Are you wondering if social media marketing is worthwhile? The issue in questioning social media’s value often comes down to expectations. In conferences, Facebook groups and various forums, I’ve heard many doctors and teams say they love Facebook and have found it a great way to reach new patients.
On the other hand, I’ve spoken with some doctors who ask, “How soon can I expect x number of patients from my social media efforts?” While that’s a valid question, we need to consider expectations and related strategies. And this is why I love this graphic illustration.
What some doctors expect is the straight line diagram’s results. They hope to implement social media plans and immediately receive results. Except, in some cases, these practices are implementing strategies better suited for the squiggly-line scenario.
You see, social strategies that cater to the squiggly-line “What it really looks like” scenario employ strategies that—for example—show a practice’s human side, grow relationships and increase visibility. These organic strategies take time. Relationships don’t grow overnight and neither do the squiggly-lined decisions or results.
Strategies that are capable of delivering speedy results for the straight line “What we expect” scenario, are advertising based. These are valid and can be realistic expectations, however you must be prepared to invest in a well-planned advertising strategy.
Advertising strategies in social media are capable of meeting clear objectives. Below are several sample measurable objectives you could set out to achieve:
Objective #1: Increase website traffic. Measure by web analytics data.
Objective #2: Promote specific services. Measure by booked services.
Objective #3: Expand post visibility. Measure by Facebook Insight data.
The good news is you can create a strategy that combines both advertising and relationship aspects. Your budget, resources, interests, and practice goals can help you determine which path or combination is best for you.
I hope this helps bring clarity to the different marketing methods social media accommodates. And I hope you are beginning to see how objectives and expectations can either disappoint or encourage you. If not, then it may be time to have the “It’s not you, it’s me” conversation with your social strategy.