Publisher’s Note: New study puts value on online recommendations

Publisher’s Note: New study puts value on online recommendations

When you sit back and think about the social impact that technology has had on our lives, it’s undeniable—the power of social media over our way of life has become just as impactful as the television, when it revolutionized homes across America in the 20th century.

Just think about how the Internet has changed in the past 15 years, and it’s astounding. Remember how the rage with teenagers was AOL Instant Messenger? Fast forward to today, however, and social networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Google+ are what makes the digital world go ’round. The buzzing, tweeting, tagging, liking, snapping, and favoriting is non-stop, and it’s here to stay.

Whether you are considering (or are currently using) social media as part of your communications strategy, it’s important to utilize this tool for your practice with HIPAA or liability concerns in mind. You might be asking, “Is it really worth the time and effort?”

The answer to that question can be found in the results from a new study, just released on April 29, which shows that recommendations received on social networks and online have a big influence on consumer decisions. According to the research, online recommendations carry just as much weight as one received from face-to-face communications. This is the first kind of research that placed a value on sharing via social media, and was commissioned by the social data company ShareThis and The Paley Center for Media. The most interesting results from the research indicate that positive sharing on the Internet can elevate the consumer reactions to a product or service by an average of 9.5 percent. Contrastingly, negative sharing on the social networks can decrease the possibility of purchasing the product or service by as much as 11 percent.

Social media should now be a part of your communications plan. If you’re not sure how to navigate social networks, you’re not alone, many others across all business sectors have felt the same way. When you need help with your businesses accounting, I would venture to say that you seek out the services of a Certified Public Accountant; when you need legal help, I’d bet you contact an attorney. Your communications strategies and tactics are no less important. There are firms in our region who specialize in it, and at the risk of sharing a shameless plug, we have qualified folks at Central Florida Media Group who can help you get up and running as well. The best way to get answers is to ask questions, and we’re here to help. Thanks again for reading Central Florida Doctor magazine.

Nelson Kirkland, Publisher

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