One or many; same or different? Optimizing a social media presence

March 21, 2016 at 10:00 pm Leave a comment

MortonsNeuromaOne or many; same or different? These are the big questions in developing a social media presence especially for a small organization. A friend works at http://www.mortonsneuroma.com/, and I looked at their website.
The Center for Morton’s Neuroma uses many forms of social media. The website displays an array of icons in the upper left for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Placement in the upper right is more typical, and, since they are only icons, there is no hint as to what you will see when you look at their social media sites. Besides the icons, there are tabs for testimonials and blogs. It seemed like a lot of social media!
The use of multiple forms of social media may increase the likelihood that someone finds the site through search or happenstance. At the same time, people are unlikely to follow all of these unless the content is quite different. This was confirmed by the number of likes, sharing, etc. that I observed. My overall sense was of considerable overlap and duplication.
The site has a link to Yelp but no reviews there, which was surprising since the site includes some patient testimonials. When I used “foot pain” for a search term and “Framingham, MA” for the location, they didn’t come up as a search result or paid ad, the former because they have no reviews, I suspect.
While how to find a provider has not been significantly advanced by social media, I wonder if the effort that went into social media could be better spent on a presence on review sites like Yelp, including asking subsequent people who want to provide a testimonial to do so on Yelp or Facebook.
Back to my original question: one or many; same or different? Most practices use too little social media or rarely update, but, for this center, my advice is fewer social media platforms with more distinct content. Repetition of content is never advantageous, but tailoring content to different platforms can be effective. My overall advice is to focus on more enticing use of Facebook and perhaps one or two other platforms; to encourage patients to provide reviews on Facebook and Yelp and remove the testimonial tab; remove the blogs and place that content elsewhere; and, finally, use likes, shares, and analytics to determine the types of content that are most popular and focus on those. Once this is all cleaned up, the center could consider an Ask the Expert column that people could submit questions to and that could be a way of linking to some of the more buried content.
Agree or disagree with my analysis?

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Lisa Gualtieri, PhD, ScM

Lisa GualtieriLisa Gualtieri is Assistant Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine. She is Director of the Certificate Program in Digital Health Communication. Lisa teaches Designing Health Campaigns using Social Media, Social Media and Health, Mobile Health Design, and Digital Strategies for Health Communication. Contact Lisa: lisa.gualtieri@tufts.edu

@lisagualtieri


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