I think it’s safe to say if you’re in the cosmetic procedures industry, you know who the top players on social media are. That’s because they’re becoming Celebrities, celebrated in the press and trusted by our patients as true experts, and you’ve likely wondered how you can do the same for yourself. So let’s dig into the top lessons these pros can teach you, just by following their accounts.
Social Media Insights from Top Plastic Surgeons and Cosmetic Physicians:
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- Dr. Jason Emer is a pro at telling the stories behind his patients’ transformations, forging an emotional connection and sense of trust with potential patients.
- Dr. Sheila Nazarian is proof that sharing your personal life makes you relatable, trustworthy, and interesting.
- The Beauty by Dr. Cat brand demonstrates how attracted all people are to beauty and wealth. Selling the dream will always create a big and devoted following.
- Dr. Schulman has taken a stand on ethics and surgical techniques and has come out ahead of the pack by using transparency and honesty with controversial topics to gain the trust of millions of consumers who feel misled and confused by the industry.
- Dr. Jugenberg (@RealDr6ix) of Toronto is Canadian, but he’s a big star among American patients, and has set a new standard for cosmetic procedure tourism. His bedside manner is a bit dry and cold, but he makes up for it in passion and outstanding results, and that’s what drives Americans north to seek him out.
- Drs. Dubrov and Nassif of the hit show Botched are paving the way for doctors to publicly own what most quietly agree is the true sign of mastery – being able to tackle difficult revision cases.
- Dr. Dominic Brandy (@RealDrSkin) is a pro at keeping his branding consistent across all channels, and segmenting his audiences using multiple profiles so that he ensures he’s staying relevant with each and every post.
- Dr. Ourian rose to fame after the Kardashians knighted him as their go-to laser pro, but there’s no denying his Instagram captions are a special kind of genius.
- Dr. Doris Day keeps things bright and cheery with a brand of authentic optimism we can all enjoy.
- Dr. Miami, for all the controversy he has stirred up in the industry, is serving his patients better than 99% of doctors. He includes and encourages patients that most plastic surgeons brush off as “not ideal” and for that, he’s won their hearts.
TL;DR: Keep your branding consistent visually, be brutally honest about controversial topics, share your personal life, get your patients to share their “why” and “transformation”, and write captions that are mini blog posts with high-value insights.
- Jason Emer is a pro at telling the stories behind his patients’ transformations. From why they had the procedure, to how he tailored his technique to their goals, to how the procedure will change their lives, he’s making an emotional connection with potential patients through the power of story. It doesn’t matter if the result is perfect, the storytelling is so compelling that the potential patient can’t help but to be drawn in. You know patients like these in your practice. Cosmetic procedures truly are about transforming lives, but very few can as effectively tell that story as Dr. Emer.
To master this skill, you’re going to need to learn to draw out the stories of your patients and build up their confidence to share their true feelings on camera. Start with the right questions, like:
- What has led to you wanting to have this procedure? Tell me the story of what got you to this point.
- What are you looking forward to after this procedure? What would make this a wonderful success for you?
- What are you feeling right now?
- How far out from your procedure are you, and how are you feeling? What has changed?
- How has your life changed since this procedure? What has it changed for you?
- What’s next for you? What are you looking forward to now?
The best stories have 3 parts – a beginning, a middle, and an end. The middle is the perfect part for you, the physician, to discuss how you tailored the procedure and your techniques for the patient. Almost everyone claims to tailor treatments to the individual, and so those words lack any value for patients. But what is valuable is showing over and over again what is different about each case and how you tailored your approach to creating their best results.
For more examples, check out Dr. Emer’s newly redesigned website. You’ll find several great examples of these videos along the bottom of his homepage.
2. Dr. Sheila Nazarian is a mom, a wife, and a surgeon. She uses social media to share that she is a human first, with a real life beyond the operating room. Why is that valuable? Because patients almost never get to see that side of their doctors. When a patient is weighing whether a doctor is right for them, a big question in their minds is, “does this person understand me?” because if they do, if they understand me better than I understand myself, then surely they know better than me how to solve my problems. She doesn’t focus on the stories of her patients, and that likely serves her well in attracting private, wealthy clients who want to remain anonymous patients of their plastic surgeon.
Very few doctors are willing to share as much of their personal lives and inner self as she is, but there’s a value in that kind of vulnerability: it builds deep trust and rapport before your patients even walk through your door. How can you share more of who you are, while still staying true to your brand and maintaining some privacy?
- If your brand celebrates your intellect and passion for the science and detail of plastic surgery, you could share other scientific articles you find fascinating, such as discussions of artificial intelligence and singularity.
- If your brand is focused on your artistry and skill, you could share your private art collection or what you most appreciate about a painting you saw on a recent museum trip.
- If your brand is based on patient stories and relationships, you could share the story of when you were the patient.
3. Dr. Cat Begovic is easily the most glamorous plastic surgeon. But why does being glamorous matter? Because it’s a point of distinction that does 2 things: 1. allows her to sell a lifestyle that many women in her ideal demographic want for themselves, 2. is a point of distinction that opens the door for deeper conversations about who she is, a real feminist that excels at her craft. The deeper conversations can’t happen unless you’ve first caught their attention.
You don’t have to be a fitness model or take glamorous photos to sell a lifestyle your patients buy into. You can sell them on a lifestyle of passion, hard work, and dedication. Or a lifestyle of innovation, clinical studies, and fascination with progress in nonsurgical techniques. Be a bit edgy in the lifestyle you sell, and you’ll catch their attention long enough to offer true value in the form of deeper conversations about who you are and why plastic surgery allows you to fulfill your mission in this world.
4. Dr. Matthew Schulman has risen to fame as the doctor who calls out other doctors. They say no press is bad press, and when you’re being true to yourself, that’s true. Dr. Schulman regularly points out what he feels other surgeons are doing wrong. From not giving their patients enough attention and time during the consult, to surgeries with complications that will make your head spin, he’s not afraid to call it like he sees it. But in a city that’s known for its brash attitudes, that kind of honesty wins over patients.
The field of medicine (and plastic surgery particular) is full of innovations and “firsts”. Many people judge “victory” as being the “first”. This pertains to new techniques, procedures and products such as fillers and injectables. While being the “first” is admirable, it should not be the sole measure of victory. Instead, some choose to sit back and observe the experience of these “firsts”, making adjustments based on the successes and failures, in order to provide the safest and highest quality result. When you look back in history, many of the “firsts” were indeed trailblazers, but refinements have improved upon what they were the first to do. That is the true victory. . . . This can apply to virtually any profession or industry….
Where would it make sense for you to take a stand? Are there techniques that you feel are outdated, or not the highest standard of care? Are there new technologies whose clinical trials feel flimsy? It’s okay to take a negative stance, as long as it’s how you really feel, you have a good argument for why you feel that way (i.e. science has your back on this one), and you’re planning on keeping true to that position.
5. Dr. Jugenberg (@RealDrSix) doesn’t dumb down his medical explanations, and he isn’t warm and fuzzy. In fact, if you read his RealSelf reviews, many patients find him cold and distant. But that doesn’t stop his loyal following of Americans from traveling to Canada to see him. Why does it work? Because bedside manner isn’t everything to everyone. Some people just want a really skilled surgeon, and they’re willing to overlook a less-than-polished interaction with their physician in order to get it.
6. Drs. Nassif and Dubrov use revision work to prove their expert level of skill. Most surgeons would agree, that being able to conquer challenging revision cases is a true measure of one’s mastery over a particular surgery. But that doesn’t mean they’re willing to publicly share that, usually for fear that it will send them far more difficult work that they’re not interested in taking on. These two aren’t worried. And part of that is likely their enjoyment of the challenges revision work brings, but another part is that they know publicly claiming their expertise will allow them to pick and choose the patients they see.
7. Dr. Dominic Brandy is a master at keeping his branding consistent. His company’s main color, green, shows up in nearly all of his photos, but it’s his surgery and before & after photos where this is most impressive. This smart tactic means that no matter where you see his photos (and they are reposted quite frequently), if you know his branding, you’ll know they’re his photos. Better than watermarking, this type of branding can’t be removed by clever cropping, and doesn’t distract from the results. Even more genius, this branding stays consistent across all
Even more important, this branding stays consistent across all 3 Instagram accounts for his practice:
- @RealDrSkin – his whimsical personal account that features his surgeries
- @SkinCenterMD – the main office account that mostly covers medspa and nonsurgical treatments, with a girly tone
- @Men_SkinCenterMD – a special account dedicated to men’s’ treatments, mixing surgery and medspa treatments
Keeping 3 separate accounts allows their practice to send the right messages to the right audiences, boosting engagement on each and every post. This is a smart tactic nearly every office can employ. Segmenting surgical and nonsurgical procedures or male and female treatments are easy lines to draw, and will allow you to grow engaged audiences quickly on instagram, where engagement frequency and recency determine whether or not your posts continue to appear in any one user’s timeline.
8. Dr. Ourian is the guy with the captions everyone’s copying. He uses emojis as short code so he can stuff more content into every post. But what’s most genius about this strategy is that he’s hitting all of the major questions a potential patient might have before they even contact the office. Judging by his $500 consult fee, I’d be willing to bet he’s had a big problem with unqualified consults taking up too much space in his schedule, and he’s doing everything in his power to ensure the consults he does see are qualified candidates who can afford his procedures and are ready to move forward as soon as he signs off on their proposed treatment plans.
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What he’s not doing, though, that you could, to make this strategy even better, is using searchable emojis. Just like words with a #, emojis on their own don’t help you become more visible. However, if you put a # in front of each of those bullet points, you’d instantly boost your post’s visibility, without appending a string of ugly hashtags to the end of your post.
9. Dr. Doris Day is the upbeat expert sought out by all the popular glossy magazines and daytime talk shows. Dr. Doris Day is gracious, optimistic, and sweet. She keeps her messaging light and cheery, a nice change of the pace compared to most social media these days. It works because she’s copying a messaging strategy that’s been proven by all of the top magazines to work with women of a certain demographic, namely Generation X and young Baby Boomers, the ideal targets for the non-surgical cosmetic procedures she touts.
Anyone can adopt this strategy, and it has served Dr. Day well so far. But you’ll notice her social media followings are low for someone with so much clout in traditional media. That’s because younger patients don’t want doctors who stay surface-level. They demand radical transparency and candor. But for now, she’s doing a good job of catering to the right demographic, especially in a world where more and more providers are catering to that younger generation (a fact that probably has a lot to do with who’s managing each doctor’s social media – a 50-something physician, or a millennial staff member?).
10. Dr. Miami has built an empire on love. He may not be a conventional hero, but his ability to love and accept people that are radically different from himself is worthy of praise. He is an Orthodox Jew and active member of a conservative Jewish community in South Florida. Yet, he wants plastic surgery to be accessible to young women because he truly believes it can be a positive change in their lives. To that end, he does everything in his power to make them feel comfortable and accepted. In this, he has found a blue ocean – a huge market in which he has no true competition.