This is part II of our three part series about the best places to advertise your aesthetic practice online. Here are the links to the other two parts in this series:

Click here to view Part I: Search Engines

Click here to view Part III: Other Advertising Mediums

Part II: Social Media and Review Platforms

Outside of search engines, there are other unique opportunities available for aesthetic practices looking for exposure online, starting with social media and review websites.

Facebook “organic” posts coming from Fan pages get so few impressions that you’re almost forced to advertise to make your posts visible. Like search engine ads, you can run campaigns at any time, for any dollar amount, and end the ads whenever you’d like. While you’re not targeting based on search terms, you have the ability to target much deeper demographically. For example, you can narrow down your ad to show for only women, within 5 miles of San Francisco, ages 55-65, who like running. These campaigns can be run pretty inexpensively, and because they’re display-based, you get some branding for your practice even if your ads aren’t being clicked.

Since Instagram is now owned by Facebook you can run a single campaign across both platforms, using one interface. Just keep in mind that user demographics vary between these two social networks.

I’d definitely consider running campaigns on Facebook and Instagram to reach new patients. Just make sure you’re only promoting non-surgical procedures, as the social networks aren’t the best for pushing breast augmentation or liposuction. You can also run sponsored posts on Facebook targeted at patients who already know you and “like” your Fan page. This is a great idea for VIP specials or promoting an upcoming event. One additional idea for event promotion, and increasing RSVP’s, is to drive users to EventBrite. This same tactic can also be used with your email marketing.

Real Self is a very popular site for aesthetic patients looking to learn more about specific procedures. The popular reference and review website has three main components. First, it’s an online community or forum where patients can ask each other questions and discuss their aesthetic treatments and experiences. Second, patients can ask pre-approved doctors questions about treatments. Third, the site allows doctors and practices profile pages, like a directory, where they can display pertinent information, including their address, phone number, website, before & after photos, videos, and reviews.

What makes Real Self so powerful is its popularity. Their pages tend to show up very highly in search results, which results in a lot of traffic to their website. Couple that with patient’s becoming more social and open about aesthetic treatments and you have a formula for a social platform that your aesthetic practice should be involved with. Here are some more reasons why your practice should be on Real Self.

My advice with Real Self is to ensure you have a completed profile to start. Add before & afters, videos, and then start answering patient questions. You’ll also want to drive patients to review you on Real Self as well. Once you’ve got at least 50 questions answered and 20+ reviews then you can explore your advertising options. The reason I’d wait is because it doesn’t make sense to boost your exposure on Real Self if your answers and reviews are minimal. Patients will simply overlook you.

Your advertising options with Real Self are: 1) upgrade to a Pro account, 2) invest in Spotlights. A pro account is a flat monthly fee that allows you to post specials on your page, add a link in your profile to your website, and more. Spotlights give you featured listings for the procedures you’re targeting. You can see a breakdown of everything that’s included here. Keep in mind that unlike Google, Yahoo/Bing, or Facebook/Instagram ads, you’ll

Yelp is the other main social/review site to consider advertising on. Like Real Self, I’d focus on building up your presence on Yelp before you consider investing in ads. Make sure you have a completed profile and mostly positive reviews. You don’t want to suddenly get a bunch of exposure by being at the top of Yelp search results and have a 2 star rating!

You may have had some experience with Yelp and found them to be shady, but that doesn’t negate the influence Yelp has over consumers. In many cases, users will bypass a Google search for a search within Yelp.

My advice is to not ignore Yelp. If you can find a month-to-month contract with them – which I have seen – then it’s worth exploring. Like any other form of advertising, you can track all relevant metrics to determine if the investment is profitable or not.

Do you want to learn more about online advertising? Interested in more exposure, but not sure where to start? Just drop us a line here or give us a call at 877-673-7096 x2.