Are You Taking Advantage of Free?
Free is good, especially when it comes to marketing your hospital or health system. So you jump in with free opportunities to display your brand through social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter; then you start a blog and then all of a sudden, it doesn’t feel so free anymore.
In fact, social media-based marketing costs real money. Granted, it doesn’t cost millions of dollars for a 30 second spot during the Super Bowl, but developing a successful social media strategy including research, monitoring and tracking takes planning, creative insight and other internal resources, all of which have costs associated with them that you may not see initially.
Don’t get me wrong, social media-based marketing and product development programs can be incredibly beneficial. Insights gained often lead to innovative ideas, and conversations with customers, patients, physicians, employees and others can be eye openers that lead to beneficial change. Taking the time to track applicable KPIs and assess ROI, which may avoid call center expenses, are important and worth doing.
But what are the real costs of not doing social media? In other words, what are the non-tangible factors in calculating “return on influence”?
Return on Influence = (Calculated Gain from Investment – Cost of Investment)/Cost of Investment
In order to get a good measurement, you must first assign a value to the Gain from Investment.
• What is a social media impression worth?
• What value do you place on online customer retention?
• If you track PR ad equivalency for media placements, give credit to a
media placement if it originated from social media.
• Place a value on your social media consumer research.
• Measure consumer sentiment and how valuable returning
• Measure the sharing of your content and place a value on each content
Secondly, the Costs of Investment to be considered are:
• Staffing costs
• External fees
While there’s no cost to register for the vast majority of social media platforms, many who take advantage of the situation quickly become inundated with unforeseen and hidden costs. Those most successful are prepared with a social media strategy and the knowledge that marketing isn’t free.