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Social Influencer Marketing – What it is and tips to incorporate into your practice

We live in a world where social media dominates our lives, and how we utilize social media tools can make a big difference in our marketing efforts.

Whether you’ve just begun to implement social media strategies into your practice, or it’s been something you have incorporated since day one, trends shift and change so frequently that we can be left scratching our heads. Just as we began getting comfortable with the new social media norms – hashtags, frequent-but-not-too-frequent posting, and videos – a much larger, and possibly more effective social media tool has burst onto the scene:

The social media influencer.

By definition, a social media influencer is a user on social media who has established credibility in a specific industry. A social media influencer has access to a large audience and can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach. As a strategy, its nothing new – think of what the gold-medal athlete did for Wheaties’ sales decades ago, and you’ll begin to understand why businesses have long been committed to tying themselves to faces and names that they trust to spread the message of their brands.

As social media is ever-changing, the social influencer game has evolved quite a bit as well. In the beginning of the influencer craze and for some even today, companies relied on big-name celebrities to spread their messaging. One example of this is when Amazon hired Kardashian sister Khloe to help spread the word of the Amazon registry feature. With just one post of a very pregnant Khloe sharing her excitement for the registry feature, she was able to garner over 4 million likes – a feat even a global giant like Amazon was impressed with and got them close to as many views as an expensive TV investment may have.

There is no question that Khloe Kardashian was paid a pretty penny for her sponsored post as Amazon’s influencer. Does this mean you have to break the bank to afford influencer marketing? NO, nor should you want to. In fact, as consumers continue to become more suspect of endorsements, smaller more niche influencers that have authentic engagements with brands and services are those that truly impact opinions and behaviors. Enter, the micro-influencer

 “92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising”.  – Nielsen consumer study

Micro-influencers have become the “friend” that many consumers relate to and trust to learn about new products and experiences.  A micro-influencer is someone on social media with an audience of anywhere from 2,000 to 50,000 followers. Micro-influencers typically focus on a very specific niche or market and often protect their credibility by staying in their “wheelhouse.”  They also, because of their local or niche appeal, are open to experiences and exposure versus just a monetary incentive.

The rise of the micro-influencer has created an opportunity for practices to cash in on the power that social media influencers hold to introduce communities to new or current treatments. Here are three ways to find the right influencer and make the most of an influencer partnership.

  1. Don’t work with someone your patients wouldn’t follow on social media (or hang out with in real life)
    To know if a social media influencer has the right target audience for you, it’s important to determine whether your ideal patients would follow them and their content. If it’s not appealing to you, why would it be interesting for your patients?
    Let’s say your target market includes the middle-aged working mom, who cares more about treatments that require little downtime and less about being on-trend like a celebrity. This would mean you’d need to find an influencer who these women will listen to – not the twenty-something sorority girl with flawless skin and tons of followers. Don’t be afraid to choose “relatable” over “perfect” because authenticity is definitely a big attention-grabber on social media.

  2. Set Clear Expectations
    We hate to say it, but some influencers take advantage of free treatments. Therefore, it’s important to clearly lay out your expectations of the partnership to the influencer you are working with beforehand. Create a contract that clearly states how many videos, posts, and Instagram stories you’re expecting from them.  Be specific about tagging and mentioning your practice, the treatment, and driving consumers to your website to learn more or book an appointment.

  3. Invite Influencers Accordingly
    As an aesthetic practice owner, optimize when and how to properly utilize the influencer partnership. For example, do not offer free laser hair removal services to an influencer if these treatments already have you booked until summer. Go for what’s new, what’s trending, or even more important – what you need to drive awareness of and push for your practice.
    Pro Tip: As microneedling is a hot commodity right now, influencers are grasping at straws trying to get themselves aligned with RF Microneedling treatments. One of the best ways to reach multiple audiences through your influencer is by having them share the most exciting features of your RF Microneedling device; its no downtime, zero pain options. Going LIVE during treatment is ideal as well, for real-time feedback on what the treatment looks like, feels like and more importantly – how one could expect to look one hour, one day and even one week afterwards.

Can you grow a successful practice without the help of an influencer? Of course. But try one out to see how it sets you apart, drives interest and gets patients through the door.

For more marketing tips or to connect with a Cartessa specialist about how to boost your practice’s marketing efforts, contact us today!

Photo by Hipster Mum on Unsplash

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