Social media is a major reason why traditional forms of media are collapsing across the country.
Major newspapers and tv stations are cutting staffs in half or closing up altogether, in the face of declining audiences and sagging ad revenues. Social media gives people the chance to create their own virtual newspaper, completely comprised of what they're interested in. If a topic is boring or irrelevant, it's gone. Social media groups and pages make this possible, because no matter what the topic, there's a social media group dedicated to it.
A 45 year old mom in Sacramento, for example, might not be interested in sports, but she likes California politics, wine, the TV show Lost, the actor Antonio Banderas, and beauty. On Facebook, she can be a Fan of "California Senate Democrats", Red Red Wine - Sacramento, Lost, and Antonio Banderas. On Twitter, she can follow @CAPoliticsRSS,@thegrandwinebar, @Lost_initiative, @oficialantonio, etc. When it comes to beauty in Sacramento, she can follow her hair salon, favorite spa, plastic surgeon, etc. Every day when she logs in, she'll see what's going on in the state senate, hear about last night's Lost episode, read about Antonio Banderas' upcoming movie, and see all of the specials, before/after pictures, and upcoming events at her favorite local beauty providers.
These are all examples of direct social media exposure. Someone knows who you are, they become your fan/follower, and whatever you post will be seen by them. We've already covered how to start and sustain this attention in previous blog posts. Once you're established with existing customers and patients, the next step is to get random local consumers who are interested in you to find you.
One extremely cost-effective method is to buy pay-per-click Facebook advertising for your fan page. These 160-character ads with a small JPEG and link to your Fan Page will run down the right side of certain certain people's web browsers while they are on Facebook.
The beauty of PPC Facebook advertising is that it can be extremely targeted, and you only pay for the local people who click on the ad and check out your Facebook page. If you have a promotable event coming up, such as a giveaway day or a live procedure that you are performing on Facebook, they are highly recommended.
For example, you can specify that you only want the ad to be seen by women between the ages of 18 and 64, within ten miles of Sacramento, who list an interest in any of the following: beauty, shopping, tanning, travel, jewelry and spa days, the TV shows Nip/Tuck, Real Housewives, Glee, and Jersey Shore. You can add as many keywords as you like, and remember that due to the public nature of Facebook profiles, few people are going to brazenly volunteer to the world that PLASTIC SURGERY, BREAST AUGMENTATION, AND INJECTABLE FILLERS are their interests. But they will say they like beauty, or the tv show Nip/Tuck.
According to Facebook, this ad will be seen by 14,200 people, and there will only be a charge of about 60 cents every time someone clicks on it to go to your page. The odds are pretty good that if someone lives within ten miles of your practice, likes the keywords above, and clicks on an ad that says a local med-spa is doing a live cosmetic surgery procedure on Facebook or is giving away beauty products, that they'll want in on the action. You can set a minimum budget of $10 a day. If you are investing money in advertising, you have to promise yourself that you will keep the Facebook page updated with good content, or else it's a waste of money.
Be creative! Valentine's day is coming up. If you have some sort of spa day or gift set special that you'd like husbands to get for their wives, put up a detailed post with pictures and video on your fan page, and then create an ad that targets local men over 30 who mention having a wife in their profiles.
Just like with traditional media, there's paid PR (advertising), and earned PR. You have to convince third parties to cover you. Our next social media post will cover this!