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Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: M is for Mistake #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

26 posts. 26 days. 26 letters of the alphabet, one blog post beginning with each letter.

M is for Mistake

A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying… that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.    – Alexander Pope

Whether you are just getting started using social media for your brand or you are well acquainted with the do’s and don’ts of social media marketing, it pays to take a fresh look at some of the most common mistakes businesses make online to ensure you are not making them too.

Here are 3 common social media management mistakes I see happen most often — and how to fix them.

Mistake #1 Being Overly Promotional On Social Media

Posting content that focuses solely on your own offering is sure-fire way to turn people off. Sprout Social surveyed more than 1,000 Facebook, Twitter and Instagram users to determine what annoys them about brands on social, what drives them to unfollow and which industries are on the right side of the line. Respondents indicated that the most annoying thing brands do on social is over-promote.

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Try This Fix: Follow the 80/20 rule: 80 percent non-promotional content and 20 percent posts with calls to action. Experiment with posting quality content from others. To quickly find great relevant content on Facebook, use the Pages to Watch feature in your Facebook Page Insights.

Mistake #2 Not Having A Content Promotion Plan

Content has no value unless it’s shared. You could have the greatest piece of content in the world, but if no one can find it, does it really exist? Cross promote each piece of content you create — but do NOT copy and paste the same post on each platform. The platform and the audience using each, are unique and as such require a unique post. That doesn’t mean that you cannot create similar posts — but format each of them to meet the requirements of the specific platforms.

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Try This Fix: Use a scheduling tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule your updates to reach more people, more often. While automating posting is fine for some things, you still need to interact with your audience to gain their respect, earn their trust, and build relationships. Always keep in mind that Social Media is just that — SOCIAL. Connect with content and then focus on building relationships by being there.

Mistake #3 Not Monitoring Social Media

Social media is a two-way conversation that requires you to listen more than you talk. It’s easy to get caught up in the metric of having the most likes on Facebook, views on YouTube and followers on Twitter as an indicator of your impact. But likes, views, and followers are not an objective measure of your brand’s true position. You need to dig deeper to find what people truly think of your product or service.

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Try This Fix: Set up keyword searches to incorporate your brand name and include words relevant to your industry.

Don’t just monitor mentions of your brand’s name. Aim to evaluate sentiments attached to those mentions. Tweets that indicate issues with your company should be resolved immediately. Doing so strengthens public perception that your focus is strongly centered on customer satisfaction.

Want to learn more about common social media mistakes?

Read 15 Social Media Marketing Mistakes … And How To Fix Them

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: L is for LinkedIn #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

26 posts. 26 days. 26 letters of the alphabet, one blog post beginning with each letter.

L is for LinkedIn

I’m a big fan of LinkedIn. I sing its praises all the time.

At 500 million users and growing, LinkedIn is the social media site that boasts the largest network of business professionals.

Yet many professionals still treat their LinkedIn profile as little more than a place to park their CV and promptly forget about it.

If you’re wondering how to get more out of the platform, it may help to see what other professionals are doing there.

Earlier this year LinkedIn invited readers to fill out an interactive survey asking about their marketing aspirations for 2019.

LinkedIn has published those initial findings in a new infographic which you can view here.

Driving Leads And Building Brand Awareness Top Priorities

 

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63% of respondents see driving leads their top-most priority in 2019, followed closely by building brand awareness. Creating better content (53%), demonstrating thought leadership (40%), and better understanding marketing ROI (38%) follow in line.

Actionable Marketing Tip

Highlight your expertise, build your personal brand and demonstrate thought leadership by publishing original thought-pieces on LinkedIn’s publishing platform.

When you publish an article on LinkedIn:

  • Your original content becomes part of your professional profile. It is displayed on the Articles section of your LinkedIn profile.
  • It’s shared with your connections and followers in their news feeds, and sometimes through notifications.
  • Members that aren’t in your network can follow you from your article so that your next article will be surfaced in their feeds. LinkedIn Publishing is even searchable through Google.

Ready to get started? Read How To Increase Your Visibility On LinkedIn By Publishing Articles

You might also like to read How To Brand Yourself For Success On LinkedIn

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: K is for Keywords #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

26 posts. 26 days. 26 letters of the alphabet, one blog post beginning with each letter.

K is for Keywords

If you want your website to rank higher in Google you have to make sure that you’re using the right keywords. Keyword research is vital because identifying the terms people are searching for will determine the kind of content you create and the way you will optimize it.

I frequently come across clients who use one set of words when describing their services, while their target audience uses a completely different set of words. As a result, your audience doesn’t discover your website, because of a mismatch in search terms. Good keyword research makes sure that you use the same words as your target audience.

The Google Keyword Planner within Adwords is a useful tool to find ideas for content based on keyword search. This is a free Google tool that gives you insight into the volume of monthly searches for a particular keyword, and how much competition there is, based on advertising spend for sponsored links. It also returns suggested terms you could use instead of or alongside your original keyword.

You will need to sign up for an Adwords account with a Gmail account but you don’t have to add any credit card details or create any ads to use the tool.

Pro Tip! Use Google Related Searches

Google displays related search results at the bottom of the first page when you type in your Google search query. This is a super-helpful resource as it returns ideas that are relevant to your topic based on user interest and contextual words.

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Need some help with keyword optimization?

If you’d like more help with keyword optimization for your website, I’m running a special promotion this month for my email subscribers. You’ll find more details in my latest newsletter.

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: J is for JPEG #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

26 posts. 26 days. 26 letters of the alphabet, one blog post beginning with each letter.

J is for JPEG

JPEG is Short for Joint Photographic Experts Group, a standard for compressed pictures, widely used on the web. The degree of compression can be adjusted, allowing a selectable tradeoff between storage size and image quality. JPEG typically achieves 10:1 compression with little perceptible loss in image quality. The most common filename extensions for files employing JPEG compression are .jpg and .jpeg.

You should always use images to accompany your social media posts and the content you create.  When at all possible, its better to use original images – those you have taken yourself – than stock photo images. If you can’t do this, use one of these recommended photo sites to source your images.

Once you have found the right image,  the next step is to optimize it for use on your website or blog. Using a JPEG file extension for larger photos will give you good results with a relatively small file size.

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If you need to reduce the size of your image, use a tool like  JPEGmini, or jpeg.io. Images can have a big impact on loading times – the faster the site, the easier it is to visit and index a page. 

Lastly, be sure to add a caption and alt-text to describe what’s in the image so both search engines and people can make sense of it.

Dive deeper into the topic of optimizing images for search engines with this Yoast post.  

 

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: I is for Instagram #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

26 posts. 26 days. 26 letters of the alphabet, one blog post beginning with each letter.

I is for Instagram

Instagram is on the rise, and will no doubt play a bigger part in healthcare communicators’ social media strategies over the course of this year.

With Facebook reach on the ever-steady decline, and Instagram’s active audience now rising above a billion per month, it makes sense to add the image-sharing platform to your social media mix.

Why use Instagram for healthcare marketing?

Instagram (IG) enables healthcare providers the opportunity to connect in an immediate way with their patients. It is particularly good for community outreach activities and patient education.  Healthcare providers can also use IG to show users a behind-the-scenes view of their practice.

Here’s how board-certified plastic surgeon, Jonathan Kaplan MD describes his approach to using IG in his practice.

By watching us in our “natural habitat,” the prospective patients feel like they know us. We seem more approachable. By the time they show up, there’s more rapport between us vs patients unengaged with us on social media.

Dermatologists, cosmetic dentists, and plastic surgeons can benefit from Instagram by using photos or video to illustrate their services. Practices can showcase before and after photos of patients, as well as videos or illustrations that educate patients on procedures and treatments.

How to get started with Instagram

To get started with Instagram, set up a business profile (or convert your current Instagram profile) to a business Instagram profile.  If you aren’t sure if you are using a business Instagram account, it’s easy to find out. Go to your account and next to “Edit Profile” check to see if you can see the “Promote” button which will tell you if you are using  Instagram for business.)

When you create a business account on Instagram, you’ll be able to get insights about your stories, posts, and followers. With an Instagram business profile, you can see real-time metrics on how your stories and promoted posts perform, and get insights into how followers are interacting with your content.

Next, choose an Instagram username – pick a name that clearly identifies you, your practice, and/or your specialty.

Complete all of your practice information and don’t forget to include a link to your website in your bio so prospective patients can go directly to your site. Aside from your business name, username, and website URL, your Instagram profile provides 150 characters for writing a bio. According to Hootsuite, “your bio is an opportunity to make a first impression, to articulate what your business offers and why people should care. Your bio should explain who you are and what you do while conveying your brand’s identity.”

Your bio is an opportunity to make a first impression, to articulate what your business offers and why people should care. Your bio should explain who you are and what you do while conveying your brand’s identity.

Adding a profile image that’s high quality and reflects your business is a must. Be sure that your IG is aligned with your website and other social media channels in terms of branding and imagery.

Looking for some inspiration?

Take a look at how these healthcare providers are using Instagram in their online marketing.

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Further Reading

 

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: H is for Hashtag #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

26 posts. 26 days. 26 letters of the alphabet, one blog post beginning with each letter.

H is for Hashtag

Hashtags, a way for users to easily find similarly themed content, are used regularly by millions of social media users, especially on the micro-blogging site Twitter.

Hashtags tie public conversations from different users into a single stream, allowing you to connect more easily with existing conversations and discover new people who are tweeting about the healthcare topics you are interested in.

If you are running a social media campaign, hashtags allow you to measure the level of interest, sentiment (“positive” “negative” or “neutral” attitudes), key demographics and influencers of your campaign. You can then use these findings to plan future campaigns.

What began on Twitter has now spread with varying degrees of success to Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and LinkedIn (LinkedIn has recently started to experiment again with hashtags).

Hashtags on Twitter

Hashtags are a powerful way to maintain your visibility on Twitter and boost engagement with your followers. According to Twitter’s own research tweets with hashtags show a 100 percent increase in engagement (clicks, retweets, likes and replies). Hashtags can also expand the reach of your message beyond just those who follow you to help you grow your network.

Two Ways to Use Hashtags on Twitter

(1) Twitter Chats. Hashtags are an integral part of Twitter chats (live Q&A sessions organized around one unique hashtag) allowing you to follow the discussion and participate in real-time.

(2) Live Conference Reporting. Hashtags are useful when it comes to sharing insights from conferences and events. Nowadays, most organizers will designate a specific conference hashtag. By tagging your tweets with this hashtag you can expand the reach of the conference beyond the physical confines of the event.

#TwitterTip: #Don’tGo #HashtagCrazy on #Twitter.

Too many hashtags can diminish your chances of engagement with a tweet. The basic rule of thumb on Twitter is to use 1-3 hashtags within the messaging of your post. More than that and the post tends to become cluttered, hard to read and might be seen as “spammy.” The key is to use hashtags sparingly and only when they add value.

Hashtags on Instagram

Instagram is another hotspot for hashtags and unlike Twitter where less is more when it comes to using hashtags, interactions are highest on Instagram posts with 11+ hashtags. You can follow hashtags on Instagram to stay connected with interests, hobbies and communities you care about.

Hashtags on Pinterest

On Pinterest when you add hashtags to the description for a new Pin, site users can then visit a feed of all the Pins that share that hashtag.

Want to learn more about using hashtags for healthcare conversations?

Check out The What, Why, Where and How of Using Hashtags in Healthcare

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: G is for Grammar #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

26 posts. 26 days. 26 letters of the alphabet, one blog post beginning with each letter.

G is for Grammar

Do you want to present a positive and professional online impression?

Of course, you do.

Nothing gives a poorer impression than bad grammar and spelling.

Even those of us who pride ourselves on our composition and spelling can slip up. It’s easy to type fast and miss that you wrote “their” instead of “there.”

To help avoid these kinds of mistakes, I use Grammarly a free writing app available as a Google Chrome Extension. Grammarly will catch those easy to make mistakes and question your use of the word. It also suggests better ways to get your message across.

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Adding Grammarly to Chrome means that your spelling and grammar will be vetted on Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Tumblr, and nearly everywhere else you write on the web.

I use it all the time and find it super useful.

Click here to download the app.

You might also like to read 8 Proofreading Tips and Techniques 

 

 

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: F is for Facebook #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

26 posts. 26 days. 26 letters of the alphabet, one blog post beginning with each letter.

F is for Facebook

Worldwide, there are over 2.23 billion monthly active Facebook users and 1.47 billion people on average log onto Facebook daily. Statistically speaking, Facebook is too big to ignore but at a time when organic Facebook Reach is estimated to currently be as low as 1–3%, succeeding on the platform is more difficult than ever.

Social analytics platform Quintly released a new report, in February, for which they analyzed 94,000 Facebook Pages, and over 105 million posts, in order to achieve “a data-driven foundation” for Facebook insights and predictions.

If you’re struggling to make an impact on Facebook, then these findings may help you find a way forward.

Visuals Lead The Way

Facebook recommends each post you create should include some type of creative, like images, GIFs or videos. Quintly’s findings bear this out.

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Key Takeaway: As you can see merely posting a link without a video or image leads status updates to under-perform.

Weekends Are The Best Time To Post

On average, Quintly saw a tendency towards posting during the weekday. with 23% of all posts posted during the weekend.

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Key Takeaway: Posting on the weekend resulted in 13.3% more engagement. If you’ve not tried posting on weekends, it may also be worth testing.

Want to learn more?

Access the full study here.

You might also like to read 10 Tips To Create More Engaging Content For Your Medical Practice Facebook Page

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: E is for Egg Head #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

26 posts. 26 days. 26 letters of the alphabet, one blog post beginning with each letter.

E is for Egg Head

Twitter suspended 70 million accounts in 2018 as part of a crackdown on malicious activity on its platform. While you may not think this crackdown will impact you, there is one surprising way in which Twitter’s attempts to control abuse on the platform might.

Twitter has made it possible to filter out accounts with the default “egg” profile picture so that they don’t appear in your notifications. Twitter will also let you filter out notifications from users who haven’t verified their email addresses or phone numbers.

It is still surprising to me the number of new (and not-so-new) Twitter users who start tweeting from an account with no clearly identifiable name, bio, or profile picture.

The first and most fundamental thing to understand about Twitter is that it is a conversation. Would you approach someone at an event and not introduce yourself first? Would you keep your face hidden from view while you hold a conversation? And yet this is precisely what some users do when they set up their Twitter accounts.

Many Twitter users will not follow accounts without a profile picture on the assumption it is a fake account.

A study published by researchers from Microsoft and Carnegie Mellon University, “Tweeting Is Believing? Understanding Microblog Credibility Perceptions,” analyzed how users assess Twitter credibility.

The study found that:

  • users are poor judges of truthfulness based on content alone and instead are influenced by heuristics such as user name when making credibility assessments.
  • users represented by the default Twitter icon, or a cartoon avatar are perceived as significantly less credible than users with a personal photo.

As soon as you have created your Twitter account, you should replace the default image with your own picture. Twitter is about human connections. When uploading a picture, don’t use a cartoon, or any other animate or inanimate object for your profile. A professional close-up headshot works best. You also have an opportunity to personalize your profile by uploading a custom header image alongside your profile picture. Use this opportunity to bring more authenticity to your account.

Want more Twitter tips?

Read Become a Social Media Ninja With These 25 Smart Twitter Hacks

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: D is for Dux-Soup #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

26 posts. 26 days. 26 letters of the alphabet, one blog post beginning with each letter.

D is for Dux-Soup

Dux-Soup is a browser plug-in which works with Google Chrome as your virtual assistant on LinkedIn.

Dux-Soup keeps track of every single profile you visit and allows you to make notes directly on the profile page which are saved. Profile date and notes can be export as a .CSV file to be opened in Microsoft Excel or similar. The .CSV file includes data such as the name of the person whose profile you visited, job title, company name, location, email and notes.

Dux-Soup can save you hours of manual data entry when it comes to tracking all your leads you interact with on LinkedIn. You can take and save notes on each profile such as: have sent invite/need to reply to a message / likes Opera etc.

You can opt to use the free version (which enables you to view a hundred LinkedIn profiles a day) or upgrade to the paid version (which allows you to set the number of profile visits you need to make per day and export the .CSV file and make use of the data you gathered.

Dux-Soup is available as a browser plug-in which works with Google Chrome. Download here.

Want to up your LinkedIn game?

Check out How To Brand Yourself For Success On LinkedIn

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: B is for Blog #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

26 posts. 26 days. 26 letters of the alphabet, one blog post beginning with each letter.

B is for Blog

Want to increase your influence among healthcare consumers? Start blogging.

Blogs written by physicians, nurses, researchers, patients, and allied healthcare professionals add much to the richness and diversity of the online healthcare conversation. Blogs are a super way to educate patients and keep content on your website fresh.

Healthcare blogs vary in content and style; they range from commentary on a topical issue to patients sharing the lived experience of disease and healthcare professionals educating patients on the management of an illness.

Marketing to patients with a blog can be one of the most effective ways a new medical practice can reach more patients. Blogging regularly increases awareness of your practice, as well as help your website rank better in search engine result pages (SERPs) thereby increasing its organic traffic.

Need more convincing? Check out these stats.

What should you blog about?

Creating a blog is relatively easy; the challenge lies in consistently creating fresh content. If you are struggling to come up with new ideas on a regular basis for your blog, then this list of 16 content ideas should help get you started.

How do you attract more readers to your blog?

It’s not enough to write great content and hope that people will find it. You need to actively promote your blog to maximize opportunities for more people to find and learn from your content. In this post, I share 10 tried and tested ways guaranteed to drive more traffic and increase engagement on your healthcare blog and here you’ll find 3 Places To Find Interesting Ideas For Your Healthcare Blog.

You might also like to check out this list of 18 Top Tools For Your Healthcare Blog.

Got questions?

Do you have any questions about starting a blog? Leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to answer them for you.

 

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: A is for Algorithm #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

26 posts. 26 days. 26 letters of the alphabet, one blog post beginning with each letter.

It’s the tenth anniversary of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge and I only just heard about it today, which means I’m jumping into things a week late, but I’m excited to join in and that’s what counts.

A is for Algorithm

If you are going to take advantage of social media for marketing purposes, you need to understand social media algorithms.

Algorithms now dominate the social media marketing discussion — almost everywhere you engage, within almost every platform you use, machine learning and data sorting is used to decide what it is you see. Social Media Today

Facebook, the first to implement an algorithm feed, is probably the biggest example of a social media platform using algorithms. Facebook’s most recent ‘meaningful interactions’ update, is focused on prioritizing posts that create meaningful conversations, especially those from family and friends.

Unfortunately, Facebook’s algorithm is constantly changing and it now makes it increasingly difficult for businesses to make an impact without paying for advertising.

Expect other social media networks to adopt similar algorithms as time goes on — both Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, though less advanced than Facebook already use their own algorithms.

Want to beat the Facebook Algorithm? Read this.

 

Posted in Cool Tool, Infographics, Visual Marketing

Monday Morning Cool Tool: TouchRetouch

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week’s cool tool recommendation is photo editing app TouchRetouch.

The app is designed to deal with unwanted content in photos, wanting having to resort to Photoshop.  It allows you to remove small items from your photos by drawing over them with your finger. Repair minor imperfections on your face, some small spots from dust on your camera sensor, or other point-like spots by just tapping on them.

TouchRetouch is available for $1.99 for iOS and Android

Posted in #HCSM

23 Things To Tweet About In April

Maintaining a consistent posting schedule on social media – whether it’s writing blog posts, or sharing updates on social media channels – can be a challenge.

When I teach social media classes, I always recommend creating a social media calendar so you can map out in advance upcoming holidays and cause awareness days.   By doing this, you will have a ready supply of things to share on social media.

To help you plan your content in advance, I’m going to highlight some events happening this month which you can add to your calendar.

See which of the following awareness days you could build engagement around. You could write a blog post, create a video or graphic, and then share it on Twitter and Instagram with the relevant hashtag.

Have some fun with these – but do make sure whatever you create and share fits with your brand!

April 2. Tuesday, World Autism Awareness Day #WAAD

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April 3. Wednesday, Find a Rainbow Day #FindARainbowDay

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April 3. Wednesday, National Walking Day #NationalWalkingDay

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April 7. Sunday, World Health Day #LetsTalk

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April 10. Wednesday, National Siblings Day #NationalSiblingsDay

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April 10. Encourage a Young Writer Day #EncourageAYoungWriterDay

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April 11. Thursday, National Pet Day #NationalPetDay

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April 12. Friday, International Day of Human Space Flight#InternationalDayOfHumanSpaceFlight

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April 16. Tuesday, National Stress Awareness Day #StressAwarenessDay

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April 16. Tuesday, National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day #PJDay

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April 17. Wednesday, Haiku Poetry Day #HaikuPoetryDay

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April 18. Thursday, Get to Know Your Customers Day#GetToKnowYourCustomersDay

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April 18. Thursday, National High-Five Day #NH5D

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April 22. Monday, Earth Day #EarthDay2018

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April 23. Tuesday, National Picnic Day #NationalPicnicDay

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April 23. Tuesday, World Book Day #WorldBookDay

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April 24. Wednesday, National Administrative Professionals Day#AdministrativeProfessionalsDay

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April 25. Thursday, National Telephone Day #NationalTelephoneDay

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April 25. Thursday, World Malaria Day #EndMalariaForGood

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April 29. Monday, International Dance Day #InternationalDanceDay

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April 30. Tuesday, National Honesty Day #NationalHonestyDay

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April 30. Tuesday, National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day #AdoptAShelterPetDay

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April 30. Tuesday, International Jazz Day #JazzDay

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I feel sure you’ll find something to share on one or more of these days. Tag me on Twitter @JBBC if you do – I’d love to see what you come up with. 

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Build Your Email List

Welcome to this week’s quick social media tip. Today I want you to think about the value of creating and growing a list of email subscribers. 

With the explosion of social media marketing in recent years, the traditional email format may appear outdated. But nothing could be further from the truth.  Even with the pervasiveness of new technology, email still remains a persuasive digital marketing channel for building awareness, boosting acquisition, and increasing conversion.

4 Reasons You Should Build An Email List

1. Email marketing helps you build relationships and credibility

People like to do business with those they know, like and trust. Email is direct, making it more personal and personalized than social media marketing. Email gives people a way to easily contact you with their questions.

2. Email marketing keeps you top of mind

Did you know that at least 91% of consumers check their email on a daily basis? While you can go for a few days without checking social media, most people check their email several times a day.

3. Email marketing is inexpensive

Email is an inexpensive way to reach people who are interested in hearing from you and communicating with them regularly.

4. You own your list

Unlike social media which is subject to change, your list is yours. in the words of Ann Handley, email is the only place where people (not algorithms) are in control. With social and other digital channels — Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, paid search, organic search — someone or something else decides who sees your content and when and where they see it.

5. Email marketing converts better than social media

A study by McKinsey & Company revealed that email is a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media. People who buy products marketed through email spend 138% more than those who do not receive email offers.

Bottom line — ignoring email as part of your marketing strategy means you are missing out on potential business opportunities.

Take Action: One of the best ways to build your list of subscribers is to offer something of value up front. This email incentive known as an “opt-in offer” or “lead magnet” is something you are willing to give away for free which requires people to provide an email address to download. Check out this list of 15 ways to create your first lead magnet.

Want to subscribe to my newsletter?

Each Monday I send out a weekly digest of social media marketing tips and the latest social media updates.

Click here to subscribe to my mailing list.

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Adobe Spark

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week’s cool tool recommendation is Adobe Spark, a free suite of apps which allow both web and mobile users to create and share visual content – like posts for social media, graphics, web stories, and animated videos.

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It comprises three separate design apps: Spark Post, Spark Page and Spark Video.

  1. Spark Post is aimed at letting you create professional graphics in minutes.
  2. Spark Page is focused on helping you craft web stories. That means you can use it for things like magazine-style travel stories, photo albums, online newsletters, reports, or anything else that you want to present on the web. It’s basically a simplified web editing platform, with tools that let you mix text and imagery in a highly visual way.
  3. Spark Video lets you create animated videos. Note, this isn’t a tool for filming content – instead, you combine text, images, icons and themes in a presentation, then speak your voice over the story in order to create the video.

Here’s how I used  Spark Post to create a quick and easy quote graphic for Instagram:

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Top Design Tip!

Follow CoSchedule‘s best design practice to create even better graphics.

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Posted in #HCSM

New Study Finds Google Values Social Media Presence Over Academic Pedigree and Experience

Findings from a recent study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal reveals that patients are searching for plastic surgeons online, choosing the first-page results from Google to guide their search.

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Over the past decades and into the beginning of the new millennium, aesthetic surgery practices anecdotally relied on referrals, word of mouth, and the surgeon’s reputation and pedigree to attract new patients.

Residents were taught that providing excellent results and taking good care of patients would lead to a good reputation in the community, which would attract future patients.

It is now clear that this practice-building model is being rapidly supplanted by a new paradigm based on social media presence to reach potential patients.

The aim of the study was to analyze the respective importance of physician academic pedigree, experience, and social media presence on plastic surgeon Google first-page search result placement.

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Given that nearly all prospective patients seeking cosmetic surgery are utilizing the internet to search for their provider and seek health-related information, these findings present significant support for the importance of social media and online presence in directing online traffic and therefore patient flow.

The study authors conclude:

If we consider the importance of the internet and social media in patients’ choice of providers and the influence of search engine ranking on directing these potential patients’ traffic, it becomes obvious that a strong online presence and search engine ranking can be crucial to attracting new patients to a practice

These findings have implications for all healthcare professionals.

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If social media presence influences how patients choose practitioners the risk is that those practitioners most qualified (such as board-certified plastic surgeons) must compete for clicks with the least qualified (non-medical professionals).

To quote the study: “It is therefore of the utmost importance to understand the factors that are key to improving search engine rankings.”

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Twitonomy

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week’s cool tool recommendation is Twitonomy a freemium tool which yields insights on your Twitter followers, influence and interests.

Here’s a snapshot of my @mention analytics.

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You can also get search analytics on any hashtag, user or keyword. With the pro version you can download tweets, mentions, RTs, favorites and reports to Excel & PDF documents — a useful reporting tool.

 

Posted in #HCSM

Here’s What Happens Every 60 Seconds Online

Last year I posted a mesmerizing graphic on just what happens every 60 seconds online.

I was curious to know how that has changed in 2019.

The annual Digital report by HootSuite and We Are Social reveals that in 2019 the average internet user spends are online an average of 6 hours and 42 minutes each day.

The numbers above equate to more than 100 days of online time for an average internet user. That is more than 27 percent each year.

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So what are the world’s 4.4 billion internet users actually doing online for those 6½ hours each day?

As you might expect, Google continues to dominate the rankings of the world’s most visited websites. Every 60 seconds 3.8 million Google searches are performed.

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Actionable Tip: If you want your website to rank higher in Google you have to make sure that you’re using the right keywords. Keyword research is vital because identifying the terms people are searching for will determine the kind of content you create and the way you will optimize it. Click here to learn more.

A staggering 4.5 million videos are watching every minute online.

Video marketing can help you tell your story in a more entertaining, educational and inspiring way so if it’s not already part of your strategy, get on board with video this coming year.

With over 100+ million unique users every month, Amazon-owned Twitch is set to be a huge growth platform in the coming year — and not just for gamers. The channel IRL (In Real Life) has people live streaming everyday things from painting to playing music.

Actionable Tip: Aside from patient education, YouTube is a significant addition to your marketing toolkit. Owned by Google, it’s the second largest search engine in the world with added SEO potential due to its Google connection. Here’s how to create a YouTube channel for your practice.

Facebook continues to dominate with 1 million users logging in every minute.

Despite declining trust and recent data which shows that Facebook’s growth has stalled, at least in the North American and European markets, it still continues to be the most popular social media activity online.

Actionable Tip: If you’re struggling to make an impact on Facebook, then this article is for you. In it, I share some best practice tips to help you increase your organic reach and boost engagement.

You can see there are plenty more insights to glean from this graphic. Use these stats to determine where to focus your social media marketing efforts this year. 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Missinglettr

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I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favorite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending blog promotion tool Missinglettr.

Missinglettr turns each of your blog posts into a 12 month social campaign, which is then dripped out to your social channels.  It creates a whole sequence of social content and branded imagery (fully cropped and optimised for each of your social accounts). Simply review and edit if needed.

You can choose from a default evergreen (6 or 12 months) or blast (2 weeks or 2 months) campaign or create own based on the number of posts, duration and posting days. Over the next 12 months, your campaign content is automatically sent to each of your social profiles, driving traffic back to your site and increasing engagement across your social channels.

Pricing starts at $22 per month, but you can try out Missinglettr with a 30-day trial to see if it’s the right tool for you. 

 

 

Posted in #HCSM, Twitter

In Tweets We Trust: Determining The Credibility Of Health Related Tweets

A 2012 paper by researchers from Microsoft and Carnegie Mellon University, “Tweeting Is Believing? Understanding Microblog Credibility Perceptions,”  analyzing how users assess a tweet’s credibility has implications for healthcare researchers, physicians. practitioners and patient advocates on Twitter.

The researchers conducted primary data collection on a variety of Twitter users and also designed experiments using mock tweets to assess the drivers of assessment of credibility. They then ranked which factors lend the most credibility to a tweet, as well as which ones make them less credible.

Some of the key findings regarding users’ perceptions of tweet credibility include:

  • users are poor judges of truthfulness based on content alone and instead, are influenced by heuristics such as user name when making credibility assessments.
  • users represented by the default Twitter icon are perceived as significantly less credible than users with any other type of icon image.
  • a retweet by someone they trust is the biggest factor in increasing credibility

Of the 31 factors determining credibility investigated in the study, the following lists the top 10 factors  (1-5 rating of how much credibility the factor creates, 5 being the highest.)

  1. A retweet from someone you trust (4.08)
  2. Author has verifiable expertise in the subject (4.04)
  3. Author is someone you follow (4.00)
  4. It contains a link to a source (3.93)
  5. Account has a verification seal (3.92)
  6. Author tweets often on the topic (3.74)
  7. There are many other tweets with similar content (3.71)
  8. Author has a personal photo as the user image (3.70)
  9. Author is often mentioned or retweeted (3.69)
  10. Author is geographically near the topic (3.67)

The researchers also analyzed the least credible tweets and found the following factors influenced user perception:

  • Non-standard grammar or punctuation such as abbreviations commonly used in text messaging
  • Author has the default Twitter user image
  • Author has a cartoon or avatar as user image
  • Author is following too many users

What can we learn from this study?

“As users increasingly access tweets through search, they have less information on which to base credibility judgments as compared to consuming content from direct social network connections….In the absence of the ability to distinguish truthfulness from the content alone, people must use other cues.”

Factors perceived as most enhancing a tweet’s credibility generally concerned the author of the tweet. These included author influence (as measured by follower, retweet, and mention counts,  topical expertise (as established through a Twitter homepage bio, history of on topic tweeting, pages outside of Twitter, or having a location relevant to the topic of the tweet), and reputation (whether an author is someone a user follows, has heard of, or who has an official Twitter account verification seal).

Content related features viewed as credibility enhancing were containing a URL leading to a high-quality site, and the existence of other tweets conveying similar information.

Aligning your Twitter profile to these cues will lend more credibility to your tweets.

  • always include a Twitter homepage bio
  • use your real name or one that is closely aligned to the main topic of tweeting
  • use a recognizable icon or a personal image – avoid the default Twitter icon
  • build a large follower base
  • keep tweets focused on a single topic or related topics
  • add a verification seal (Twitter doesn’t accept requests for verification from the general public, but it will verify accounts emanating from universities, research institutions, etc)
  • provide a URL to research, study or high-quality information.
  • despite the 140 character space challenges of Twitter, always use standard grammar and spelling
  • users tweeting on geographically specific events should update their bio to accurately identify the location

Related Reading: What To Post on Twitter: A Cheat Sheet For Healthcare Tweeters

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: PickFu

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I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favorite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending a Split Testing tool called PickFu.

This tool uses polls to give you real-time feedback – an objective third-party point-of-view on your project. You can also use it to slice and dice responses by age, gender, ethnicity, income, education.

Basic polls are simple:

  • ask a question about one or two options
  • get 50 responses from the general population
  • each response includes a vote and written explanation
  • see age and gender of each respondent
  • usually done in 15 minutes or less

With the free plan, you have the simplest features and the results are publicly viewable.  You can upgrade to keep results private and add more features.

Posted in #HCSM

28 Things To Tweet About In March

Maintaining a consistent posting schedule on social media – whether it’s writing blog posts, or sharing updates on social media channels – can be a challenge.

When I teach social media classes, I always recommend creating a social media calendar so you can map out in advance upcoming holidays and cause awareness days.   By doing this, you will have a ready supply of things to share on social media.

To help you plan your content in advance, I’m going to highlight some events happening this month which you can add to your calendar.

See which of the following awareness days you could build engagement around. You could write a blog post, create a video or graphic, and then share it on Twitter and Instagram with the relevant hashtag.

Have some fun with these – but do make sure whatever you create and share fits with your brand!

March 3. Sunday, World Wildlife Day #WorldWildlifeDay

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March 4. Monday, National Grammar Day #GrammarDay

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March 5. Tuesday, National Pancake Day #PancakeDay

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March 5. Tuesday, Mardi Gras #MardiGras

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March 6. Wednesday, Dentist’s Day #DentistsDay

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March 7. Thursday, National Be Heard Day #NationalBeHeardDay

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March 8. Friday, International Women’s Day #BeBoldForChange

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March 8. Friday, National Proofreading Day #NationalProofreadingDay

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March 8. Friday, Day of Unplugging #NationalDayOfUnplugging

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March 10. Sunday, Pack Your Lunch Day #NationalPackYourLunchDay

March 10. Sunday, National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day#NWGHAAD

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March 11. Monday, National Napping Day #NationalNappingDay

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March 14. Thursday, Popcorn Lover’s Day #PopcornLoversDay

March 14. Thursday, Pi Day #PiDay

(To go the extra mile, post this at 1:59, as Pi equals 3.14159…)

March 15. Friday, World Consumer Rights Day #WCRD2019

March 15. Friday, World Sleep Day #WorldSleepDay

March 17. Sunday, St. Patrick’s Day #StPatricksDay

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March 19. Tuesday, National Let’s Laugh Day #NationalLetsLaughDay

March 20. Wednesday, International Day of Happiness#InternationalDayofHappiness

March 20. Wednesday, World Storytelling Day #WorldStorytellingDay

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March 21. Thursday, World Poetry Day #WorldPoetryDay

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Mach 22: Friday, World Water Day #WorldWaterDay

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March 23. Saturday, National Puppy Day #NationalPuppyDay

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March 26. Tuesday, National Spinach Day #NationalSpinachDay

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March 26. Tuesday, American Diabetes Association Alert Day#AmericanDiabetesAssociationAlertDay

 

March 30. Saturday, Doctor’s Day #NationalDoctorsDay

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March 30. Saturday, Earth Hour Day #EarthHour

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March 30. Saturday, National Take a Walk in the Park Day#NationalWalkInTheParkDay

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I feel sure you’ll find something to share on one or more of these days. Tag me on Twitter @JBBC if you do – I’d love to see what you come up with. 

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Generate Fresh Content Ideas In 30 Seconds.. Or Less

Welcome to this week’s quick social media tip.

Today I want you to share a tip with you for generating content ideas in under a minute using two similar tools. Use these tools as inspiration for topics you could write about.

1.  HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator tool lets you input up to three different nouns and returns five blog topic ideas for you

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2. Portent’s Content Idea Generator allows you to generate content ideas with just one keyword. Be prepared that the tool can throw up some quirky suggestions, but don’t let that put you off. Keep playing around with it until you find one you can work with. I also really like how it shows you best practice tips, such as using metaphors in your writing.

Sometimes all you need is a little spark to get your creativity flowing again, and these tools may just the thing to get your creative juices flowing again.

Here’s to your social media success!

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: GTmetrix

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favorite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending website speed test tool –  GTmetrix.

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GTmetrix has a suite of features and options to make optimizing your website clear and easy. It gives you insight on how well your site loads and provides actionable recommendations on how to optimize it. You can also use the tool to analyze the page load of your site from 28 servers in 7 different regions around the world.

How fast your website loads is critical – a good site will load in 2 seconds. Research shows that a single second delay in site load time can reduce your conversions by 7 percent. If your site is taking longer than that, consider that around 40% of people will leave a website if it doesn’t load in 3 seconds.

The faster your site, the better. Google announced back in July 2018, page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches too.

Visit https://gtmetrix.com to try out this tool’s features.

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Hotjar

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favorite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending Hotjar, a website optimization tool.

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Hotjar offers website heatmaps, scroll maps, click maps and more, alongside visitor recordings and website funnel mapping. By combining both Analysis and Feedback tools, Hotjar gives you the ‘big picture’ of how to improve your site’s user experience and performance/conversion rates.

Features include:

Heatmaps to visualize user behaviour

Understand what users want, care about and do on your site by visually representing their clicks, taps and scrolling behavior – which are the strongest indicators of visitor motivation and desire.

Visitor Recordings to see what your users see

 By seeing your visitor’s clicks, taps and mouse movements you can identify usability issues on the fly and issues they encounter.

Conversion Funnels to see where your visitors are dropping off

Find the biggest opportunities for improvement and testing by identifying on which page and at which step most visitors are leaving your site.

Price: The free plan covers businesses with up to 2,000 pageviews per day.

Posted in #HCSM

How To Show Your Healthcare Campaign Some Love This Valentine’s Day

I’ve been checking out some Valentine’s themed campaigns on Twitter this week.

I like this use of video from @NHSEnglandLDN

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And this example from @AtaxiaandMe

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And this example from

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The Irish Heart Foundation tick a lot of boxes with their use of a dedicated hashtag #showsomelove.

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How about you? Have you any Valentine’s themed healthcare marketing examples to share?

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Display Purposes

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favorite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending a tool called Display Purposes which helps you find the best hashtags to use on social media.

The tool is particularly helpful for Instagram, where hashtags are how people find your content.

So simple to use, and really effective. Here’s how it works when I add “Monday” to the search bar.

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On Instagram you should aim to use a mix of popular hashtags (which many people browse), and less popular hashtags that you stand a chance of getting a spot in “Top” for. The tool is very useful for this as it returns the search results in order of descending popularity.

And something really super-cool, I can zoom in on my local region to gauge the popularity of the hashtag.

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You might like to check out this new report which looks at the latest Instagram best practices, including hashtag use. 

 

 

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Create Twitter Threads

Welcome to this week’s quick social media tip. Today I want you to show you how to create Twitter threads. 

Not sure what a Twitter thread looks like?

If you spend any time on Twitter you’ve probably already come across a Twitter thread, but perhaps not know that it was a thread.  Threads are a series of related tweets shared in succession by one person.

With a thread, you can provide additional context, an update, or an extended point by connecting multiple tweets together. When used well, threads are a powerful way to illustrate a larger point.

Before threads, users would have to just continue replying to their own Tweets in order to link them together. This was a  way to work around the old 140 character limit.

How To Create A Twitter Thread

1. Click the “Tweet” button to compose a new Tweet.

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2. Click the new “Add another Tweet” button.

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3. This brings up a second Tweet window.

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4. Continue in this way adding threads until you’ve said all you want to say.  You can either publish the entire thread by hitting “Tweet All”….

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Or you can hit post each tweet in succession, which allows you to build momentum, perfect for a live event or an ongoing train of thought.

Publishing the entire thread gives your followers a fully-formed story — a better choice for a message you want to control a bit more, like a nuanced company announcement.

Here’s how your published displays on Twitter when complete.

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Want to learn more?

Check out this guide to Twitter threads on Twitter’s business blog.

Here’s to your social media success!

Posted in #HCSM

3 Places To Find Interesting Ideas For Your Healthcare Blog

Have you started a blog for your medical practice or healthcare facility? Are you sometimes stuck for ideas when it comes to popular health topics to write about?

I’ve put together a list of ten places to find topic suggestions when your well of inspiration runs dry. I turn to these places when I need a fresh injection of ideas for my own content marketing and I feel sure you will find them helpful too.

1.Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is a useful tool to find which popular healthcare topics people are searching for on social media. These are the topics people want to read about so it’s worth brainstorming ideas around this content.

In the example below, I’ve searched for the term “mental health” and you can see it’s brought up some interesting topic ideas!

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2. Keywords Everywhere

The Keywords Everywhere browser extension returns a host of long-tail phrases based on what people are searching for using specific keywords.

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Insider Tip: The Google Keyword Planner within Adwords is another useful tool to find ideas for content based on keyword search.

3. Quora

Quora is a question and answer platform where you can either ask a question about your topic or simply do a search using your topic keyword to find what people are asking about that topic. It’s a super place for market research. Make a list of those questions which you feel you could write about.

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You have the option to follow chosen topics in your niche. Once you do so you’ll keep seeing the ‘Top Stories’ (questions) in your Quora newsfeed. You can also check out the ‘New Questions’ option to see the latest questions. When you have written an article or blog post on the topic, go back into Quora and answer a question related to the topic. You can include a link to your post in your answer.

Insider Tip: Yahoo Answers and Reddit are also good places to do market research online.

Where do you find inspiration for your content marketing?  

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: TextOptimizer

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favorite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending SEO tool TextOptimizer.

TextOptimizer helps you get a better search engine ranking by optimizing the text on your website. What’s cool about this tool is that it helps you surface topic ideas for your content marketing. You can see what people search for on the internet and tailor your content to answer those questions. Producing content loved by users and optimized for search engines means more organic traffic and more conversion.

Here’s how it works.

Enter your keywords in the search box.

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Choose which search engine you want to optimize for.

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Choose one of these options – I’ll go with sample text for now.

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The tool generates ideas for what I can write about based on what people are currently searching on Google.

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If I enter the URL of this website, Text Optimizer generates a score for me to see how well my content is optimized for search.

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These are just some of the things you can do with TextOptimizer. It’s a super tool so I encourage you to take a look around it and see for yourself.

Posted in social spotlight

Social Spotlight: Nora Cutcliffe (Part 2)

Welcome to the second part of my interview with BioPharma Consultant, Dr Nora Cutcliffe.

In Part 1, I spoke with Nora about the role social media plays in her work and she shared some super tips on getting the most out of Twitter and LinkedIn. In today’s interview, we pick up our conversation again.


Hi, Nora, I’m excited to learn more about how you use social media in your work. Can you tell us which topics hold your interest online?

NC: On Twitter, I try to stay focused on topics related to pharmacy-based immunization, i.e. within the ‘common ground’ of the 2 circles/fields I described in Part 1 of this interview. For example, if I see a detailed report on the future of pharmacy, I check to see if immunization is mentioned. Or if I come across a new update on immunization practice, I try to confirm if the role of pharmacists is acknowledged. If yes, then I’ll tweet about the topline conclusion(s), but if not, I may ask the organization, “Why not?”, i.e. by Twitter, private email, or other means – perhaps in person at a conference.

Nora, this is such an important step – and not one everybody takes. If, as healthcare communicators, we are to build our credibility and trustworthiness we should always check our sources before we share or re-share them. Tell us more about the next step once you’ve established credibility.

NC: Recently, I’ve been pleased to notice a new trend for continuing education (CME) modules, in that CME immunization topics are include pharmacists on their panel of key opinion leaders (KOLs), alongside physicians and nurses (e.g. via @mdBriefCase). Other CMEs are also being  created specifically by and for pharmacists on vaccine topics (e.g. via @PharmacyU). I like to share these on Twitter too, since many PAI and other immunizers might not otherwise know such cross-functional resources exist.

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For a newly published report or CME, my usual approach is to ask: “Which organization needs this info and/or would be proud to RT this to followers (since it casts them in a positive light)?” Then I re-direct the piece to the association(s) at their Twitter handle(s), i.e. as a pre-packaged gift, if you will. Sometimes I tactfully add additional or more current resources in an attempt to achieve a win-win-win outcome – i.e. for the initial tweeting organization, for the group posting the Retweet (RT), and for myself, as I gain credibility as a specialist who is able to connect the dots. I also like to cross-pollinate by tweeting updates from Canada, US, EU, and AU, i.e. to provide for broader context for international experts with an interest in the field of Pharmacists-As-Immunizers.

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Even within Canada, where each of our 13 jurisdictions has a different scope of pharmacy practice, along with variation in immunization recommendations and/or funding, I find there is significant engagement for tweets that summarize local (provincial/territorial) and national data.

Again another important step Nora. The wonderful thing about Twitter is that it’s a global conversation – it’s important that we acknowledge this in our work. Learning from others and sharing best practice is critical. Do you think organizations are doing enough in this area?

NC: A key observation I’ve made is that several organizations in health care (particularly including public health associations that oversee immunization) appear to handle their social media (SM) activities with very limited budgets and/or staffing. Many such associations may tweet only 1-2 times per week. In these cases, account administrators may be actively looking for relevant content to RT (to help keep their feed alive) and may tend to be more receptive to retweeting general news updates. At the other extreme, some other Twitter accounts may only post their own association materials, according to a pre-scheduled calendar, and might not post RTs of any kind. However, it appears that most accounts will post RTs to supplement their own tweets, and these accounts typically have greater engagement with followers overall.

This is something I’ve seen repeated across many organizations and it’s so interesting that you’ve observed it and stepped into the breach. Have you observed anything else when organizations use social media to disseminate key information?

NC: Another phenomenon related to scarce resources is that some organizations tend to send out email blasts, but do not simultaneously post the same info on their existing Twitter accounts (or ditto for LinkedIn). In these cases, it’s easy for me to repackage the info from an email notice into a tweet which can then be readily sent as an RT from an official/association Twitter account, again gaining visibility for both of us. It’s surprising how many such gaps exist, even just considering my own daily email alerts, so I see this as an excellent opportunity for me to leverage resources by helping such organizations reach a broader audience.

You’ve clearly demonstrated your social media savvy and one of the things that strike me most forcibly about you is how you are so thorough in your approach to social media. For someone who is newly starting out on this path, what advice would you offer to them?

NC: Thanks Marie!I think the most valuable learning approach is to identify a few SM ‘gurus’ in your specific area and follow them as gold standards for your own practice. By paying close attention to the nature of individual posts and replies, there is so much to absorb and apply.

For me, several leaders and/or organizations jump to mind when I think of who is rocking SM, at least on Twitter, both in Canada and abroad (and considering 3 different content streams):

That’s a great mix – tell us some more about why you chose these leaders.

NC: It’s readily apparent that these top influencers have several skills and approaches in common; they demonstrate knowledge, resourcefulness, and enthusiasm, while also expressing gratitude, courtesy and a personal touch in their individual replies – all of which encourage engagement and greater sharing among followers. So I believe these are essential elements of a winning formula for SM leaders.

Absolutely! Any other suggestions for social media newbies?

NC: Apart from following experts, I would also suggest attending a live workshop in your local area on at least one SM platform of interest. For me, it was very reassuring to learn during (or after) the main presentations that others had similar questions to get off the ground, or that even those with significant experience had more advanced questions that allowed me to take a test-drive on the road ahead.

That’s a super point Nora. I know from my own experience way back when I started I was afraid to ask many questions for fear of appearing stupid. I thought everyone who was using social media had it sussed. It’s easy to forget that we all had to start from scratch at some stage.  Any other tips to share?

NC: To look at a few simple mechanical tips (for Twitter), I would suggest the following:

  • Aim to include a graphic or video with as many tweets as possible.
    • A super-easy way to begin is with an image from a Google search (or other source of free stock photos, as recommended by @JBBC), and then copy this image into Powerpoint by creating a single slide in ppt format. Then, convert/save this to jpeg format to post on Twitter. This allows you to add eye-catching borders, which you can customize to create a signature look for your brand. Even better, Powerpoint allows you to insert additional text (in a text box), so you can extend your message well beyond 280 characters. A font size of at least 24 (in ppt) seems to work well for the final tweeted image, e.g. as viewed on a mobile phone.
  • In cases where you would normally send out a quick RT, consider the option to “RT with comment”, which allows you to add your opinion, set the tweet into context for your specific audience, and/or send it directly to another follower (so they receive a notification) by inserting their Twitter handle.
    • In your own comment, avoid repeating the same headline or text from the original tweet, but insert new wording to add relevant detail. In this way, you can provide further ‘bait’ for followers to open and read the original tweet, and to understand your take on the story.
    • If urls are included in the original tweet, I like to open the link(s) to read the full story, and potentially get a quote. Where possible, I try to directly acknowledge the relevant expert (or author and/or publisher) by looking up their Twitter handles (using the Twitter search function), so I would end up with some of the following pieces in the comment for the RT: “text text text @expert @author @publisher @organization #hashtag #hashtag”. This allows these folks to see that you are promoting your work, so they are much more likely to engage with your subsequent content in terms of follows/likes/RTs.
  • To save characters in your tweet (i.e. to claim more ‘real estate’ for critical text/hashtags/handles), be sure to use https://bitly.com/ or some other URL shortener to condense URL links.

This has been a fascinating interview – I’ve even learned a thing or two from you! So I like to finish these interviews by asking folks to share a favourite quote. Do you have one you’d like to share with us?

NC: In my case, I’ve made very gradual progress with SM over the past few years, with lots of upside potential still ahead. So the following quotes really resonate with me, particularly since trial-and-error can be the best teacher, and since the goal of ‘conquering’ SM continues to be a moving target. Also, it’s fascinating that while these quotes were penned long ago, they are still remarkably applicable in our modern-day digital world!

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. (Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, born 1835)

You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward. Just take your next step. (Unknown)

The expert in anything was once a beginner. (Helen Hayes, Actress, born 1900)

And for final inspiration, if I may, here’s one last quote that popped up on Twitter as I’ve been wrapping up my thoughts – must have been Karma!

If you never stop LEARNING you’ll never stop EARNING. (tweeted by @jerryacuff Jan. 19, 2019.

That’s a perfect quote to end our interview on – in social media we never stop learning and that’s what I find most rewarding about working in this space. Thanks so much Nora for sharing your insight with us – this has been a super interview.

You can follow Nora on Twitter @NoraCutcliffe and connect with her on LinkedIn.


This post is part of an ongoing conversation that explores how patients, healthcare professionals, and researchers use social media to communicate their work. For more interviews, click here

Posted in #HCSM

21 Things To Tweet About In February

Maintaining a consistent posting schedule on social media – whether it’s writing blog posts, or sharing updates on social media channels – can be a challenge.

When I teach social media classes, I always recommend creating a social media calendar so you can map out in advance upcoming holidays and cause awareness days.   By doing this, you will have a ready supply of things to share on social media.

To help you plan your content in advance, I’m going to highlight some events happening this month which you can add to your calendar.

See which of the following awareness days you could build engagement around. You could write a blog post, create a video or graphic, and then share it on Twitter and Instagram with the relevant hashtag.

Have some fun with these – but do make sure whatever you create and share fits with your brand!

Feb 2. Saturday, Groundhog Day #GroundhogDay

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Feb 3. Sunday, Super Bowl LIII #SBLIII

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Feb 4. Monday, World Cancer Day #WorldCancerDay

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Feb 5. Tuesday, Safer Internet Day #SID2019

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Feb 8. Friday, National Boy Scouts Day #BoyScoutsDay

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Feb 9. Saturday, National Pizza Day #NationalPizzaDay

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Feb 11. Monday, Inventors Day #InventorsDay

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Feb 13. Wednesday, World Radio Day #WorldRadioDay

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Feb 14. Thursday, Valentine’s Day #ValentinesDay

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Feb 17. Sunday, Random Acts of Kindness Day #RandomActsOfKindnessDay

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Feb 18. 18. Monday, Presidents Day #PresidentsDay

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Feb 20. Wednesday, World Day of Social Justice #SocialJusticeDay

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Feb 20. Wednesday, Love Your Pet Day #LoveYourPetDay

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21. Thursday, International Mother Language Day #IMLD

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I feel sure you’ll find something to share on one or more of these days. Tag me on Twitter @JBBC if you do – I’d love to see what you come up with. 

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: Embrace Long-Form Content

Welcome to this week’s quick social media tip. Today I want you to think about how you can add more long-form content to your content marketing strategy.

It seems ironic, but even with the popularity of video and expiring content, there also exists an appetite for longer, more in-depth content.

serpIQ did a study of the average length of the content in the top 10 results of search queries. The company found that the top-rated posts usually were over 2,000 words.

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Long-form content also gives you an SEO edge. Put simply, search engines are built to serve people the best content, from credible sources, that answers users’ questions. Google has made it explicitly clear that it now prioritizes longer, informative posts over short ones that exist only to sell a product.

Try writing posts that are 1000 to 2000 plus words. Make them a resource type post that people will want to link to when they are writing their posts.

This tactic is no short-cut to success. To write a comprehensive, long-form piece of content with practical application that people want to share and link to takes a lot of research and time.

You won’t write this sort of content every day, but if you plan to make 2019 the year you will produce just one piece of stand-out content, I promise you will look back at the end of the year and feel you’ve really achieved something worth the effort.

Here’s to your social media success!

 

Posted in #HCSM

Study Uncovers Motivations Behind #BreastCancer Conversations on Twitter

In the era of big data, the presence of cancer in social media is undeniable. 

Last October at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2018 Congress, a group of researchers from Spain presented findings on how Twiter users talk about breast cancer on the social media platform.

Study author Dr. Rodrigo Sánchez-Bayona of Clinica Universidad de Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, said: “Many of the patients we see in daily practice use social media to search for information about their disease, so, as care providers, we wanted to know what kind of content they find there. At the same time, the sheer volume of posts on Twitter represents a rich pool of data we can use to assess attitudes and discourses surrounding cancer.”

Twitter is one of the biggest networks worldwide, therefore, it establishes an enormous real-world data field of interest when studying health issues.

The study involved analyzing all tweets posted with the hashtag #BreastCancer over a 7-day period, grouped into four subthemes: diagnosis, treatment, prognosis and prevention.

The data collected included 3,703 original tweets and 2,638 retweets.

The most frequent motive was patients sharing their experiences, followed closely by patient advocacy. The most common subtheme by far was prevention (44.5% of tweets)

“When examining the original tweets, we found that only one in three had medical content,” said Sánchez-Bayona. “However, 90% of this medical information was appropriate, which is likely owed to the fact that 40% of tweets came from institutions and public accounts.”

Classification of Tweets

A total of 1,137 tweets (30.7%) contained content relating to a patient’s experience, while 96 tweets (2.6%) contained an experience from the perspective of a relative of a patient.

Sixty percent of tweets came from private accounts, while 40% came from institutions or public accounts.

The aims of tweets included scientific (17.3%), advertising (15.8%), fundraising (8.3%), and patient advocacy (25.3%).

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Description of tweets (%) containing #BreastCancer in a 7-day period

Leveraging A New Social Media Reality

Commenting on the study, Marina Garassino, MD, of Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori in Milan, noted the presence of patients in large numbers on Twitter. “We should take that as corroboration of a new reality,” she said.

Patients now use the web to find information, and social media must be an integral part of our communication with them. Academic institutions and key opinion leaders need to be even more active in spreading their findings through these channels to counteract the many ‘fake news’ circulating online.

Dr. Evandro de Azambuja, ESMO Executive Board member, further commented: “Healthcare professionals and organisations really need to use appropriate social media as a way of sharing relevant information – both between them and with patients – because that is where it has the potential to be picked up fastest and most broadly.”

When it comes to bringing the best evidence available in cancer research to the attention of as many people as possible, this platform is as powerful a tool as it gets.

Conclusions

The authors noted that this was part of a larger study on discussion of diseases more generally on social media, in which they found that cancer was the most mentioned pathology on Twitter around the world.

The results of the study may be useful in assisting advocacy organisations to provide information about resources, support and raise awareness.

In particular, advocacy organizations can draw on them to create relevant medical content and counseling about cancer that will be more accessible to patients already using Twitter for information and support.

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Apester

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I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favorite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending a digital storytelling tool called Apester

Described as a novel way to tell any story visually and natively blend it into any webpage, Apester’s plug and play tool mixes text and images with interactive content to create compelling stories. More cool features include the ability to create interactive content such as polls and quizzes.

Amazingly for such a super cool tool Apester is totally free! Check it out at apester.com

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Banner Stack

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I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favorite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending online banner maker Banner Stack.

Banner Stack is a cloud-based, easy-to-use, professional banner maker compatible with all the main social media platforms. You have everything you need to build creative static, animated and/or interactive web banners in minutes, including stock photos, drag and drop text, images, buttons, cliparts and high-quality fonts.

The free plan allows you to design 10 banners. Pro Plans start at $7 per month.

 

Posted in social spotlight

Social Spotlight: Chris Lewis

This week I caught up with Chris Lewis, patient activist extraordinaire.

Over a decade ago Chris was diagnosed with stage4 Mantle Cell Lymphoma (a rare blood cancer) and given six months to live. Aggressive chemotherapy followed plus a stem-cell transplant from an unrelated donor via the Anthony Nolan charity.

The next few years was a rollercoaster of hospital stays as Chris battled medical complications. He saw first-hand how disjointed the cancer support sector is and so he started to address the issues he found most concerning through his blog –  Chris’s Cancer Community.

This has become the most popular cancer blog in the UK and Chris is frequently invited to speak around the world about his experiences. Most recently, he has set up simPal, a unique charity that gives free phones and sim cards to anyone affected by cancer.

This is Chris’s social media story. 


Hi Chris,  I’d like to start off by asking you to tell us something about the role that social media plays in your work.

CL: I am the founder of Chris’s Cancer Community and Co- Founder of SimPal, the only charity in the world providing free mobiles and pre-paid simcards for people affected by cancer. None of this would have been possible without social media. My work is known across the globe and I do several international speaking trips every year. I am now the most influential cancer patient in the UK.

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When did you start using social media – what prompted you to get started?

CL: My illness started in 2007, and I had absolutely no knowledge of social media. My health was unreliable and I was in and out of hospital. I began to see how poor support was for people living with cancer and wanted to know if it was only me who felt like that. I have a business background and started asking around. Friends of mine created a very simple blog to start with. My ‘community’ started to grow, my work was winning awards, and the rest as they say is history.

It’s wonderful to see how far you’ve come since those earliest beginnings. You now have a presence on several platforms, which is your favourite?

CL: No competition here, it is Twitter! I use Facebook and Instagram too but Twitter works best for me. Short and sharp engagement is key. I have a reasonable following which is continually growing. Although cancer is a big part of what I do, I like to mix things up a bit and speak on current issues, whatever they might be. Also my big love of football! I have been using social media for more than 7 years now, and wherever I am speaking in the world, there are people in the room who follow me, and that is a nice feeling!

Which topics hold your interest the most on social media?

CL: I am particularly interested in the subject of ‘patient engagement’ As a business guy I was shocked when entering the cancer sector, how little effort was put into this. It seems it was mostly box ticking. We are customers of the system, in whichever country you live. Rarely do we have and serious role in designing systems and tools to help us. I don’t know any business that does not talk to its ‘customers.’ Surely they are the most important part of your work? I used to do many twitter chats but as my work has exploded I have so little time to get involved. I find I must limit myself on social media or the entire day can be gone before you know it!

Do you have any advice for others who are just starting out with social media?

CL: Firstly establish what you want to achieve on social media! Many people are purely there because they feel they have to be. Ask yourself what does success look like for you? Most people are on there to ‘sell’ something, be it a product or a service, but just like in real life it is how it is done is the real key. Unless you listen and engage with others they won’t with you. Remember to listen more and speak less, that way you will learn quickly. Finally, we all started with no followers!!

Oh that’s so true Chris! 

So, I like to end these interviews by asking for a favorite quote. Do you have one you’d like to share with us now?

 I think kindness is my number one attribute in a human being. I’ll put it before any of the other things like courage or bravery of generosity or anything else. Kindness—that simple word. To be kind, it covers everything to my mind. If you’re kind that’s it.

― Raold Dahl                                                   

We sure could do with more kindness in the world – thank you for the reminder Chris! And thank you for taking the time to share your social media story with us. 

If you’d like to learn more about the global work that Chris is doing you can find more information at Chris’s Cancer Community and SimPal.


This post is part of an ongoing conversation that explores how patients, healthcare professionals, and researchers use social media to communicate their work. For more interviews, click here

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Leverage A Cultural Trend

Welcome to this week’s quick social media tip. Today I want you to think about how you can tap into cultural trends to create “in-the-moment” marketing. 

Tapping into cultural trends is all about marketing in the moment. This works because people are most interested in “what’s happening now.”

Ellen DeGeneres’s 2014 Oscar selfie, retweeted by more than 2.9 million Twitter users fits the scenario of leveraging a cultural trend — the word selfie was crowned Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year in 2013.

Similarly, the #nomakeupselfie campaign, in which women posted pictures of themselves without make-up in order to raise money for cancer research, tapped into the selfie trend. The campaign raised (Stg)£8 million for Cancer Research UK in its first week alone. This campaign wasn’t even the charity’s idea. The organization leveraged a cultural trend that was already sweeping the Internet.

While the Oscar selfie took us by surprise, there are other trends which are more predictable, for example, major sporting events like the Super Bowl in the US, or the World Cup.

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Twitter is an obvious place to check what’s trending on a daily basis, but you could also try one of the following tools too:

  • Google Trends — filter your search by country, topic, category, specific topic, content type, and more;
  • Buzzfeed — its trending section is perfect for searching for hot topics;
  • Buzzsumo — search for the most shared web content on a specific topic;
  • Reddit — aggregates trending content from all over the internet and shows the hottest (most upvoted) topics on the main page.

Your homework for today – find one trending topic and think about how you can leverage it to create engaging content relevant to your own audience.

Here’s to your social media success!

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Boomerang for Gmail

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I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favorite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending Boomerang for Gmail.

Boomerang allows you to schedule messages to be sent or returned at a later date. Write a message now, send it whenever, even if you’re not online. Track messages to make sure you hear back, and schedule reminders right inside Gmail and know whether your email got read with cross-platform read receipts.

Boomerang also helps you to postpone (“snooze”) incoming emails, by making them disappear from your Inbox into a folder or label, then bringing them back to the top of the message list at the specified time. It helps you keep your Inbox clean, without losing track of important messages. I also like to use the Inbox Pause feature to temporarily pause my Inbox so I can work more productively.

Price: 10 Free message credits per month; unlimited credits $4.99 pm.

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: InShot

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I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favorite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending InShot a mobile video editor for iOS or Android.

InShot allows you to add music, effects, voiceovers, emojis, and text. You can also adjust the video speed, and control where elements you add appear on the video timeline. This app will work perfectly for any videos you create for Instagram, Facebook Stories, Facebook news feed, and so on.

The app can work with vertical, landscape, and square video formats. It can even transform one format into another. Unlike some mobile video apps, you don’t have to record video within the InShot app. You can import video, and even merge separate videos from your camera roll and arrange them in a specific order.

The InShot app is free, but with in-app purchases, you can add effects, filters, stickers, and stamps

 

 

Posted in social spotlight

Social Spotlight: Terri Coutee

It’s my great pleasure to shine the first social spotlight of the year on this week’s guest interviewee. 

Terri Coutee is the Founder and Director of DiepCFoundation.org, a nonprofit organization providing education and resources to empower women and men with information to make an informed decision about options for breast reconstruction after mastectomy. After a second breast cancer diagnosis and her own successful breast reconstruction, she writes about her experience in a blog, DiepCJourney.com.

Terri is a guest speaker and a strong proponent of the shared decision-making process for patients. When traveling for advocacy, she interviews surgeons, healthcare providers, and patients on topics related to breast cancer and breast reconstruction as another resource to empower those in need of education to find their own voice in their healthcare journey.

I’ve known and admired Terri for several years through our interactions on social media. She is a real force for good through her online patient advocacy and a ray of sunshine with her positive motivational style.

And now here is Terri’s social media story. 


Hi Terri,  I’d like to start off by asking you to tell us something about the role that social media plays in your work.

TC: My platform as a patient advocate for breast reconstruction evolved from using social media. I utilize Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google Plus to reach a global audience for various purposes.

Twitter is my go-to for connecting with the breast cancer and breast reconstruction community. I search for the latest studies and news to share with those who may not be using Twitter. One of my favorite projects is to report from medical conferences I attend.

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The global community becomes more of a family when you meet your Twitter pals at conferences. The energy and ideas are limitless. I frequently receive direct messages on Twitter asking for specific resources, so it has served me well.

You sure do know how to make full use of so many platforms. When did you start using social media – what prompted you to get started?

TC: Oddly enough, using social media started for me in an entirely different way than what I am doing now. At the time of my second breast cancer diagnosis I was in graduate school to get my M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership. I set up a Twitter account using an anonymous name, so I could be one of those “lurk and learn” social media people. I used the handle, @6state, because I taught schools in six different states.

I knew very little about any social media platforms and had no idea the power of social media at the time. Unbeknownst to me, having successful DIEP flap breast reconstruction after a double mastectomy would be the catalyst for starting a blog about my experience utilizing social media to share my story. I suppose I have nostalgically stuck with the handle @6state. Once an educator, always an educator.

One of the things  I love most about these interviews is getting to learn something new about people I’ve known online for a while. I never knew what prompted you  to use @6state as your Twitter name – that’s s a fun fact for me to learn. I probably interact most with you through Twitter, but I know you’re very active on Facebook. How do you like to use Facebook in your work?

TC: Facebook has been a place of support and solace for a growing number of members in a closed group I set up: https://www.facebook.com/groups/diepcjourney/about/. Women and men who are currently in treatment or planning extensive surgery don’t always have the time or inclination to leave their home to attend a support group meeting.

The Facebook group is a safe haven for many. It is another way of connecting globally. We have members from all over the world. Additionally, we are honored to have medical professionals including surgeons, physical therapists, radiologists, and support resources like tattoo artists who are welcome and lend great value to the group. The resource I provide through these professionals is priceless. I feel very strongly it brings great credibility to the site. The emotional, positive support the members bring to the group is what inspires me daily.

I have found great value in setting up a separate Facebook account for the nonprofit group I founded in 2016, DiepCFoundation. It keeps my followers informed of the Foundation’s activities, outreach, and pertinent topics related to breast reconstruction, including my blogs.

Facebook live is another great way to share topics related to breast reconstruction. Viewers can watch, re-watch, and share the broadcasts with others in their own community. One I am most proud was a presentation I made this year. It was recorded at the national medical conference of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons on a topic I focus on in my work as a patient advocate, shared-decision making.

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You really are rocking Facebook! Let me take you back to Twitter for a moment. Do you take part in any health-related Twitter chats? 

TC: I have been a host on #TweetChats providing information for breast reconstruction. They are fast and furious but preplanning your comments and hashtags makes them far more effective. I participated in a #bcsm Tweet with The American Society of Plastic Surgeons and one of their board-certified plastic surgeons. Living Beyond Breast Cancer invited me to a tweet chat with my own plastic surgeon and others in the breast reconstruction community to coincide with National Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day in October.

Social media obviously plays a vital role in your advocacy work so what advice would you give to others who are just starting out with social media?

TC: Take it slow and don’t be overwhelmed by the wealth of information before you or the speed things seem to travel at with constant changes in social media. As I always say, take it one bite at a time!!!

Educate yourself about all social media platforms. They each serve a different audience and purpose. Give them all a go!

Surround yourself with a tribe who will support and believe you are serious about your message.

Read articles and attend seminars to improve your skills. Know you will make mistakes, receive critique, but also get euphorically hooked on a tool that shares a wealth of valuable information to the world and in particular your viewing audience, your true purpose for using social media!

Such great advice Terri. I love your enthusiastic embrace of social media and your championing of the creation of an online tribe.

So, I like to end these interviews by asking for a favorite quote. I know you are a big fan of inspiring quotes and I always appreciate you sharing them on social media. Do you have one you’d like to share with us now?

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.

                                                   -Amelia Earhart-             

What a wonderful quote! 

Thanks so much Terri for taking the time to share the many ways in which you are making a difference using social media. 

If you’d like to learn more about the work that Terri is doing in raising awareness of DIEP flap breast reconstruction, you can find more information at DiepCFoundation.


This post is part of an ongoing conversation that explores how patients, healthcare professionals, and researchers use social media to communicate their work. For more interviews, click here

Posted in #HCSM

15 Key Reputation Management Facts You Should Know In 2019 [Video]

Your reputation is one of your most valuable business assets in today’s digitally driven world.

Social media has an increasingly important role to play in maintaining an organization’s reputation and image.

Not only are patients seeking health information online, but many also say their choice of a specific doctor, hospital or medical treatment is influenced by social media.

One-third of health consumers use social media sites to research health information, track and share symptoms and vocalize how they feel about their doctors, drugs, treatment plans, insurance, and medical devices. Many say their choice of a specific doctor, hospital or medical treatment is influenced by social media.

And with the advent of patient review sites, and online discussion forums, you risk leaving your brand reputation in the hands of others.

Don’t think because you don’t appear online doesn’t mean you aren’t being talked about.

The fact is that patients are talking about you online whether you are there or not!

You can’t opt out of reputation management –   whether you have a social media presence or not, a patient who has a bad experience with your organization is only one tweet or Facebook post away from sharing it with the world.

It is far better to take control of your reputation by responding to these conversations yourself and correcting any misinformation or misperceptions.  Responding in real time strengthens public perception that your focus is firmly on patient satisfaction.

A successful social media presence hinges on the trust between you and your followers.

A study compiled by Demi & Cooper Advertising and DC Interactive Group shows that more than 90% of people ages 18-24 said they would trust health information they found on social media channels.

Becoming a trusted source of health information for your patients and proactively developing a strong, consistent, and credible image online will increase patient trust and confidence in your organization.

You might also like to read 

Do Online Health Seekers Trust Social Media? Surprising Results From A New Survey

Reputation Management for Doctors

Click, like, retweet: healthcare reputation online

Posted in #HCSM, Infographics

5 Digital Trends You Need To Know To Stay Ahead Of The Medical Marketing Curve In 2019 [Infographic]

To succeed on social media, it’s essential to stay ahead of the curve and understand the latest social media trends.

I’ve just published my annual social media marketing predictions for 2019. In it I’ve identified 14 major trends that should claim marketers’ focus in the new year.

It’s a lengthy post but if you’re serious about marketing your medical practice online in 2019, I highly recommend you take some time to read it over the coming days.

Below I’ve highlighted five of these trends which I think will have particular relevance to medical marketing.

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Social media is continually evolving. Every year, everything from algorithm updates to emerging trends shapes and informs the myriad ways we interact online. As you plan your social media marketing for the coming year, consider how you can implement some or all of these trends in your own online strategy.

Final Thoughts

No matter how you approach your marketing efforts to take advantage of the digital marketing trends coming in 2019, never lose sight of the fact that in healthcare your reputation as a credible, and trusted source is paramount.

 

Posted in #HCSM, Twitter

The 5 Stages of Twitter Adoption

It’s no secret that I’m still crazy in love with Twitter even after spending close to a decade on the platform.

I’ve met so many incredible people on Twitter – some of whom have become friends in real life.

I’ve been invited to speak at conferences around the globe.

I’ve never been so strategically connected.

And all because of Twitter.

And yet I still meet people who tell me they just don’t get Twitter.  They say it’s just a place to post what you ate for breakfast, or lunch, or.. well you get the picture.

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But here’s the thing about Twitter that not everyone realizes, you build your own experience to suit your interests and needs.

Twitter is the frame, not the picture, what’s inside is largely up to you.

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I can hardly remember back to the first tweet I sent, but I do remember that there were several stages in my evolution to becoming a Twitter devotee.

And it turns out most people who first join Twitter go through some, if not all, of these stages.

So here’s a fun infographic I created outlining the five most common stages of Twitter adoption.

5 Stages of A Twitter User (4)

 

I’d love to hear from you. Are you a Twitter user? Where do you fall on this adoption curve?

 

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Find The Best Keywords For Your Website

Welcome to this week’s social media tip. Today I want you to think about choosing the best keywords to rank higher on search engines. 

93% of online experiences begin with a search engine.

It makes search the second biggest online activity, after email.

If you want your website to rank higher in Google you have to make sure that you’re using the right keywords. Keyword research is vital because identifying the terms people are searching for will determine the kind of content you create and the way you will optimize it.

One of the biggest mistakes I come across is trying to rank for generic keywords with a high search volume.

Instead, try long tail keywords.  50% of search queries are four words or longer.

Long tail keywords are keywords or key phrases that are more specific — and usually longer — than more commonly searched for keywords. They get less search traffic, but will usually have a higher conversion value, as they are more specific.

Long tail keywords allow you gradually to get more traffic and to be found by new and motivated audiences.

Here is an example of a list of long-tail keywords based on the keyword “pdf”

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How to figure out what your target keywords or phrases should be.

I’m borrowing this from PR consultant Gini Dietrich‘s playbook so you may need to adapt it to your own business.

  • Write down all of the questions you are asked in new business, or sales, meetings.
  • Write down all of the questions your customer service department is asked.
  • Go to your website or your internal server/Dropbox/Google Drive and grab your most recent frequently asked questions sheet.
  • Go into your sent mail and scroll through to see what kinds of questions your clients are asking you that you’re writing long answers to … everyday. Write those down.

Now you have a nice list of content as a starting point. If you are being asked these questions, this is what people are also searching. And, if you have the answers and you’re the best suited to provide the solutions, they should be finding you when they search these things.

I use the following tools to help me find long tail keywords.

1. Google Adwords Keyword Planner 

This is a free Google tool that gives you insight into the volume of monthly searches for a particular keyword, and how much competition there is, based on advertising spend for sponsored links. It also returns suggested terms you could use instead or alongside your original keyword.

You will need to sign up for an Adwords account with a Gmail account but you don’t have to add any credit card details or create any ads to use the tool.

Pro Tip! Use Google Related Searches

Google displays related search results at the bottom of the first page when you type in your Google search query. This is a super-helpful resource as it returns ideas that are relevant to your topic based on user interest and contextual words.

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2. Keywords Everywhere

I’ve installed this tool as a Chrome extension and I find it super helpful. It returns a host of long-tail phrases based on what people are searching for using specific keywords.

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There are other long-tail keyword tools out there which you also might like to try – including Keyword Clarity (a free keyword grouping tool that makes it easy to identify keyword clusters) Answer The Public (an automated autocomplete tool that will populate relevant topics based on your search), and KWFinder.

Further Reading  How to move from keyword research to intent research

 

 

Posted in social spotlight

Social Spotlight: Ross McCreery

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This week my social spotlight is shining brightly on rare disease patient advocate Ross McCreery.

Ross is the founder of CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) Awareness Day in the Province of Saskatchewan, Canada.  This is an initiative designed to educate and raise awareness for CRPS, a rare autoimmune disease which Ross was diagnosed with in  2006.  His diagnosis of CRPS was followed a few years later by a secondary diagnosis of Osteoarthritis.

Ross is also involved in initiatives with the Rare Disease Foundation to help establish Peer2Peer support.  He is a tireless advocate for research and treatments that he hopes will one day lead towards a cure.


Hi Ross, I’d like to start off by asking you to tell us something about the role that social media plays in your work.

RMC: For the last thirteen years I have lived with and advocated for the rare disease CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome). For those of us living with this disease, there are very few treatments, no cure, and very few resources. It is known as the most painful chronic pain condition there is, and some people refer to it as the suicide disease.

The basis of the work I do is to try and educate and raise awareness for this disease. The scope of my work is extensive from working with other patients and researchers to the healthcare system and government. I was successful three years ago in lobbying our government in creating a CRPS Awareness Day here in the Province of Saskatchewan.

I am also involved in various online projects the main being my blog called Painfully Optomistic which I started as a way to support, teach, and raise awareness for CRPS.  And I work with organizations such as iPain Foundation ( NERVEmber ), Clara Health (BreakthroughCrew), WEGO Health (Patient Leader), and Color The World Orange to take part in numerous online initiatives that they run.

When did you start using social media – what prompted you to get started?

RMC: I started using social media within the first two years of my diagnosis for two reasons. One was because I live in a Province that has very little support for those of us diagnosed with CRPS. No physician in my city could diagnose me, and I went through two incredibly difficult years finally getting diagnosed in another province.

It was really the whole experience of how I had to be diagnosed and everything I went through that caused me to create my blog Painfully Optomistic. I didn’t want others to have to go through all of that, so the purpose of this site was to try and be a support at the same time as trying to educate others on what I already knew about the disease.

The other reason I started online though was because I needed a community around me that I didn’t have that at the time. Getting involved in communities on Twitter, Facebook, and through my blog gave me that. I now have a network of not only patient/advocates but friends who I can rely on for support and to ask questions when I need to.

I think that feeling of isolation, particularly when you are a rare disease patient, and the desire to be part of a community who really “gets you” is a big motivator in many patients and advocates turning to social media.  You’ve mentioned your blog along with Twitter and Facebook communities as key resources for you.  Which of these is your preferred platform to communicate on? 

RMC: The platform that I seem to use the most is Twitter. Although I am using Facebook more and more as I become more involved in my advocacy work. I tend to use the Facebook Live aspect of the platform the most. These platforms allow me the opportunity to come together with other patients/advocates, medicals professionals, and caregivers to grow and learn from one another.

This kind of peer-to-peer learning is a vital part of online advocacy. How about health-related twitter chats? Are there any regular chats you take part in?

RMC: I participate in regular chats such as #wegohealthchat, #PatientsHavePower, #patientchat,  #CreakyChats, and sometimes #hcdlr on Twitter. All of these chats allow me to be a more effective and empowered patient leader through learning from a variety of perspectives. I can stay informed on new treatment options, clinical trials, or even how to work with medical professionals as part of working towards a common goal which is to find treatments and cures.

It isn’t really about being interested in just one thing but what can I learn from these different patient/advocates, professionals, caregivers, or whoever it might be. It’s about “how can I change things within myself and the work that I do to better help others including myself”.

Social media obviously plays a vital role in your advocacy work so what advice would you give to others who are just starting out with social media?

RMC: The advice that I would have for someone starting with social media is to really think about what your needs when it comes to social media. Start by using the form of social media that is going to best serve your needs. The social media world is huge and we don’t always need every platform that is available to us. Ask yourself why you are using that platform? Are you using it just because everyone else is? Or does it really serve a purpose for what I really need it for? Streamline and make sure that you are using that platform effectively and that your message isn’t getting lost.

I really like this advice Ross. It’s easy to feel as if we need to be everywhere at once to make an impact, but knowing where to be to make maximum impact is more important.

So, I like to end these interviews by asking for a favorite quote. Do you have one you’d like to share with us?

RMC: One of my favorite quotes:

 Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it

                                                   -Michael Jordan-             

What a great quote! Thanks so much Ross for taking the time to share the many ways in which you are making a difference using social media. 

If you’d like to learn more about the work that Ross is doing in raising awareness of CRPS, you can follow him @Rossco006 and check out his blog, Painfully Optomistic.


This post is part of an ongoing conversation that explores how patients, healthcare professionals, and researchers use social media to communicate their work. For more interviews, click here

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: The De-Jargonizer

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favorite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending The De-Jargonizer.

The De-Jargonizer is an automated jargon identification program aimed at helping science communicators adapt vocabulary use for a variety of audiences. The tool is highly applicable to healthcare marketers, particularly when we need to communicate scientific-based medical information.

The program determines the level of vocabulary and terms in a text and divides the words into three levels: high frequency/common words; mid-frequency/normal words; and jargon – rare and technical words.

It couldn’t be simpler to use. Choose the file you wish to evaluate or copy and paste it in the empty text box. Then press “START.”

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The text will then be presented on the screen, and results are displayed both by color and by percentage. Words in black are common words, words in orange are mid-frequency words, and words in red are jargon. The table on the right presents the number of words in the text and the results: the number of words and the percentage of words for each frequency (high, mid and jargon).

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