Plastic Surgery Marketing: 3 Differences Between Facebook and Google

Scott HarveyGeneral

Do you know the differences between getting patients profitably from Facebook versus getting them from Google?

Furthermore, did you know that what works really well in one will not work well in the other?

Before we begin, let’s make a broad distinction with an easy metaphor.

Google is like the Yellow Pages. Facebook is like a coffee shop.

To get someone to take action in the Yellow Pages, you go for the jugular right away. You’ve got limited time. Limited space. You need to make it clear, as quickly and efficiently as possible, that you’re the one they should call. (Or in the Google world … the ad they should click on.)

To get someone to take action in a coffee shop, it’s way more casual. You’re hanging out, right? You’d strike up a relaxed conversation. Perhaps ask some soft “pre-framing” questions. But you certainly wouldn’t be hard-selling from the first contact.

It is important to be aware of the “tone” expected in the marketing channel you’re using. The “culture” of it. If it’s not completely congruent, your marketing will be ineffective.

So, it’s an absolute disaster if you (or your unwitting agency) ever apply what works well in one channel to the other.

Got it?

OK, now let’s take a look at three distinct differences between marketing on Facebook versus Google.

  1. Intent Match vs Enticement
    Google advertising is primarily driven by search. People search with an intent – they’re trying to solve a problem or “scratch an itch.” Your advertising needs to match that search intent. On Facebook, people are not searching for anything. They’re looking for entertainment and social connection. They’re relaxing. Your advertising on Facebook needs to entice them with something entertaining or interesting.
  2. 80% Visual vs 80% Written
    The majority of your success with advertising on Facebook is linked to how effective and appealing your visuals are. Facebook is primarily a visually-driven platform. Google Search, on the other hand, is primarily driven by the written word. (Unless you’re using banner ads on the Google Display Network, but less than 1% of plastic surgeons do this).The 20% of effort that will get you 80% of success in Facebook will be visually-arresting design.

    The 20% of effort that will get you 80% of success in Google Search will be clever copywriting.

  3. Immediate Relief vs Curiosity
    On Google, because people are searching, they are looking for “relief” from something. It might be the “relief” of seeing what pricing is for a procedure. Or the relief of making a short list of plastic surgeons to research and call. But whatever it is, search intent by definition means the searcher is looking for an answer, or that “relief”, for their search.So when a searcher clicks through to your landing page, your copy and offer can be short and immediately to the point, very closely matching what you offered in your ad. And your ad, of course, very closely matched their original search phrase.

    On Facebook, you need to create a desire for that “relief” once someone has engaged with your advertisement and come to your landing page.

    This is done by telling a story or by entertaining the visitor – both of those leading to a question of some sort that they’ll want answered. Your story needs to drive that desire and make them want (just a little) more. So you’d offer just a little more, and continue to engage them and build a relationship.

    To get people to take action you must understand what their intent was before they came in contact with your advertising. Again, you’ve got to match the “tone” of the platform, and engage them in a way that matches the need that’s driving them – or the lack of it.

Here’s a slightly more detailed breakdown of what you might do to get someone from Google to take action compared to someone from Facebook.

You might send people from a Google search to a landing page that offers a special on getting a non-invasive fat removal procedure. And if they book a consult with you today, they’ll also get a $135 spa package to a local spa for free.

To promote that same procedure from Facebook, you might send people who click to perhaps a story of how a recent mom used a non-invasive fat removal procedure to get rid of stubborn fat so she could look her best.

Then you might offer a short e-book on “5 Power Foods and 5 Power Exercises for Getting a Flat Tummy” to help them jump start their fat loss journey. Next you’d probably build the relationship by following up with an email “drip” campaign that continues to tell stories and also makes offers for a free consult, along with a gift if they come in.

Here’s a two important insights to remember when considering either or both platforms:

  1. Length of Conversion Cycle
    It will take longer to convert Facebook traffic into consults and patients compared to Google traffic.So, if you need patients now, focus on advertising where there is a pre-existing intent that’s emotionally driving the traffic.

    If you can afford a longer sales cycle and also want to build up a database of people who know you, like you, and who you can condition to respond to your offers … you can use more passive platforms like Facebook for this.

  2. Type of Talent Needed for Success
    Remember that Facebook is visually-driven. So first and foremost you’ll need to have a graphic designer or creative type who can create appealing and enticing imagery. Imagery that will specifically engage the types of patients you’re trying to reach.Visuals that would work on recent moms or brides-to-be obviously won’t work on grandmothers or men.

    And, Google is written word-driven. So you’ll need a crack copywriter who can write clever, biting, and engaging copy that immediately cuts through the clutter and gets the attention of those searching.

    Ad copy needs to not only match the “search phrase intent”, but it also needs to relate in some way to the emotions driving the search phrase that person has typed into Google.

    A bride-to-be looking for fat removal procedures is probably driven by wanting to look her best on her wedding day, so she can be proud of her wedding pictures that she’ll show for the rest of her life.

    This is different than the emotional drive behind a grandmother who wants to remove some stubborn fat so she can be healthier and enjoy playing with her active grandkids.

You now know more than most plastic surgeons do about the differences between marketing on Facebook versus Google.

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