Aesthetic practitioners need to meet the demands of mastering social media channels to engage with their existing patients and increase visibility with prospective patients. Perhaps the greatest challenge is building up a sufficient fan base to market to and get your key messages across.

So if you’re hitting a wall when it comes to increasing your fan base on social media platforms, you may just not be following enough, or the right users to get followed back. One thing that has never changed is that users tend to follow other users they know and like, and who follow them and engage with their content.

Among the best practices for keeping the ‘social’ in social media and connecting with other users on an intensely personal level, is to follow people who already know you, both directly and peripherally, and are more likely to follow you back. Social media is a two-way street.

1 – Follow users who know you

To build up a base of fans and followers to market to, it helps to engage with others in your own field as well as related fields to cross-promote your social media efforts. In this way, you can benefit by expanding your audience and in turn, helping to expand theirs. Following colleagues around the world is a great way to promote collaboration, get ideas, and show support for their practices too. They are more likely to follow you back, share your content and like your posts as well – and as a courtesy, you should plan to do the same for them. So, follow dermatologists, plastic surgeons, cosmetic surgery clinics, aestheticians, medspas, and organizations you below to.

2 – Follow users with a bigger following than yours

Aim for alliances with like-minded users who have more followers than you have, but with a similar target audience of consumers with common interests, such as beauty, health, wellness, fitness, skin care, nutrition, body shaping, and more. Avoid celebs and large scale media outlets – as they are not likely to follow you back. For example, don’t assume that any Kardashian is going to like your content, and CNN is too busy keeping up with world news to be interested in your new laser or filler treatments. It is fine to follow these users if you want to see their content, but just don’t expect a follow back and for platforms like Twitter, where you are mandated to have a wide ratio of those you are following to those who follow you, it is essentially a waste.

3 – Follow local businesses and entities

The local country club, gold resort, shopping mall, spas, gyms, restaurants, shops, and hotels are ideal fodder for social media connections. Think about your community and expand from there to grow a larger network. Your local media outlets should also be added to this target list – print, television, radio, online outlets as well as individual anchors, reporters, bloggers and writers. Start very local and then extend your circle to neighboring towns, cities, regions, etc.

4 – Follow vendors your work with

You should also follow any brands and vendors you work with. All laser, filler, skincare companies you may deal with have a growing presence on social media platforms and are an ideal place to start to grow your fan base. Make a list of all the vendors you buy from, find them on social channels, and follow these users. Add to that, service companies, and vendors who are active in your industry even if you have not done business with them yet. These users are also more likely follow you back and engage with you.

5- Follow professional organizations and institutions

Follow all the organizations you belong to, and institutions where you have trained and have privileges. For example, ASAPS, AAD, ASPS, AAFPRS, ASPS, ISDS, ISAPS, AACD, etc. Add to that list national, regional arms of these organizations, and also look for international organizations in the same categories. Lastly, every major meeting or conference in your area of practice and market segment can also be found on social media. Find them and follow these too.