How social networking works

At this point it should go without saying how significant social media and online communication are to the world of marketing. Facebook has over a billion users, Twitter is the fastest way to reach any major organization, LinkedIn is slowly becoming the hub of all professionals seeking to expand their horizons, and more.

Here’s a thought – what is our degree of separation? You, the reader; me, the writer. You could be located anywhere from 5 ft. to the right of me, to 5 hours across the ocean. You could be a colleague; you could be anonymous 4th degree LinkedIn networker.

That’s the beauty of internet communications. Outreach. You can get to an audience so far outside of your physical network and your circle of influence expands exponentially. What does that mean for big companies? Advertising. Potential revenue. That’s why Facebook spent almost 20 billion dollars to acquire a small phone app whose model generated no revenue – what the app did have was an exponentially growing user base which sat at about a billion users by the end of 2015. I’m talking about WhatsApp, for those who don’t know, but you’ve likely heard of it.

The point is, social media is big. Real big. What does this have to do with the Aesthetics market? When it comes to elective procedures, word of mouth and testimonial is a huge factor. Nothing does word of mouth better than social media, and a social media testimonial by someone you admire, say a celebrity, spreads like wildfire.

There’s a fascinating concept called the Dash effect that’s been a big thing recently. Care to guess what it is? Why, it’s the surge in cosmetic surgery growth attributed to the social media workings of the Kardashians.

By being an open presence that validates and normalizes aesthetic procedures, it is slowly become less and less taboo to get them, and more importantly, to talk about them. And the more people talk, the more it becomes accepted, and then even more people talk, and it gets even more accepted, and then even more people talk… Well, I think I’ve made my point. Social media is a catalyst for a paradigm shift in the Aesthetics market in the US, which is driving procedure numbers, and more importantly, removing the stigma around wanting to look better.

Of course, there are complex questions that arise with these considerations. Ethics, existing cultural standards, all such constructs come under the knife when delving into this new world. OK, here’s a fun one. Have you heard of Dr. Miami? Take a look [WARNING: GRAPHIC].Yeah, it’s exactly as it looks. There is a plastic surgeon in Miami that Snapchats his surgeries. My initial reaction was OH EW WHAT, but after that I thought huh, there are actually people willing to partake in this? Sure enough, this was an incredible marketing strategy. His business absolutely boomed, there were people lining up for his surgeries. People were talking, and it became a point of social status of some sort. The ethical implications of this are questionable at best; Dr. Miami is still under heavy scrutiny from regulatory agencies, but at the end of the day, his revenues went WAY up, and all he did was take a 10 second clip of each of his surgeries. Fascinating huh? That, is the beauty of social media.

So, to those of you who are wondering whether you should make that tweet, or write that blog; do it*. The worst that happens is nothing. The best? Well, that’s up to you.
*Check with HR first though; there’s still a social aspect to social media, and not everything should be on the internet.

Follow Anojan Palarajah on Twitter for more insight on the aesthetic device markets.

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