How Med Spas Waste Money on Facebook Ads

Med spas and aesthetic service providers spend many thousands of dollars on Facebook ads each year.  What do they get in return for the investment?  In many cases, nearly nothing.   

As one marketing director at a large med spa in the U.S. Southwest recently lamented, “I spent $30 thousand on Facebook (FB) ads last year and we only got two patients from it!  We will never do FB ads again; they are a waste of money.”  The marketer’s despair is understandable, and common.

Yet it isn’t that Facebook ads do not work.  The issue is that med spas are not using them in the right way.

Facebook ads are used to generate demand from a passive consumer base.  As an example, PPC ads seek to capture consumers that are actively searching for spa services, but FB ads are presenting ads to try and initiate action from passive consumers.  The distinction is important, and the way each consumer type needs to be addressed is very different.

For more insight, the Huffington Post spoke with Escondido Adaptive (, a leading Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) firm that focuses exclusively on the med spa industry.  “Med spa marketing is different from other industries for a number of reasons,” said Dennis Nisbet with Escondido.  

“The med spa consumer needs many points of contact prior to making the decision to get a treatment; much more than the average consumer for other kinds of products and services.  For med spa services, they want information about the services, the risks, they want social proof, and they want supportive communication from the med spa itself.  There is a very broad range of needs the must be met to convert the passive consumer into an actual patient, and traditional marketing falls well short of meeting those needs.”

“This is why the typical Facebook ads strategy fails.  It only presents an ad, and that ad will generate a first round of interest with consumers.  But it stops there and doesn’t sufficiently cultivate the passive consumer’s interest,” Nisbet added.  “We actually use Facebook ads to great effect for our clients.  And that is because the ads are only the first step in a larger system.  Once that passive interest has been identified, our platform uses all other tools at our disposal to feed those consumers’ needs.  It cultivates their interest, helping them move through the decision cycle.”

Kyle Roof, a co-founder of Escondido Adaptive, added “the typical marketer that serves a med spa thinks their job is to generate clicks.  Clicks are useful, but left unattended they are a wasted effort, lost money, and a missed opportunity.  Conversion rate optimization is different in that it views the marketing process in its entirety; it doesn’t isolate one component.  All advertising tools need to reinforce one another within a larger marketing strategy.  

We all know an engine is made up of many moving parts.  Yet if only one part is working, but the other parts are not, the engine won’t produce.  This is so basic, yet many agencies only see their one part without recognizing the larger system.  CRO is about the entire engine, not just one part.”  

Med spas that want to grow their patient base and increase sales using Facebook need to figure out how to incorporate their ad strategy into a larger CRO strategy.  “The spas that figure this out will have a competitive edge,” said Roof. “They will be able to successfully mine a passive consumer base that their competitors are missing.”