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Key takeaways:

  • Senior social media leaders at the nation’s largest hospitals shared how they’re managing decreased 2023 budgets.
  • Health members discussed how boosted content can be a cost-efficient initiative to help drive engagement for smaller teams.
  • Other best practices to work around smaller budgets include reassessing your strategy at a granular level, making a case for essential subscriptions and tools, and using data to prove the ROI of social media at your hospital.

With substantial financial losses impacting many hospital social media budgets for 2023, where does this year’s budget planning cycle leave you?

In Health’s 2022 Benchmarking Report for Large Hospitals, 8% of members reported their budgets had decreased since the COVID-19 pandemic year over year, and 52% said their budgets remained flat.

Whether you’re still fighting for your budget requests or if decisions have already been made, it’s necessary to have a game plan for a successful year.

Recently, Health members benchmarked how they’re navigating shrinking social media budgets and shared strategies for healthcare social media leaders to manage executive expectations, cost-saving initiatives, and the social media efforts to prioritize for this year.

Here are some of their insights into how you can prepare your social media strategy for 2023 with decreased budgets.

Leverage Boosted Social Media Content Health members recently discussed how boosted posts drive higher engagement for hospital social media teams with smaller budgets. Additionally, V9 Digital, a Denver-based digital marketing agency, shared how social media boosting can be cost-effective.

In the Health community, members noted how it’s helpful to be strategic with the posts you’re looking to boost. They shared how you should analyze the types of stories you’re looking for engagement around and the targeted audience you’re looking to reach.

Start by looking at the demographics of the audience, including gender, region, and which platforms you have established successful engagement on. One member shared how some platforms like Twitter are better for organic reach than others, which can help focus boosting efforts elsewhere.

Make a Case for Your Top Tools and Subscription Services

Members discussed how you can make a case for the top tools and subscription services that help increase brand awareness and engagement across your hospital.

There is a lot of time, effort, resources, and organization needed to run social media for a healthcare organization, and members shared how presenting the ROI of specific tools to executives can help with budget planning.

When deciding if specific platforms or tools make sense from a financial perspective, one member said it helps to identify the appropriate channels for your social media team to focus on. For any tools or subscriptions not used, that member noted how you could analyze if you can get ROI from existing ones in your catalog.

In the 2022 Benchmarking Report for Large Hospitals, Health members reported the top three publishing tools they use include Sprout Social, Hootsuite, and Sprinklr. Members also discussed how they use listening tools like Meltwater or Brandwatch for more in-depth social media metrics outside of what their publishing tool delivers.

Providing examples of how these tools can help track your engagement and add to your hospital’s overall organizational goals is essential in reviewing your discretionary spending.

Reassess Your Strategy at a Granular Level Health members also noted how it’s helpful to reassess your strategy. Efforts that worked five years ago create different results today.

One member explained how they’re looking to test new initiatives with their audiences to see where to focus their efforts. They explained how social media posts focused on more engagement rather than brand awareness can help with decreased budgets and provide information that patients are looking for.

For those with decreased budgets, members said they’re focusing more on analytics and data-driven strategies. Some are re-evaluating which social media or content awards are worth the effort and cost and if they help build on their strategy.

Use Data to Prove Budget Needs

There’s no doubt that using social media can help your hospital provide accurate health-related information to your patients and healthcare providers. But in what ways can you leverage data to prove budget needs? Health members explained how dashboards help show what’s working well for social media teams to executives and senior leadership teams. One cost-effective way to report the data of your social media efforts is Google’s Data Studio, which is free to use. Members shared how data can show which campaigns work best nationwide or in specific regions and the KPIs that add to overall revenue through conversions. They also noted how using data like follower growth, likes, comments, and shares helps increase brand awareness.

Breaking down where your social media efforts are successful across devices, platforms, and campaigns can help your team understand where to focus your budget needs and give insights to executives on how your strategy is adding value across your organization.

Learn More on How to Prove the ROI of Social Media with Your Peers

Dramatic budget cuts and unpredictable landscapes can cause concerns for the long-term success of your social media strategy. But you don’t have to take on the challenge alone.

On Wednesday, January 25th, at 2 PM ET, Health hosted a confidential, vendor-free leadership discussion for social media leaders at the nation’s largest hospitals to benchmark how you can prove the ROI of social media.

The social media team at Mercy presented how their social media and CRM teams are partnering on strategy, collaborating on content, and capturing data to show social media’s contribution to hospital revenue.

They shared peer insights into how you can prepare a game plan for your social media efforts in 2023.

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