Next Phase of Social/Digital Strategy?

What is our social/digital strategy in a 2.0 world or even a 3.0 world. Is it one of social/digital practicality or is it just trying to begin to pull all these elements together? It is more than just having a social presence, having a website(s), having blogs, etc…how are we using these tools in our overall strategies as we communicate. What do we want to measure and how do we want to starting tracking “success”? I break this concept into two categories:

1) Community Building
2) Marketing

Community Building
Community Building is a huge portion of this social/digital initiative…and will always be when we are using social/digital tools. This includes all our PR efforts, community activities, blogging, give-aways, sharing, promotions, etc.

So let’s think about what we do when we are building our community:
1) We share to grow our followers (build our tribe).
2) We share to build digital awareness (spread our brand)
3) We share to engage conversation (get people to comment, like, retweet, etc.)

We leverage this community from a Community Building perspective when we have something exciting that is happening, crisis communication, event engagement, etc. But if you look above, each one of those three points is trackable.

So let’s look again:

1) We share to grow our followers (build our tribe).2) We share to build digital awareness (spread our brand)3) We share to engage conversation (get people to comment, like, retweet, etc.)

OK…let’s shift gears to Marketing…

In the marketing world, this works hand-in-hand with community building. How can we leverage the community that we have built to create downstream revenue opportunities. Many hospitals talk about number of patients, so we have to decide what the “bean counters” consider the most important. How can we create social/digital initiatives that we can track over a period of time to find increase in downstream revenue opportunities.

Here is an example from my friend and colleague Reed Smith in Austin, TX. St. Davids in Austin has an an initiative called the HeartSaver CT…a simple example to consider. The goal is to promote this initiative using social, digital, and traditional means to get individuals to sign-up and have a HeartSaver CT. Basically, you sign up a form inside the website to come in for a $200 evaluation and chat with the doctor.

Here is a link to the page inside the website:

Here is a link to sign-up form:

They used specific Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and traditional marketing efforts to direct people to this page, to fill out the form, and come in for this HeartSaver CT. This is done so they can track the following:

1) How many clicks to the page
2) How many of those clicks came from social outlets (Facebook, Twitter)
3) How many impressions in social outlets
4) How many filled out the form (Collected trackable information like name, address, etc.)
5) How many came in for the HeartSaver CT (immediate revenue opportunity of $200 per person)
6) Track downstream revenue from those individuals that had broader services from this visit (Track over a longer period of time)

Each of those items are trackable. Each of those gives us an idea how our digital efforts worked and if it create immediate and downstream revenue opportunities. From a social/digital perspective…you have to have built an online, social community. So when you share, there are people there to click and hopefully re-share. You are not only measuring the revenue, but you are measuring the value of the online community. You also measuring the value of their reach…so to speak.

So…you all are just as smart (if not smarter) than me and probably are already creating initiatives in our digital/social space that integrates marketing opportunities like this…so we can ultimately measure some success. In my most humble opinion (as we look at all of our social/digital outlets) I think we should ask ourselves the following from each of our outlets social/digital outlets:

1) What is the mission/purpose of this outlet? (social sites and web sites)
2) Who is our audience in this online community or digital outlet? (social sites and web sites)
3) How/what are we going to communicate to build community?
4) How are being a good steward of the larger community? (sharing to make the online community a better place)
3) How/what are we going to promote (initiatives) that we can track downstream revenue opportunities?

We want to build a strong online community. We also want to contribute to this larger community to make it a better experience. But we also want to share opportunities that create revenue as well…or do we?