Evaluating Your Health Messages


Image via Chalkbeat

Now that your health organization is on all the major social media sites, it’s time to see your hard work pay off.  The social media process does not end after you hit “post”.  There is a very critical next step, evaluation.  Evaluation is a great way to see what social media sites are working best for your health organization and how to improve future messages.

Is evaluation really worth my time?

The answer is absolutely yes!  Think of it this way, without evaluation your health organization could be failing the reach your target audience.  That is like your health organization talking to brick wall.  Social media takes a lot of time and effort so you want to be sure you’re using it effectively.

Image via BoxChilli

Breaking it down

Evaluating social media is also referred to as social media analytics.  In the past, it has been common for organizations to hire a third party company to track analytics for them, which can be costly.  The good news is many social media sites are now providing these services for free.  Websites such as Twitter allow users to track their posts and see how much of an impact the posts are making.

Image via The Next Web

All of this is great news for your health organization. There are also websites such as Hootsuite that allow you to analyze multiple different social media sites at once.  Websites like this allow for your health organization to get even an even deeper understanding of the gender, age and geographic location of those that are engaging with your organization. Analyzing your social media is a great way to make sure that you are reaching your target audience.

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Image via Hootsuite

So what exactly is all of this telling me?

There are four best metrics to use when measuring the success of social media.  These metrics will give your health organization a better idea of how effective its messages are.

  1. Conversation rate.  The number of comments or replies per post. Getting a higher conversation rate requires a deeper understanding of your audience and what they will respond to.  One of the best parts of social media is the opportunity to have a two-way conversation and get feedback from your audience, so take advantage of it.
  2. Amplification rate.  Amplification rate is the number of people that share your health organization’s message with their followers.  On twitter this is known as retweets but on sites such as Facebook it is known as shares.  Everyone in your network has their own network, so when they share your content you have the opportunity to reach a whole new audience.  That could then lead to more people liking or following your page.
  3. Applause rate.  Essentially this is the number of people cheering you on or applauding your health organization.  For a post on Facebook it is the number of ‘likes’ you get, on a site like Twitter, it is the number of ‘favorites’ your post gets. This is a simple way to tell what your audience likes or does not like.
  4. Economic value.  This one is important because economic value is all about the money.  Economic value is the sum of short and long term revenue and cost savings. When social media is done right, it adds revenue to your health organization.  This could be more people making appointments or buying your product.  Programs such as Google Analytics and WebTrends can help you figure out your economic value from social media.
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Image via St Jude

As you can see in this post from St. Jude, the organization got a high level of engagement. For this post their applause rate is around 950, their conversation rate is about 20 and the amplification rate is 108.  It is clear that in this post they are reaching their audience and sending out an effective message.

Wrapping it up

Evaluation can seem like a lot when hearing about all the different rates and things to consider, but it is really much simpler than it seems.  Evaluation is basically just a way to see how much people like your organization and the messages you are putting out.  The goal of evaluation is to continuously improve your social media for optimal results.  With a little evaluation I’m sure your health organization is well on its way to one million followers. Best of luck!



2 thoughts on “Evaluating Your Health Messages

  1. Kayla,

    Your blog is so clean! It makes it incredibly easy to read. The categories and subcategories you’ve divided your content into is great. You have also condensed the information well; we get everything we need to know and in your own words, which is also a great way to show off your personality. My favorite part, however, is your “wrapping it up” section. It’s a great idea to summarize what you have said because a lot of information has been given. I found the best metrics particularly interesting and found that I spent a lot of my time on those for my own blog.

    – Bekki C.


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