As the world grows increasingly social, it’s only natural that search engines are taking social conversations into account. Known as “social signals,” these online actions — Facebook shares, Twitter retweets and comments on blogs and forums, etc. — are playing an ever-bigger role in the relative ranking of websites in organic searches.
They should also play a central role in doctors’ online marketing efforts, especially now that Google has added Social Reports to its analytic offerings. Knowing which social networks refer what kind of traffic to your website can help you better focus your efforts on those consumers most likely to be converted into patients.
Many social measurement tools focus on social listening by monitoring keywords and buzz. While they’re helpful in many cases, these tools don’t connect the dots to show how investments in different social channels ultimately lead to sales or business objectives, Google’s Phil Mui told MarketingLand.com. Our goal with the new reports is to tie social activities and referrals to measurable, meaningful economic value so businesses can more effectively evaluate which social channels are impacting their bottom line.
For social media marketing types, the reports can be parsed in dozens of ways to see how much traffic various social networks refer, which social plug-ins (e.g., Google+1, Facebook “likes”) people use and the paths social visitors take as they navigate around your website.
That may be more information than doctors have the time or inclination to process but it’s data your social media manager should be monitoring and reporting on. After all, as more cosmetic surgery consumers turn to social media for research, support and purchasing assistance, such social signals are only going to get louder.
1. Track social plug-ins to determine what content visitors share
Having social sharing buttons (e.g., Google+1, Facebook “like) on every page can help you determine what content visitors are more or less likely to share. This can help you determine what pages warrant a higher profile and where to focus your energies when adding new content.
2. Adjust marketing efforts to mesh with site visitors’ actions
Knowing which social networks refer the most engaged consumers can also help you focus your outbound marketing efforts. Are site visitors sharing your Cellulaze page with their Facebook friends? You might want to highlight the procedure in an App box beneath your Facebook cover photo. Are visitors posting items about Botox on Reddit? A discount offer on your homepage would certainly be a timely incentive to schedule an appointment.
3. Don’t get bogged down in the details
The Social Reporting tools can also analyze a wealth of additional data, including the paths visitors take through your website, at what points they drop off or convert and whether or not you’re meeting the goals you’ve set. You may not have the time or inclination to delve that deeply but whoever’s overseeing your social media efforts certainly should.