Q: WHAT DO WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA IN 2022?
A: It’s hard to make bold statements and predictions for where social marketing is heading in a way that will affect the bottom line of aesthetic clinics, but we can take some insights from 2021 as useful indicators.
Instagram is no longer a photo-sharing app, according to Adam Mosseri, head of the platform. If your account just posts single images with uninspiring captions, the algorithms at play will continue to show your content to fewer and fewer people. In a video he posted to Twitter in June, Mosseri said: “Right now, we’re focused on four key areas: creators, video, shopping and messaging.” He continued, “Video is driving an immense amount of growth for all the major platforms right now and it’s one that I think we need to lean into more… The number one reason people say that they use Instagram [according to research] is to be entertained.”
What can we take from this?
1. It’s time to get comfortable with video or hire someone to do it for you. If you’re camera-shy, practice – it’s the only way you’ll get better. If you want to keep your face out of the video, find another team member who’s more keen. Otherwise, there are other ways of creating engaging video content with sketches, voice and more. Instagram wants to be known for entertaining, educating and inspiring, rather than just as a picture app. The platform created Reels to compete with the behemoth that is TikTok but is also improving long-form video accessibility to go head-to-head with YouTube. Blend both. LinkedIn and Facebook both want video too, because it keeps users on their platforms, so you can cross-post.
2. Engaging with followers in the direct messages, even if you don’t give medical advice or take bookings there, is a signal to IG of an active account that cares for its followers.
3. Instagram shopping is blowing up; according to the Sprout Social Index 2021: UK & Ireland Edition, 79% of Gen Z, 69% of millennials, 55% of Gen X and, perhaps surprisingly, 43% of baby boomers, have bought something from social media. If your clinic has an online shop, then it’s a simple task to set up social shopping tags, where followers can click links to purchase from you, direct and hassle-free.
The Facebook Company became Meta at the end of 2021, which sparked a huge conversation. Meta encompasses Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp and VR company Oculus. For now, this shouldn’t affect our businesses, so stick to the basics of great customer service and educational, entertaining and inspiring content to build brand awareness, patient loyalty and generate leads.
The Sprout Social UK-based study mentioned above also found that culturally relevant content that embraces social issues and current events, is one of the most important factors for social media success now, alongside timely customer service and demonstrating an understanding of your users’ needs. It also found the top four reasons UK social media users unfollow a business: too many ads, poor customer service, poor quality products and negative posts about competitors.
Apply these findings to your clinic by staying on top of what’s happening and making sure your content plan doesn’t allow for the majority of your posts to scream, “buy, buy, buy!”
Alex Bugg works for Web Marketing Clinic, a familyrun digital agency, which specialises in medical aesthetics. They build websites and deliver marketing campaigns for doctors, nurses, dentists, distributors and brands. Contact her: alex@ webmarketingclinic. co.uk or follow her on Instagram: @webmarketingclinic