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Ep.85: Social Media Marketing for Plastic Surgeons

Social Media has become the most influential virtual space available today to help you grow your practice.

Since your prospective patients love social media, it’s no longer optional so you might as well embrace it and make it an important part of your marketing plan, your branding and a gateway to current and prospective patients.

I explain how.

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​➡️ Robert Singer, MD FACS – Former President, The Aesthetic Society
​➡️ Grant Stevens, MD FACS – Former President, ASAPS
➡️ E. Gaylon McCollough, MD FACS – Former President, AAFPRS, ABFPRS, AACS

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Social Media Marketing for Plastic Surgeons

Social Media has become the most influential virtual space available today to help you grow your practice.

Since your prospective patients love social media, it’s no longer optional, so you might as well embrace it.  Make it an important part of your marketing plan, branding and a gateway to current and prospective patients.

Social media done right can increase your website traffic, generate leads, portray you as an expert and build relationships by interacting with your audience.

The beauty of social media is that you get to tell your story your way. You are the actor, producer and editor all in one. You control the narrative and create your own image and content.

That’s powerful, but also daunting so I’ll give you lots of social media ideas you can use right away.

Since you are a business, remember your main objective of social media is to grow your plastic surgery practice.

So, your social media posts need a balance of the various types of social media posts that are:

ü  Educational – Informative- Interesting- Entertaining and/or Compelling

To help you get started, I put together this guide of social media ideas for plastic surgeons.

You can get it at

Now, Social Media can take a chunk of your and your staff’s time so here are tips to help you be most effective:

Choose the Right Platforms for You

 Unless you have a marketing agency doing this for you, you most likely have a staff person handling this and 10 other things so their time is limited.

My advice is to focus on one platform first. Get good traction going and then spread out to more platforms.

For example, Instagram is, by far, a favorite for our plastic surgery industry; however, facebook wins hands down for sheer volume and results.

The good news is facebook owns Instagram so when you post on facebook, it automatically posts on Instagram and visa versa (check your settings).

Yes, Tik Tok is the latest craze and you can build an audience early there; however, that takes time and the audience skews very young. That means they want to be entertained so I hope you can dance!

Another tip is to Use Lots of Social Proof

The most serious prospective cosmetic patients looking for a provider care most about your social proof and that includes your patient reviews and before/after photos.

They want to see your work. They want to know what kind of results to expect. They want to see your other happy patients enjoying their new look.

That means you want to show off your before/after photos or, better yet, let your patients do it for you by posting their results on their own social media platforms.

A photo really is worth a thousand words so don’t hold back.

And here’s another new trend to complicate things….

85% of consumers find User Generated Content more influential than brand content. That’s the content that is created when your audience comments on your posts.

You see plenty of examples of this on social media when the surgeon asks his audience a question to respond to or shows them a video and now you see a stream of comments.

That’s user-generated content that engages prospective patients to interact with you. Determine what inspires your audience to share content and how you can engage patients to create user-generated content.

Examples would be you doing a quick video by saying:

–       “I’m going hiking this weekend. What are you doing?”
“I’m thinking about getting this new technology. What do you think?”

And, Video is Super Popular

 Patients prefer video to all other forms of content when learning about new procedures and services.

It’s also a great way to position you as a helpful expert when you answer prospective patients’ most common questions.

So, you can start your own YouTube channel and designate an outside videographer or a tech-savvy staff person to capture and post content in video to then be shared throughout your social platforms.

For example, do a tour of your office, interview a patient to describe her own journey and how great she feels now and do educational videos going over FAQs of popular procedures.

Since social media is about transparency, Authentic Personality Posts are necessary.

Prospective cosmetic patients want to know you. Your headshot on your website doesn’t cut it anymore.

They need to see you in action as a surgeon, a speaker, a person, a parent, an athlete and so on.

To keep it simple, select someone in your office to be the “Roving Reporter”. Their job is to follow you around with an iPad or iPhone to capture moments of “A Day in the Life of a Plastic Surgeon.”

You are the content. It’s you preparing for surgery, doing surgery, your post-op visits, consulting with new patients, interacting with staff and so on.

It’s endless content for you since no day is the same and you have an endless stream of patient stories, their journey and their results.

 But here’s the big challenge when you build your web presence on social media such as  FB, IG, TikTok and the rest of them….they can kick you out and/or raise the rent at any time.

That means you are at the mercy of their rules. They can shut you down for offensive content and they can force you to pay for advertising to get to your audience.

One way they do that is to “strangle” your list of followers, so they no longer see your posts. So now you have a false sense of comfort thinking you are communicating regularly with your audience, when in reality, less than 10% are seeing you.

These social platforms want you to advertise which would be fine except, if you have been trying to advertise on social media platforms, plastic surgery does not get along well due to the nature of your content.

You are one step away from porn, you are seen as persuading consumers to have medical procedures and you are hurting the consumers’ self-esteem.

That’s why it’s so difficult to get your ads approved.

As a matter of fact, social platforms’ organic reach will be non-existent in the near future. As already mentioned, they only show your posts to about 10% of your audience since the platforms want you to pay for advertising just like you had to with TV, radio and newspapers. Do you see the catch 22?

They force you to advertise YET they won’t approve your ads – so crazy!!

So, here’s what you do… collect your own data of your followers by using an opt-in landing page like this one:

So, the link in your bio goes to a customized landing page for the prospective patient to give you their name, cell and email, as well as ask a question or request a consultation.

You now have a growing asset of prospective cosmetic patients you can reach directly.

Then, there’s Influencer Marketing

It will continue to be popular; however, consumers are waking up to the fact that most influencers are promoting for the sheer motive of getting paid and that can hurt your brand.

Word of mouth has always been and will continue to be a huge patient attraction strategy. When you get patients talking about you on social media, you build brand awareness and credibility, and set yourself up for more patients.

One way to drive social word of mouth is to partner with influencers—people who have a large following on social media and can draw the attention of that following to you.

Just google “influencer Marketing platforms” and they will partner you with local infuencers in your area.

Of course, it would be great if you could get one of the Bravo housewives to be your influencer but it’s not necessary.

Start by getting to know your current patients to find out what kind of following they have and if they would be willing to spread the word for you.

Local followers are more likely to follow through then followers who have to travel cross-country to see you.

There are loads of tools to help you if you decide to do your own social media. Hootsuite is a popular social media management tool since it allows you to respond and engage without having to log into each of your individual social media accounts. And, there are many others.

And, if you need help making your graphics eye-catching, Canva is popular because it’s so easy to use and has a huge library of creative deliverables done for you.

Video editing is also becoming a big part of social media to make your content more eye-catching and engaging so I suggest starting with free apps, such as Apple iMovie and OpenShot for PC.

As you can see, there is a lot to social media. But like everything else in life, you get out of it what you put into it.

If you believe social media is an important aspect of your brand and marketing plan, you need to put the time, money and effort into it to get results.

And, if you are looking for more patient-attraction strategies, get my free guide called, “Plastic Surgery Marketing: What’s Working Now at my website

Picture of Catherine Maley

Catherine Maley

Catherine is a business/marketing consultant to plastic surgeons. She speaks at medical conferences all over the world on practice building, marketing and the business side of plastic surgery. Get a Free Copy of her popular book, Your Aesthetic Practice: What Your Patients Are Saying View Author Profile.


Beauty and the Biz is for Plastic Surgeons who know they don’t know everything and are open to discovering the pearls to grow and scale a sellable asset when they’re ready to exit.

Listen in as Catherine interviews surgeons who talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery and listen to Catherine’s pearls from consulting with plastic surgeons since Year 2000.



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