The Coffey Blog

Your questions answered: How can I measure social media ROI?

Posted on: Monday, March 26, 2018

Steve Hudson, Client Advocate/Project Manager

How long should your posts be? What photos should you use? When should you post? These are the questions that might come to mind when you're pulling together your healthcare social media strategy.

But there's another set of questions to consider. How should you measure the success of your healthcare social media strategy? How do you know what's working? How will you know when you've spotted something you should fix?

These are the questions that can help you justify the time and effort you spend on your social work. And if you do it right, these are the questions that can help you show off a little bit. You may be a healthcare social media expert—but you won't know it unless you pull the data.

These are three metrics to watch closely—and one common (and tempting) set of figures to keep out of formal reporting.

Healthcare social media ROI do's and don'ts

1. Do: Utilize trackable phone numbers.

Trackable phone numbers allow you to track how many people call one very specific number. The trackable numbers route to a number you already have in use, so they don't involve hiring a new call center staff or mapping out a new phone tree. You'll just set up the trackable numbers, and the calls will be counted before they're routed. (At Coffey, we do this for our clients.)

Trackable phone numbers are excellent tools to use in social posts. Need to prove that your integrated social campaigns are driving readers to sign up for a class? Use a dedicated trackable social media number in all your posts.

Better yet: Need to understand where to focus your efforts? Use one trackable phone number per social media channel you post to. The data can help you understand where your audience spends the most social time, and that could help you develop an even more effective follow-up campaign.

2. Do: Create custom landing pages.

We've talked about custom forms on the Coffey Blog in the past, and with good reason. These forms allow you to gather very specific types of data from your website visitors, and they can help streamline routine tasks, like signing up for a class or registering for an event.

Consider creating a custom form that is only accessible via a social media post link. You could create a "request an appointment" form or a "class registration" form with art that's similar to the art used in your social post.

At the end of a campaign like this, you'll know just how many people took a concrete action after interacting with a social post. That's hard data you can share.

3. Do: Watch your Google Analytics reports.

Google Analytics has an entire section devoted to social media traffic, and that's a reporting section you should spend quite some time in. Pull reports that tell you:

  • How many pages social visitors looked at.
  • How long social visitors stayed on your site.
  • What additional pages your social media visitors looked at after they moved from a landing page.
  • What page gets the most traffic from social channels.

Using this hard data in your healthcare social media strategy reports helps you demonstrate how people move through your site. And this hard data helps you prove that people actually came to your site from a social channel.

4. Don't: Rely only on likes and shares.

Many people believe that a successful post is one that's stuffed with likes and shares. Never forget that liking a post is a relatively simple task. Your "like" could come from someone who is bored during a morning bus commute who thought your photo was clever—and who has no intention of ever interacting with your organization at all.

Don't misunderstand: Getting likes, comments and shares are important. They can help your channels stay visible. But these are metrics that are difficult (if not impossible) to tie to something real, like appointment volume or revenue. So track them informally. But resist the urge to consider them hard metrics your boss will want to know about.

Make the most of your healthcare social media opportunities

Social media is becoming our go-to communications tool—both at work and in our personal lives. But while you may never have to prove the worth of your personal social use, the same can't be said for your healthcare social media work. There, you will need to prove value.

Let us help. At Coffey, we recently unveiled a new social media tool. It's filled with engaging content you can share with your community. And scheduling that content is quick and easy. We'd love to show it to you. Contact us to schedule a demonstration.

Related reading

HIPAA's role in healthcare website design
5 ways to measure the ROI of your print publications online
Harness the power of national health observances for your local healthcare marketing