Friday, November 29, 2013

1225. SOCIAL MEDIA - Page 3 - Calculating a Return on Investment



Social Media: Calculating a Return on Investment (ROI) (VT39)
Western Veterinary Conference 2012
Rebecca J. Rose, AAS, CVT
Red Valley Rose Consulting LLC, Littleton, CO, USA
24026381
It's all the BUZZ, social media and improving the marketing of your veterinary hospital, for free! You are either intrigued by the concept, want to test the waters or are determined to do it in the best way possible. Whichever the case, identifying a team member to oversee content, determining the goals, following through with appropriate postings, measuring success and making it fun and educational for your clients are a few points to consider.
You may already spend hours viewing friends' photos, sharing sites, generating calendar dates and catching up with classmates from high school. You whiz around on YouTube and have 150 colleagues on LinkedIn. You could be considered a social media JUNKY. Your hospital may already have a Facebook account; however the last post was in December, when the clinic was closed for New Year's Day. See a natural pairing?
Veterinarians and managers have been attending classes for the past few years on why it is important to have a social media marketing plan. Now, they are realizing all the potential because there is evidence it is working and hospitals are beginning to reap some benefits. Social media is here to stay, it is not a fad. This is the time to create a plan, show management you have the desire to professionally oversee social media markets and convince them you are serious. Realistically determine how many hours it will take you to manage the sites (after objectively choosing one or two sites) and make sure you will be supported in the new role as Social Media Master. Tom Dock, Certified Veterinary Journalist (CVJ), Managing Editor at Veterinary News Network (www.myVNN.com) explained it may take one dedicated person as little as 2 hours a week to maintain a dynamic Facebook site.
Make your passion of social media a career move. Use the career map found at www.myevt.com/story/career-road-map to set your course. Consider these following questions:
 What will your job description look like when it includes a social media aspect?
 What is your new title?
 When will you create your posts for the week?
 What will you post? How will you brand the page?
 What further training do you need / want?
 Can you hire a professional to help you set up the original site to make it as professional as possible?
Take this seriously, present a solid proposal and begin building relationships with your clients on your hospital's Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or LinkedIn. Choose one or two sites to begin with, be comfortable working in those medias, then branch out.
Consider downloading a free email book, 173 pages of researched material, titled The Seven Secret Laws of Society, Social Media Essentials and Strategies for Small Business and Associations, chock full of valuable information to further take you down your path to being the social media guru of your veterinary hospital. You can find the pdf on Frank J Kenny's site, http://frankjkenny.com/social-media-essentials-and-strategies-e-book/ [VIN editor: link updated Nov 2012]. Chapters include, rules of the road, basic strategies, your target market's view of the world and your niche and your social market goals. GREAT RESOURCE and it is FREE!
Brenda Tassava, CVPM, CVJ has written a book specific to the veterinary community, Social Media for the Veterinary Professional. Her chapters include defining social media, team influence and sharing posts and re-tweeting. One review stated, "Brenda has written a clear, concise, "cookbook" that anyone can use to create their social media strategy. I have already recommended it to my practices as a purchase to keep in their business library."
Once you have management's support, start off on the right foot by creating goals, timelines, rules for posting, ideas for engaging the community and define what success will look like in the future. Before you take your business page live, consider the emotional aspects of the relationships you are building. If you plan on shoving discounts down their throats, making sterile announcements about hours and times and believe this is going to take the place of an advertisement banner, you are barking up the wrong tree. Social media is all about connecting to your clients on a personal level, it is not about sales. Yes, this is a marketing tool to create client bonding.
Folks who join your circle of friends related to your veterinary hospital typically want to:
 Learn more about what your veterinary hospital does and veterinary medicine
 Feel connected to the team and stay in the loop
 Care for the pets they love and cherish
Social media strategies and outcomes need to be discussed with your veterinarians and managers. What do you wish to accomplish? How will you create engaging, educational, fun posts? How will you measure it? How often will you look at the data and give a report?
First, what do you wish to accomplish? Here are a few examples of possible goals:
 Build community presence and affiliations with other professional groups or welfare organizations
 Create pet health awareness and announce events within your veterinary hospital
 News alerts sent out in timely fashion to your clients
 Improve communication with clients through the use of Twitter, text messaging, emails
 Retain current clients
 Increase visits to the hospital from established clients
 Track referrals from social media, increase number of new clients
With your managers, determine the top priority and two others. Focus on those goals and calculate the Return on Investment (ROI), objectively. Next, what will you post that is engaging, educational, fun and builds the relationship you wish to create and with whom? Here are a few suggestions.
Facebook ideas may include, although not limited to:
 Posting e-newsletter
 Posing questions, "What story do you recall including your first childhood pet?"
 Linking to reputable companies and pet related services
 Posting of an interesting case (considering client confidentiality)
 Introducing team members and news about them (considering employee confidentiality)
 Upcoming topics of interest, Dental Month
 Photo contest around the holidays (considering client confidentiality)
 Collaborate with your team's calendar to post topics that are timely
 Possibly related to the season (eating chocolate at Halloween)
 Heartworm disease posting in the spring
 Synopsis of a class a veterinarian or technician took on zoonotic diseases
YouTube ideas may include, although not limited to:
 Clinic video tour of your practice
 "How-to" videos, use your imagination, how to bathe a puppy or pill a cat
 Video tape a veterinarian offering a safety class to young children
 Video contest of funny client clips (considering client confidentiality)
Invite your clients to join you on Facebook or Twitter by placing a poster in the exam rooms or send out an email. Let them know you are placing videos on YouTube. You must invite them to your media communities. Celebrate the relationships in various ways.
It seems this may be the aspect that is most frequently left out or simply forgotten. How will you measure your successes and how often? Consider an evaluation of your social media communities quarterly. Have you seen a jump in the number of heartworm tests after posting the heartworm information? Will you celebrate in your practice by hosting a party once you reach 300 friends on your site? Truly, consider decorating the reception area and offer cookies, punch and a prize drawing on that day (surely you can predict when that will occur, roughly) Will you track the demographics of your Facebook friends? What will you do with data once it is collected?
Sit down with your management team and find out what they want to measure. Consider using the SMART method of tracking your goals and strategies. Review consistently every three months. Give a report to the team on a quarterly basis. You can find a SMART form at www.topachievement.com/smart.html.
Following are a few sites offering social media metrics to assist you in your data collection:
The following are some amazing statistics regarding computer use. A study recently found that 60% of IT professionals say their company has a social media policy and 40% of those policies ban social media on the job. However, nearly 24% of Facebook users say they log on to the site "all the time" at work. HHMM, what does that tell us? A large percentage of employees are connecting while at work and more than likely, on the work computer. The average adult is spending 17 hours per week online, 10% of that time is networking through social sites.
In Dr. Charlotte Lacroix's article "Social Networking: Friend or Foe", she suggests evaluating your social media policies, creating one if no policy is in place. Determine if it is alright to access and post while on company time and identify if it is acceptable to mention the practice's name on any social networking site, personal or professional.
Establishing a policy is in the best interest of the employer and employee. A conversation with your clients regarding posts concerning their pet is crucial. Documentation in your employee handbook and written acceptance from clients may deter trouble down the road. You never want to violate employee or client confidentiality. Consider viewing www.socialmediagovernance.com/policies.php or www.dvm360.com/socialpolicy for ideas and samples.
Questions you may want to ask management and team regarding the creation of media marketing and policy:
 Who is the primary individual overseeing and adding posts on the professional practice website?
 Is it permissible to blog or access social media while on company time and computer?]
 When posting personal account information, what is the code of conduct?
As in all careers, never stop learning. Consider attending more classes on social media, possibly fine tuning the focus. Local, state and national veterinary conferences often include presentations and labs on marketing. Hire a social media networking specialist to work with you while setting up your marketing sites. Read articles found on VNN, DVM360 and myEVT related to networking. Continue to grow in your career and be the expert you were intended to be.
In conclusion, the veterinary team can be instrumental in the oversight of hospital social media marketing. Identify an employee who has the desire to take care of the task with passion, professionalism and grace. Create goals that will give the media master direction. Consistently post items that are relevant and build relationships. Keep in my confidentiality of the hospital team and the clients they serve. Measure successes and celebrate! This is to be a fun task, helping to bond clients to your practice.
References
1.  Veterinary Network News, www.myvnn.com
3.  Kenny FJ. The 7 Secret Laws of Society. Free e-book. http://frankjkenny.com/social-media-essentials-and-strategies-e-book/ [VIN editor: link updated Nov 2012]
4.  Kenny FJ. Frustrated By Your Social Media Return on Investment? http://frankjkenny.com/2011/08/30/frustrated-by-your-social-media-return-on-investment/ [VIN editor: defaults to home page]
6.  Powell C, Senior Public Information Officer, WSU. New essential business communication tools. http://myevt.com/blogs/43/new-essential-business-communication-tools
7.  Gavzer K. Hands-on tips to using social media today in your veterinary practice. http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/dvm/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=676639&sk=&date=&pageID=3 
8.  Tavassa B. Put your veterinary practice on YouTube. Here's why-and how. . http://veterinaryteam.dvm360.com/firstline/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=684005 
9.  SMART Goal form, www.topachievement.com/smart.html
10. Social Media Metrics, www.chrisbrogan.com/social-meida-metrics [VIN editor: link no longer current, root site works]
12. Lacroix C. Social media, friend or foe. http://myevt.com/columns/34/social-networking-friend-or-foe
13. Social media policies, www.socialmediagovernance.com/policies.php  
14. Social media policies, www.dvm360.com/socialpolicy 
15. Powell C, Senior Public Information Officer, WSU. Where can I find examples of social media policy? http://myevt.com/blogs/43/where-can-i-find-examples-social-media-policy
  
Speaker Information
(click the speaker's name to view other papers and abstracts submitted by this speaker) Rebecca J. Rose, AAS, CVT
Red Valley Rose Consulting, LLC
Littleton, CO, USA


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 TIME & DEDICATION  (Ref: Calculaing a Return on Investment (ROI))

Employ a full-time Social Media Manager
Tom Dock, Certified Veterinary Journalist (CVJ), Managing Editor at Veterinary News Network (www.myVNN.com) explained it may take one dedicated person as little as 2 hours a week to maintain a dynamic Facebook site.

MORE INFORMATION
 Consider downloading a free email book, 173 pages of researched material, titled The Seven Secret Laws of Society, Social Media Essentials and Strategies for Small Business and Associations, chock full of valuable information to further take you down your path to being the social media guru of your veterinary hospital. You can find the pdf on Frank J Kenny's site, http://frankjkenny.com/social-media-essentials-and-strategies-e-book/ [VIN editor: link updated Nov 2012]. Chapters include, rules of the road, basic strategies, your target market's view of the world and your niche and your social market goals. GREAT RESOURCE and it is FREE!

Buy the book:
  Brenda Tassava, CVPM, CVJ has written a book specific to the veterinary community, Social Media for the Veterinary Professional. Her chapters include defining social media, team influence and sharing posts and re-tweeting. One review stated, "Brenda has written a clear, concise, "cookbook" that anyone can use to create their social media strategy. I have already recommended it to my practices as a purchase to keep in their business library."

COMPANY POLICY ON SOCIAL MEDIA



Establishing a policy is in the best interest of the employer and employee. A conversation with your clients regarding posts concerning their pet is crucial. Documentation in your employee handbook and written acceptance from clients may deter trouble down the road. You never want to violate employee or client confidentiality. Consider viewing www.socialmediagovernance.com/policies.php or www.dvm360.com/socialpolicy for ideas and samples.
Questions you may want to ask management and team regarding the creation of media marketing and policy:
 Who is the primary individual overseeing and adding posts on the professional practice website?
 Is it permissible to blog or access social media while on company time and computer?]
 When posting personal account information, what is the code of conduct?
As in all careers, never stop learning. Consider attending more classes on social media, possibly fine tuning the focus. Local, state and national veterinary conferences often include presentations and labs on marketing. Hire a social media networking specialist to work with you while setting up your marketing sites. Read articles found on VNN, DVM360 and myEVT related to networking. Continue to grow in your career and be the expert you were intended to be.
In conclusion, the veterinary team can be instrumental in the oversight of hospital social media marketing. Identify an employee who has the desire to take care of the task with passion, professionalism and grace. Create goals that will give the media master direction. Consistently post items that are relevant and build relationships. Keep in my confidentiality of the hospital team and the clients they serve. Measure successes and celebrate! This is to be a fun task, helping to bond clients to your practice.


 STATISTICS
The following are some amazing statistics regarding computer use. A study recently found that 60% of IT professionals say their company has a social media policy and 40% of those policies ban social media on the job. However, nearly 24% of Facebook users say they log on to the site "all the time" at work. HHMM, what does that tell us? A large percentage of employees are connecting while at work and more than likely, on the work computer. The average adult is spending 17 hours per week online, 10% of that time is networking through social sites



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