Laser-Like Social Media Focus Works Best for Independents

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media , October 16, 2013

"We try to do someone new every week," says Giardina. "If we are getting a lot of referrals from a doctor's office, we'll feature them. Or, if someone says it's slow, then I'll say, 'Hey, I'll do a write up for you on our blog,' and it helps them, and it helps us."

It's rare for a patient to come in on their own without a physician referral, though since Compass stepped up its presence on Facebook, those types of patients are on the rise. Giardina says before it focused on engaging with patients on Facebook, it may have had one person per month come in. Now, he says it's more like two or three new patients per month.

"It's hard to gauge the direct return on investment, but lets' just say we get two patients—one for an MRI, one for a CT – with not a lot (of ad spend) on Facebook… that return is phenomenal."

For independent physician offices or freestanding facilities like Compass, it is tempting to invest significant resources, whether it is time, money, staff, or all three, in social media channels. There are so many and they are simple to use, but smart marketers know that the value of social media comes from knowing if the target audience using it.

"Before Facebook we were focused on word-of-mouth referrals," says Giardina. "Social media is the new digital word of mouth, and it has helped our visibility tenfold."

Jacqueline Fellows is an editor for HealthLeaders Media.
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