So Many Social Networks, So Little ROI — and How to Solve the Problem

Snapchat, Instagram, Ello, oh my. Seems like every time you turn around, there’s a new social networking site that promises to introduce you and your practice to legions of people who will then click over to your website, fill out a form and schedule a consult or surgery.

Or so the story goes. The fact is, different social networks do different things well and trying to keep up with too many of them is a recipe for exhaustion, ineffective marketing and a poor return on your investment. When it comes to reaching aesthetic consumers, it’s not about quantity; it’s about quality and the key to delivering it effectively is to provide the right content to the right people wherever they are. Here’s how:

Know who your audience is: It sounds obvious but the sheer diversity of the aesthetic community means being all things to all people simply isn’t a viable marketing plan. The good news is that there’s a roaring conversation going on all across the Internet and a few simple searches will reveal who’s talking about what procedures on which platforms. Note, too, that different networks skew toward different ages: Suffice it to say that the average user of Vine or Snapchat isn’t looking for information on facelifts and Mommy Makeovers.

Find out what they want: Analytics, intake forms, conversations during consults — coupled with the platform research you’ve conducted, there are all sorts of ways to get a better sense of what trends aesthetic consumers are interested in. Whether it’s questions you’ve answered online or a ‘What to expect from ____’ video you produced, their clicks, questions and other online actions will tell you what kind of content is most likely to engage them.

How likely is your content to get seen: With 1.3 billion users, it’s hard to ignore the siren pull of Facebook but the reality is that, for companies at least, the site is rapidly evolving from a social network to an advertising platform and those who don’t pay for placement will likely find that their posts never even make it into their fans’ Newsfeeds. Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram have all added or expanded their own ad programs and it’s likely that the visibility of branded tweets, pins and posts will follow a similar trajectory.

What’s the competition doing: You know who they are so it’s easy to find out where they spend their social time. Check out their profiles on all the major social networks and you’ll get a sense of a) the types of content they post, b) who their friends, fans and followers are and c) what types of content those people tend to like, retweet or otherwise share.

What do you really have time for? Ultimately, this is what it all boils down to. Whether it’s you, a staff member or a web agency, generating content for a dozen different social networks is time-consuming, inefficient and unlikely to generate the kind of response that leads to website traffic and new business. As Scott Levy, founder and CEO of Fuel Online, puts it:

When it comes to choosing which social media platforms you’ll utilize, select those that offer the best potential for reaching your ideal audience and broadcast the type of media you’ve decided is best suited for your company. Most people and companies can’t be amazing on every platform; that takes a huge amount of bandwidth and resources. Instead of having a sub-par representation in a lot of places, be awesome on a few of them.

About Rob Lovitt

Rob Lovitt is a longtime writer and editor who believes every good business has a great story to tell. He has written for dozens of magazines and websites, including NBCnews.com, Expedia.com and the inflight magazines of Alaska, Horizon and Frontier airlines.

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