Contributed by Vern Singleton, CEO, Eating Disorder Center of Denver
Eating Disorder Center of Denver is one of the nation’s foremost centers for the diagnosis and treatment of the full range of eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating and diabulimia. Based on an individual’s particular clinical needs, EDC-D offers a variety of treatment options, including a partial hospitalization program, intensive outpatient programs, nutritional counseling, outpatient therapy and an evening treatment program.
Full disclosure to our readers: While we typically do not write about our own work, we feel it’s only fair for you to know EDCD is a client of Weise Communications.
How have your marketing initiatives changed in the last 18 months?
We have overhauled our marketing efforts, and online marketing is currently a big part of our media mix. This is quite a change for EDC-D compared to previous years.
How have your public relations initiatives changed in the last 18 months?
Our proactive public relations initiatives have stayed consistent in the traditional outreach we do. But in the last 18 months, we have added a complete social media plan to compliment and enhance our traditional public relations. We are also highly focused on using PR to drive people to our website. It has been a successful endeavor with site visits increasing month over month.
What is your current opinion of social media and its ability to drive business opportunities?
Social media and Internet marketing in general is a measurable way to drive new business – you can see such a return on investment here. Social media can directly drive business opportunities and can increase general exposure when the right tracking methods are in place. Plus, the campaign can be easily tweaked when needed.
The main goal of social media is to engage others, share information and learn from your network. With people talking about EDC-D, our staff, their experiences at the center, and/or the eating disorder industry, we wanted to “get in the room” – the social media site — and be part of the conversation.
Our Facebook page enables EDC-D to connect with target audiences and build relationships. It also provides one more way for search engines to find EDC-D – social networks rank high on Google searches. Facebook allows us to interact with those who are involved with us on a more personal basis. We also use a Facebook group to help build relationships and support for our network.
Our Twitter campaign increases exposure to our brand and helps us push out important information to those who may be interested in EDC-D. We have used a Twitter account to provide updates and news and direct readers to the website for more information. We also use Twitter to ask questions of our peers and receive the relevant information and/or feedback on where we can go to get that information. Overall Twitter is another helpful branding tool for EDC-D. The Twitter account has also supported our media relations outreach.
What are your corporate goals with social media?
Our corporate goals are to drive business, to increase patient referrals and increase census. We also hope to increase our reach in the eating disorder community in general. By using social media we can hope to make a difference for those who are suffering but not quite ready to seek treatment.
Do you believe social media outlets are here to stay? Why or Why not?
With the mass-penetration into our culture, I think social media is smart for business and a part of our culture that is here to stay.