This is the seventh in our series of “Social Media How-To’s for Healthcare.”

Every marketer who has ever suggested implementing a social media program gets the same question from the executive team: How can you prove its ROI? Like any traditional program, there are hard metrics and numbers to present, as well as those “fuzzier” results. Here are some suggestions for how to measure your success. But keep in mind, the answers lie in how your organization measures success. What does success look like to you? Where do you see the most value?

Metrics, Metrics, Metrics

• Increased site visits – Are visitors coming to your website through your Facebook page, Twitter handle, blog, or YouTube channel? This will tell you how effective the messaging and content on your social media channels are at creating a call to action.

Facebook Engagement: Fans, Likes, Clicks & Comments

• Quantitative – What is the total number of comments for a Facebook page on a particular topic/day/week, etc.? Likes for a certain post? What links garner the most clicks. Check out Facebook Insights for information on how Facebook provides metrics around their content. Keep in mind, there are third-party providers of analytics across your social media and web channels, too—though they’re not all beginner-friendly if you’re just getting started.

• Qualitative – What is the sentiment of the comments (negative, positive, neutral)? How long are the comments?

Twitter Engagement: Tweets & Re-Tweets

• Quantitative – How many tweets did a certain piece of news receive? How many times was the tweet re-tweeted? This tells you the value of the tweet’s content, and that helps inform future tweets.

• Qualitative – What was the sentiment of the tweets?

Active Leads

How many leads have been a direct result of your social media activity? How many of these are warm leads?

• Conversions – How many leads converted into sales? Where has the success rate been the greatest?

• Estimated Cost/Value of Social Media Activity – Where did a lead come from? How much was the final contract worth? Did it result in any additional leads? Answering some of these questions can help you measure the “worth” of your social media activity.

Compare Your Results

Is your competitor’s Twitter feed seeing a higher rate of increase in followers? Do you notice more comments on your competitor’s corporate blog or Facebook page? While it’s important to note that every social media program is different (with different objectives, resources, approaches, etc.), monitoring the competition’s activity and results is an important indication of whether you’re ahead of the pack, with the pack or falling behind.

The Intangibles

• Branding – Branding is always difficult to measure. But awareness of your brand and what you bring to the market can grow organically, and often rapidly, through online social media channels.

• Education – Have you received useful feedback from your patients about your services, their experiences and their needs through your social media channels? Has it influenced your marketing or even how and what services you provide? This is invaluable information.

• Relationships Social media is all about building relationships. And while only some of the people in your market have used you services so far, most of them will need the services you offer at some point in the future. At that time, they can go to you or your competition. If you’ve already established and maintained an ongoing relationship with them (based on meaningful connections and consistent delivery of valued information), then they’ll think of you first.


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