While social media is gaining favor among cardiovascular marketers, we’re also being held more accountable for results.
I recently saw a post from Lee Odden that has some good advice for addressing four key challenges.
1. Getting Approval From the C-Suite
- Tying efforts to business goals, e.g., revenue growth, patient acquisition or increased profitability is key.
- The days of approaching social media marketing as a series of disconnected campaigns without coordination, overall strategy or specific outcomes is over. It’s time to start applying the same strategy to social media campaigns that we use in more traditional campaigns.
- Start with a hypothesis and develop a plan for reaching or influencing business outcomes. Show key performance indicator measurements and to what degree they can correlate with goals.
2. Social Content Creation
- Creating an editorial plan, similar to an editorial calendar for a publication, can save a lot of time with content creation.
- Developing content formats or templates as well as libraries of keywords, hooks & clever angles that support key messages and desired reader behaviors can save time when you need a quantity of quality content.
- Leveraging other people in your organization, especially subject matter experts, physicians, clinical trial administrators, dieticians, etc., can also save time. People who interact with patients are a goldmine for quality content ideas.
3. Finding / Reaching Your Audience
- Collect information that exemplifies your best patients and prospects. Discover their information discovery, consumption and sharing preferences. What topics are they interested in? What are their pain points? What do they search for? What do they talk about on social media sites? Where do they hang out and who / what influences them?
Odden recommends taking a prospect newsletter email list and leveraging it with a service like Rapleaf or Flowtown. Importing email addresses into those services will reveal wherever those individuals have registered accounts on social media sites.
4. Presenting Results to the C-Suite
Odden acknowledges that executive level social media reporting to the C-Suite is still a bit of a challenge because they most often care about the direct impact on business growth – something that is difficult to measure with social media efforts due to the indirect influence and delayed effect.
However, correlation measures can be offered, such as an overlay of the progression of social media performance indicators on top of business goals.
- The increased trend in social content creation and citations from the community overlaid with an increase in non-campaign new prospect inquiries.
The key with C-Suite reporting is to properly manage expectations, keep it simple and do your best to focus on both the direct and indirect impact of social media efforts on overall business goals.
The bottom line is that social media planning and evaluation has to meet the same standard that we employ for other marketing communications programs. I’ve said it a million times. Social media is just one more tool in our toolbox. I have a feeling it will be working harder than ever this year.