I have a habit of browsing top healthcare communities, advertising agencies, and pharma social pages far more often that I probably should. It’s more than just my interest, it’s my crutch. I’m kind of a whore for social media engagement metrics. And I feel compelled to reveal this because I’ve been seeing (and I assure it you marketers probably see it too) social pages with huge numbers of followers (150k-500k+) but whose posts have little to no engagement.
Perhaps this is a carryover from when industry benchmarks for social media performance revolved around simple likes. Social media engagement didn’t carry much depth because there wasn’t much to engage with in the beginning. But fast forward, and it still seems as though community owners and brands care more about having followers and fans over actual engagement. I could be wrong in making such a general assumption, but in the healthcare space it seems to be a common occurrence, despite newer compliance regulations. Social media engagement may be tricky and sometimes difficult to manage – but it’s the most valuable of all social media driven data.
So just to put it out there, below are some of my thoughts on why having quality followers is more important than having thousands of useless likes:
The insights you derive from your followers helps you dictate future content that continues to be relevant (which in turn encourages more followers, and garners more influence). But in order to derive value, you must first provide it! Setting up patient funding campaigns for top contributors, building a website that allows you to monetize your dedicated fans, or creating a central archive for the wealth of information available to the public etc etc these are just a few opportunities to provide more value.
We do our clients, fans, followers, and our brands a disservice by focusing on quantity over quality. Bringing value to your communities opens the door to establishing incredible influence as a brand. Remember this: greater value given garners exceptional influence.
Where there is influence, there is reliability. Where there is reliability, there is trust. Social media engagement only exists when true conversation occurs – and conversations exist where people feel free to express themselves without repercussion. Without feeling bombarded with selling tactics, or product ads. Greater value = greater influence = greater trust. Get the idea? False conversation will never produce this unique chain of events.
Because the healthcare industry in particular is undergoing a digital revolution of its own, conversation is happening everywhere. Wouldn’t you rather your followers have that conversation under your banner? Your brand? Your disease specific communities? Likes alone don’t provide insight, garner influence, and by no means build brand trust. The fallacy of the activity meter is that now, more than ever, likes provide almost no value as a solitary metric.
Super short and sweet: the more we start having our own conversation about what benchmarks are most effective in reaching our target audiences, the better we all can help our clients, communities, patients, and even our own brands.