Ever feel like your social media strategy is to just get points on the board? Get the content posted, make sure feeds are populated and interact with someone every once in awhile? At a recent Social Media Club of Kansas City lunch, Dan Smith, Sr. Manager, PR & Social Media Strategist for Cerner, admitted that was the case when he started at Cerner 18 months ago. With minimal resources and a evolving healthcare IT industry, Smith knew he had the opportunity to expand Cerner’s ability to connect with its most vital followers.
Look at Metrics
The first thing when trying to manage social media with lean resources is to understand what is working. For Cerner, their blog had been up since 2005 and they maintain social accounts on facebook, twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn, but the real goal historically was to make sure all content was being posted on different channels. That’s it. To build a meaningful presence though, Smith knew they needed to dig deeper into who was connecting with them on the different platforms. That’s when they looked at the insights and analytics. The found out who was engaging with them, what demographics those people belonged to, and what content resonated with them the most. The Cerner team took these metrics and compared them to their competitors in an effort to set some benchmarks for improvement.
Understand the Audience
Through this research Cerner found out their audience was young associates and they was under-leveraging facebook when trying to reach them. They also understood from the metrics that their most popular YouTube video was of mock interviews. This pointed to the audience consisting of young professionals who wanted to work for Cerner. According to Smith, the other key audiences audiences were clients (current & prospective), influencers, and financial analysts and investors.
Invest Where It Make Sense
With this understanding, Smith and the Cerner team started to really think about where to invest their finite number of resources. Their blog proved to be the biggest opportunity, said Smith. When it was built, there were no backend analytics, it wasn’t mobile-responsible and there was no optimization strategy. The new Cerner blog released in June of 2016 had all that and more. The Google Analytics helped dictate the social strategy going forward.
Build a Strategy
Having gone through the steps laid out above, the Cerner team’s strategy in 2017 focused more on inbound marketing instead of interruption marketing. Smith said this inbound marketing is driven by search engine optimization, thought leadership, blogging, and content creation & marketing. The content created for social supports this overall strategy and allows the Cerner team to focus their lean resources on relevant information to their followers.
Despite its accessibility, social media done correctly is never free, but as Cerner’s Dan Smith showed during his presentation, by thinking through the metrics, audience, and strategy, it can be done well with lean resources.