requires more than a mere presence by your practice.

Throwing up a fan page on Facebook and Google+ and hooking up your blog to auto-post some impersonal message is not enough (and we contend it never was, but that’s just us). This kind of automation of content is not personal, it is not engaging, and the viewer can’t even tell if it’s relevant to her, so why should she bother clicking to read more?

Signing people up for your newsletter is not enough either. Look at what Peter does when you sign up for his newsletter:

By inviting you to connect with him personally over a cup of coffee, Peter is setting the bar much higher than most – and with good reason. Relationship marketing is where it’s at. Savvy businesses who understand that expectations are higher than ever are busy building deeper connections to their consumers that are next to impossible to break.

Social platforms have become a key means by which consumers (and patients) communicate with brands and each other. Rather than thinking about your social media expenditure as “marketing”, think of it as an patient retention tool.

Remember when nobody thought the fax machine would ever take off? “Why would I EVER need to get a piece of paper to someone immediately?!” But they became the norm instead of a “nice to have”. Think of Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and the rest as your new norm.

BIG News on Facebook Contests: Apps No Longer Required

Yaay, Yaay Hooray! This is huge so take four minutes and read…

Today Facebook announced that it will no longer be a requirement to utilize a third party app to run a contest. {{Cue the music for a Happy Dance!}}

This is excellent news for you because now your practice can do a “Fan of the Week” or other small promotion so much easier!

In Facebook’s blog post, which you can read here, they said you can now collect entries on your page via:

  • commenting on a post
  • posting on the page
  • messaging the page
  • “liking” a post
Also they clarified what is permitted with regards to “tagging” in contests. You are not allowed to ask fans to tag themselves in a picture as the means of entry into the contest.

Now here is an important note: a Facebook contest still must be run on a business (fan) page – not on a personal profile. So for you physicians out there who use a Facebook profile, instead of a business page, as a means to communicate to your friends and fans, you cannot run a contest. Contests must occur on a company/business page.

Apps are still great tools for larger or higher profile contests. This is because of their capability for obtaining (and holding) contestant data for you to use in follow-up communications and promotions. Apps also have the graphic capabilities to make your contest or promotion look extremely professional. We would never recommending forgoing the use of apps completely, but certainly for the occasional “15th comment wins” sort of contest, these new, looser Facebook rules are a welcome change!

Click here for a downloadable PDF from Facebook with all of their promotion guidelines and keep it handy.


Is Your Social Media Company Marketing Themselves on Your Dime?

Every day we here at Cosmetic Social Media see both good and bad examples of social media strategy. Today we’re sharing what we consider to be an abomination: taking a client’s money to promote one’s own agency.

To illustrate what we mean, let’s take a global brand like Audi. Here is a photo from Audi’s Facebook page. Notice that BBDO (Audi’s ad agency) has not put any mention of themselves anywhere in the photo. Which is right… why would Audi want to spend their marketing budget to promote BBDO?  BBDO has their own ad budget.

Click to enlarge

Okay… now let’s say you are Dr. Marty McHiggnebottom with a cosmetic practice in White Plains, NY and you hire ABC Social to manage your social media presence. They tell you they are “experts” in the field, and since it’s all Greek to you, you figure they must be experts, or why else would they say it? Plus, they seem professional and trustworthy. But, did you know, Dr. McHiggenbottom, that ABC Social is using your posts to do a little free PR for themselves on your dime? After all, you are paying them some a fee to administer your Facebook page, right? So shouldn’t the posts be all about you and your target audience (or at least nothing about them!)?

Unfortunately, this is a social media FAIL that we see on a daily basis. And without drawing attention to the offending party, we’ll blur out their name, (as well as that of their poor unsuspecting client), just show you an example:

Click to enlarge

Now, we want to point out a few things here:

  1. Even if the social media company took the picture themselves, they still should not use the client’s post as an opportunity for free advertising. Giving attribution to a photographer is one thing. Putting your company name on stock imagery for your own benefit is quite another.
  2. As much as we would like to say this is an isolated incidence, it is only one example of MANY we have found in the last week alone.
  3. A reputable social media company understands, and more importantly uses best social media practices, and knows to put the client (not themselves) first.

Remember the old adage, “Caveat Emptor”, (let the buyer beware)? Well… it has never been truer than right now in the social media space. Do your homework. Ask questions. Vet their work.

Questions? Just ask! Comments? Feel free to add them below!

by Monique Ramsey, Founder and Social Media Horticulturalist of Cosmetic Social Media

Gettin’ Jiggy with JPGs and More

Okay, the title is a bit weird, but how often do you find yourself trying to decipher the code of images? Between jpgs, pngs, and gifs, it’s enough to make your acronym-o-phobic! (Is that a word? If not, it should be.) And then there are vectors and rasters?! Oh my heavens.

BUT – images are an extremely important part of your online presence, and you need to use them to your best advantage. So we’ve found just the thing for you… a beautiful little infographic to help you! Check it out!

Beginner by stedas.

(Click here for original full size image and source)

Think You Can Skip Facebook? Think Again…

A few days ago MediBeauty.biz editor, Tom Seery (who I love, by the way), put up a blog post entitled, “Doctors Don’t Need to Be on Facebook (and other good news)“. First let me way – that is a BRILLIANT title! Seriously, who wouldn’t click on this!?  But regardless of the genius title, I think there are a few flaws, so I sat down to give my thoughts…

Here is my response:

“Interesting points here Tom. I think the waters are being muddied in your article, however.  By saying “You don’t need to be on Facebook” I believe you are actually doing them a big disservice.  And I don’t say this because it’s what I do for a living – I say it as a former practice administrator who spent 20 years in plastic surgery management and marketing.  I know from firsthand experience how much of a difference it made in our practice’s patient retention, loyalty to our brand, repeat business, community awareness, and last but not least, referrals.

Now, should physicians THEMSELVES be on Facebook? The answer is yes, if they want to, but for their personal profile for friends and family *only*. These guidelines were set forth by the American Medical Association in late 2010 so this is not new news.  However, whether or not the physician wants a personal profile is less important than the PRACTICE having a page.

Implementing a practice Facebook page (and this goes for all social media platforms) opens an online channel for your practice/brand to engage with current patients, their friends (most likely to buy), and prospective clients on a daily basis. If you think about it, you cannot do this any other way.

I believe RealSelf offers surgeons a wonderful platform to show their expertise and let the patients “get to know them”.  Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, and Foursquare, all provide additional touchpoint opportunities. With Facebook’s Graph Search implications (see this blog post for more) and the strong SEO benefits of social media in general, it’s more important than ever to be active in all channels so you are connecting with this new digitally-connected consumer.

We have become a culture of sharing. The connected consumer shares everything – how they feel about you, your brand, your products, and your service. It used to be a happy customer tell s one person and an unhappy customer tells ten. NOW – that same customer can tell hundreds or thousands the good and the bad with one touch of her finger – and 70% of consumers will believe her!  This is the shift from word of mouth being “one-to-one “ to “one-to-many” and is why social media is not a “nice to have”- it’s expected.

Remember, Facebook is not a marketing platform, but rather another communication platform, similar to the telephone, email, or RealSelf) but the beauty of it is that you engage with patients where they are spending time (and on their terms).  Your updates have to be relevant and engaging to be worthy of a like, share, re-tweet, re-pin, etc.

As for the results you found on whether or not social brings new patient activity, I would question how these practices conducted and measured their social media efforts (see: this blog post about Dark Social Media). All too often the practice sets up a page and leaves it to wither and die by not updating on a regular basis (and losing out on Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm for getting seen in the news feed), not engaging when patients comment, or flooding the stream with marketing posts. The saddest part is how many 3rd party providers don’t “get” social media either. So MD’s might be spending good money with so called experts who don’t understand the nuances of social and therefore implement the wrong strategy.

Social media is relationship marketing. Brian Solis, global new media thought leader called social, “The new cost of doing business. In an era of connected consumerism, to earn customer attention, trust, and loyalty is a cost and an investment in relevance and relationships.” (Click here for info about the new empowered customer)



The Empowered Customer Speaks (and you’d better be listening)

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock (and it’s okay if you have, as long as you come out…), consumers have changed. Your patients have changed. How they interact with the people, businesses, and brands in their life has changed too. And if you don’t switch gears, learn what makes them tick, and adjust your communications with them, you’ll be unable to compete.

This is not just an idle threat. It’s actually happening right now. Take JCPenny, for instance.

Today JCPenny launched a new TV ad campaign on YouTube and Facebook apologizing to their customers *(scroll down for video). They fired the CEO, brought back his predecessor, and have promised to put more promotions back in place. These are very significant changes ~ and all because the consumer outcry was deafening (translation: a 4 billion dollar loss).*

In Brian Solis’s new book, What’s the Future of Business?: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences, he discusses how to understand the new customer and create rich experiences for them so you can be proactive, rather than reactive. So you can avoid what he calls “Digital Darwinism”.  JCPenny is certainly having to be RE-active – considering their huge loss of customers and revenue. But they are being PRO-active in that at least they have started to listen, admit their mistakes (transparency), and change their business model (adapt).

How much time do you spend worrying about negative reviews, tweets, Facebook posts, or the thousands of other ways your patients can communicate to the masses online? Instead of spending your time, energy, and money in a defensive posture, or worse – burying your head in the sand hoping you won’t be the next victim, why not learn about this new connected consumer (your patient)?

The new empowered consumer “participates in their world” via technology. Brian describes them as “always on, sharing real world experiences as they happen with their friends on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Socialcam”.

And the coveted “word of mouth” referral source is still just as important. But think bigger. Social media allows word of mouth to be broadcast to tens, hundreds, or thousands of friends and followers, all with a swift keystroke.

So… are you creating relationships with your patients? Do you know what they really want? Do you know how they behave? Brian suggests (as do we) that you “invest in defining not only a positive experience, but also a wonderfully shareable experience.”

But you can’t create the best experience if you don’t know what they want in the first place. It would be like operating on a patient and having the consultation afterwards. It sounds absurd, but that’s truly what we’re talking about.  And JCPenny has just figured out that they should do the consult BEFORE surgery to have the best outcome. They listened, learned, engaged, and adapted.

I highly recommend you pick up Brian’s book because he does an incredible job of articulating who your new connected patient base is (he calls them “Generation C”) and how the landscape for businesses will be forever changed. As he says… #InnovateOrDie

*Click for today’s complete story in Forbes

Optimize for Facebook’s Graph Search

You may have heard the buzz about Facebook’s big announcement at their press conference last week: Graph Search. Simply said, Graph Search takes all of the information that is publicly on Facebook and curates it for you in real-time search.

So every word, “like”, picture, post, comment, milestone, etc. that you and your friends (and their friends, and so on…) have done in the Facebook environment is all there for you to dive into. Facebook said, “It is now about connections between people versus connections with a computer.”

Let’s pretend you are looking for single women under the age of 50 who like football, wine, going to the beach in tropical locales, and shoe shopping, who also happen to live in San Diego, CA. You can search for her! (Oh, wait...)

Ahem, more importantly, maybe you want to find “Plastic Surgery places that have been liked by my friends”. Up pops up (immediately!) all the results. You can further narrow down by region, etc.

Click to enlarge

Why is this important for you?

Well, just think about the importance of recommendations in our culture (especially on the internet nowadays). We TRUST our friends and who they recommend. Graph Search perfectly ties what you are looking for with results tied to people you know (or their friends).

We believe this is HUGE for physicians and getting potential new patients.


  1. Go sign up for Graph Search so you can start playing with it as it rolls out. This is the only way to truly feel the power and potential of this tool and begin to plan for how you show up in results.
  2. OPTIMIZE your profile (if you want to be found, that is) and your page’s About sections. We’ve always advocated that you load up these sections with keywords and good information to be found – but the advent of Graph Search makes this all the more important.
  3. Make sure your page’s age restrictions are turned off. If you have age restrictions on your page, you won’t show up in search results (this has always been the case). PLUS most apps don’t work with the restrictions on anyway – so put “anyone 13+” as your setting. Note: If you have nude or semi-nude before and after photos, we believe it’s best to remove them from Facebook and direct patients to your website instead. Facebook is a social site, so do what would be in good taste here. Think of it as similar to going to a party: You might give out your business card but you would never ask your date to disrobe and show off her new flat tummy. It’s not the time or place for that. Social is no different.
  4. Make sure you update your page regularly and interact with your fans. We think, based on Facebook’s typical operating style, that companies whose pages have high engagement rates will be rewarded with higher search rankings. (Again, that’s just a hunch – we’ll wait and see.) But even if Facebook doesn’t rank the results, don’t you want to impress your potential new fans and patients with an amazingly close-knit community on your fan page? This is a major PLUS for most prospective patients.
  5. Re-check your personal information – this new search puts everything that’s marked PUBLIC into the hopper – so if you won’t want something found, better lock it down. It’s also a good time to re-visit your own personal “likes”, as well as those for your page. For instance, if you said you “like” XYZ Autobody Repair, that’s a form of endorsement, and will show up on search. If you would rather not have that show up for whatever reason, then make sure to “unlike” that particular page.
We’ll bring you more about Graph Search as it gets refined, but for now, we think it’s a powerful tool. What do you think? Tell us in the comments below!