Top 3 social media metrics dermatologists should know

April 1, 2014

Are you a dermatologist using social media to market your practice? Wondering which metrics you should be paying attention to? The answer is a lot easier than you think.

Are you a dermatologist using social media to market your practice? Wondering which metrics you should be paying attention to?

The answer is a lot easier than you think.

The goal of measuring social media is to know whether your participation in any given social channel (Twitter, Facebook, blog etc.) is optimal. It’s not just about having 10,000 fans, or a Klout score of 70. It’s about:

  • Making a difference in people’s health;

  • Having a positive impact on your community;

  • Sharing your medical insights so that others may learn;

  • Driving people to take action!

Here are the top three metrics that dermatologists should focus on:

1. Engagement metrics

These numbers focus on the effect that your message is having on those who hear it i.e. your audience. They tell you whether people are listening, responding, sharing and talking about your message. Engagement metrics include:

  • Blog comments (both the number of comments and the quality of feedback)

  • Subscriptions to your blog or email newsletter

  • Content sharing (via social media)

  • Curated content based on your articles (this happens when others read your articles, carry your ideas to their own blog and apply them to expand their own content, which you’ll be able to identify through inbound links).

Of course the ultimate engagement metric is a sale. So if you’re gaining new clients because of your blog and social media involvement, then there’s no doubt that your participation is optimal (see number 3).

 

 

2. Reach metrics

These numbers tell you how many people are hearing your message and even how your brand is perceived (sentiment). They also tell you how large your audience is and how fast it is growing.

At first, reach metrics may seem easy to measure since all social networks clearly display the size of your audience e.g. number of Facebook fans, Twitter followers, email subscribers and so on. But “vanity metrics” don’t mean much on their own.

You need to dig deeper to understand whether these numbers have any impact on your practice. That’s why audience growth rate, sentiment and share of voice are more important:

  • Growth rate – measure your average audience growth by day, week and month.

  • Sentiment – Using the free tool ‘Socialmention,’ measure audience sentiment and easily track what people are saying about your work online. Just enter the name of your practice on the search box and the results will show up.

  • Share of voice (SOV) – this metric helps you to find out what percentage of mentions your practice is getting compared to other practices within the dermatology industry. Socialmention can also measure SOV in addition to sentiment. To calculate SOV search for each of your competitors mentions then divide by your brand’s number of mentions.

To increase your brand’s positive sentiment and share of voice, delight your clients with excellent service and then encourage them to leave reviews on sites such as Yelp, Google Local, Angies List or Yahoo Local Listing.

3. ROI metrics

These are metrics that connect the dots between your social media activities and how much money you’re actually making. Many dermatologists hesitate to use social media because they do not see evidence of a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

However physicians like this one say that 7-10 percent of new patients are coming from social media. Here are a couple of ways to determine your social media ROI:

  • Simply poll your new patients and ask them how they heard about your practice, and what influenced them to make an appointment.

  • Based on the average number of visits per year for each new patient, and the average billing rate per visit, you can estimate how much your social media presence is adding to annual practice revenue.

Quick wrap-up

When you know what you’re looking for, determining social media ROI for your dermatology practice isn’t that complicated. The metrics that really matter are those that tell you whether your participation in social media is optimal. Choose the metrics from this list that will give you the most value and insight and throw everything else out!