How to Use Social Media for Plastic Surgery Industry Events
Social media channels and plastic surgery industry events go hand-in-hand. Whether you attend an industry event or not, social media can help you:
- Monitor news related to the event
- Engage with speakers and attendees in near-real time
- Leverage the event in your own marketing & branding efforts
Although this sounds great, social media, by it's very nature, provides users with an unorganized avalanche of news, commentary, and advertisements. This post describes how to cut through the clutter and use social media to maximize your plastic surgery industry events... whether you attend or not.
The Right Tool for the Job
There are many social media channels, each with its own culture and intended use. For example, the bite-sized nature of Twitter posts lends this channel well to a news feed.
LinkedIn, on the other hand, encourages users to publish long-form posts. Accordingly, you tend to see more commentary on this channel. Facebook falls roughly in the middle of these two, with a focus on personal experiences.
We suggest using Twitter and YouTube to follow industry event news, but recognize that Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ provide value as well, though to varying degrees.
Unsure of which social media channels are best for you to use? See our blog post Which Social Media Channel is Best for Plastic Surgeons?
Case Study: The Aesthetic Meeting
The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) hosts industry events throughout the year in a variety of locales. Einstein Medical participates in the annual Aesthetic Meeting and has found that ASAPS works hard to integrate social media channels into their member communications strategy. This post includes live social media examples from past Aesthetic Meetings as well as the upcoming 2017 Aesthetic Meeting. Please engage with the embedded feeds and posts below for the full social media experience.
The Aesthetic Meeting 2017 Social Media Elements
ASAPS has several social media outposts and a Twitter hashtagging system to help you hone in on event-related posts.
- Aesthetic Meeting Twitter Hash Tag: #ASAPS17
- ASAPS on Twitter
- ASAPS on YouTube
- ASAPS on Facebook
- Aesthetic Meeting 2017 Facebook Event Page
Developing Your Industry Event Social Media Strategy
Your strategy needs to take into account the fluid, always-on nature of social media. While there are no concrete best practices to apply across all industry events, there are key social media activities to look out for before, during, and after the event.
1. Before the Event
Some organizers promote their events up to a year before they take place. Others give little advance notice on social media. In the case of events such as The Aesthetic Meeting that draw an international audience, it is not uncommon to see posts regarding early registration, hotel discounts, and registration deadlines 2 to 6 months prior to the event.
As an attendee, there are obvious benefits to staying current on hotel discounts and deadlines. However, this is just the tip of the social media iceberg.
Event Organizer News Feed
Some event organizers take their news feeds beyond the promotional by providing valuable content leading up to the event. This may include speaker updates, industry news related to planned event sessions, and details of planned sessions.
The ASAPS Twitter feed, for example, regularly distributes timely content related to the upcoming event making their news feed a valuable resource to attendees and non-attendees alike. The live ASAPS Twitter feed is embedded below. Scroll through the posts to get a feel for the types of content this organization distributes to its 24,000+ followers:
Event Organizer Video Feed
YouTube can be a valuable event resource, both for attendees preparing for the event and non-attendees seeking a peek into the event and its sessions.
The ASAPS YouTube channel hosts a wealth of information. Here are tips for honing in on event-related videos:
- Once at the ASAPS YouTube Channel, select "Videos" (see #1 in the example below).
- From the video page, ensure that you are viewing the most recent uploads (see #2 in the example below).
See below for one of the pre-event ASAPS videos that outlines the upcoming Aesthetic Meeting. For attendees, this may help determining which sessions are most valuable. For non-attendees, this information keeps them abreast of colleague activities and their top-level opinions on approaching industry questions.
Attendee & Speaker Announcements
Keep an eye on the event organizer's Twitter feed and associated hashtag for attendee and speaker announcements prior to the event.
Check out this live example from Heather Furnas, MD:
— Heather Furnas, MD (@drheatherfurnas) February 10, 2016
On the surface, this post notifies Dr. Furnas' colleagues, patients, and friends that she will attend the event. However, had she not been strategic in crafting her post, it would only have been available to those currently "following" her Twitter page.
Dr. Furnas made four significant enhancements to her post:
- She included the event organizer's Twitter handle: @ASAPS. This ensures that the event organizer will see her post and possibly share it on their Twitter page, greatly extending the post reach.
- She included the event hashtag: #ASAPS16. This causes the post to populate the #ASAPS16 Twitter feed, expanding her post reach to others interested in the event.
- She included two hashtags specific to the field: #plasticsurgery & #WeAreAesthetics. This ensures that a wide - but targeted - audience will see her post.
- She added an image to her post which is known to increase the likelihood that a post will generate engagement. In fact, Buffer reported in 2015 that "tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images."
Speaker News Feed
This next tip takes time to implement, but we did some of the work for you! Einstein Medical located ASAPS 2016 speakers on Twitter and added them to a public Twitter list. This allows you to monitor the news feeds of these industry leaders from one location.
See the live ASAPS Speaker Twitter list we created below to catch up with The Aesthetic Meeting 2016 speakers:
2. During the Event
Social media activity during industry events varies widely by group. Some organizations post live Twitter updates during sessions with key pieces of information. Others go quiet during the event. Attendees tend to post images of themselves with colleagues or post snippets of ideas as they move from session to session.
The trick to locating posts during the event is to monitor the event hashtag, the organization's Twitter page, the speaker Twitter list (if available), and the organizer YouTube channel.
See this example of a media outlet posting commentary from the event on one of the 2015 sessions. Note the use of hashtag #ASAPS15. This tag helps you and other plastic surgeons quickly locate the video.
— Dr. Jamil Ahmad (@DrJAhmad) May 16, 2015
Here is an example of event networking with social media amplification.
Not only did Dr. Jen Walden share a proud moment from the event, she strategically included the #ASAPS15 hashtag and Dr. Rod Rohrich's Twitter handle. These actions ensure that her post is viewed by a larger audience than just her follower base.
For attendees, this tactic communicates authority and industry expertise to their colleagues, patients, and prospective patients. For non-attendees, this tactic allows them to cross the digital divide by interacting with the post. It is possible to talk to attendees during the event even if you are in another country!
3. After the Event
Some of the best event content hits social media channels after the event has concluded. Timeframes vary widely, but most post-event commentary will roll out for a couple of months after the event.
Session & Event Recaps
This post by Dr. Sean Kelishadi expertly leverages an eye-catching image plus a personal message an relevant hashtags.
Here is an example of a recap produced by The Aesthetic Surgery Journal after The Aesthetic Meeting 2015 and distributed on Twitter:
In this example the event organizer shared a media page dedicated to news from the event. This is a great resource and one you may not find as quickly without social media monitoring!
Strategic social media use can enhance industry event attendance or keep you in the loop if you cannot attend. Check out Einstein Medical's ASAPS Twitter feed to help you monitor social media news for The Aesthetic Meeting 2017!
If you are interested in using social media to attract new patients, Einstein Medical can assist in developing the necessary online marketing framework. Visit our team at The Aesthetic Meeting (booth #633) to discuss options for amplifying your marketing efforts.