The social media world moves at light speed, and what was hot a year ago may not be relevant by the time you get around to implementing it. When it comes to social media for an aesthetic practice, it helps to be an early adopter—because if you’re not and your competition is, you just might lose potential patients.

So, the question is, are you thinking about the future or stuck in the past? Here, six trends that are sure to shape the face of social media in 2020 and beyond.

1. Artificial Intelligence
The concept of artificial intelligence may seem more like science fiction than reality, but the fact is, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are here—and here to stay. All types of businesses are outsourcing customer service to messaging bots or “chatbots,” and these interactions are often initiated on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. The most effective social media advertising strategy utilizes location-based targeting, and bots can contact prospective patients via Facebook Messaging as soon as they click on an ad that has been selectively presented to them. This is just one highly efficient way to track leads and free up more time for you or your staff to follow up appropriately based on the interaction. Another example of AI at work: Ask Siri or Alexa to find a dermatologist (or plastic surgeon) near you… Don’t you want to be on that list?

2. Instagram stories
Research has shown that the human attention span has gotten significantly shorter in recent decades , and our brains have come to prefer short, visually-based tidbits of content. Instagram stories tap into this proclivity—and consumers are viewing them voraciously. Proof: The number of Instagram story users jumped to 500 million. That’s a lot of potential “impressions.” Reports that Instagram may remove the option to “like” traditional posts is another reason many users are embracing stories. This is advantageous for marketers because it allows you to see exactly who has viewed your content.

3. Video-based content
Why would someone read when they can just watch? Video-based content has come to surpass static images in terms of social media engagement, and if you have yet to embrace this content format you’re already behind the curve. The beauty of video is its versatility, and it does not necessarily mean recording and posting the day-to-day goings on in your office. You can also use video content to piece together several static images with engaging text, transitions, music or special effects—and use it across all social media platforms.

4. TikTok
Keep a close eye on TikTok, and secure your handle now. Extremely popular with Generation Z (although a majority of users are still in China), TikTok is all about creative, 15-second videos that are created on the fly (as opposed to being overly staged). Since it’s still in its infancy as compared to other social media platforms, we’re just scratching the surface of TikTok’s marketing potential. But at the very least, users and the content they view may be able to provide insight into what resounds with the next generation of aesthetic patients —and you can tailor your content for other platforms accordingly.

5. PR vs. social media marketing
The line between traditional public relations and social media marketing continues to get blurrier. Partnering with high-profile influencers (i.e. those with millions of followers) has become very expensive, and the cost is often too much for an aesthetic practice to absorb. The good news is, nano- and micro-influencers (those with thousands to tens-of-thousands) with a strong regional base of followers are more affordable and even more effective social media marketing tool since these individuals are perceived as more relatable to patients.

Want to know how to beef up your social media marketing for 2020? Reach out to us for help. Anne@wendylewisco.com