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Facebook Advertising For Your Cosmetic Practice - Results From A 3 Day Trial

Facebook marketing for your cosmetic practice: Is it worth advertising your clinic on Facebook?

I've advertised with facebook before and thought it to be somewhat useful.  I liked how it didn't waste paper.  I already think there's too much waste in this world.  But at the same time, these online ads don't sit around for a long time like some advertisements in physical print. This time, I decided I was going to try a 3 day experiment and see if I thought facebook ads were worth the investment.

Advertising format on facebook

The ad format I chose was one of those ads that show up on the side of the screen.  Currently, facebook has rotating ads in this area so that more ads could be shown. One downside to this method of advertising for facebook is that currently these ads don't show up on mobile devices. There are other ways of advertising on facebook which involve getting a status update to show up as sponsored notices - this does show up on mobile devices in the standard newstream (which is essentially the main page of facebook).  The reason I didn't choose this format for myself was that I couldn't customize the audience reach as much as I could if I had chosen one of the ads on the sides.  Thus I chose the side ads. Then I also chose the link to be that of my own facebook page for my practice rather than my own webpage. This means that when they click on the ad, they will be directed to my facebook page.

I made a few ads that were very similar but they would bid through the facebook system via different methods. One was a pay per click and the other was pay per view. Then I also added a few different pictures - one was our logo and the other was the picture of our plastic surgeon (my wife).

Intended audience

I narrowed my audience to women, age 20-50, located within 50 miles of my practice's city, and not associated with my facebook page.


I assigned a budget of $50 a day to be spent per on all the ads that I had created (pay per click, pay per view, picture of logo, and picture of surgeon), and the ad was to run for 3 days.  Thus I spent $150 on this brief ad campaign with facebook.

What was I advertising?

My wife normally charges $200 for breast related consultations.  She decided for the month of October to charge $25 instead, since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

What did I get out of this facebook advertising campaign?

I got 20 more new members on my facebook page.  Sometimes these members are called "fans."  I think these are potentially new patients in the future.

More importantly, I got 3 calls which all turned into consultations. These were 3 calls that could be tracked back to directly seeing this advertisement on facebook. There were other consultations that booked as a result of seeing free status updates on our facebook; these consultations were not counted as part of this experiment. 

Was it worth it?

It was worth it to me. $150 for 20 new facebook members and 3 consultations in 3 days.  The immediate measure of the worth of this advertising campaign would be the conversion rate of our practice. If even one of the 3 consultations turns into a surgery.  It would have covered the $150 expense of the advertisement.  I stopped the advertisement because we didn't have any other spots available in October for any more consultations.

There's so many other strategies one could employ to get more patients. The $50 limit per day x 3 days was my self imposed limit. I can imagine that others could set a $200 per day limit and run the ads for a month. Furthermore, one could advertise via the promoted (non-free) status updates which then would have a broader reach, but I would rather narrow down my audience to women only, age bracket, etc.   I'm sure that facebook would welcome more aggressive strategies. I have advertised several times with Facebook before, but it got somewhat addicting and I found myself being happy to spend more and more money as I saw the clicks roll in. In many respects it felt like tracking stocks with graphs that facebook provides. I thought I'd try a disciplined approach this time and I'm happy to share the experience here.

Reader Comments (8)

Excellent post Dr. Lee and one area that I get a lot of emails about. Facebook is the social network that works best for location based clinics and the interaction can be pretty deep with your network. Unfortunately, most clinics pages have tumbleweeds blowing across them and are just an endless list of 'come in now' supplications and 20% off sales... You can easily tell the pages that are just an afterthought and those that are really eliciting interaction and building a community.

I would very much like to learn more about Facebook marketing. I'm sold that it's a good thing to do but don't really know what I should be doing with it.

10.26 | Unregistered CommenterCarltonMD

This was my outcome. It was a great way to throw away $30-$50 every day.
Despite all the filters you still get a constant barage of teens ckickin on your site and typing kewl! at a dollar a pop.

No real interested patients, the complete opposite of google.

10.26 | Unregistered Commentergm

Thanks for the info. Worth looking into.

10.27 | Unregistered CommenterNevadaMD

I really think the services offered affect the sales. If it has any attraction for the youth I believe your situation would be similar to what I found very few real patients but alot of wasted comments and clicks.

One thing about FB which they talked about on cnbs when the IPO was released is that the conversion rate on FB ads was very low. I could be wrong about the number but I am fairly certain it was only 3%

10.27 | Unregistered Commentergm

I really like reading these posts on social media marketing. I'm just starting but I've had some initial successes and would like to learn more from the experts.

11.26 | Unregistered CommenterBotox DC

interesting post! i'm interested as well on social media as we just started out. how do you measure roi?

Basically on your history form have an area asking how they found you be specific google, internet search, FB, local paper if so which one and so on. In a short time you will see what brings in patients and what does not.
On occasion in the pay per click there are some shill clickers who click to waste your money. Its hard to point out who but if your google ad shows hundreds of clicks with very few calls then you may have a problem.

One thing I noticed is results take time and are variable. Most physicians found very poor results with throw away free mags yet you run into a few that had outstanding results with that very same media.

One ting for sure is do not believe a word a person selling ads says from radio to tv and print. They all have the must have they all have the best deal and if you dont get results after spending thousands of dollars its because you ad was dry or that was when the kids are home or a storm came but never that their media isnt performing.

12.4 | Unregistered Commentergm

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