Why Doesn't Your Medical Spa Have Any Facebook Fans?

Marketing your clinic via social media is a bit different from what many medical spas are used to.. but as more plastic surgeons, dermatologists and medspas add Facebook and Twitter that's going to change.

Taking out a half-page ad in the local paper, buying radio time, or getting a PR placement showing off your latest procedure, are all one-way forms of communication. It goes out, and people will either take action, become aware of you, or do nothing.

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, are a two-way form of communication that requires people to opt in. Besides some nominal SEO benefits, they are only as effective as the number of local Fans and Followers you have who are interested in what you do. You are still sending out messages at your discretion, but people can choose to receive it, and even send instant feedback.

If you’re paying someone in your office to log into Facebook every day, post your latest Botox special, and there are only 10 people receiving that message, you are wasting time and money. No one is receiving the message and, no offense, people will not “opt in” to hear about your Botox specials every day. If people wanted to see advertisements constantly, TiVo wouldn’t exist.

The key to social media marketing for your medspa is finding a way to break through the protective barriers that people have. TGI Fridays certainly did.

TGI Fridays is a restaurant chain that in September, started a big social media push. They created a fictional character named Woody, gave him a Facebook fan page, and started an ad campaign: everyone who becomes Woody’s fan on Facebook will get a free burger on October 1st.

They did some advertising, got some press, and most of all, it was an event that gave people reason to tell their friends about it. The oft-used buzzword “viral” applies here… word of the promotion spread like a virus. With social media, it takes about three mouse clicks to tell all of one’s friends about something you found.

Woody garnered about a million fans, and on October 1st, TGI Fridays dutifully gave out the free burgers.

Today, in January, 2010, Woody still has 945,000 fans. Whenever TGI Fridays wants to market to a large number of people who already have a positive impression of them, and have demonstrated that they enjoy eating hamburgers, they have instant exposure.  For example, on November 17, TGI Fridays got massive exposure for a new happy hour promotion.

We’re marketing cosmetic products and treatments, and not hamburgers, but it still applies. Using a giveaway model on the local level can make yourself the talk of the town, and get hundreds of people to “opt in.”  If you are giving away beauty products and treatments, local people will sign in if they are interested in that sort of thing.  After the giveaway, you can market to them however you please.

It clearly doesn’t cost TGI Fridays a lot of money to give away a hamburger; and when people got their hamburgers, they also probably got fries, a drink, and some dessert.  A giveaway winner in your office can potentially get other products and services.

What could your medical spa be giving away?