Social media ROI – the myth, the legend!
It’s the million dollar question – can you have a return on investment on your social media activities, and can it be measured? Many of our clients have told us that they’ve heard you can’t accurately measure social media ROI, or they’ve invested in social media and haven’t experienced any measurable success. We’re here to tell you that you can, and will, have measurable results when using social media – but, you need to know what to expect, and what exactly constitutes a return on investment.
“The idea that you simply can’t measure ROI for social media is ludicrous.” says Laura Mikulski, Executive Director of Business Development at PRM. “While there may be some aspects that are hard to quantify, virtually everything you do is measurable, and any agency or individual that isn’t able to produce metrics is one you should avoid.” Facebook, for instance, provides “insights” after you acquire 30 fans on your business or community page. The insights include statistics relating to the number and timing of “likes”, which posts are successful, the reach of each post, and how engaged your fans are with your page & content. Facebook also provides you with the metrics associated with “dislikes”- meaning, you get to see what turns off your current and potential patients. This can provide invaluable insight on what resonates with your patients, and careful analysis and utilization of successful media can lead to much more effective traditional marketing campaigns.
“The idea that you can’t measure ROI for social media is ludicrous.” says Laura Mikulski, Executive Director of Business Development at PRM. “While there may be some aspects that are hard to quantify, virtually everything you do is measurable, and any agency or individual that isn’t able to produce metrics is one you should avoid.”
However, typically when people think of ‘ROI’, they’re thinking of it in the traditional sense – financial return on your investment, because obviously the goal of most marketing efforts is to drive revenue. The ROI managers and accountant are interested in is a direct-response, measurable financial return. So for example, you spend $X on a campaign, and you then see a direct gain of $Y in revenue as a result. Implement a bit of Elementary Math 101 and there’s your return (hopefully it’s more than $X).
Can you do this with social media? Of course you can. However, you can only truly do it when you’re dealing with direct-response initiatives within the channel. For example, if you implement a Facebook advertising campaign with a $1k budget and implement a unique landing page, coupon, or promo code, you can directly attribute the resultant patient revenue from the campaign and thus calculate ROI. This is equally true of advertising campaigns on other social media sites – just like advertising on any websites in general. All can be tracked, measured, calculated, and assigned a monetary value.
However what about the more hazy area of engagement and customer service? Can ROI be tracked here? Yes it can, but it’s not as clear-cut and it depends on the resources you have at your disposal. For example if you have 24/7 customer service via social media and this is linked to your smart CRM system, you’ll likely be able to track some of your practices patient/customer retention and acquisition. From there, if you apply the average worth of a patient (which you should know!),you can get a good idea of what social media is gaining you in terms of acquisition and retention per year.
Of course there are some things that just can’t be adequately quantified – for example social media is not all about driving revenue, nor is it about immediate direct results. As much as your board or practice manager might like it to be a cash cow, the truth is social media excels in providing general customer service, increased search engine visibility, and reputation building and management. Can you put a dollar value on maintaining a flawless online reputation for your practice? Circuitously, perhaps, but the answer is likely ‘no’. Does that make your flawless online reputation any less valuable? Definitely not- particularly as more and more patients turn to the internet to seek out information and reviews before committing to a physician.
Healthcare Marketing Agency- Physician Referral Marketing (PRM) provides the tools and the know-how to grow physician practices & increase visibility both online and off. PRM specializes in strategic marketing campaigns & referral development through a uniquely direct relationship establishment with demographically relevant doctors and hospitals.To stay on top of the latest healthcare marketing trends, contact PRM today at 888-336-1344 or visit www.physicianreferralmarketing.com. Also be sure to visit our Facebook, Twitter, or G+ page for the latest news in healthcare marketing. Nationwide service, with headquarters in Michigan and a regional office in Arizona.