If executed properly, social media is the not-so-secret weapon your radiology group can use to its advantage. A strong social media presence can serve as both a resource and center of conversation for patients, physicians, and the local community.
In just under two years, Rhode Island Medical Imaging’s (RIMI) newly defined strategy has led to double- and, in some cases, triple-digit growth across all social properties and has enabled RIMI to nurture engagement and stay top of mind within its target audiences. In a two-year span from November 2018 to December 2020, RIMI’s total followers increased 144%, total impressions increased 235%, total engagements increased 104%, and total new followers/likes increased 80%.
RIMI has grown their social media from an obligation to an opportunity. RIMI’s approach to Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter has enabled them to reach and grow provider, patient, and referring physician audiences using data and reporting.
The following are three tips to leverage your group’s online presence.
• Consistently publish. Maintaining a consistent pace of publishing is key to growing your audience and engagement rate. Posting frequency depends on the platform you are using because every platform is different. We recommend posting once a day on Facebook, at least twice a day on Twitter, an average of seven times per week on Instagram, and about three times per week on LinkedIn.
Applications such as Hootsuite allow you to schedule posts on all platforms in advance, but use caution because these outlets often limit the types of edits that you can make on your posts.
• Develop a comprehensive content strategy. If you want to increase your audience size and post engagements, it is essential to create a comprehensive strategy. To do this, you must understand your audience and know that your audience varies from platform to platform. For example, LinkedIn is designed for business-professional content, with posts aiming to influence the radiology industry, physicians, and prospective employees. Instagram, however, thrives on visual content to provide users with a window into your operation, from day-to-day happenings across locations to healthy “holiday” observances to behind-the-scenes features of employees.
You also must create a varied mix of content themes to engage your followers. This can consist of educational posts, workplace culture insights, and patient and physician testimonials. Incorporating paid social media, such as boosted posts on Facebook, will also enhance your impact by increasing post visibility and engagement.
• Measure and “read” the results of your efforts in timely reports. Creating a timely report is essential not only to track progress toward your social media goals but also to help your leadership and peers understand the impact of social media. Developing reports will help you show the effect of public relations efforts, track the effectiveness of optimizations and new social tactics, understand the type of content your audience wants to see, and showcase your success.
Basic social media analytics includes impressions (how many times your post enters a social media user’s newsfeed), reach (how many individual people your post reaches), engagements (how many likes, comments, shares, etc, your post receives), and engagement rate (calculated by dividing engagements by total followers reached, then multiplying by 100). A tool such as Google Data Studio can be used to present these findings and compare them with previous months and years of data.
To learn more, follow RIMI on social media using @rimirad.
— Dana Alexander Nolfe is Rhode Island Medical Imaging’s chief marketing officer. She leads the development and execution of marketing, communication, and business development activities for the only ACR Center of Excellence in Rhode Island.— Sara Ryan is RIMI’s marketing specialist. She is responsible for designing, creating, and delivering marketing programs to support the growth and expansion of RIMI’s products and services. Ryan manages RIMI’s social media platforms and website.