July 19, 2023

Med Spa Marketing 101: Photo Tips & Social Media Tricks from Real Cosmetic Nurses

Moxie Team

Choosing med spa entrepreneurship promises growth, flexibility, and uncapped potential. It will also undoubtedly sharpen your marketing skills—whether you intend to or not! After all, the success of your med spa boils down to one thing: creating a healthy customer base. 

In order to attract and maintain customers, you’ll have to invest in the right med spa marketing cocktail. 

And who better to ask about best marketing tactics than actual med spa owners? We spoke with several med spa owners who’ve successfully overcome the first year hump. We asked these medical-professionals-turned-marketing-pros to share their best med spa marketing practices.

Think: vetted med spa digital marketing tips, med spa social media marketing, building brand loyalty & more. 

Visual Social Media for the Win!

You’ve probably heard this before, but we’ll say it again: you’ve got to invest in social media. 

A 2023 Oxford study revealed that 41% of medical customers preferred providers that rocked vibrant, verified social media accounts. In particular, they gravitated toward providers with a portfolio of before-and-after photos. 

Did you know? Photo posts get 53% more likes and 104% more comments than text-only posts. 

The content you post should be a mix of: informative posts, testimonials, promotion posters, branded content (like inspirational quotes and memes that appeal to your client base), cool facility snapshots, sneak peeks of treatments in action, product launch announcements, customer highlights, and reposts of glowing reviews, and most importantly, your visual portfolio of before and after photos. It’s also important to keep on top of posts with a reliable posting schedule. Come up with a mix of posts that work for you and commit to a minimum number of posts and reshares a day. 

Remember: Use hashtags that target your ideal audience and customer base! The more you can speak directly to your future clients, the better. Be liberal with the follows as you grow, and once you’ve built a solid foundation, unfollow accounts that don’t engage back or aren’t as relevant.

A professional, visually-appealing social media presence is make or break as you build your customer base. In fact, if your social media isn’t done well, it can be a red flag and actually hurt business.

Social Media Photo Tips from Real Med Spa Owners:

  • Maximize phone settings. Use settings like Portrait Mode and grids for aligned, streamlined shots. You can also use apps like the Treatment Pad to generate before and after photos that look consistent. You can also use apps with image slider tools, such as RxPhoto and Before and After Split Editor, to let viewers compare before and after photos with a slider. 
  • Get the lighting right. Angle ring lights help to avoid shadows and highlight the detailed work you’ve performed on your clients! Lighting is king (or queen)!
  • Keep it consistent. Use floor markings and tape on the walls to direct patients on where to focus. Utilize rugs or vinyl footprints to ensure consistent foot placement. An angular floor mat's edges can serve as a guide for capturing images at specific angles or degrees. It’s also important to keep pose, distance, and facial expression consistent to highlight critical changes. With the same office set-up, your photos on social media will all have a similar feel for comparing apples to apples. 
  • Avoid filters. It's perfectly fine to amplify the photo's brightness, sharpness, and contrast, but applying filters changes the look, and the audience may find it misleading. Let your work shine for itself! 
  • Swivel chair is your friend! Use a rolling chair for multi-angle photo capturing and to show off all angles of your before and afters.
  • No make-up, no problem. Fresh-faced before and afters are much more impactful than those where the client has make-up on. Your audience wants to see the natural(ish) beauty shine through. 
Just launched your med spa? Read our guide to marketing your med spa launch! Or already up and running and want more social media specifics? Check out our med spa social media marketing guide. 

Build a Website & Gain Reviews                              

Ninety seven percent of consumers use the internet to search for products and services in their area. Having a website gives your med spa the online presence that it needs and serves as the central hub for your marketing efforts. 

While word-of-mouth referrals will be a major channel for bringing customers, nearly half of local consumers see online reviews as equally trustworthy to personal recommendations. In fact, 84% of people consider online reviews as “very important” or “important” in making healthcare decisions. 

Did you know? Your customers are five times more likely to believe that a business with high-rated reviews is credible. A website and strong online reviews seal your credibility.

Growing your Google reviews, like your library of before and after photos, is an asset that keeps on giving. These types of testimonials are the cornerstone of your marketable content, doing a lot of the heavy lifting for you. Google Reviews also boost your online local searchability, offering strong SEO that helps you appear in online queries. Another serious win-win! 

Tips for Building-up Customer Reviews:

  • Ask your loyal customer base first. Target your most loyal, repeat customers and those you have a personal connection with. Call in favors or offer incentives such as a discount on next appointments in exchange for reviews.
  • Ask them directly. Satisfied customers will likely want to help you and your new business grow. Ask for feedback at the end of treatment and encourage them to spread the word. If you have front desk reception, have them ask patients for reviews at checkout as part of the SOP.
  • Make it simple. Provide step-by-step instructions, providing links or scannable QR codes that lead customers directly to the review page. You may have this code printed out and given with a goodie bag, receipt, or product they purchase before leaving. You can also create a testimonial or review section on your website.
  • Automate the process. Set up an automated patient satisfaction survey via text or email after a patient's visit reminding them to leave a review. You can also add review links to text reminders and email campaigns. This is a good time to offer incentives or future discounts!

Test Paid Ads

Running digital ads for your med spa can be a game-changer in terms of visibility and client acquisition. While it can take some trial and error and will be an expense, it also has the potential to really extend your reach.  

Paid Ad Basics to Get Started:

  • Identify your target audience: Define your ideal customer's demographic and characteristics. What types of customers are organically finding you already? Pay attention to who your current loyal customers are (for example, professional women between the ages of 32 and 45). Look into targeting professionals with disposable income who may be public-facing, like realtors, lawyers, and designers.
  • Platform Selection: Choose the platform best suited to your audience. Each platform offers distinct perks. For instance, Google Ads will get your business seen in related keyword searches. Facebook Ads target users based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. You may find that Google Ads offers more local leads, while Instagram helps with brand awareness and growing an audience that may eventually help you reach clients organically.
  • Content Creation: Design visually engaging ads with compelling copy that highlights your services. Clean and concise copy, colorful imagery, and a strong call-to-action (e.g. book an appointment, enter to win, get a discount) help to draw people in. If you can offer something in the ad that sweetens the pot, this could be a good way to get clients in the door.
  •  Budgeting: Set a budget for your campaign and understand how bidding works on your chosen platform. Typical online advertising budget medspas with mid-level competition range from $3,000 to $6,000 a month. Some users don't recommend paying for clicks if you're new online and don't have a decent following yet. Having a professional run campaigns for you will add to the budget, but can ensure your ads are properly set up and costs are not spent in vain. 
  • Performance Tracking and Optimization: Monitor key metrics and adjust your campaign as needed for maximum ROI. Always be ready to make adjustments, take ill-performing ads down, and change out content when it is getting stale or has been seen by too many users. 

Partner with an ad manager or specialist that knows what they're doing. Paid ads don’t come cheap and often need expertise behind them in order to be effective. Ask your med spa peers for recommendations or join Facebook groups like Aesthetic Medicine and Wellness for RNs, NPs, PAs, and LEs, and ask for specifics. 

Introduce a Referral & Loyalty Program

Kickstart a referral program to thank your loyal clients for bringing their friends on board. This not only rewards your customers but extends your circle. It’s an excellent growth tactic. Plus, a warm introduction to new clients jumpstarts their confidence in you and fast-tracks their recommendations as well!

Types of Referral Programs We’ve Seen Success With:

  • Besties discount: Ask a client to bring a friend and give both of them a discount.
  • Loyalty programs: Think point-based rewards, exclusive first dibs on fresh products, VIP invites to special events or irresistible freebies.
  • Referral Tiers: Establish a tiered program where the more friends clients refer, the bigger their rewards. It's the perfect incentive to spread the word more widely!
  • Birthday promo: Surprise your clients with a special discount or free service on their birthday. It's a personal touch that makes them feel valued.
  • Partner perks: Team up with local businesses to create combined deals to amplify your reach.
  • Offer a subscription-based model: This is a great way to spread client costs and ensure they return for their top-up visits, considering many procedures require follow-ups, such as dermal fillers and microdermabrasion. (Note: This may better suit established spas with larger client bases and better  financial stability, as start-ups may struggle with balancing upfront treatment costs against spread-out subscription revenues.)

Don’t Sleep on Old School Advertising

While less common than med spa digital marketing, you can still use traditional marketing methods such as print ads, radio commercials, and flier distribution. 

If you want to be more present within your local community, consider local fundraising events, festivals, or even sponsoring hand sanitizer stations in grocery stores. While it may feel a little antiquated, physical marketing helps with brand recognition and awareness.  

Or…why not collaborate with a business that complements yours? Think beauty product retailers, trendy boutiques, hair salons, massage therapy clinics, dance studios, etc.

Don’t knock it until you try it. If it’s within budget and you’ve got your branding down pat, consider giving it a whirl.

Summary—TL; DR

Keeping your med spa business thriving takes lots of energy and some savvy tactics! It's all about snapping eye-catching photos, building an online presence, navigating the world of paid ads, designing an enticing rewards program, and trial and erroring. 

While there isn’t a silver bullet, there are tried and true ways to find success. One way is to listen to fellow med spa owners who’ve walked the path before you and tap into the expertise of your community. 

Are you ready to hit the ground running and launch your own med spa? This is what we’re here for! Let us help you get a head start. Learn more.

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