Social Media Marketing – More Than Just PR

Anyone who says you can’t measure social media is wrong. There, I said it.

But before the social media purists start preaching about how relationships can’t be measured, let me first say that I measure more than just happy thoughts and warm, fuzzy feelings.

The purists in this industry strictly believe that social media in the business world is just a public relations tool and is all about human interaction and emotions. Their motto is: listen, join and engage – but that’s only part of the formula. What about planning strategically, driving business and measuring social media efforts?

At dr2marketing, we take traditional social media one step further and developed an innovative formula to drive new and qualified leads in any market. When you add the word “marketing” to the phrase “social media”, you’re talking about business. So, our social media marketing services are designed to generate leads, which drives results. (It sounds like a crazy concept, but our clients seem to like it.)

How do we do it?

We harmonize multiple disciplines – brand research, marketing strategy, campaign execution, and analytics to capture the psychology of behavior. The result? A highly relevant brand that drives the marketplace reaction toward your business demands.

We participate in the daily chit-chat while carving out clear calls to action for our clients’ business purpose – whether it’s acquiring customers, optimizing existing relationships, or converting consumers into advocates.

A common misconception is that social media success is directly related to being personal and authentic. Well, that’s not entirely true. In actuality, social media success is attributed to hyper-targeting key messages. What’s the point in talking back and forth with people who don’t care about your brand, product or service? Every client is different, so every message, audience and circumstance should be different as well.

The proof that social media can be used as more than just a public relations tool comes from D&M Leasing – the largest consumer car leasing company in the nation, and one of our biggest clients.

In February 2013, D&M Leasing spent $877 on a targeted Facebook campaign to the surrounding cities of the Dallas-Fort Worth area about vehicle leasing opportunities. The result? 266 qualified leads from Facebook alone. Holy lead generation. To make this even sweeter, their lowest cost-per-lead source in the last year has been social media, hands down.

As Jason Falls wrote on Social Media Explorer:

Optimal communication takes place when a marketer can deliver a relevant message to a relevant audience in a relevant location at a relevant time.

So, to all the social media purists out there – I get it. You’re genuinely interested in “joining the conversation” and you’re good at it. Let me know how it works out when you tell your client that the professional benefit of your services isn’t direct, nor is it trackable, but that they should rest assured – it’s there.

Photo credits: Mark Smiciklas

Should You Buy Facebook Fans?

We’ve all heard the saying “You get what you pay for”, and that’s something to remember if you happen to be tempted to purchase Facebook fans.

It’s no secret that an underground market has emerged that will happily sell you manufactured Facebook Likes. (One search turned up a market price of $199 for 10,000 likes.) I’ve had clients ask if this is the strategy I use to build their social media presence, and I cringe at the thought while quickly assuring them that it’s not something I would even consider. Ever. It’s a pathetic strategy that is both deceptive and unethical, and is a complete waste of money and time.

In the world of automotive sales and leasing, credibility is key. A local auto leasing company, like a lot of small businesses, uses a Facebook page to promote its services and within a relatively short period of time (they joined Facebook on June 6, 2012), their Facebook page has garnered more than 5,000 fans.

But most of those fans are unlikely to lease a new car any time soon because most of them don’t really exist. This company’s Facebook numbers have been artificially inflated by a network of zombie accounts run by a bot master.

The most popular city for this company’s fans: Lahore, Pakistan – not exactly commuting distance to North Texas. The most popular age group for their fans is 18-24 years old, which doesn’t seem like the logical age group for people interested in leasing a vehicle.

Smart Screen Shot

This leasing company is hardly the first company that has purchased fans for the sake of looking popular and they certainly won’t be the last to do so. The bigger issue beyond the poor quality of fans lies in the mindsets of those who choose to buy them. They’re still looking for that magic bullet for their business and sadly, that mentality never leads to success. It’s almost guaranteed that these bought fans and the handful of real ones in the mix will never turn into customers, and if they never do, then what’s the point of having a Facebook page to begin with?

Our client D&M Leasing is the largest consumer car leasing company in the nation with two locations in North Texas in Grand Prairie and Dallas, and one location in Houston. Their Facebook page is an accurate representation of effective social media marketing.

With more than 16,000 fans, the most popular city for D&M Leasing fans is Dallas, TX. The most popular age group for D&M Leasing fans is 25-34 years old, which makes way more sense in terms of who is most likely to lease a car.

D&M Leasing Likes

Need even more proof that the “fans” from the first Facebook page aren’t interested in becoming potential customers?

Check out the screen shot below of a comment left on their Facebook page in response to one of their leasing specials they posted.

Smart Fake Comment

The comment makes no sense and has us scratching our heads. Ready to see what a legitimate Facebook strategy produces? D&M Leasing posted their own leasing special below.

Real D&M Comment

The facts speak for themselves. As long as you have a product or service that adds value to people’s lives, people will naturally like your page. How? You just need to know how to use the tools that Facebook gives you to provide everyone a chance to learn more about you. What happens when you do these things? You end up with many people who actually like your company and who want to do business with you.

So if you think that buying Facebook fans is the way to go, just remember that to everyone else, your page might look awesome because you have a gazillion fans, but you’ll be stuck with the heartache of knowing that you’re not making a single dollar from them.

The 5 Reasons You Need Video

Did you know that product videos make consumers 85% more likely to buy (Internet Retailer)? As technology advances, the use of video on company websites has shifted from an added bonus to an expected component. Your potential clients spend their entire day reading text online, on their phones, and at work. Communicating through video is a great way to provide them with a break from all of the reading they do. 

The advantages of video are best seen in the form of video testimonials. Five advantages are:

 1.     Emotional Connection

  • Think about the last time you heard someone speak about an experience with a lot of emotion. It likely made you feel passionate about their story and helped you relate to it. Video testimonials allow the viewer to learn about your company from someone else’s experience. Listening to someone else speak helps them understand the impact you can have and can be the factor that leads them to choose your business.

 2.     They Brag For You

  • We all know someone who talks about how great they are all the time. Our first reaction usually is to tune them out or assume they’re exaggerating. As a business, it’s hard to talk about yourself without sounding too arrogant. Using video to share client testimonials is a great way to have someone else do the talking for you.  This way people will still know how great you are, and they’ll know that it’s genuine. 

3. Word of Mouth Marketing

  • Videos are easy to send to friends and post on social media networks. Word of mouth is the most effective form of marketing, so having a video to share makes it easy for your audience to pass your message along. Forrester Research found that people are 75% more likely to watch video than read print. Video is a great tool that should be used the same way movies use trailers; give your viewer a taste of what’s to come and build their interest in what you can offer.

4. Easy To Find, Easy To Watch

  • Video hosting sites like YouTube have sharing buttons that make it easy for you to post your video anywhere and everywhere. You can embed it on your website, post it on your Facebook, tweet it, pin it and email it. The last thing you’d want is for a client to share their experience and have no one see it. It doesn’t hurt that 85% of people choose to watch a video about a company online rather than read the rest of the website according to Forrester Research. Video is easy to find and easy to watch. 

5.  Videos Are Sticky

  • According to DigiDay, people stay on websites 5.33 times longer with video. Websites can become mundane or redundant when the only thing you have is text. Your visitors will quickly get bored and click away from your site. Adding a video will not only help draw people to your site but it will also help keep them there. Now that you have them hooked, you can be confident they’ll see parts of your site they would have missed if they had just clicked away.

Check out some the testimonials we’ve created below! Let us know, have you used video testimonials for your company? 

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                        

                                                                                                                                        

                                                                                                                                         

 

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Four Things We Learned About Social Media From The Election

The 2012 Presidential Election is being dubbed “The First Digital Election” by Forbes. Here are a few things we learned from it:

1.  Social Media Influences Decisions

If there was ever any doubt before, there isn’t now. Social media is a major influence on the decision making process for most people. This year, President Obama added to a strong following from the last four years to accumulate 33 million “likes” on Facebook, while Mitt Romney was way behind with 12.2 million. This allowed Obama to use the platform to advertise more and spend less.  His strong presence on Facebook and Twitter made a huge impact on the election. KSL-TV, an NBC affiliate, estimates 58 percent of Americans obtain their political news via social networks, while 88 percent are registered voters. Obama’s strong presence on social media gave him a direct line to voters and his influence was clearly felt. His agressive social media strategy helped him to edge out Romney and win the election.

 2.  Social Media is an Integral Part of the Conversation

Using social media to comment on current events has become so natural to consumers that they can’t imagine it any other way. While TV used to be the frontrunner in news consumption and conversation, more consumers are now focused on social media as their preliminary source of news because of its real-time and viral capabilities. Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, says “social media is deeply embedded in the rhythms of people’s lives.” Consumers now form opinions as events are happening, instead of watching them on TV later or reading about them the next day.

Social media is not only here to stay, it’s here to take the lead.

3.  Facebook is alive and well

Record numbers of users flocked to Facebook to check for updates on the election and post their opinions on the developments as they occurred.  Facebook reports, “The 2012 election received the highest score on the Facebook Talk Meter that we’ve measured this year among U.S. users, weighing in at a 9.27 on a 10-point scale that measures Facebook buzz around a specific event and related terms.” In 2008, the number was 8.95.

This election showed that people will still run to Facebook, use it as a platform, share their opinions and stay connected.

4. The New Peer Pressure

On Tuesday night, you saw multiple Facebook posts, tweets, and Instagram photos from most of your friends. So it’s not surprising that there were 71.7 million election-related Facebook mentions in posts and comments in the U.S. on election day alone. On Twitter, there were 31 million tweets relating to the election, with over 325,000 a minute!

While the direct impact on votes is unclear, there’s no questioning that opinions are being shared more consistently and easily than ever before. The general public talks about more than just politics on social media. When they have an opinion about your business, you can be sure you’ll hear it from them – and so will their friends.

 

Summary:

What we’ve learned about social media from this election is that consumers are willing and ready to share big news with their friends. The question now is, how will you get them excited about your business?

The election provided a lot of insight for the use of social media on a major scale and it’s crucial for business owners to take these facts and implement them into smaller social campaigns.

How did you use social media during the 2012 election?

Seeing is Believing: How YouTube Benefits Your Medical Practice

The Situation

After successfully launching a social media campaign for Dallas-Fort Worth bariatric and cosmetic plastic surgeon, Dr. Clayton Frenzel, dr2marketing decided to enhance his current marketing campaign by incorporating more videos into his social media channels.

We produced four spots that featured four former patients of Dr. Frenzel’s – three bariatric patients and one cosmetic plastic surgery patient. Video testimonials are a key addition to advertising for any practice because it allows individuals to connect with others in a personal and direct way, and also serves as a digital form of word-of-mouth-marketing. I interviewed each patient separately and had them tell me about what their life was like prior to surgery, what their experience with Dr. Frenzel was like, and how their life has changed since their procedure.

The Results

In the end, we produced four honest, insightful video testimonials from actual patients who were eager to share their story with others.

We then took the videos and uploaded them to YouTube to boost Dr. Frenzel’s SEO efforts. Every video we posted to his YouTube channel was tagged and indexed to increase the odds of his name appearing in organic Google searches for keywords associated with his practice and industry.

So, if you haven’t already scrolled down to the testimonials below, be sure to do it now and let us know what you think!

Bariatric Surgery Testimonials

Cosmetic Surgery Testimonial

Case Study: Dallas-Fort Worth Bariatric Surgery Practice

Utilizing direct response advertising strategies in the medical service industry is no longer an option — it’s vital. dr2marketing clients come to us because they know we deliver campaigns with quantifiable results.

The Challenge: dr2marketing was selected as the agency of record in 2009 by a bariatric surgeon in the Dallas-Fort Worth area who wanted to increase his market share and establish himself as a leading surgeon in the weight loss surgery market.

Previous advertising efforts were handled by his office manager, who was aimlessly placing television spots herself on local network stations. She lacked the experience and knowledge to negotiate the best deal that would effectively reach their target audience, and the results left the surgeon with expensive rates that produced a low number of leads.

Our task was to conduct an analysis of the practice’s current advertising strategies and to make recommendations that included media placement of television ads.

Our Strategy:  dr2marketing completed a comprehensive analysis of the surgeon’s market share in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas metropolitan area that evaluated his competitors and target demographic base of prospective patients. We conducted extensive market research to better understand how to appeal to the client’s target audience, and analyzed all of the possible television markets available. This allowed us to determine which stations and schedules would provide the lowest cost per reach.

Implementation: Campaign for the bariatric surgeon and his practice included the following:

  • Marketing analysis
  • Research management
  • Media planning and buying
  • TV commercials
  • Call tracking and reporting

The Results: Within the first month of the campaign, we were able to increase qualified telephone leads by more than five times, taking the surgeon’s inbound call volume from 59 to 297.

Prior to partnering with dr2marketing, this bariatric surgeon performed 86 surgeries during the first quarter of 2009. By the first quarter of 2010, after the partnership, that same surgeon had performed 174 surgeries. Once ranked 21 in a list of bariatric surgeons in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, our client’s ranking soared to number one in just one year’s time.

 

We were able to accomplish these results using the same television spot and the same budget, but our expertise in buying and placing media allowed us to purchase new time slots at cheaper rates that modified the target audience to a more accurate demographic.

If your medical practice is not marketing itself effectively, you could be missing out on the opportunity to reach out to potential patients. We can help increase your revenue by focusing on specific marketing efforts that will bring you a maximum return on investment.

Contact us using the online form or at (817)778-4695 for a no-cost consultation and for more information on how dr2marketing can develop a customized advertising campaign for your medical practice that fits your needs, audience and budget. 

3 Critical Questions to Ask Yourself Before Advertising Your Surgical Practice

As a surgeon, you’re not only a doctor, but you’re also a business owner, and by definition, your healthcare advertising agency is a partnership arrangement. Choose this business associate carefully; you’re not buying latex gloves or file folders here – you’re hiring trusted professionals that understand your business and your growth goals.

You may feel ready to take your practice to the next level, but is your practice really ready? Here are three fundamental questions to help you decide if your practice is ready to start advertising. Ask yourself:

1. Is my practice currently staffed to handle a projected increase in phone calls and Internet leads?

An ad campaign cannot be launched until the infrastructure of the practice has been assessed and adjusted to accommodate the increased number of phone calls and inquiries.

If your staff is going to need help, then the next step is to determine how much. Should you hire an inbound marketing person to handle the added lead activity or should you use a call center? What type of call center will you need? After-hours or 24/7?  And is the call center HIPAA compliant?

There’s no need to get overwhelmed. At dr2marketing, we’ll work with you and prepare you and your staff for the amount of calls to expect as a result of your ad campaign. With more than 25 years of direct response experience, we understand what patients prefer and we’ve identified which methods work best.

2. What is the profit per procedure?

A surgeon cannot practice good medicine for long if he or she does not run a successful business, so with that said – treat your practice just like any business. Before determining your advertising budget, you must calculate the profit you earn per procedure. A thorough understanding of your profit margins is necessary before investing in the growth of your practice, and dr2marketing can help you realistically project the surgical volume needed each month to achieve your revenue goals. If you’re honest with yourself in determining your future workload, then we’ll work with you to create an effective campaign that will position your practice for success.

3. How do I budget the correct amount for advertising?

An ad campaign is devised by the budget set aside – that will dictate which direction your campaign goes in. There are two factors to consider when determining your advertising budget: Are you going to work off a goal? If so, then your ad budget is the maximum number of patients you plan on seeing. If not, then we’ll take your established budget and maximize its reach. We work on a cost-per-reach basis with national and local media outlets to obtain optimal results for your practice. We can provide more reach, more frequency, and more prominent placement at the same rates large corporations pay.

At dr2marketing, we’ve dealt with all types of medical practices and facilities across the U.S. with varying results. We have the tools to trace your campaign to make sure that your practice is getting the quality and quantity of phone calls and leads you expect, and we have the ability to adjust your campaign in real-time to minimize any wasteful spending.

Like all business decisions, it’s crucial to consider the details before jumping into an advertising campaign. When you’re prepared, with eyes wide open, you can adapt, grow and ultimately, flourish.

For a Free Advertising Consultation, visit dr2marketing.com or call Roger Lee at (817)778-4695. Our agency specializes in results-driven advertising solutions to brand your practice through direct response strategies to bring new business.