Plastic surgeons using social media to attract patients should know their audience’s preferred social media platforms and the types of posts of greatest interest, according to a survey study in the November issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
“Plastic surgeons can utilize social media best by considering their target audience’s perspective,” said Heather Furnas, MD, of Plastic Surgery Associates of Santa Rosa, Calif. Dr. Furnas is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The survey also suggests that patients rely on the plastic surgery practice’s website over social media when seeking important information.
Plastic Surgeons on Social Media – The Patient’s Perspective
Dr. Furnas and coauthors surveyed 100 patients making visits to their aesthetic plastic surgery practice regarding social media habits and preferences. The patients, average age 44 years, were nearly all women. Most were interested in facial plastic surgery; some were interested in breast, body, or other cosmetic procedures.
Most patients used YouTube and Pinterest, but engagement was low. While only about one-fourth of patients were on Snapchat, most of them used it daily. Twitter was the least popular social media platform.
The plastic surgery practice’s website beat out all social media platforms as the go-to source of online information. More than half of patients said they were influenced by the website when selecting a cosmetic surgery practice, compared to just eight percent for Facebook. More than 60 percent of patients checked the practice website on the day of their visit.
Out of 11 social media post categories, most patients chose before-and-after photos of cosmetic surgery procedures. More than one-fourth wanted to see information about the procedures; few selected didactic types of information.