Marketing to millennials, sometimes called the selfie generation, can be a shoo-in for aesthetic practices.
Why? Millennials are happy to share.
While Generation-Xers, baby boomers and older generations were unlikely to want to share cosmetic procedure experiences, millennials, from about ages 21 to 37, not only tell their friends and family, but also their social media networks, according to Tom LaVecchia, president of X Factor Digital Marketing.
“Research shows that two-thirds of millennial patients are comfortable sharing their [cosmetic procedure] results,” LaVecchia says. “Obviously you still need consent for the doctors’ social media postings. But most millennials will gladly post on their own social media, without asking for anything for it. They’re happy to do it, because they’re part of an Uber mindset. They tend to share and over-share their experiences, and plastic surgery is no different.”
Today’s coveted millennial patients are having not only rhinoplasties, breast surgery and liposuction, but also filler and botulinum toxin injections, according to statistics.
To create social media marketing campaigns to reach the younger set, aesthetic physicians should first understand their own personality types and ultimate comfort level with social media; then, they should focus on a campaign that is congruent with their practices and that connects with these younger patients, according to LaVecchia.
What’s Your Style?
Most doctors fall into one of three categories, LaVecchia says.
1. Dr. Show Person
This doctor embraces everything social. Regardless of his or her age, this doctor is hip and extroverted. The staff is hip. The practice generates entertaining postings to showcase their services and talents.
2. Dr. I-Got-This
This doctor has a digital presence and works diligently on search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) and traditional marketing. But he or she realizes the need to connect with people through “relational marketing,” not traditional transactional marketing, according to LaVecchia. The perfect venue for Doctor I-Got-This is to share a day in the life of an aesthetic physician or surgeon. This doctor is not a show person. This doctor is serious and tends to be more an introvert. But he or she is ready to open up professionally on social media to share results and glimpses of behind-the-scenes professional life in order to connect with consumers.
3. Dr. Results
This third category includes doctors who may very well be hip and have great personalities, but they have no interest in showcasing themselves or being front and center. Rather, Dr. Results likes to share patient outcomes. A more likely social media video featuring Dr. Results might be to film him or her injecting a patient, LaVecchia says.
Social media campaign success hinges on a campaign’s congruency with a physician’s practice, according to LaVecchia.
“That means if you’re in Idaho, and you’re a facial plastic surgeon, you might not be able to get away with the [Dr. Show Person] persona,” he says.
Conversely, a Dr. Results type who is just starting in practice might not have enough experience to rely on skill and outcomes.
“Make sure your social media program is congruent with who you are, what your practice is and what message you’re sending to your audience,” LaVecchia says.
Four Secrets to Millennial Marketing Success
1. Create Epic Content
“Create epic content,” LaVecchia says. “And great content looks like: filming surgeries, filming injections, and don’t be afraid to show a little blood. Don’t have my company come in and film it. Use your iPhone. Create great content that’s real and genuine and, generally, people will follow.”
2. Think Like a Millennial
If you’re a Gen-Xer or older, don’t be focused on creating content focused on your generation or what resonates with you, according to LaVecchia.
“Try to produce content that conforms to your practice and brand, but that relates to millennials,” LaVecchia says. “What’s important to millennials is results, so … maybe showing the injectables live or showing great befores and afters. Consider having millennial patients come in and do a reveal on camera, to capture the essence of your practice.”
3. Expand From Facebook
“Instagram and Snapchat are a must,” LaVecchia says. “If you’re not on them, yet, hire somebody to do it right. Don’t have somebody do it from the office just because they are young.”
4. Use Combos to Connect
Just like many aesthetic physicians are touting combination procedures to achieve better results, LaVecchia says combinations lead to marketing success. While SEO remains a primary channel for promotion, practices that ignore social media, or even pay-per-click, are missing the marketing boat, he says.