For those of you who’ve been hiding under a rock for the last three years: Snapchat is a social mobile app used to share photos and short videos, which only remain visible to recipients for 10 seconds after viewing. Users can also use Snapchat to talk with friends in real-time or even to send payment information to vendors. Get the full rundown at Pocket-Lint.com.
Here at Mod Girl Marketing, we operate on the leading edge of technology always. We immediately saw Snapchat as a huge opportunity — particularly for our plastic surgeon clients who were looking for a unique way to get their marketing messages out to prospects and differentiate themselves from the competition.
Benefits of Snapchat Marketing for Surgeons
Targeted Exposure: Snapchat’s 150 million daily active users makes it one of the fastest-growing social networks — particularly among the 18-to-34 year old demographic, where 60% of smartphone users in this age bracket also happen to be Snapchat users. While older people are still the principal purveyors of plastic surgery, 21% of plastic surgery clients fall into the 19-to-34 category, which is still significant. As cosmetic procedures become more mainstream, these percentages will only grow. Surgeons in our clients’ markets traditionally see a lot of interest from younger clients coming in for rhinoplasty, breast enhancement, or non-invasive procedures, so Snapchat seemed like an ideal fit.
Competitive Edge: As Jayson Demers points out: simply having an active presence on Snapchat is a great way to stand out from the competition. “Of all businesses currently using social media, only two percent have a dedicated Snapchat presence,” he reports. Demers adds: “If none of your competitors are on Snapchat yet, all the better! It’s time to pave the way. With fewer competitors, your messages will hit home more often, and each post you make will have more value.”
Creative Freedom: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be rather prudish when it comes to allowing graphic content like live surgeries on their platforms. Snapchat, however, has much more liberal guidelines. Basically, as long as it’s legal — for surgeons, this means no HIPAA violations — you are free to share.
Dr. Michael Salzhauer: The First Plastic Surgeon on Snapchat
“The Real Dr Miami” has gained notoriety as “the first plastic surgeon on Snapchat.” After being kicked off Instagram and losing his community of 90,000 fans, he followed his teenage daughter’s advice to give Snapchat a try. In the days of reality TV, it’s not so unfathomable to imagine live surgeries being broadcast to audiences. “This is the reality of plastic surgery in Miami today, and I want people to see it,” he told BuzzFeed News.
Since moving over to Snapchat, he:
- Shares his videos with about 100,000 people a day.
- Gets 50x the viewers tuning in for surgery scenes.
- Increased bookings from 15-20 appointments a day to 80-100.
- Has a completely booked schedule for the next 2 years.
“I put my work out there,” he says. “I’ve had 10,000 patients, no one’s ever died, no one’s ever not woken up. This puts the whole process in perspective for people; they can relate to it, they can see how it’s going on in real time, and it makes them comfortable with the idea.”
How ROXY Plastic Surgery Is Using Snapchat to Show You the Real Deal
Take prospects inside the surgery suite for a raw, exclusive look at breast reduction surgery, Kybella injections, rhinoplasty and more.
“Snapchat has been a wonderful experience,” says Dr. Grawe. “We are blessed with a talented team of content writers, but we find there are some aspects of what we do that you just can’t truly convey with words. I think bedside manner and the level of calm we create in the ROXY experience is part of what makes us unique, but you really have to see it for yourself to know what that means exactly.”
She adds: “Also, we can describe what takes place — whether it’s a series of injections or sawing a bone during surgery — but it’s difficult to imagine how it all unfolds without being there. As a patient, I would think you want to know that you’re in capable hands with a surgeon who knows what they’re doing and has a fluid process that moves as efficiently as possible. During our Snapchat sessions, you can see that and we go through added effort to explain what’s happening for viewers who can sort of be this ‘fly on the wall’ during procedures. It’s a really neat opportunity.”
Tips for Surgeons Getting Started on Snapchat
As you can plainly see, there are many ways for surgeons to use Snapchat. Surgeons can use it to:
- Provide access to live surgeries, trade show appearances and events
- Deliver more graphic, private content other sites may not allow
- Offer contests and exclusive discounts to those who watch a full series of snaps
- Capture personal, behind-the-scenes moments with surgeons and staffers from birthday parties to outings
- Partner with influencers to spread awareness among a certain target audience and tell a story
Tech Investor Gary Vaynerchuk offers some great advice for newcomers. First of all, you’ll want to learn the platform inside and out. Then, “The right thing to do,” Gary says, is to “make an incredible Story, download one part of it, and then upload it natively to other channels so people are seeing what they’re missing.” Sharing snippets of compelling, tailored content across channels is the best way to gain a strong following on a new channel, as opposed to offering a cheap incentive for people to follow you.
Secondly, remember that “Snapchats are real personal moments,” so keep in mind that you can respond to someone’s Snap in real time, within minutes. “These interactions remind me tremendously of how I built my brand on Twitter in 2007 and 2008,” he adds. As someone with 1.33 Million followers, we tend to believe him.
Thirdly, we always recommend that you include Snapchat as part of a written, documented content strategy where ideas are hammered out, assigned to content creators and scheduled into an editorial calendar. A willy-nilly approach won’t add value to your brand or give you the ROI you’re looking for.