What’s the ROI of Social Media? Erik Qualman Has the Answer

As the brains behind the concept of Socialnomics, Erik Qualman is an author, speaker and all-around smart guy when it comes to social media.

He also makes some of the most creative videos on the subject, as evidenced by his latest, Social Media Revolution 2013. If you’re still wondering about the value and impact of social media on your business, it’s 4 minutes well-spent.

Living, breathing, young, old, mysterious, frustrating, powerful, revolutionary — as Qualman suggests, social media can be all that and more. Little wonder then that it can also be a bit overwhelming, which may explain why some doctors avoid it in the hopes that it’s a passing fad that will just go away.

It isn’t and it won’t. And while Ford and Coca-Cola may have the staff and budgets to have a presence on every social media platform on the planet, most doctors would be better served by focusing on the outlets that provide the most bang for the buck. That means being seen, being heard and being found.

Be seen

You can’t be seen if people aren’t looking for you and the fact remains that people don’t use sites like Facebook to discuss aesthetic procedures, let alone shop for products, services or providers. (Even if they did, Facebook’s system means many updates go unseen, which means they might not see your posts anyway.) Instead, doctors should build a presence on sites that attract high-intent consumers, i.e., those that are actively considering and researching cosmetic surgery.

Be heard

One of the best ways to be heard is to speak up and by answering consumer questions, which begins the process of making connections while people are still considering their options. The folks at Google refer to this period as the Zero Moment of Truth and doctors who ignore it run the risk of being too late to the party when those people decide to become patients and choose a provider.

Be found

Ultimately, social media is about building connections and community; generally speaking, it’s not a good channel for acquiring customers. (This is one reason it can be difficult to determine a hard-number ROI). Instead, those connections inspire consumer confidence and, one hopes, a visit to your practice website. That’s why it’s so important to claim all of your social profiles, ensure all your online information is consistent and recognize the unique challenge of Internet leads.

So, what’s the real ROI of social media? Qualman, for one, doesn’t beat around the bush:

The ROI of social media is your business will still exist in 5 years.

About Rob Lovitt

Rob Lovitt is a longtime writer and editor who believes every good business has a great story to tell. He has written for dozens of magazines and websites, including NBCnews.com, Expedia.com and the inflight magazines of Alaska, Horizon and Frontier airlines.