The cost of social media is unmatched by any other marketing strategy. At little to no cost, you can get started very quickly. Social networking communities such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are free to use and can have tremendous impact on your ability to reach your customers and prospects through multiple forms of media channels.
The Mayo Clinic is a great example of a company that is leveraging the technology and influence of social media through an integrated marketing strategy. In addition to the regular blogs that the Mayo Clinic hosts, they also syndicate their own radio blog to distribute MP3s to radio stations for a weekly program that saves the clinic approximately $20,000 per month.
A valued one-time expense that the Mayo Clinic happily invests in is their Flip Video Camera that they use to shoot mini-DV video clips of physicians, patients, and the like. With the camera, they can do some light editing and then quickly upload the video to You Tube via the attached USB adapter. The cost of a Flip video camera ranges between $150 to $230 dollars depending on features and advanced capabilities desired.
While the cost of social media marketing is small, the return on its investment (ROI) is potentially massive. Imagine some true life examples from the Mayo Clinic’s social media feed. One patient posted a wall post on Facebook about her experience with Mayo that was then read by other Mayo Facebook “fans” as well as her own Facebook “friends”. Additionally, she personally told approximately 30 people about her visit and she also allowed the clinic to post a video of her on YouTube with billions of potential viewers. Word of mouth referrals paired with rapid fire social networking has a great ROI value.
Check out one of their videos here with a mother describing her experience with her son Porter who received cochlear implants as an infant.
Not all videos are viral, but the Mayo Clinic happened to have a charming experience captured on the premises that was uploaded by a patient’s daughter to YouTube. The video was only seen by 1,000 people in a six month period; but, once the Mayo Clinic embedded the link in one of their own blogs and used Facebook and Twitter to promote it, the video went viral. After it was promoted with social media, it got 3,800 views which quickly grew to 20,000 views a few days later and then to over 2 million views in just six weeks. That video has now received over 6.4 million hits.
See that video here:
The Mayo Clinic has found a way to succeed in healthcare by using social media as a means of communication. Through various tools such as blogs, videos, social networking, and micro-blogging, information is conveyed to colleagues, employees, staff, physicians, patients, and people everywhere. Having a place to promote ideas and events as well as to educate people on all matters related has helped advance the reputation of The Mayo Clinic much quicker than traditional methods could have ever done. Here is a brief video of the Mayo Clinic’s social media manager, Lee Aase, explaining the tools and associated growth that social media is having in The Mayo Clinic’s success.
Another great video of a keynote describing the Mayo Clinic’s social media strategies can be found here.