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Tell Execs About Social Media Outcomes, Not Process

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media, October 2, 2013

One opportunity social media is great at exposing is the bang for your buck. Traditional media spends are so high, comparatively, and simply figuring out what you didn't spend on another billboard because you reached more people with a pay-per-click, is an easy calculation that shows, in real dollars, the impact social media can have.

Improving service is a little trickier to measure, but keeping a physician happy, i.e. improving physician relations, is something hospital and health system CEOs are paying attention to. Contributing to an effort to help increase patient satisfaction, experience, and employee relations also fall under this category and those are also buzzwords that leadership is keen on improving in this transition from volume to value.

The tips for tying ROI to social media are not meant to be tricks you can pull out to impress the C-suite when need be. None of them are meaningful without knowing your organization's strategy.

For example, at Penn Medicine, Sawyer says the system's business strategy is aimed at growing its advanced medicine volume, the "super sub-specialties." Her job is to deliver profitable volume, and everything she reports back to the C-suite is tied to that.

Telling your organization's social media story through the lens of what its contribution is in terms of increasing revenue, service, or reducing cost, may require another set of tools and a different mindset, but it may be the best way to get you and your marketing department closer to being viewed as a valuable, strategic partner.


Jacqueline Fellows is an editor for HealthLeaders Media.
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