Forget site traffic, Facebook friends, and Twitter followers. hey don’t matter.
Not by themselves, at any rate.
Do you think your CEO cares about how many people came to your Web site? Does your Board of Directors care how many times you were retweeted?
The answer is no. Not, that is, unless you can translate that into something that keeps them up at night. What did visitors DO when they got to your site and how did that translate into patients walking in the door? Are you getting more donations as a result of your efforts on Facebook? How much faster are you able to fill nursing vacancies at your hospital because of your tweets?
Why does your work matter?
Answering this question – the “so what” question – requires two efforts above and beyond generating good traffic numbers.
The first is follow-through. Getting to meaningful numbers requires work. Traffic stats are easy. You don’t need to do a bunch of analysis or coordinate/battle with three other departments to come up with the answer. Determining the downstream revenue resulting from a screening that a health consumer signed up for online may well require that.
The harder element is strategic alignment. This is a fancy way of saying that you need to be doing work that matters. You need to approach the work you do with an eye to creating results that impact the challenges that matter to your organization. This seems obvious. And yet, are you doing social media to “build relationships” rather than to grow your business? Are you investing in driving traffic to pages on your site which include no opportunities to convert visitors into patients?
If you had 30 seconds in the elevator with your CEO, would you have a good story to tell, or would you talk about traffic?