Utilising Collaborations on Social Media

By Lianne Sykes / 15 May 2023

PR creative director Lianne Sykes provides tips for making the most of collaborations with your peers on social media

Social media has revolutionised the way businesses operate in the modern world. Medical aesthetic professionals are no exception to this trend, and as the industry continues to evolve, it’s becoming increasingly important for these professionals to engage with their peers and audiences online. Collaborating with others on social media can be an effective way to build upon credibility, grow an audience, and ultimately boost a business. In this article, I will explore the benefits of online collaboration in the medical aesthetics industry and examine how collaborating with peers can help you expand your offerings, establish yourself as a leader and gain exposure for your clinic.

The importance of collaboration

Collaboration has always been a key element of success in any business, as collaborating with your peers allows you to share knowledge, skills and resources, while also building meaningful relationships with other professionals in your industry. Collaboration is particularly important in medical aesthetics, as it’s an industry that is constantly evolving.

It is important to note that collaborations differ from partnerships. Collaborations usually refer to a less formal business relationship in which two or more parties work together on a specific project or goal to promote broader interests. Partnerships are typically a longer-term contractual agreement between two or more parties having specified and joint rights and responsibilities, as well as split financial outcomes.1

Ways to collaborate online

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn have become essential tools for medical aesthetic professionals to connect with their audience, peers and potential patients. These platforms offer a unique opportunity to showcase your work, share your knowledge and engage with your audience. One of the crucial benefits to remember is that you can save a ton of money when you do a brand collaboration. It has been reported that brand collaborations are actually 25 times cheaper than using digital adverts.2 Collaborating with your peers on social media can help you reach new audiences, increase your visibility and grow your following. By partnering with other professionals in your industry, you can leverage their online following and reach a wider demographic by utilising several different features, such as:

  • Live interviews and conversations through Instagram or Facebook Live, where both parties can join the video and both sets of followers get alerted that the stream has begun
  • Static images or videos posted to your grid can be shared as a collaboration through the ‘add a collaborator’ function, meaning that the post will be shown on both the poster and collaborators’ profiles. This can be done for two profiles via Instagram or up to 50 on Facebook
  • Promoting content such as the blog posts, articles and media features of your peers that may be of interest to a wide audience by resharing to your own profile

Influencer collaborations

Alongside collaborating with peers and colleagues, it’s common for practitioners to be approached to work with influencers. While many collaborations do not involve contracts, having them in place is crucial for collaborations involving financial or treatment exchanges, in order to mitigate the risk of significant loss for both parties. For instance, in cases where ambassadors are provided with a treatment in exchange for a social media post, contracts can ensure that both parties uphold their commitment, despite the treatments and marketing features being carried out at different times. 

It’s important to note there has been a specific guide released by the ASA in regards to paid for collaborations, noting that if you give an influencer a payment, any posts then promoting or endorsing the brand or its products/services become subject to consumer protection law. So, it must be made clear to their audience that the post is an advert.3

The benefits of social media collaboration

Building credibility

In the medical aesthetics industry, building credibility is crucial. Patients are looking for experienced and knowledgeable practitioners who can provide them with the results they want. Collaborating with other professionals in the industry can help to establish yourself as an expert in your field. By working with others who are respected and trusted within the industry, you can leverage their credibility and expertise to enhance your own. 

As an experienced professional, you have the opportunity to support newer practitioners by discussing important topics such as patient safety, ethical practice, new product launches, and skincare must-haves. Collaborating encourages good practice and fosters healthy discussions with alternative points of view. Every collaboration with a peer presents the opportunity to reach a new online audience. By sharing your expertise and experiences, you can help to elevate the standards of the profession and contribute to the growth of the industry as a whole.

Growing your following

One of the biggest benefits of collaborations is the potential to grow your online audience. By working with others who have a similar target following, you can tap into their audience and expand your reach. This can help you attract new patients who may not have discovered your business otherwise.

By cross-promoting each other’s services, you can drive traffic to each other’s websites/ online profiles and increase the chances of conversion. Additionally, by working with other professionals in your industry, you may discover new opportunities for collaboration and business growth. By partnering with a practitioner who specialises in a complementary field to your own, you can open the door to potential referrals between one another for specific treatments. For example, an aesthetic clinic that specialises in skin rejuvenation and scar reduction could partner with a cosmetic surgeon who specialises in surgical treatments that benefit from post-surgery skin procedures to enhance results.

Similarly, the surgery clinic can also benefit from referrals of patients who require more invasive procedures that fall outside their scope of practice, such as body contouring, breast augmentation, or rhinoplasty. By establishing a mutually beneficial partnership, both the surgeon and the aesthetic clinic can expand their services and cater to a wider range of patient needs, while also increasing their revenue and growing their business.

Finding the right collaboration

Finding the right people to collaborate with in the medical aesthetics industry can be a daunting task. However, there are several strategies you can use to identify potential collaborators and ensure they are the right fit for your business.

One of the best ways to find people to collaborate with is to attend industry events such as conferences, seminars and workshops. These events provide an excellent opportunity to meet other professionals in your industry, learn about the latest trends and techniques and identify potential collaborators through networking or joining industry associations. You can also use social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram to connect with other professionals in the specialty and find out more about their ethos. Joining online groups and communities can be a great way to network and identify potential collaborators.

Once you’ve identified potential collaborators, it’s essential to determine whether they are the right fit for your brand. Look for professionals who share your values and vision, and who have a similar target audience to your own. You should also consider their level of expertise and experience in the industry, as well as their reputation and track record. Before committing to a collaboration, it’s also important to have a meeting to establish clear goals and expectations. Make sure that both parties are aligned in terms of what they hope to achieve through the collaboration, and that there is a clear understanding of each person’s role and responsibilities.

Ending a collaboration

While collaborations can be a great way to build your business and grow your network, there may be times when you need to break off a collaboration. Perhaps the collaboration is no longer serving your needs, or there are differences in opinion or direction that cannot be resolved. When considering ending a collaboration, it’s important to approach the situation carefully and professionally. Start by having an honest conversation with your collaborator about your concerns and reasons for wanting to end the collaboration. In some cases, it may be possible to transition the collaboration to a different format or structure that better meets your needs. For example, if you are collaborating on a project that is no longer working, you may be able to pivot to a different one that is more aligned with your goals.

Find your collaboration

Collaborating with peers on social media can be a powerful tool to build credibility, grow your audience and ultimately boost your business. Through collaboration, you can share knowledge, resources and skills, expand your offerings and establish yourself as a key industry figure. By attending industry events and networking through social media platforms, you can identify potential collaborators who share your vision and values. However, it’s important to carefully consider potential collaborators and establish clear goals and expectations before committing to a collaboration. In the event that a collaboration no longer serves your needs, it’s essential to approach the situation professionally and respectfully.

Practitioner spotlight…

Our client aesthetic nurse Khatra Paterson recently hosted a series of Instagram Live sessions in collaboration with specialists who offered support and guidance beyond her own expertise. As a medical aesthetic practitioner, Paterson has daily conversations with her patients about the menopause, with one topic coming up repeatedly – the difference between hormone replacement therapy and bio-identical hormones. To provide her audience with the correct information and provide a more qualified answer, she collaborated with Dr Laura Clark and Dr Katie Hilton of The Lifestyle Clinic to host two informative sessions on the topic and allow her audience to engage with them directly in the comments section. These sessions have received great feedback from her following, highlighting the value of collaboration and providing expert insights to a wider audience.

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