Children’s Mercy provides millions of dollars of uncompensated care to patients thanks to the generosity of their charitable donors. Children’s Mercy provides high-level care to thousands of children each and every year. They have journeyed a long way from their single bed beginning in 1897 to today, where they are building and growing relationships via social media.
As with many businesses social media is a primary area of focus for Children’s Mercy. During a recent AMAKC event, members of the Children’s Mercy team outlined their 5R approach to social media. Their 5R approach was a key takeaway for me and can be associated to any business’ social media presence.
This is how I view the relevance of each 5R when utilizing social media for business.
Reputation: Social media delivers tons of information that affects how people perceive businesses. Companies are exposed more now than ever. It is paramount that businesses have a social media presence and dedicated personnel maintaining their platforms. Reputations are built, improved and destroyed in minutes due to the reach of social media.
Referrals: Society is very active in social media. Sharing, liking and posting information is this era’s “Word of Mouth Advertising”. Back in the day an advocate could only tell a few about a product, service or experience, now they can reach hundreds of thousands with the click of a button.
Recruitment: Volunteers, donors and top ranked personnel are vital to Children’s Mercy hospitals. While their recruitment needs are slightly different than most business models, employees are essential for all companies. Social media has become a go-to for businesses spreading the word about their environment and culture. This creates a desire for potential candidates to seek out opportunities within an organization they feel would be ideal for them.
Retention: Referrals help companies grow, but only if they retain existing customers. Something as simple as a personalized Thank You or Happy Birthday post on a customer’s Facebook page goes a long way towards keeping their loyalty. Engaging customers in real-time is also very important for retention. It is necessary to respond to negative posts or constructive suggestions. A company that replies back to customers has a deeper impact than years of advertising.
Resource Development: Through social media outlets a business can educate customers and potential customers about their business offerings more effectively. Our on-the-go mobile society demands that information is delivered to us. It’s becoming less and less likely that consumers will become curious enough to seek out offers and information regarding a particular business.
The reason I viewed this portion of the event a major takeaway and worthy of sharing is because it demonstrates reason behind utilizing mechanisms for marketing business, in this case social media. Many companies will setup an account on Facebook or Twitter only to “check the box” on their marketing checklists, letting it sit there uncultivated. Establishing and maintaining the purpose for marketing in a particular realm is important toward keeping relevancy in that space. Otherwise the initiative will metaphorically die on the vine.
Please take a moment to learn more about Children’s Mercy, volunteer work or become a donor http://www.childrensmercy.org/