As therapists, we’re taught that we must use objective measures to track our progress in the clinic with patients. We use range of motion measurements, manual muscle testing, and other methods to demonstrate patient progress toward therapeutic goals. How ironic, then, that most of us have no idea how to track our efforts in the realm of social media!

We’re not alone in this, though. A recent article in Mashable reported that 84% of those using social media programs don’t measure their return on investment (ROI), with 40% saying they didn’t know if they could track ROI from their social tools. While it may be difficult to track the ROI of a social media strategy, it isn’t impossible. It just takes a bit of know-how and some dedication to the process.

This article explains the basics of measuring the ROI on social and contains links to some great resources. The article makes it clear that we need to have concrete goals and baselines in order to calculate ROI. Author Christina Warren states:

“Although ROI ≠ metrics, traditional web metrics like traffic counts, number of comments, Twitter followers, Facebook fans, etc., are an important component when calculating your ROI. The trick is to not rely solely on the numbers, but on what the numbers end up leading to. For instance, does your increase in website visitors correlate with higher sales? Are people that find your website from Twitter or Facebook then clicking on your product pages or going to the e-Commerce section of your site? That's the sort of data you want to be able to look for.”

From Oliver Blanchard's Social Media ROI Presentation on Slideshare, we learn that ROI = (X – Y)/Y, where X is the final value and Y is the starting value. For example, if you invest $5.00 and get back $20.00, your ROI is (20-5)/5, which shows that you got back 3 your initial investment. Blanchard explains that things happen in a sequence:

Investment → Action → Reaction → Non-Financial Impact → Financial Impact

Non-financial impact is shown through website visitors, click-throughs, Twitter followers, retweets, and positive word of mouth. Blanchard explains that the non-financial impact is not ROI (yet), but if we have an established baseline, we can create activity timelines. These timelines allow us to overlay our sales revenue, number of transactions, net new customers, and other metrics to get an idea of how much of a financial impact our social media strategy is having.

Formulas exist to measure the ROI of social media. The Angie Schottmuller article titled, "Social Media ROI: 14 Formulas to Measure Social Media Benefits" shares formulas for calculating tangible social media benefits, like advertising, content, leads, research, support, and sales. Additionally, this article details 50 ways to track website traffic, while this one gives you seven ways to become a Twitter analyst.

By taking baseline measurements of your business metrics, creating a strategy for social media, and tracking your progress with specific formulas, you can have some objective idea of whether your intervention is helping you reach your goals—just like we do every day in the clinic.


How are you tracking the ROI of your social media strategy? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

The 2018 Rehab Therapy Salary Guide - Regular BannerThe 2018 Rehab Therapy Salary Guide - Small Banner
  • Social Networking with Purpose: A Guide for OTs Image

    articleMar 10, 2017 | 4 min. read

    Social Networking with Purpose: A Guide for OTs

    1.86 billion Facebook users and myself agree: online networking platforms represent one of the best technological advances in recent years. If you aren’t leveraging the online sphere to grow your occupational therapy network, you may be missing out. However, we all know by now that the online world can be a rabbit hole of dead ends and misadventures. It is, therefore, critical to approach social networking with purpose.  Here are three steps to help you do just …

  • articleJan 29, 2013 | 5 min. read

    A PT’s Guide to Reputation Management

    Today’s blog comes from E-rehab.com President David Straight, PT, DPT, OCS. E-Rehab provides physical therapy websites, video, email newsletters, search, and social media for physical therapy-owned private practices. Contact David at 800.468.5161 or dave@e-rehab.com .   As Benjamin Franklin once said, “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one negative one to lose it.” With this statement in mind—and 21 st century technology—let’s talk about reputation management in 2013. Here are a few questions …

  • How to Spend Your Clinic’s Marketing Dollars for Maximum Returns Image

    articleAug 17, 2016 | 11 min. read

    How to Spend Your Clinic’s Marketing Dollars for Maximum Returns

    As author and marketing guru Seth Godin says, “In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.” If you want to stand out in the rehab therapy marketplace—and potentially grow your clinic—then spending money on marketing is essential. But, to ensure a maximum return on investment, you’ve got to carve out—and carefully manage—your physical therapy clinic’s budget. Knowing where to put those dollars can …

  • What’s Wrong With Physical Therapy Marketing Today Image

    articleMay 7, 2018 | 7 min. read

    What’s Wrong With Physical Therapy Marketing Today

    There’s a lot at stake when it comes to successfully marketing your physical therapy practice —as well as your profession. But unfortunately, many physical therapists avoid the topic altogether. After all, marketing is closely related to sales—and sales often gets a bad rap. But, we’re not about the hard-ball, cringe-worthy, manipulative sales tactics that make us all uncomfortable; instead, we’re all about positioning your value in such a way that your audience can actually relate to it—and …

  • Six Steps for PTs Considering Crowd-Funding Image

    articleMay 14, 2014 | 8 min. read

    Six Steps for PTs Considering Crowd-Funding

    Your next-generation rehab tool is poised to be a big hit in the market, but you can’t construct a prototype because you are maxed out on credit cards. You’re looking to expand your practice to a second location and are on a capital campaign to secure the lease and fund the build-out. Maybe you’re simply trying to purchase a much-needed piece of equipment for you clinic, but the bank isn’t extending your business’s line of credit. What …

  • How to Manage Your Online Marketing Image

    articleMar 26, 2014 | 5 min. read

    How to Manage Your Online Marketing

    Today’s blog comes from E-rehab.com President David Straight, PT, DPT. With the current level of over-regulation and increasing pressure from competition, payers, and POPTS, running a physical therapy private practice can be a challenge. That’s why it’s more important than ever for owners and directors to efficiently manage their business operations—and that includes marketing. While many small practice owners often view online marketing as an afterthought, it should actually be a high priority. After all, record numbers …

  • 3 Quick Wins for Your Online Marketing Strategy Image

    articleMar 24, 2015 | 6 min. read

    3 Quick Wins for Your Online Marketing Strategy

    Starting a clinic in a new city—with new referral sources and limited networks—can be very challenging. But with the right online marketing strategy, you can expedite the process. In fact, over the last three months, I’ve been able to grow my patient base by using old school word-of-mouth marketing and establishing an online presence in the local community. There are many ways to use the power of the Internet to market to patients and referring providers, and …

  • The Bare-Bones Social Media Guide for PT Clinics Image

    articleMay 17, 2018 | 5 min. read

    The Bare-Bones Social Media Guide for PT Clinics

    I’ll admit it: during the first five years of my career, I was extremely opposed to using social media. I felt uncomfortable when patients asked to friend me on Facebook, and I got nervous about employers checking in on my personal life. Along the way, though, I was forced to change my tune. When I launched my non-clinical physical therapy career as a copywriter and entrepreneur, I had to learn the art of self-promotion. As PTs, we’re …

  • 6 Biggest Takeaways from PPS 2015 Image

    articleNov 16, 2015 | 10 min. read

    6 Biggest Takeaways from PPS 2015

    Last week, I joined hundreds of amazing physical therapy professionals, students, and vendors (including yours truly, WebPT) at this year's PPS Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida. Despite the uncomfortable combination of tropical heat and humidity outside—and near-freezing conference rooms inside—everyone was in high spirits. Though I never made it to Disney World, I still felt like I was in the most magical place on Earth, thanks to the inspiring and informative presentations I saw and the thought-provoking …

Achieve greatness in practice with the ultimate EMR for PTs, OTs, and SLPs.