Social media has transformed the practice of plastic surgery, as patients and potential patients post and view results, watch actual surgeries online and generally form opinions regarding different procedures. While social media has proved a marketing tool boon for plastic surgeons, for many it’s a double-edged sword.
Anyone who meant to just spend a few minutes catching up on social media only to find hours have passed understands that the same thing happens to plastic surgeons. A recent survey by the Aesthetic Surgery Journal found that more than three-quarters of plastic surgeons believe social media causes stress. For many doctors, it affects their work-life balance – constantly checking their phones to view postings and comments – and may harm their mental health. The younger the doctor, the more likely this phenomenon. Basically, they never stop working, except when asleep.
Plastic surgeons aren’t only concerned with the opinions of patients and future clients. They also end up comparing themselves and their work with other plastic surgeons and may find themselves coming up wanting. It’s known as “compare and despair.” Social media has turned some plastic surgeons into virtual superstars. It’s understandable how their colleagues feel they can’t keep up.
Social media marketing for plastic surgeons isn’t one-size-fits-all. A recent study by marketing professionals suggests that new plastic surgeons should concentrate on branding campaigns, focusing on Instagram for direct marketing to prospective patients. More established practices should direct social media marketing to Facebook, Yelp and RealSelf. It’s crucial to monitor social media sites to see where actual patients are coming from, and spend more time and effort promoting a practice on those sites.
Social media isn’t going away, and it does offer a good return on investment for plastic surgeons. Perhaps it’s the attitude toward social media that must change for plastic surgeons – and their patients – to feel less anxiety about the process. For all the negativity, and there is no shortage of that, many positives come out of social media besides an increase in business. There’s the way to reach out and help patients that was never before possible. Plastic surgeons and their patients can truly engage. In the long run, quality always wins out over quantity, and that’s how stressed-out plastic surgeons can avoid professional burnout when trying to deal with social media.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about plastic surgery, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!