Just a quick update on the state of play with the new holiday dialysis review website.
For the last few weeks, I have been focussing on raising its profile. There is only one way to lift the review numbers: start broadcasting the TravelDialysisReview message.
I began with emails and mailouts: emails to Renal and Nephrology Associations, asking them to forward the details to their members/patients.
I also mailed out explanatory sheets for noticeboards and business-sized cards for patients to take home, direct to selected holidays units. Yes, via snail mail.
I’ve had some pleasing and enthusiastic responses from various units, and also from the RSA, with front page coverage:
But it is still early days for the website, mainly because relatively few people know about it, and those that do will mostly write a review next time they travel.
So how to get the word out and start getting reviews – now?
Based on some advice from Matt, one of the original developers (we are working together), we decided to look at other ways of lifting the site’s profile. We started with social media – in particular, by dipping our toes into Facebook.
I did some research and found (34 at last count) great kidney and dialysis Facebook Groups.
As you can see, some are big, like Kidney Support: Dialysis, Transplants, Donors and Recipients, with more than 17,000 members and some are smaller, specialist groups, like Dialysis Traveller, with 400+ members.
They All are active sites, with lots of chat and discussion.
I have joined a few and posted stuff, with some good responses.
This week we launched the TravelDialysisReview Facebook page, which links to the Review website and this blog. We’ve shared the new Facebook page with several of the existing groups.
Again, there have been enthusiastic responses and it is definitely worth the effort. But I don’t need to tell you what a black hole social media can be if you let it, so I’m working out a plan to gradually expand to more groups with regular posts and responses, and hope to kick things off in a week or so.
We also implemented the Google Analysis and Google Search tool to measure how often the site is visited and how people are finding it. Learning new skills all the way.
If all goes as planned, we will also launch a Twitter page in the near future. If I can keep up with all the feeding and watering…
Letting the dialysis world know about this website has become quite a project, with a hellava a learning curve… but it’s not the main objective.
The main game is to get people leaving reviews.
For instance, if everyone who reads this blog – about 10,000 people month – called up the website and left a review about any dialysis holiday they had, Wallah! 10,000 reviews. That’s not including the Facebook readers and the email and mail recipients.
So ten per cent of that’s the target. 1,000 reviews in a month. Could we do this? is that possible? Maybe. Should be.
It won’t be through lack of trying.