Social Media & Plastic Surgery [Is Building Your Content Home on Rented Land Good for Your Practice?]

Meet a Plastic Surgeon that Relies Solely on Social Media

Social Media and Plastic Surgery, are you building your content home on ‘Rented Land?’

While I was on the elliptical at the gym last week, I happened across a plastic surgeon’s YouTube channel. She practices here in the USA.

In the middle of an intense sprint listening to her video, my ears perked up. I immediately had to stop to listen to what she was saying. 

She was musing about the pandemic. Essentially she said, if she “hadn’t taken the time to build a presence/audience on social media over the past 5 years, her practice wouldn’t be surviving the pandemic.”

Mainly, the doctor didn’t believe email was worth the time nor the money. “People do not open emails anymore” she said, so she stopped.

Sadly, a lot of plastic surgeons feel that same way.

They think, social media is the only way to connect with their audience/patients online, because it’s easy.

They put all of their ‘content eggs’ into one basket, social media, and that my friends, is a huge mistake. In some cases, a grave mistake.

Relying on ‘rented land’ and that’s what social media is, rented land, it’s property you don’t own. It’s an audience you don’t own. They do. The platform does. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and yes even Tik-Tok.

More on this a little later in the article.

But the doctor is right in one respect, and I’ll share that with you in a bit as well.

Her Social Media Success Will Cost Her in the Long Run

Consider everything we’ve talked about so far. 

Seemingly, this plastic surgeon has an audience that would be more than willing to go to wherever she says.

But she continues to miss her opportunity to attract people off of social media and onto her email list.

I couldn’t find one post on any of her social platforms, with a call to action that may compel someone to click over to her website to learn more.

Her practice continually misses any opportunity to earn new subscribers and grow her list.

She’s already creating video content, which is pretty good. She’s very engaging.

Why not compel people to hop off of social media and over to her website? People that have said, ‘yes, I want to hear from you’. Capture those email addresses.

Maybe she’ll read this blog or see my accompanying video. I hope she does.

What is ‘Rented Land’?

In his 2016 article titled “The Seductive Power of the Dark Side [Rented Land]”, Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, perfectly describes what Rented Land is and what it’s not in this graphic:

Content Marketing Institute - Don't Build on Rented Land
Graphic by: Joe Kalinowski

Essentially, rented land is any platform you don’t own. 

But you do own your website. You own the audience, you own the content.

It’s one of the greatest assets a plastic surgery practice can have, next to an engaged patient base.

These are your people and they want to hear from you. Believe that. 

You just have to invite them to your ‘party’.

Why Aren’t Plastic Surgery Practices Moving People off of Social Media?

In my experience with social media and plastic surgery it boils down to one thing.

Practices do not know how to move people off of social media and onto their website. Then compelling them to become email subscribers.

I’ve come to understand, most practices only concentrate on social media as a platform to publish and highlight their content.

They don’t use it as a stepping stone to tease or promote content.

As far as our plastic surgeon who depends on social media, consider if she would have worked on moving people off of social media and back to her website:

  • She could have 5, possibly 10 x’s the number of people who view her content with a subscription-based business model
  • A subscriber list that she owns and one she has 100% control
  • Protection from platforms she does not own when ‘the rules’ change (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc)
  • Worst, she’ll never know the number of new subscribers and patients she could have attracted by moving them off of social and to her website.

To her credit, she probably doesn’t realize the mistake she’s making. And why should she? She’s a plastic surgeon. She’s doing what works for her.

I feel terrible about the opportunities she’s missing.

What’s Wrong with Building a Following on Social Media for your Plastic Surgery Practice?

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with using social media. It’s great to build awareness and gain enough trust to guide people back to your website.

This can be done with truly helpful, valuable and entertaining content and information. The information they’re seeking from a plastic surgeon. Why not you?

Additionally, social media platforms like Facebook, provide you with free tools, like the Facebook Pixel. It allows you to see through analytics, what content interests patients, what is working essentially, and what’s not. 

They can use that data to produce more of the successful type of content, and less of what doesn’t work.

Again, these tools are absolutely necessary and they’re free.

If Your Content Went Away Today, Would People Miss It?

I ask this question of plastic surgery practices a lot. 9.5 out of 10 times, the answer is always, “No” or “Probably not”.

If the answer is ‘No’, well, you have work to do.

When it comes to social media and plastic surgery, always compel people to take action within your content. That should be your only goal when it comes to social media. 

Get people back to your website, your online home and office.

Every piece of content you post to social media should have a call to action that does something.

Mainly it should lead people back to your website for a more fulfilling experience. The goal of course, is to gain more subscribers of your content.

The key is consistency. Delivering ‘awesomeness’ to your audience on a regular basis, on a set day, at a set time, that’s crucial. But once you start creating content and develop a rhythm, you’re on your way.

People will come to know that you publish content on the same day, at the same time. The key is consistency.

Publish content that they want to see. Content they can’t wait to see, and content they do not want to miss.

Create content that creates emotional connection with your audience online.

Use the Power of Emotional Connection to Drive People Back to Your Website

Plastic surgeons who interject story and emotional connection into their content that can and will attract an audience. Enough to drive them to a website and off of social media.

The objective, make them subscribers and use story to create emotional connection. If you can do that consistently and over a long period of time you’ll have people making a beeline for your website.

People that will want to hire you and your practice before you ever meet. I’ve seen it happen.

It’s Not a Question of If, It’s When With Social Media

Are you a plastic surgery practice here in the USA and active on Tik-Tok?

You may, or maybe not, have heard about the Trump Administration’s concerns with the handling of data of U.S. citizens. 

As of this writing, the social app probably will not be banned. But they can severely limit how the social platform collects data and how many of your followers they reach.

The outcome is still uncertain. 

Why would you bank on ‘uncertain’ with social media and your plastic surgery practice?

Meet Ryan Beard, a former contestant on ‘America’s Got Talent’.

He’s managed to build his content house on Tik-Tok and currently has over 1.9 million fans.

Now with the possibility of that going away, his brand and business could take a while to recover.

TikTok made him famous. Now he’s imagining a world without it

Now, he’s freaking out about it. He blames the current administration, and anyone else when in fact, he should take a look in the mirror.

He was the one that failed to recognize the value of a subscriber.

Currently, 1.9 million people following him on Tok-Tok. Imagine what his audience would look like now if he owned the content.

The money is in the mailbox my friends. More on that in a bit.

Want more proof?

Many plastic surgery practices are still feeling the effects of the decline of Facebook reach over the past 4-5 years.

In late 2019, Facebook organic reach was down 2.2%. That means that the average organic reach for a Facebook post is about 5.5% of your follower count. 

And Mark Zuckerberg’s social media platform continues to limit the reach of non-paid, aka, organic reach. As of this writing, it’s probably less than 1% of an audience who’re reached with a non-paid post/ad on Facebook. 

As of August, 2020, the social media management tool Hootsuite, reported organic reach is still in a decline:

On Facebook, the average reach of an organic page post hovers around 5.20%. That means roughly one in every 19 fans sees the page’s non-promoted content.”

Think about the effort you put into posts for social media. They are only reaching 5.20% of the people who have Liked your Page

Then think about the people who actually pay attention and read the post. Of those 5.20%, very few are clicking over.

In the current climate, many plastic surgery practices are doing very well on Instagram. But don’t forget, Instagram too is also a business, owned by Facebook. You can bet they will start limiting the reach of non-paid traffic. Probably sooner rather than later. It’s inevitable.

It’s just a matter of when.

The Money is in the Mailbox – How to Use Social Media to Drive Traffic to your Website

Previously I said, by all means utilize social media to create brand awareness. But make sure the platform you choose is where your audience, and others like them, are.

Survey your patients when they’re in your office. They are your audience, and ask them how and where they heard about your practice? 

Was it online? If so, where? Facebook, Instagram, etc.

What social media platforms are they most active on and where do they get their healthcare information?

When are they online and what type of content do they enjoy? What are their hobbies?

There’s a goldmine of data and it’s there, all you have to do is ask.

Once someone becomes a subscriber of your content, these people have expressed an interest in hearing from you.

You control all of the content they see. Be their guiding light that leads them down the path to purchase.

Absolutely you can even pre-qualify people as they consume your content right on your website and through your email sequences.

Email programs are smart enough to know, who opens your emails, how long they remain and what content they consume.

All from your website, your content asset that you own.

What should your practice do right now?

No need for panic or silliness. Embrace your audience on social media and Shepard them back to your website to consume your awesome content.

Continue to stay in touch and be top of mind with your current patients, this is key. 

Start grooming your social media followers. Your best and your most helpful and entertaining content should be on your website. Not on social media.

Answer questions on your favorite procedures through a series of videos. Use pieces of your video to promote on social media. If they want to watch the rest, they click over to your website. Where they should be.

You’ll be creating emotional connections and using the power of story to draw people to you.

Save your best content for your subscribers, and on your website.

At every opportunity you should encourage people to become an email subscriber.

Always remind and suggest to your audience that your very best content is saved for your email subscribers.

You’ll even develop and create a nice organic social reach that continually draws people to your website.

Do this, and your practice will thrive.

First, you’ll begin to create another revenue stream you had no idea existed.

And second, a revenue stream that will continue to work for you for years to come.

Like what you read? Become a subscriber and twice a month I’ll deliver helpful, valuable and insightful content you won’t read anywhere else.

Content that will increase your audience and your audience online.

Click here to subscribe.

As a thank you, I’ll send over my latest tip sheet:

The Plastic Surgeon’s 8-step Guide to Building a Differentiating Online Persona.

Grab your free consultation with me.

Let’s talk about your practice and what you can do to create emotional connections online. The same you do everyday in your office.

Email me, Mark right now

Mark Tennant

I help plastic surgeons make more money by emotionally connecting with people online the same way they do in-person. I accomplish this by teaching practices how to effectively connect with patients successfully through various online platforms and methods. Contact me today.


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