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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.”

download

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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Posted in social spotlight

Social Spotlight: Pat Rich

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This week it’s my great pleasure to chat with Pat Rich, an Ottawa-based medical writer, editor and content curator. 

I first met Pat online several years ago on the #hcsmca (no longer active) Twitter chat. I was captivated by his insightful and intelligent contribution to this and other weekly healthcare chats.

Since then, I’ve had the delight of meeting Pat in real life, most recently at HIMSS Europe this year, where he was reporting live from the conference.

Despite, in his own words, becoming grey in beard and long in tooth, Pat maintains a keen interest and presence on social media, especially Twitter.


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

PR: I spend a few hours daily on social media, usually Twitter, and have done so for the last several years. In addition to my responsibilities in helping manage the Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and blog for Ontario’s health quality agency – Health Quality Ontario – and acting as social media correspondent for the Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery (Canada’s dermatology journal) I maintain an active role in live tweeting and blogging from my personal accounts (@pat_health) and Days of Past Futures and in curating health information. I have also served as a social media ambassador for digital health conferences in Europe, Canada and the US. I continue to lecture, when asked, on the professional use of social media by physicians and other health care professionals.

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

PR: I started using social media about a decade ago to help the Canadian Medical Association (who I worked for at the time) decide how to use the platforms most strategically. It was a natural evolution from my role in managing content on their website. In this role I was able to help the CMA develop the first balanced social media guidelines for Canadian physicians. I was also prompted to become more actively involved in Twitter through my participation with the #hcsmca community and the excellent work of Colleen Young.

You were quite the early adopter Pat. I always think of Twitter when I think of your social media activity. Is this your favorite platform? Are there any others you enjoy using? 

PR: I am all about Twitter. I find this is the platform that fits me best and I hope it remains a viable communications medium until I retire. Through Twitter I have met the most wonderful people from around the world – patients, physicians and many others. However, I still enjoy exploring other social media as well as writing extensively for print. Through my work with Health Quality Ontario I have recently hosted and provided all technical support for a podcast Quality Matters – which has been quite a learning experience.

I first met you on the #hcsmca Twitter chat. Are there any other chats you take part in?

PR:  I am a huge fan of #healthxph, #hcldr, and #Irishmed – which I consider to be the triumvirate of surviving, regular, health oriented tweetchats for health care professionals and patient advocates. I have been lucky enough to meet the hosts of all of these chats personally and strongly admire their commitment and dedication to these volunteer efforts.

I love that you are such a loyal long-term supporter of these chats. The vibrancy and sustainability of this medium is driven by the dedication of the organizers for sure, but also the ongoing support of participants.

You’ve been using social media for a considerable time now – what advice would you give to others who are just starting out with social media?

PR: Start slow. Pick a platform or two that appeals to you and observe before jumping into the conversation. While incredibly useful as information sources and networking platforms, social media continues to become a darker and uglier place, so you need to consider whether it is for you. By picking your platforms and connections carefully, I believe social media still has a lot to offer. And my one big piece of advice to those starting on Twitter: “Never tweet from the pub after 9 pm” (in other words, always have control of all your faculties and think carefully about what you are saying in Twitter)

I think this is great advice Pat even for those of us who are seasoned social media users.  And it’s important that we acknowledge the darker side of social media. Much as it pains me to admit it, there is an uglier side to things online, and we need to protect ourselves as much as we can from malign actors.

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

PR: I have been hugely influenced by the Australian health quality expert Dr. Jeffrey Braithwaite who recently wrote that:  “Healthcare is a complex adaptive system, meaning that the system’s performance and behaviour changes over time and cannot be completely understood by simply knowing about the individual components.” This has huge implications for those who think they can change health care systems by implementing reforms from above as things just aren’t that easy.

You’ve certainly given us something to think about there Pat. In fact, you always give me something to think about when I interact with you.   For those readers who wish to become more informed on global healthcare topics,  I highly recommend you get on over to Twitter and follow Pat @pat_health. I promise you’ll be wiser for it. 

Thanks for taking the time to share these thoughts with us Pat. Wishing you continued success in all that you do. 


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: Buffer Stories Creator

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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 Buffer Stories Creator.

Using Stories Creator, you can create the foundation of your Stories with customizable text, graphics, and a background image or color. A quick way to create and download images for your Instagram Stories, it’s a totally free, standalone tool that anyone can use.

How to design great Stories images – advice from Buffer

1. Keep it simple

To tell a powerful story, simplicity is best. The Guardian found that, for their Instagram Stories, simple static graphics and quick explainer videos outperformed their professionally-produced videos.

  1. Use a background image to quickly tell a story
  2. Add a short copy to convey your message
  3. Decorate with up to three graphics

2. Maintain a consistent theme

The second principle is to be consistent. Keeping to a consistent theme makes it easier to create Stories images as you do not have to re-invent the wheel every time you create a new one. It also helps you create a style that will help your followers recognize your brand instantly.

Here are a few things to pay attention to:

  1. Style of images or videos
  2. Color combinations
  3. Layout
  4. Fonts

3. Experiment with interactive features

Instagram offers three cool stickers that you can use to drive engagement on your Instagram Stories:

  1. Poll
  2. Emoji slider
  3. Questions

These features make it super easy for your followers to interact with you. Test them in your Instagram Stories to see what engagement you can get. Here are a few examples:

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2 ideas to increase your Stories reach


1. Use hashtags and location tag

Instagram aggregates selected Instagram Stories to display on hashtag and location pages. When you follow a hashtag, the selected Instagram Stories will also appear in your Instagram Stories feed.

2. Add to your highlights

Your Instagram Stories don’t have to disappear after 24 hours. Add them to your Story Highlights on your profile so that they are viewable forever!

Do you create Stories? Have you used this tool for your Instagram Stories? 

 

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: Do These 4 Things Before You Post To Social Media

Welcome to this week’s social media tip. Today I want you to think about how you can do more than just add to the online chatter.

Here are four questions to ask yourself before you post to your social media channels.

1. Is this post valuable to my social media followers?

Ask yourself why your followers (and not just you, personally) would find the content to be valuable.

Better still, ask your audience.

Go right to your audience and ask them what kind of content they’d like to see from you. You can create quick polls on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or go deeper with a survey. Survey MonkeyPolldaddy and Google’s own survey forms are all simple tools of the trade which have been around for ages and they still work really well.

Recommended Reading7 Places To Discover What Your Audience Wants To Read (So You Can Write It For Them!)

2. Which channel is best suited for this post?

Now that you are certain the information adds value,  it’s time to decide which channel would be best suited to convey this message.

If you have already created a mission statement for each of your brand’s social media profiles, this step is easy: just see which channel’s mission statement best describes the post.

Recommended ReadingHow To Create A Social Media Mission Statement For Your Healthcare Business

3. Is this post optimized for the social network I’ve selected?

While the quality of your content is a key factor for successful social sharing, how you present your information is also very important.

Study after study confirms that how you create and share content matters — with visual content leading the way. According to research by Kissmetrics, photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs on links than text-based posts.

Obviously, if you’re sharing on a visual channel, like Instagram, you’ll want to add high-quality visuals, but consider adding visuals also to more text-based channels like Twitter. Tweets with photos give a boost to engagement rates. 

Pro Tip: You can easily create your own images with drag-and-drop tools, like Canva and Ribbet.  They will also automatically create the right sizes for your Facebook page, so you don’t need to worry about it.

Recommended Reading10 Places To Find The Best Free Images For Your Healthcare Marketing

Other things to consider when it comes to optimizing your posts are using the correct hashtags and creating an impactful headline.

Recommended Reading: 50 Power Words To Super Charge Your Content Marketing

4. Am I posting this at the best time?

To optimize your engagement and reach, you want to share content when your audience is online. If you search for optimal posting times, you will find many guides online. You can follow these recommendations as a starting point, but it’s best to do your own testing to see which days and times work best for your own audience.

Once you’ve determined the right posting times for each social channel, schedule your posts to hit those times. Use a scheduling tool like Buffer or Hootsuite.

Recommended ReadingHow To Better Manage Social Media With Hootsuite

Putting it all together

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I’ve been sharing this graphic for the past three years from Hootsuite and I still love it. The questions above are based on this flowchart. Keep it close to you and refer to it often.

Here’s to your social media success!

 

Posted in Cool Tool, Visual Marketing

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Ribbet

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 photo-editing app called Ribbet.

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Ribbet is a free online photo editor and collage maker with beautiful filters, seasonal effects, touch-ups, stickers, and fonts.  You can quickly improve sharpness, crop, resize and rotate your images.  You can also upload up to 5 photos at once to create a collage effect.

The interface is simple and intuitive and I really like that Ribbet is easy to use but provides all of the essential photo editing functions.  If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to edit your photos then I highly recommend you check out this tool.

 

 

 

Posted in #HCSM

How To Create A YouTube Channel for Your Medical Practice

Earlier this year I wrote a post about the missed opportunity in healthcare to use YouTube as a patient education tool.

As a form of patient education and health promotion, YouTube has great potential but currently, it’s not being used to its full potential.

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.

YouTube At A Glance

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If you don’t already have a YouTube channel for your practice, perhaps now is the time to consider it.

A Step By Step Guide To Creating Your YouTube Channel

Follow these simple steps and you will have your own YouTube channel up running and ready to reap rewards.

Step #1 You’ll need a Google account to sign-in to YouTube

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Step #2 Next click on “My Channel”

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Step #3 Now add your business name or your own name 

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Step #4 Create a title for your channel

Your channel title should be descriptive and briefly tell viewers what your channel is about.

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Step #5 Select Customize Channel to fill in more details 

Add a link to your website and a description of your practice.  Adding your location to your YouTube videos will make them geographically searchable,

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Step #6 Add a thumbnail image (e.g your logo) and banner (channel art)

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I  recommend you use the same picture across all online media: Facebook, Twitter, website, YouTube, etc. Aligning your video branding with that of your business creates a consistent experience for your audience. When existing and potential customers visit your YouTube channel, they need to feel that it is part of a greater whole.

The recommended size for channel art is 2560 px by 1440 px.

Pro Tip: Canva can help you create correctly-sized thumbnail and channel art.

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Step #7 Connect your social media accounts

Add in your social media accounts.

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These can be overlayed on your banner image.

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As you can see it’s super simple to set up your own YouTube channel. In my next post, I’ll show you how to upload your first video and optimize it for viewing. 


Subscribe to my YouTube channel here. I’ll be uploading new videos in 2019

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Create Content With Emotional Resonance

Welcome to this week’s social media tip. Today I want you to think about how you can create emotional resonance through your content marketing.

The word “emotion” is a combination of the prefix e-, meaning “away,” and the Latin word movere, meaning “to move.” In this sense, emotions break us away from our standstills, moving us in new directions and prompting us to take action.

Numerous studies have found emotional arousal plays a key role in driving social sharing. In 2012, researchers Jonah Berger and Katherine Milkman published research based on an analysis of 7,000 articles from the New York Times to see which types of articles were most shared by email.

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The results indicate that virality is partially driven by physiological arousal.

“Content that evokes high-arousal positive (awe) or negative (anger or anxiety) emotions is more viral. Content that evokes low-arousal, or deactivating, emotions (e.g., sadness) is less viral.” — What Makes Online Content Viral?

The Harvard Business Review released research in 2016 which showed that creating a powerful emotional experience increases the chances of going viral. The research, based on an analysis by Frac.tl of the top 100 images of the year from imgur.com, as voted on Reddit.com, found:

  • A significant correlation between content views and positive feelings (specifically joy, interest, anticipation, and trust).
  • Negative emotions were less commonly found in highly viral content than positive emotions, but viral success was still possible when negative emotion also evoked anticipation and surprise.
  • The emotion of admiration was very commonly found in highly shared content, an unexpected result.
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Heatmap of the aggregate emotional data, representing the totals compiled (HBR)

One way to create emotional resonance is to tell a heartwarming story.

Effective stories inspire people by creating human connection and emotional resonance. In 2015, an article about a husband and wife celebrating 82 years of marriage, topped USA Today’s most shared content. Not only was the story uplifting and inspirational, but it also shared insights on reaching over 100 years of age (if you’re interested — the couple describes a healthy diet and frequent naps as the secret to growing old).

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Marie Yoland Eveillard speaks with her father Duranord Veillard, who will celebrate his 108th birthday on Saturday, and mother Jeanne Veillard, who turns 105 in May. The couple got married in Haiti in 1932. Tania Savayan/The Journal News

Once you understand how to strike the right emotional chords with your message, you can greatly increase your chance of getting your content widely shared.

Here’s to your social media success!

 

Posted in #HCSM

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

A new survey profiling how American adults access, use and feel about health-related information finds that most Americans who regularly seek health information are concerned about incorrect or misleading medical information on social media, and few have found health information on social media to be accurate.

These findings are consistent across generations. The survey, The Great American Search for Healthcare Information, was conducted among 1,700 Americans 18 years of age and older. It was commissioned by global communications and marketing services firm Weber Shandwick in partnership with KRC Research.

I find the results of this survey very interesting for a number of reasons. 

Firstly, it’s interesting to learn that the majority of online health seekers are concerned about incorrect or misleading medical information. This reassures me in a way because it means that, contrary to the pervasive belief that the public believes everything they read online, people are actually far more discerning.

It also underscores for me that patients aren’t looking to supplant knowledge from healthcare professionals with the information they find online. They still look to their healthcare providers as the source of credible health information.

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Note that nurses, pharmacists, and eye doctors score higher than medical doctors in terms of satisfaction. This finding surprised me. The survey suggests that physicians may have a millennial problem.

The Millennial generation is least likely to be very satisfied with the information provided by medical doctors. In evaluating other attitudes toward physicians, the study suggests that doctors may be contending with a Millennial trust challenge. In addition to their lower satisfaction levels with information from doctors (on a basis relative to other generations), Millennials are the least likely generation to say they always listen to their doctor(s), the most likely to believe that online health-related information is as reliable as that from medical professionals and the most likely to say they trust their peers more than medical professionals.

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Secondly, I find it disheartening that survey respondents are not finding accurate health information online. We know for a fact that accurate health information does exist online, so why are people not rating it higher?  Medical information websites fall just below average in terms of satisfaction (39 percent).

Finally, I’m a little surprised to learn that concerns about the accuracy of social health information are consistent across generations, including digital natives.

Gen Z, is just as likely to be concerned about incorrect or misleading information as the much older Boomer generation (91 percent and 87 percent, respectively). This suggests that social media comfort and proficiency do not have a bearing on perceptions of legitimacy, leading to the conclusion that it is the content or channel that is the challenge for health-related information communicators.

All of this adds up to a trust and credibility problem we need to urgently address.

A Wake-up Call for Healthcare Professionals

The healthcare industry is still lagging behind in delivering credible and relevant information to patients when and where they need it most.  Healthcare has much to learn from other industries who are adept at mapping the customer journey and providing relevant and timely information at each stage of the journey.

Earning Trust From Online Health Information Seekers

Within each problem lies its solution. To address the trust gap, the authors suggest the following fixes:

Prove your online credibility from the outset

  • information should be cited by a medical professional
  • it should cite a scientific study
  • it should be associated with a trusted brand
  • it should be cited by a trusted school or research organization

Design your content for discovery

By building content that is discoverable across multiple channels – online and offline – you can intersect your customers across their journey and ensure that they find the credible information they’re looking for.

Use succinct, clear and plain language in your communications.

Recognise that people are swimming in information and overwhelmed by the volume, creating confusion and perceptions of conflicting facts.

I would add to this list that it’s important to talk to patients in your offices about the information they find online. For more on this read What’s the Influence of Patients’ Internet Health Information-Seeking Behaviour on the Patient-Physician Relationship?

A Wake-up Call for Healthcare Professionals

In a post published in Physician’s Weekly, primary care physician Mikhail Varshavski, DO, is unequivocal that healthcare professionals’ failure to influence social media is responsible for the rise of misinformation online.

I used to consider the absence of quality physicians online merely a problem of missed opportunity. Now I’ve realized it is much more than that. If misinformation has the power to call in to question the validity of something as grand as an American presidential election, it certainly has the power to influence our patients’ everyday health decisions. The healthcare industry as a whole needs to advocate for more education and focus on this burgeoning global communication platform.


According to a 2017 survey by PM360 Online, only 9% of physicians engage with patients and other health care providers — this includes physicians who reply to comments, join group discussions or share helpful information and links on social media platforms – and as low as 1% of all health care professionals use social media to be content creators — publishing original content via blogs, forums, and websites.

Click here for the full The Great American Search for Healthcare Information report and presentation. It includes additional findings such as the types of health information Americans seek, their use of new digital health services and apps and attitudes about the concerns vs. advantages of the state of healthcare information today.


You might also like to read 

Protecting the Value of Medical Science in the Age of Social Media and “Fake News”

An Opportunity To Build Patient Loyalty In An Era Of Social Media And Fake News

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Google Dataset Search

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 Google Dataset Search.

For all you data-geeks, Google has launched a new search engine to help scientists, journalists, and the more data-centric content marketers among us find the datasets they need.

Here’s a snapshot of a search I did which didn’t exactly return what I was looking for, but it’s instructive to see it nonetheless.

 

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Posted in #HCSM

Why You Should Live-Tweet Your Next Conference

What is Live-Tweeting?

Live-tweeters use the hashtag relevant to the event they are tweeting about (which can usually be located on the conference’s website or Twitter profile). Twitter followers who cannot be at the event in person can follow along using the hashtag and this in turn expands the reach of the conference.

Live-tweeting enhances personal learning

Live-tweeting can also enhance your own personal learning as it requires you to listen more carefully and focus more sharply on the key details of a talk in order to better summarize what the speakers are saying. Furthermore, live-tweeting is a means of amplifying the conference experience, generating global reach and stimulating collaborative potential.

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This learning is further consolidated with an archive of tweets on which you can reflect further after the event.  Sarah Chapman, whose work at the UK Cochrane Centre focuses on disseminating Cochrane evidence through social media, observes how this in-the-moment tweeting captures the immediacy and energy of the event: “Live tweeting can convey the atmosphere generated by a controversial or entertaining presentation in a way that will be lost by the time you get to look at the slides uploaded on the internet”.

Many times the original tweet will be supplemented by pertinent comments on Twitter from other conference attendees and also from those listening in online.  For example, someone may respond to a tweet by questioning the strength of the clinical outcomes of a study, or a practicing physician might respond with their experiences treating patients.  As a review published in J. Clin. Med. states: “The diversity of expertise and backgrounds that can communicate on Twitter is unique, and this exchange of information can be extremely beneficial.”

Live-tweeting enhances virtual learning

Reporting live from a medical conference or event allows you to provide valuable insights to those who are unable to attend in person.  Due to rising costs, concern about our carbon footprint and increasing time commitments, virtual attendance is becoming more commonplace at healthcare events – hence the rise in live-tweeting.

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There are enumerate conferences and symposia to choose from these days, and that choice often becomes impossible due to the sheer diversity. Following attendees using meeting, hashtags permits in real-time remote access to the meeting, viewed through their interest / opinion spectrum. Wong, Wilkinson & Malbrain, Using social media in medicine to your advantage, with care!

Mark Brown, a UK-based mental health advocate, points out that “There have been many recent publications and events imploring us to have a national conversation about mental health.  Why then do so many fascinating discussions happen at conferences, uncaptured and inaccessible to people wanting to join them?”

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Brown believes “this democratisation of access is vital if we want to broaden our mental health discussions and raise the level of sophistication in our arguments and debates. For this to happen we need some brave souls who know how to cover an event via live tweeting and who are prepared to do so out of a sense of public service.”

You might also like to read Make Your Mark at Medical Meetings with Social Media


This is the first in a two-part guide to live-tweeting.  In part 2,  I will share my tips for best practice in live-tweeting. Whether you are a conference organizer, a speaker, or an attendee these tips will help you make the most of the opportunity to report live from your next event.   

Posted in social spotlight

Social Spotlight: Rod Ritchie

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This week it is my great pleasure to shine a social spotlight on Rod Ritchie. A 68-year-old, semi-retired, Australian print and web publisher, Rod uses social media to advocate for guys with breast cancer. His informative website MaleBC.org is a compilation of the latest diagnosis, treatment, and research on breast cancer in men.


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I first came across you through my own breast cancer advocacy work and you were keen to remind me that men get breast cancer too. While of course, I knew that to be a fact, male breast cancer is something that I’m less aware is spoken about on social media. How are you using social media to address this?

RR: Social media is at the core of the work I do. Being a publisher and writer, with plenty of media experience, I find the mediums work well for those with the time and inclination to feed the hungry beasts. With breast cancer, men are not always in the conversation. Let’s face it, they are typically loath to seek medical attention and often to even talk to family and friends about medical issues. Research has proved that their later diagnosis leads to a poorer prognosis.

But there are plenty of keen men and many amazing women, patients and medical professionals, who are willing to chime in, share information, and who are very supportive of guys dealing with this disease. I feel particularly privileged to be interacting with medical people and I really appreciate the professional way they share information, their humanity and concern for patients, and the insight they bring to the whole range of topics, particularly on Twitter.  With social media you can be both proactive and reactive.

I love that recognition that we are in this together – that social media can be a meeting point for health care professionals and patients. Can you tell me some more about how you are both proactive and reactive on social media in raising awareness of male breast cancer?

RR: Not so much these days, but a few years ago, most mainstream breast cancer websites were gender specific to women. It was as if they hadn’t heard about men. Every time I saw a Twitter post not gender neutral, I’d react and publicly draw attention to the fact.

Calling out gender blindness in breast cancer Tweets and Facebook blogs seems like a full-time job. I always think it’s a bit lazy of a writer to be neglectful or dismissive of the male perspective, since we go through equal hassles and tribulations during treatment, we have the same concerns about recurrence, and we feel more marginalized than is necessary.

When I see a study or a trial posted on ClinicalTrials.gov, I check out whether men are invited to apply. Then ask, if not, why not. Lack of research on men and breast cancer is holding our understanding and treatment back. It’s also often useful to post a quote from a research article, along with the link, so that my credibility is seen to be linked to scientific research. It’s only by raising your integrity that a social media reputation is consolidated and followers gained.

Correcting misinformation about male breast cancer and reporting on the latest research is most important to me. Since I completed my NBCC Project LEAD patient’s advocate course, I’ve been able to more critically examine scientific reports and technical papers. Where I see a useful study, I link it up on Twitter. I also keep a record of these trials and studies on my website MaleBC.org and my digital news magazine MaleBCReport and use social media to promote these outlets.

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Last month, we had Breast Cancer Awareness Month with all the attendant pink hoopla, which to my mind, reinforces the stereotype that breast cancer is a “woman’s disease”. How did you react to this? What did you do to counter-balance this gender stereotyping of breast cancer?

RR: October is a big month. My aim is to have a few memes to spread around and to counter all the pink hoopla that inevitably spreads at this time of year. It always amazes me that breast cancer has become the shopper’s disease and that the seriousness, concern, and anxiety of living with the disease gets swept aside for a sort of celebration of how well managed this incurable disease has become. And while men rightly feel marginalized, I feel very distraught for my metastatic friends who have to endure all the crap that gets posted at this time of the year. I curate the Pinktober Revolution page on Breastcancer.org and have published a specialist site on the topic at PinktoberSucks.com.

As a member of several Facebook breast cancer and prostate cancer patient pages, I’m supporting men (and women) who go there with questions about diagnosis and/or treatment. I’ve been amazed at the similarities between men discussing prostate cancer amongst themselves, and women discussing breast cancer. The men are very open talking about the myriad problems of prostate cancer including sexual side-effects. Just like women are when they talk about breast cancer.

You really do work social media to the max Rod! Take us back a little in time to when you first discovered that social media could be a tool in your activist armor?

RR: After finishing treatment for breast cancer four years ago, and deciding to spread the word that men get breast cancer too, I found my message falling on deaf ears in the mainstream media. Even the so-called “pink charities” were initially deaf to this inconvenient fact, and I discovered their websites were hardly acknowledging men, were very pink, and the institutional mindset was almost entirely women-centered. Alongside this, male breast cancer was an orphan disease, with a low profile and one that, upon diagnosis, left most men in a state of shock and more or less embarrassed to have a “woman’s disease”.

Little discussed, even among men, it soon became clear to me that more could be done to promote awareness. I mean, women had long been aware of and encouraged to do breast screening and self-examination, but men, especially those with a family history of breast cancer, were unaware of their risks. And when they were diagnosed, they were loath to even use the words “breast cancer”. I even know of several men who told their friends they had chest cancer!

I also discovered, that most men disappeared from view after initial treatment, and very often did not want to talk about their experiences to family, let alone in the public sphere. Even major public digital communities, such as Breastcancer.org with nearly 200,000 members, had very few men posting regularly when I turned to it for information four years ago. As in happens, I stayed with that community and now I’m the only man with the disease posting regularly there. Under the username Traveltext, I have made many cyber friends and feel very connected to members of forums such as Pinktober Revolution, IBC, and with the occasional man who comes to the almost moribund Male Breast Cancer boards. These are mostly young men worrying about breast lumps which almost always turn out to be cysts. I appeared in a video to support this charity.

Where men could be reached, however, was in the relative anonymity of social media spaces such as Twitter and on closed Facebook pages. And coming from Australia, where annually only around 150 cases are diagnosed, I had the chance of connecting with some of the 2,500 men diagnosed each year in the United States, and those from the United Kingdom, where 380 guys are diagnosed annually. I work as the stories editor for the Kansas-based Male Breast Cancer Coalition and get to read what dozens of men have been through in the diagnosis and treatment of this disease.

You’re a social media super-user – of all the social networks you use, which do you enjoy the most? 

RR: Twitter and Facebook in that order. All my interactions on Facebook are on closed groups because I don’t want my personal Facebook interactions to mingle with health communications since it is unnecessarily confusing and potentially distressing to friends and relatives to have the option of reading about all the matters that I bang on about. Facebook, without word limitations, allows people to discuss their issues, dispense advice, give treatment experiences, and generally cheer patients up. Some posts are a wealth of information, others are just chatty. But Twitter is no-frills, basic information sharing and is where medical professionals and patient advocates quickly exchange information, answer questions, and post links to sites that contain the full story. The rapid-fire nature of Tweets means it needs lots of attention, but you soon learn to scan and look out for people who regularly post interesting material and comments.

Breast cancer is obviously your main focus. Do you take part in any breast-cancer related twitter chats?

RR: I’m interested in all breast cancer topics, regardless of gender, since treatments for men and women pretty much identical using the same protocols which depend on patient’s staging and cancer type, etc. Notwithstanding this, I zero in on all discussions and research relating to breast cancer in men. I try to catch the weekly #bcsm Twitter chat, which runs for an hour from 8pm Monday EST in the United States. Because that’s 11am Tuesday where I live, it’s often not possible to tune in, but I’m certainly there when my favorite topics are up for discussion.

What advice would you share with others who are just starting out with social media?

RR: I’d suggest spending time getting to know the lie of the land with the topics you are following and the people who are consistently making the best posts.

  • Post when you have something meaningful to say, not just for the sake of posting.
  • Always be polite, and don’t become embroiled in dramas that arise from conversations outside your experience.
  • Like comments that enlighten or interest you.
  • Proof your text, since errors reduce your credibility and because you can’t alter posts, only delete them.

I really like that advice, Rod. It reflects a measured and mature approach to engaging with social media that not everyone brings to the medium.  Speaking of mature, I get so tired of the argument that social media is only for young people, — you clearly prove that this isn’t so.

RR: I was in print publishing when the introduction of computers revolutionised the whole process, so I’ve been computer literate since the mid 1980s. As soon as the internet became a solid publishing format 20 years ago, I was there, applying my publishing and writing skills. At one time I owned over 100 web sites. So, age does not weary those of us techies who grow old! And since the average man gets breast cancer at 65, you’re unlikely to get many young guys with knowledge on this topic!

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

RR: Quotes are a big thing on social media, especially inspirational ones. But while I like many of them, and I certainly get their value, I feel, as patients, we are hard-wired to expect the worst from your disease and we sometimes need to pay more attention to medical professionals who have seen many hundreds of people in our situation.

Years ago, when I was trying to tell my breast cancer oncologist about my medical worries, she said:  “Never have any pre-conceived notions about any stage of this disease.”

That advice has stood me in good stead as I realized that most of my fears were baseless and I really needed to get on with my life in remission, rather than obsess over what might or might not become a medical issue.

Rod, that’s a wonderfully inspiring piece of wisdom for all of us to take on board.  Thank you so much for taking the time to share with us your social media story.  I enjoyed getting to know your work better and am in awe of all you do to raise awareness and support men with a diagnosis of breast cancer.



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

Six Content Marketing Lessons I Learned From A Simple Thanksgiving Tradition

Happy Thanksgiving!

Although I live outside the US, Thanksgiving’s one of those holidays I celebrate in spirit, if not in person. I’m always curious to learn more about Thanksgiving traditions and being a foodie I’m fascinated by what people eat at the dinner table.

While I still can’t get my head around that sweet potato and marshmallow combo, a green bean casserole is something I might be tempted to try. If you live in the US I guess you already know the story of how this dish came to be a Thanksgiving dinner staple, but for those who aren’t familiar, it’s such a great marketing story with lessons for all of us who want to improve our content marketing.

The casserole originated 63 years ago in the test kitchen at Campbell’s Soup, where Dorcas Reilly worked as a home economist. Dorcas invented a Green Bean Casserole recipe in response to a question from the Associated Press: “What’s a good Thanksgiving side dish that uses ingredients found in most American kitchens?”

The dish Dorcas invented went viral. Millions of Americans made the casserole that year. And today, over 60 years later, it’ll be served on an estimated 30 million Thanksgiving tables across the US, earning its place as one of the most beloved recipes in America.

So what lessons can this simple recipe teach us as content marketers? In my latest Medium post, I share six valuable lessons we can learn from Dorcas’s green bean casserole.

Click here to read

Posted in #HCSM, social media tools

18 Top Tools For Your Healthcare Blog

I love discovering new tools and apps which help make our social media marketing activities more manageable and more productive.  Each Monday  I share one of favourite social media management tools with you to try during the coming week. Today I want to put some of those tools together in this post organized around the theme of blogging. These tools will help you create, edit and promote your blog content more effectively.

So let’s get started right away with tool #1.

1.  Bit.ly

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Bit.ly is a tool which creates shortened links to track the performance of your content once you promote it. Use it to create a custom short link for each post you create and share.

2. Buzzsumo

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Buzzsumo is a useful tool to explore which pieces of content are popular on social media around a certain topic. Use it to brainstorm popular topic ideas based on keywords related to your topics. You can also input your own domain name (as I have done in the example above) into the search bar and see at a glance how often and where your content is most shared.

3. Canva

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While the quality of your content is a vital factor for successful blogging, how you present your information is also very important. Visuals are a key component of a successful blog. Canva is one of my every-day go-to tools when I am creating visuals. It’s so easy and quick to use it with a multitude of layout options, fonts, images and illustrations to choose from.  Use the pre-set blog template to create header images for your bog.

4. ClickToTweet

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Click to Tweet is a cool free tool which generates one-click tweet boxes or links that can be shared through your website, your blog, or via email. It’s a powerful way to increase social shares and highlight quotes, stats, and key takeaways for your content marketing. It’s also available as a handy Chrome extension.

5. Emotional Marketing Value (EMV) Headline Analyzer

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According to Copyblogger, on average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. Your headline is the first (perhaps only) impression you make on a prospective reader.  Use the EMV headline analyzer to calculate the emotional value of your headlines to create titles which will resonate with your audience.

Bonus Tool: Download a list of 90 headline power words here.

6. FreePik

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FreePik offers users, high-quality graphic designs: exclusive illustrations and graphic resources. It operates on a freemium business model which means, the majority of the resources offered at Freepik can be used for free, only having to credit the author of the illustration to Freepik. In addition, for a small fee, you can subscribe to the Premium plan and use the illustrations without any accreditation whatsoever.

7. Hemingway Editor

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A proofreading tool which clears your copy of all unnecessary copy. Just paste your text into the editor and you’ll get an analysis that highlights lengthy, complex sentences, adverbs, passive voice, and common errors.

8.IM Free

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This site contains images (mostly from Flickr) organized by themes such as inspiration, recreation, and ambient. On the site, you’ll also find free templates, icons, button makers, and more.

9. Life of Pix  

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Life of Pix offers free, high-quality images that are available for personal and commercial use. Each comes with a helpful color palette so you can plan your visuals accordingly.

10. Lumen 5

This is a cool tool that enables you to turn your blog posts into slideshow-type videos in minutes. The free plan includes unlimited videos, access to 10 million video files, and 480p-quality video with the Lumen5 watermark. You can also upload your own logo. Upgrading to the Pro plan ($49/month) lets you remove the Lumen5 branding, upload your own watermark and outro, and more.

Simply input your blog post’s url and Lumen 5 will import the text and images from that post and auto-create your video. You can then edit it, swap out images, upload other images and add music before you hit publish.  The video above is one I created with  Lumen 5 from an original blog post

11. Pexels

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Pexels provides over 3,800 high-resolution photos, collated from other free image sites — making it one of the largest free image directories. Pexels has also added a large library of stock videos to its site also under the Creative Commons license. Use the site’s list of popular searches to find the most in-demand stock video.

12. Pikwizard

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Pikwizard hosts over 100,000 completely free images, with over 20,000 of those exclusive to the site. The site has a good selection of medical-themed images. The site is particularly good for aesthetic procedures and dentistry-related images.

13. Photofunio

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With PhotoFunia you can edit photos online for free in a matter of seconds resulting in high-quality photo collages. As the name suggests, this tool is a lot of fun to use. It helps you make a mark with your photos by incorporating your photos into mock-ups of background images including billboards, magazine covers, and movie posters.

14. Snip.ly

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Similar to Bit.ly, this url shortner tool allows you to enhance every link you share (whether your own content or someone else’s) with a call to action (CTA). When people click on the Sniply-generated link, they can view the article you shared and see a CTA.

15. Stencil

If you like sharing quotes on your blog you can take advantage of their ready to add quotes feature. It will save you a lot of time. You can save, download or share up to 10 images per month, for free.

16. Text Readability Consensus Calculator

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This tool takes a sample of your writing and calculates the number of sentences, words, syllables, and characters. It then takes the output of these numbers and plugs them into 7 popular readability formulas to help you find out the reading level and grade level of your materials and help you to determine if your audience can read what you have written.

17. Quora

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Quroa 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.

18.Unsplash

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Unsplash gives you access to a bank of 50,000+ free-to-use photos. All photos are licensed under Creative Commons Zero, which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash.

Do you have any favourite tools to enhance your blogging? I’d love to hear about them if you do.

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Anchor

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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 super recording app called Anchor.

Anchor is an audio recording app for micro-podcasting, audio broadcasting, Q&As, and more. Features like sound clips and transcriptions make it simple to create audio for social media. Billed as “the easiest way to make a podcast, ever,” it lets you record a high-quality podcast, and distribute it everywhere (including Apple Podcasts) — all in one place. No fancy equipment or podcasting experience necessary, and it’s 100% free!

 

Posted in social spotlight

Social Spotlight: Sue Robins

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This week it is my great pleasure to shine a social spotlight on Sue Robins. 

I first came across Sue through her eponymous blog suerobins.com and was captivated by her writing. Her thoughts and opinions on the role of story in medicine and how to affect meaningful patient engagement chime with my own and I’ve been hooked on her writing ever since.

Sue is a New York Times published writer, speaker and mother of three.  Her youngest son has Down syndrome. Her work experience over the past decade includes paid family leadership positions with Kinsight, BC Children’s Hospital and the Stollery Children’s Hospital.  She is also the senior partner in Bird Communications, a health communications company in Vancouver & Edmonton.

Sue self- declares herself a” rabble-rouser” and “health care big mouth”, which tells you quite a lot about who she is both on and offline.  She is passionate (and outspoken) about family leadership, patient & family engagement, storytelling and nurturing compassion in health care, human services and education settings. Sue was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2017 and has recently completed active treatment. This life experience grants her the unique perspective of being both a patient and caregiver in the health system.


Sue, I really admire your outspokenness, which I know comes from a place of deep commitment to the ideals you believe in. I’ve been personally inspired by your writings on patient engagement and how we seem to have strayed from the true meaning of the term. Could you tell us some more about the role that social media plays in your activism? 

SR: I participate in patient and caregiver activism and Twitter is one of my tools.  I deeply believe in storytelling, peer support, patient/family power and grassroots leadership in the worlds of health care and disability.  I have a son with Down syndrome and worked as a paid family member at children’s hospitals for many years to bring the family voice into the health care environment.  When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I added patient advocacy to my basket.  Sadly, in my formal positions, I was never allowed to have an ‘official’ Twitter account – corporate communications departments in hospitals hold onto that power very tightly.

I consider myself a change agent and am always skirting around the edges with my own account, where I have autonomy and freedom to say what I want.  I refuse to be muzzled.

Now I’ve become deeply skeptical because of the professionalization of the ‘patient engagement’ movement.  I often share articles that offer constructive criticism of engagement (#hownottodoptengagement) and highlight the need for humanity in health care.  Twitter is my sharing mechanism.  I’m a writer by profession and also use my account to post essays from my own blog, www.suerobins.com.

I follow you on Twitter and you use it so effectively.  Was joining Twitter when you first started to use social media?

SR: I was an early adopter of Twitter.  When I first moved to Vancouver, I met family and patient leaders through Twitter who became treasured friends and colleagues in real life, like @seastarbatita, @tatterededge, @karencopeland3 and @couragesings.  I feel fortunate to have found these awesome women and we lift each other up every single day.

We hear so many negative things about Twitter these days through mainstream media so I love that sense of lifting each other up. That’s been my experience too.  Can you tell us some more about how you use Twitter in your work?

I have two personalities on Twitter – my health and caregiver advocacy (@suerobinsyvr), my health communications company (@birdcomm). I use Twitter to curate my own news and I’m ashamed to say that while I used to get three print newspapers delivered to our home, my Twitter feed has replaced that.  I try to follow a variety of accounts so I don’t just have the dreaded echo chamber – where I only read news that validates my own (admittedly left-wing, environmentalist) views.

Do you use other social media networks aside from Twitter? 

SR: I enjoy Instagram. I deactivated my Facebook account years ago.  It reminded me too much of high school and I had grave concerns about how Facebook shared people’s information.

I have three accounts on Instagram. I have a guilty pleasure of scrolling through photos of wedding dresses, as my daughter is getting married next summer.  I do carve off my different personas into three accounts.   One is my private family account and the other two are public – @healthsquawk, my rabble-rousing where I post about healing from breast cancer and @foodiesuz, which is a fun account where I post pictures of eating out.  My advocacy work tends to be heavy and often times dark, so it is important to have a joyful interest – food is that for me.

I like that sense of balancing the heavier work-side of Sue with the fun side.  You have a lot of different things going on in your life, so which topics particularly hold your interest? Do you take part in any regular health-related twitter chats?

SR: My topics change depending on what’s up in my life.  When I was deep in treatment for breast cancer, I was obsessed with following #BCSM and folks like @ninariggs, @cultperfectmoms and @adamslisa.  I miss the wisdom of all three of these powerful women.

Now that I’m in what I call cancer healing mode, I do follow those who talk about the gritty reality of breast cancer, including the life of our sisters with metastatic breast cancer, like @the_Underbelly and #breastcancerrealitycheck.

You’ve mentioned some great accounts to follow on Twitter which is so helpful for newbies starting out. Thinking back to my own first forays into Twitter, it can be quite overwhelming.  What advice would you share with others who are coming to social media for the first time?

SR: I’d suggest thinking about why you are on social media.  Being clear about your intention is important with any aspect of your life.  Is it to follow news?  Share articles?  Engage in conversation or debate?

I think it is okay to take a break.  I took a Twitter break for nine months earlier this year.  I had tipped into spending too much time looking at my stupid phone and I wanted to put my head up and be more present in ‘real life,’ especially with my son.  Those notifications are addictive and I had lost balance.  I also had experienced harassment from (white, privileged) men. Now I put my phone in the bedroom when I get home and limit my social media time to early mornings, which feels healthier to me.

That’s valuable advice for all of us Sue, whether we’re new or seasoned social media users!

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

SR: “Your silence will not protect you.” – Audre Lorde

That quote could be written for you!

Thank you so much Sue for taking the time to share with us your social media  story. I’ve picked up some tips and reminders about maintaining balance through listening to you. Wishing you continued success in the work you do.


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

How To Create A Social Media Mission Statement For Your Healthcare Business

Following on from my previous post on the necessity to create a social media strategy for your healthcare marketing, today I want to show you how to turn that strategy into a focussed mission statement.

This statement should guide your social media activity and help you focus in on where you need to spend your time and efforts.  Here is a sample statement I use with my own clients.

Social Media Mission Statement

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Each time you create a new piece of content or make a decision to try a new social media tool or platform, see if it fits the mission statement. Doing so will help make your social media decisions more focused and effective.

Do you have a mission statement for your marketing? 

 

Posted in Cool Tool, Visual Marketing

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Pikwizard

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Image Source: Pikwizard

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 free stock photo site called Pikwizard . 

As regular readers know, I am obsessed with visuals in marketing, but it’s hard to find medical related stock images that haven’t been used ad infinitum.  I was really pleased to hear about Pikwizard and find a super selection of medical-themed images. The site is particularly good for aesthetic procedures and dentistry-related images.

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Image Source: Pikwizard

Pikwizard hosts over 100,000 completely free images, with over 20,000 of those exclusive to the site.  Adding new images to their stock library daily, the site’s ultimate goal is to get to more than 1 million images!

Visit  www.pikwizard.com next time you need an image to enhance your medical marketing. 

 

Posted in #HCSM

How To Develop A Social Media Strategy For Healthcare Marketing

In the past decade, social networks have evolved from “a nice to have” add-on to a necessity for healthcare marketers. 

If you haven’t yet integrated social media into your marketing mix, it’s time to do so. Not only is social media marketing more affordable than traditional forms of marketing, but it’s also more accountable, with specific tracking and monitoring options at your disposal.

When using social media for marketing purposes, it’s important to understand that social media marketing is more than just creating social accounts and posting updates once in a while. Nor is it merely a digital tool to broadcast updates. To make social media an effective means to reach patients you need to take a strategic approach.

Before diving into social media, you need to think about what you are actually trying to accomplish. The temptation is to start right away by building a following on one or more of the popular social media platforms. But actually, this is not where you should start.

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Image: Marie Ennis-O’Connor

You need to start with your “why” before your how. In a recent interview, Lee Aase, communications director for the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network (MCSMN), pointed out that “Everything starts with why you are using social media If you do not have that “why” out there, then it’s going to be easy to not be motivated enough to stay with it.”

When I take on a new client, I always start by working deeply with them to uncover their motivation for wanting to use social media.  I believe this step is so critical that on occasion I have to advise some clients that they are not ready to commit to social media.

Social media will only work for you if you are prepared to put the work in.

For those of you reading this who are ready for the challenge and willing to work at it, read on to find out the next steps you need to take to ensure the time and effort you spend on social media will pay off for you.

A Six-Step Approach To Developing A Social Media Strategy For Healthcare Marketing

Step #1 Set SMART Goals

Without goals, it’s hard to know exactly how well your social media strategy is performing. Clear goals will not only propel your strategy forward, but they will also serve as defined metrics when it comes to measuring your progress. Describe the specific goals and outcomes you’re seeking to accomplish with your social media activity. These should be aligned with your business goals and clinical priorities.

Do you want to attract more patients? Communicate more effectively with existing patients? Create and maintain an online reputation? Drive traffic to your website? Chances are you may want to do all of these things, but it’s best to identify your top two to three goals and focus on them first.  Whichever goal you wish to pursue, make it as detailed and specific as possible. The more trackable your goal is, the easier it’ll be in a few months to see if you have achieved it.

Take Action: For a goal to become a reality, it needs to be specific, measurable, attainable, and realistic, as well as time specific — these are often called SMART goals.

Step #2 Understand Your Audience

Before you jump into the tactical and practical details of your social media plan, it’s critical that you take the time to understand your audience.  Where do your patients go online for research? What health issues concern them the most? Which online communities inform or influence them? What times are they online? Consider your audience’s engagement time, not your work hours.

Take Action: Start by finding data on your existing audience. Use the Demographics and Interests sections of Google Analytics and the audience analytics features contained within Facebook Insights and Twitter to help you.

Step #3  Set Your Marketing Budget

The perception that social media is free is misguided. The days you could make an impact with a few tweets or Facebook posts are long gone. Running a social presence now requires an investment of resources.  You may need to buy-in services such as SEO (search engine optimisation), analytics software, content or creative support. You will also need to budget for paid advertising, particularly if you want to make an impact on Facebook, where organic reach has steadily declined over the past few years.

Take Action: Set a realistic budget and create a digital marketing strategy that works within it. Whatever you decide to spend money or time on, be sure to track how your content performs on social media relative to the amount of time and money you put against it. This is your social media return of investment (ROI) and it is closely linked to the goals you set at step #1.

Step #4 Choose Your Social Channels

Armed with information on who makes up your audience, the next step is to determine which social media platforms they use and direct your efforts accordingly. Most marketing efforts are focused on the trifecta of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but visual platforms such as Pinterest, Snapchat, and Instagram are also very popular for healthcare marketing.  This doesn’t mean that you have to be everywhere at once. It’s important, especially if your resources are limited, that you’re focusing your social media efforts in places that will generate the most return for your time online.

Take Action: Do your research to determine where best to focus your social media efforts to be successful.  Read Which Social Network Is The Right One For Your Medical Practice? for more advice.

Step #5 Create A Content Strategy

If patients are searching for health information online you need to be creating and sharing what they are searching for.  Tune into the health stories patients are reading about and be ready to provide context, counter misinformation and dispel myths with medically factual information.

When creating a content strategy for your medical practice consider the following points.

What makes you uniquely you? What values does your organization stand for? Use social media to communicate the “who” and “why” of your practice. What unique qualities make you stand out?

Consider your social media tone and voice. How do you wish to communicate on social media? Do you wish to be seen as authoritative, inspiring, friendly, approachable, or helpful? Authentic communication and engagement are highly valued traits online as much as offline.  Look to build and strengthen trust and credibility in all your online interactions. The tone and voice you use should be consistent through all social channels. Your patients should be able to instantly recognize the tone in your social media messages as identifiably you.  Establishing a clear and identifiable voice can also make it easier for others in your office to post on social media for your practice.

Consider the type of content that works best on each platform. Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest require high-quality visuals to stand out. A blog, on the other hand, is better suited to long-form thought pieces. Think about how you can vary your message delivery to complement how people like to consume online information. Alternate between written content, video, infographics, and podcasts to match your audience’s preferences.

Take Action: Create content that truly resonates with your patients. Generally speaking, patients are less interested in your brand, your physicians or your technology, than they are in how you can help them solve their problems. Great content is not about you, but about what you can do for your patients to improve their quality of life. Use a mix of original content and content curated from highly credible evidence-based sources.

Step #6 Track And Measure Social Media Activities

How will you know if you achieve your social media goals? To determine how effective your social media efforts are, you will need to measure your results. Some key metrics to track are the number of followers you attract and retain, what people are saying about you, your company, or brand, and which social media channels drive the most traffic to your website. Social media metrics should always be tied to your social media marketing goals and your target audience.

Take Action: Use built-in tools such as Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics, third-party tools, and measurement of social traffic and conversion with Google Analytics to track and measure your progress.

With currently 2.8 billion social media users globally, expected to rise to almost 3 billion users by 2020, social media’s influence has still not reached its peak. It’s a dynamic environment in which new networks emerge, old networks evolve, and user bases continue to grow exponentially. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by this rapidly moving landscape and unsure of your progress. By building your social media strategy on a solid foundation you are less likely to become distracted by shiny new tools, and more likely to see results over the long-term.


Need help creating a social media strategy for your business?

Get in touch with us to discuss your needs. 

Posted in #HCSM

What’s the Influence of Patients’ Internet Health Information-Seeking Behaviour on the Patient-Physician Relationship?

How and in what ways does patients’ Internet health information-seeking behaviour influence the patient-physician relationship?

The rapid proliferation of health information on the Internet has resulted in more patients turning to the Internet as their first source of health information and acquiring knowledge on their health conditions before seeking a professional diagnosis.

This is changing the ways that patients interact with healthcare providers. Gone are the days when individuals passively received health information and interventions, assuming that a doctor held all the answers. Nowadays, it’s increasingly common for patients to find resources and/or seek out additional information online.

With online health information becoming increasingly popular among patients, this may change the way in which patients interact with and participate in consultations with their physicians and how they feel about their relationship with their physicians.

When researchers Sharon Swee-Lin Tan and Nadee Goonawarden systematically reviewed existing research on patients’ Internet health information seeking and its influence on the patient-physician relationship, they found that it can improve the patient-physician relationship depending on whether the patient discusses the information with the physician and on their prior relationship.

The impact of patients seeking online-heath information on the clinical encounter

In their review, Swee-Lin Tan and Goonawarden point to two over-arching concerns.

(1) Misinformation on the web

With the quality of medical information on the web ranging from peer-reviewed to personal blogs and anecdotes of other patients, patients may not possess the necessary skills to evaluate medical information and relate it to their own health circumstances. Therefore encouraging patients to discuss their Internet information searches is increasingly important, given that acquiring information on the Internet has the potential to misguide patients with inaccurate information.

(2) Satisfaction and trust in physician

When patients’ online findings do not align with physicians’ diagnosis or treatments, concerns have been raised as to how a patient’s appointment satisfaction and trust in the physician would be affected, and how conflicts could occur between the physician and patient – physicians could feel threatened by the information and respond defensively by asserting their “expert opinion.” This may then result in dissatisfied patients who may seek a second opinion, change the physician, change their treatment plan, or self-medicate using recommendations found on the Internet.

A study published in the Journal of Family Practice reported that eighty percent of patients went online post-visit. Dissatisfaction with the physician’s performance motivated information seeking for 40% .jpg
A study published in the Journal of Family Practice reported that eighty percent of patients went online post-visit.  Dissatisfaction with the physician’s performance motivated information seeking for 40% of respondents.

Facilitators of discussion of online findings during consultations

The review highlighted 3 facilitating factors that encouraged patients to discuss online health information with their physicians:

(1) Having a family member present at doctor visits

Having a family member present would help patients remember what to ask and made the context more comfortable to share online findings.

(2) Doctor-initiated inquiries

Some patients reported incidences of doctors’ positively encouraging patients to search the Internet for information.

(3) Encountering a treatment-related advertisement that suggested talking with a doctor.

Online advertisements or recommendations about certain medications and treatment prompted some patients to initiate a conversation with their physicians.

Barriers to discussion

(1) Concerns over how physicians would react

The most common barrier to patients’ willingness to discuss their online findings was that patients were skeptical of how physicians would react: “patients were afraid doctors would perceive them as “challenging” and  “confrontational” if they discussed their health condition from a more informed point of view during consultations.”

(2) Physician resistance to discussion of Internet information

The second most common barrier for patients was “the resistance or discouragement from physicians encountered when patients tried to discuss their Internet information research during consultations.”

Conflicts arising from physicians and patients having different interpretations of the online information (when patients valued this information more) had adverse implications for the patient-physician relationship, resulting in higher levels of patient anxiety, confusion, and frustration.

Patients also felt that some physicians reacted in a way that “implicitly or explicitly discredited the patients’ ability to become informed via the Internet, presenting serious barriers to shared decision making during consultations, with the physicians asserting their authority by dismissing patient-acquired knowledge.”  As a result, “patients carefully observed their physicians before deciding whether to reveal their Internet research, and patients would only bring up their Internet health searches if they felt the situation was right.”

(3) Fear of embarrassment

A third major barrier was the fear of embarrassment. Patients who identified this to be a barrier felt “they did not possess the required skill set to evaluate online medical information. They had a lower level of confidence in the trustworthiness and the credibility of online information. They manifested a sense of being unsure of how to explain the information they found and how to relate it to their own condition, and hence did not want to mention it to their physicians.”

Other than these three main barriers, some patients did not discuss their findings during consultations because “they did not think the information was important enough and they searched the Internet just to be informed.”  Other reasons cited were “a reluctance to interfere with physicians’ diagnostic process and lack of time during doctor visits.”

Implications for the patient-physician relationship

Patients experienced a better patient-physician relationship when they had the opportunity to discuss their online health information with their physicians, and their physicians were receptive to disc (1).jpg

In the studies reviewed by the authors, most patients felt that “Internet health information seeking prior to consultations had improved their communication with doctors and the effectiveness of their consultations.”

Patients felt more in control and confident during the consultation as a result of bringing information to their physicians. Patients also felt more confident in their physicians’ diagnosis once they had discussed their online findings.

Patients used the information to help them prepare for their visit, ask better questions, and understand what the physicians told them (they believed the patient-physician communication had improved because they could understand their doctors and the jargon they used better).

By discussing information they had accessed on the Internet or setting questions in advance, “patients were able to better understand and participate in consultation sessions with their doctors.” Thus patients “felt better equipped to communicate with their physicians during the consultations” resulting in “greater clarity, orientation, and certainty.”

A majority of patients had felt more comfortable with information from health care providers because of their Internet searches and felt more confident with the doctor’s advice.  Interestingly, patients who shared online information felt that they received more attention from their physician, compared with non-sharers.

The patients’ sense of empowerment was dependent on how receptive providers and specialists were to the patients’ desire to take part in the decision-making process. The review showed that “the effect of online information on the patient-physician relationship depended on several factors.”

(1) The positive influence of online information was stronger when patients had an opportunity to discuss their online findings.

Patients who perceived their information search to have improved their relationship with physicians saw the Internet as an additional resource that supported doctors’ advice and enhanced the relationship with doctors. On the other hand, when patients valued the information they found on the Internet above their physicians’, this information led patients to ignore physicians’ expertise.

Not disclosing their Internet information searches could erode patients’ trust in their physicians if the diagnosis or the recommendations are different from their Internet research findings.

(2) Physicians’ reaction to patients when they shared their online findings could determine the positive or negative effect on the relationship’s quality.

When patients perceived physicians to be threatened by their bringing online information, 49% of the patients were seriously dissatisfied with the consultation and 4% believed their relationship was worsened. Conversely, patients felt that the relationship was strengthened “when physicians displayed adequate communication skills in discussing patients’ queries.”

(3) The quality of the existing relationship with physicians

Patients judged their physicians’ reactions as “mostly positive when they had a good prior relationship, even when the doctors’ replies were evasive or openly critical of the patients’ Internet search.”

Conclusion

It’s important to note that patients don’t see their information searches as a substitute for clinical advice.  Patients typically see the Internet as an additional resource that can help them to better understand doctors’ recommendations and advice.  They still value traditional doctor-patient consultations as important to their understanding of online health information, and their trust in physicians remained very high. Under this model of care, the physician acts as a teacher or a friend by engaging patients in a dialogue through the decision-making process.

When physicians embrace openness to online information and encourage patients to discuss the online information they have, patients’ perception of physician resistance and fear of embarrassment could be reduced and patients are more likely to discuss online information with their physicians.

In contrast to the belief that patients’ Internet research can erode the patient-physician relationship, our findings show that patients’ Internet health information seeking has the potential to improve the relationship.

The authors conclude that as patients have better access to health information through the Internet and expect to be more engaged in health decision making, traditional models of the patient-physician relationship need to be adapted to patients’ changing needs by incorporating their perspective into a relationship-centered medical paradigm.


Tan SSL, Goonawardene N. Internet Health Information Seeking and the Patient-Physician Relationship: A Systematic Review. J Med Internet Res 2017;19(1):e9

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Posted in social spotlight

Social Spotlight: Jo Taylor

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This week I am thrilled to kick off the social spotlight interview series again with one of my favourite people – Jo Taylor.  Founder of After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, Jo is a straight-talking Northerner and a force of nature. A fearless patient advocate and campaigner living with secondary breast cancer, she inspires me every day with her energy and passion.


Jo, I am in awe of the work you do. I know you have several projects on the go, so can you tell us a little about some that are close to your heart right now?

JT:  Currently I’m working on my #abcdretreat .  I held 3 this year and the plan is to get sustainable funding that can support 5 residential a year and other additional ones but not redirecting.  I want to be able to franchise the model as people have now asked my advice in replicating.  I know it works and I can inject the right ideas and know how into producing them in different areas.

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A lady from the last retreat wants the franchise in the Isle of Wight!  I’ve also had interest from America and Canada.  Social media reaches the places others can’t.  It’s unbelievable how it’s grown in the last 2 years.  I did a pilot 2 years ago with 9 breast cancer people.  I now know how it works best and people gain so much out of it!  There’s lots of ideas but can’t say too much at the moment.  A business plan is in the process and there are two other grant funds that again I can’t talk about that I’ve applied for.  Only time will tell if these things work out.  Fingers crossed.

I’m also involved in the #busylivingwithmets campaign that started last month in Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While metastatic breast cancer is terminal and cannot be cured, because of improved treatments more women are living longer than ever with it. Even so, many misconceptions and lack of information about this diagnosis persist.    A stranger called Elizabeth Richards contacted me and like many other women she knew very little about MBC, yet the more she found out, the more angry and amazed she became that the illness was side-lined. Elizabeth’s view was that as long as metastatic cancer wasn’t mainstream people would not be aware of the limited treatment options available to them. If they knew, they’d demand more.

NICE, NHS, charities there’s so much not happening and it should be.  Secondary breast cancer patients need a real voice to push policy and make changes – patients need early diagnosis of mets, better treatments and surgeries.  If the government really want the life expectancy to improve and the U.K. world cancer ranking to improve from 17th position, these are the things that are needed to make this happen.

I also am the founder of METUPUK who are looking at the aims and objectives detailed in the graphic below, and we’re committed to turning metastatic (secondary) breast cancer into a chronic disease instead of a terminal disease.

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I’m also involved in steering groups for Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) in Greater Manchester and in the Greater Manchester User Involvement programme working in partnership with clinical groups and boards like the Greater Manchester Breast Pathway Board which I attend as Secondary Breast Cancer patient representative.

I truly am in awe of all that you do Jo! So, tell us what role social media plays in all of this work. How did you get started with social media?

JT: All these things use social media to push their profile. I was on Twitter with my own personal account and wanted to see how Twitter worked and how I could use it after creating my website After Breast Cancer Diagnosis – I spent a good year or so researching and understanding how it worked to be able to replicate this with my @abcdiagnosis Twitter account. I didn’t want to just take followers over from a personal account. Many did follow me from my personal account but it grew from there to what it is today.

Which platform(s) do you enjoy using the most?

JT:  I use Twitter as my main platform. I have a Facebook page as well which I then expand on the information from Twitter as FB is wordier. I don’t link one media to the other as I feel it doesn’t work for me. I don’t use Instagram as I don’t feel this is a worthwhile medium for abcd. I find it unrealistic and more of a “celebrity” medium that just isn’t what I want to promote. Life isn’t all about the perfect photo and I am a real person not a posed and promoted one. I also feel this is damaging to people and our children. I don’t feel my “brand” is right on that medium.

I agree that Instagram is all about the filters and the projection of a perfect image, but I wonder if it might be worth experimenting a little to see if you could do something to shake this up? We should put our heads together sometime and see what we can come up with 😉 

I ask all my guests the following question – but I probably should know the answer to the next question already. Which topics interest you – eg do you take part in any particular twitter chats?

JT: Any topics to do with breast cancer, secondary BC, patient involvement, advocacy interest me. I’m also massively interested in exercise with and after cancer so get involved in things to do with these subjects. I want to make a difference for other patients and people living with and beyond cancer. Exercise is something we can all do and at very little cost so I like to motivate people to do this.

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I have a closed FB group for people who have been on the retreats and it’s great for them to keep motivated. We also have WhatsApp groups that keep them motivated and connected.

What advice would you give someone just starting out on social media?

JT: Connecting with people and actually chat with them! This is the one thing people don’t always do, they think they will just get followers by no interaction, I’ve seen it. You have to be part of the conversation, don’t be shy, talk, get involved, do Twitter chats, lurk until you feel comfortable in speaking but we all have an opinion and that’s the thing, we don’t have to agree. Don’t feel silly to stick your head above the parapet and have an opinion. Be kind – many people have cancer and sometimes things can be taken incorrectly too (Maybe my Northernness?!) I’ve been on the receiving end and sometimes easy to be misunderstood. Don’t feel silly to say I’m sorry I didn’t mean it that way also, I still can say something and the meaning isn’t taken in the right context. If something happens DM someone and there’s been times I’ve apologised or smoothed things over. Interaction is everything though, it’s just like speaking to someone face to face. Remember don’t say something to someone you wouldn’t face to face. There are real people behind these accounts (most of the time). Block anyone who is continually rude or upsetting. I’ve only had to block three people ever in the last 6 years and most of the time I’ve had only a good experience of social media.

I love that advice Jo, and I agree that is easy for misunderstandings to arise online. I appreciate that you care enough to smooth things over. It’s important that we build and nurture those online relationships we value too. 

So, finally, would you like to share a favourite quote with us?

Favourite quote – too many to choose from but this resonates – no, exercise won’t cure clinical depression but whatever disease or problem, it certainly can make you feel a whole lot better if you try it.

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That’s a powerful note to end on Jo, and as healthcare communicators, we both understand the value of a visual to get a key point across!


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

The Power of Social Media in Medicine and Medical Education: Opportunities, Risks, and Rewards

Earlier this year I contributed to a paper published in the journal, Clinical Chemistry, which explored the use of social media in medicine and medical education. You can read the full paper here –  it’s Open Access (yay!).

Both personal and professional use of social media by medical professionals is increasing. Some medical specialties have quickly adopted and embraced social media, particularly in the fields of family medicine, pediatrics, and emergency medicine.  Emergency and critical care medicine have embraced social media under the free open-access medical education (#FOAMEd) movement that seeks to share knowledge as widely as possible and for free. (Fun fact! The term FOAM was coined in June 2012 in a pub in Dublin, over a pint of Guinness).

Extracted highlights from the paper

Shannon Haymond, Professor of Pathology, sees social media as “a way to stay up to
date on rapidly changing fields and to connect with a diverse set of people who share your interests. This is particularly true for finding those interested in your area
of expertise but from a completely different perspective.”

I continually use social media to find and save ideas for improving the content and delivery of my lectures and educational sessions – Shannon Haymond

In response to the question of barriers to the adoption of social media among medical professionals, Haymond points to lack of time to tackle a steep learning  curve and notes “people are not sure of the value or level of professionalism (i.e., they assume it is all about pop culture and celebrity feuds) and  may be apprehensive to put their opinions out into the public conversation.”

Emergency medicine consultant, Professor Simon Carley considers that emergency medicine has adopted social media at a much faster pace than most specialties “owing to the ability of social media to engage individuals across the breadth of our specialty, despite the chronological and geographical challenges that typify our practice.”

I am more up to date than my peers who do not engage. I am a better physician as a result, and I truly believe that my patients receive better care because of this. Professionally I find it intellectually satisfying, as I am forced to constantly learn and reflect on my current practice. It has created opportunities to join research and educational groups across the globe with interactions through #FOAMed, leading to journal publications and numerous invitations to speak at national and international conferences. My personal learning network of experts is no longer limited to those in my department or hospital, and I regularly learn from those in other countries and health economies – Simon Carley

Although Carley thinks there still exists “a big gap between awareness and involvement”, clinical educator, Jonathan Sherbino, MD says “the novelty of social media as an emerging phenomenon is being replaced with lines of inquiry that take advantage of the principles of social media: open access, interconnectivity, asynchronous dialog, and crowdsourcing.”

We are now at a tipping point from the early adopters to the early majority, largely a function of a generational shift with early career educators promoting and modeling the professional use of social media – Jonathan Sherbino

Sherbino, an avid user of Twitter,  believes social media “allows an individual to participate in a richer community.”  He uses Twitter “as an aggregator to condense numerous online conversations relevant to health professions education into a single stream. He also says  he pays ” more attention to superusers (individuals or organizations with a personally vetted record of high-quality information) than any member within my network.”

Michael Berkwits, editor at The JAMA and JAMA Network also points to social media’s curatorial capabilities.

“Social media allows publishers to distribute information to readers in the workflow and spaces they are already using. With innumerable options, most people direct-access only a handful of website homepages and instead use social media platforms as a way to curate “tables of contents” of people, interests, and sources they want to keep up with – Michael Berkwits

Carley uses personal learning networks, curation sites, and apps to help him track and collate useful content.

I have developed a personal learning network of individuals who collate and curate special interest areas. You cannot follow everyone, so find and follow the high return, high-quality individuals or sites that filter content for you. I also follow sites that act as clearing houses for social media content, which create a weekly digest and e-mail it to your inbox – Simon Carley

Social media is an important mechanism for communicating about science with the public. As Haymond points out, “Despite the tremendous benefits, including free access and wide distribution of information, the quality of online scientific information
is variable.”

Stephen Smith, Professor of Emergency Medicine, is firm that medical professionals should be more discriminating about what they choose to post online.

Because there is so much information, we should try to limit what we post to only those things that are both important and accurate, to the best of our knowledge. We should not be posting things for our own ego, to be able to say how many followers one has, or how many posts one has put up – Stephen Smith

When it comes to risks, Sherbino points to trolling, Smith to patient identification, and Haymond to the risk of posting misleading or inaccurate information. Carley considers that the “risks are overstated.”

The only difference is that social media shares your views with a wider audience. If you act inappropriately and unprofessional in real life, then more people will know it. Similarly, if you are a diligent clinician, researcher, and academic, then more people will find out – Simon Carley

The future of social media in medicine

Social media is changing the ways that patients interact with healthcare providers and the healthcare system. It is increasingly common for patients to use information technology to gain access to information and control their own healthcare.  Increased access to the Internet and mobile communication will bring public health information to many more people, more quickly and directly than at any time in history. Social media will widen access to those who may not easily access health information via traditional methods, such as younger people, ethnic minorities, and lower socioeconomic groups.

Social media is also changing the face of medical education. Sherbino goes so far as to state, “No longer are the giants of the field identified by their textbooks, citation rates, or leadership roles; rather, my residents and fellows are influenced by the scope of an educator’s social media brand.”

Carley quotes Rob Rogers, “we will change from those who give out knowledge to those who coordinate it. Social media will develop us all into “learning choreographers.”


The Power of Social Media in Medicine and Medical Education: Opportunities, Risks, and Rewards, Published May 22, 2018 as doi:10.1373/clinchem.2018.288225

Posted in #HCSM

Which Social Network Is The Right One For Your Medical Practice?

Are you using the right social media platform to maximize your online reach? Not all social media is created equal. Read on find out more about choosing the right platform to enhance your medical marketing activities.

Most small practice owners I’ve talked to find themselves overwhelmed by social media because they feel they need to be active on all platforms.  It’s important, especially if your resources are limited, that you’re focusing your social media efforts in places that will generate the most return for your time online.  Don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to be everywhere at once.  Every additional platform your practice is active on means additional time and effort required to engage on and create tailored content for that platform.

Before becoming active on a social network, try answering the following questions to help you choose the platform that is right for your practice.

1. Will this platform help me achieve my marketing goals?

Setting SMART goals to which you can align your social media activity is a good guarantee of online marketing success. If you can’t explain how a particular social channel will help you to achieve your goals, then it may not be the right fit for you.

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Recommend Reading: How To Set SMART Goals For Your Healthcare Marketing

2. Is my target audience active on this platform?

Different platforms attract different audiences. There’s no point spending your time on a particular social network if your audience isn’t there. Look at existing data to learn where a specific demographic spends their time online. For instance, if you’re targeting a younger demographic (25 years and under), then you should consider using Snapchat.

For the female-focused market, Pinterest is a good choice, because of its significant reach among women; 42% of online women are Pinterest users. 34% of users are between the ages of 18 – 29 and 28% are between 30 – 49, which creates a wide demographic of women who can be reached on this platform.

With an average of 1.47 billion daily active users, Facebook is still the king of all social networking sites (though we might see this predominance changing soon), so this is the most logical network to start with.

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Most popular social networks worldwide as of October 2018, ranked by number of active users (in millions) Source: Statista

However, the catch with Facebook is over 80 million businesses have a presence on the network which makes it a crowded and competitive landscape. And with organic Facebook Reach estimated to currently be as low as 1–3%, succeeding on the platform is more difficult than ever.

Certainly, you should create a presence on  Facebook for your practice,  but be realistic in terms of what you can achieve there.  To succeed you will need to include paid strategies for a successful Facebook marketing plan. The good news is that Facebook advertising allows for a high level of targeting right down to age, interests, income levels, geographic location etc. to ensure your message is delivered to the exact audience type you are looking to attract.

Recommended Reading: 10 Tips To Create More Engaging Content For Your Medical Practice Facebook Page

Look beyond Facebook to the many online groups and fora where your patients are also congregating. For example, 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.

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3. Which social networks are my competitors using?

Which social networks are your competitors using? Are they active on networks you aren’t? Use a tool like Buzzsumo to identify the social channels on which your competitors get the most shares. Chances are if these channels match your demographics and are working well for your competitors, they will work well for you also.

Recommended Reading: Six Tools To Help You Perform A Competitor Audit

4. Will this platform match the content I create?

If you want your content to do well on social media, you’ve got to be strategic about what you publish and where you publish it. You need to create content that aligns with your audience’s expectations on each social channel.

Identify how, when, and where your specific audience likes to engage with content. For example, Instagram is the best platform for reaching millennials and users there will expect high-quality graphics and videos. It’s a great way to connect visually with your audience.

Twitter, on the other hand, has the most diversity in terms of audience penetration and is the best network for real-time communication. Due to its interactive, in-the-moment nature, it will require more of a commitment of time to participate in online conversations and chats and remain visible in the fast-moving stream of tweets.

Consider creating more video content for YouTube.

It’s no secret that video content is booming across all businesses, including healthcare. People around the world are now watching a billion hours of YouTube’s content every single day.

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YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world with added SEO potential due to its Google connection. As a form of patient education and health promotion, YouTube has great potential but is currently an under-utilized platform for healthcare.

5. Can I integrate this platform with another similar one?

It’s better to use fewer channels well than to stretch yourself thin trying to maintain a presence on every social network. There is a degree of reciprocity between certain platforms – for example, Facebook and Instagram – the key is to choose channels which integrate well with each other to create maximum impact.

6. Consider your existing resources

Do you have the skills or personnel to create the right content for the networks you’ve chosen? While it’s true, you don’t have to pay to sign up for a social media profile on most platforms, these days, the organic reach of most Facebook posts is less than three percent. Running a social presence now requires an investment of resources, both in terms of finances and time.

To Wrap Up

When choosing a social network always keep one eye on the bigger picture. Rather than being led by current trends, back up your decisions by aligning them with your goals and audience.

When assessing a platform ask yourself if it is the right fit for what you are trying to do and for whom you want to reach.  Faris K. Timimi, MD, medical director for the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network (MCSMN) and a practicing cardiologist in Rochester, Minnesota, advises physicians to “look at the demographics and the nature of the platform, the content of what you are putting out there, and what are the characteristics and how does it fit.”

My final piece of advice is to master one social network well before adding another to your strategy.  Regularly review what’s working and what’s not. After a period of say six months, ask yourself this platform is still working for you. If it, then focus on improving your reach on it.  If it’s not working, consider whether it’s worth investing any more time on. Remember you don’t have to be everywhere to make an impact.


Related

Cosmetic Surgery on Social Media – Patients Rate Preferred Social Media Sites and Content

Posted in #HCSM

10 Smart Ways To Drive More Readers To Your Healthcare Blog

Blogs written by physicians, nurses, researchers, patients, and allied healthcare professionals add much to the richness and diversity of the online healthcare conversation.

But 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 today’s post, I will share with you 10 tried and tested ways guaranteed to drive more traffic and increase engagement on your healthcare blog.

1. Tailor Your Content To Your Audience’s Needs

Firstly, every piece of content that you create should have an intended audience. What kind of healthcare information are your patients looking for? What problems can your content solve for them? Focusing more clearly on your audience will help you to create content that will draw more readers to your blog. The key here is to really know your audience and their pain-points and write content that specifically answers their particular needs.

2. Hook Your Readers With An Irresistible Headline

If content is king, then the headline is queen. Your headline is the first impression you make on a prospective reader. A good headline frames your content. No matter how amazing your content is, few people are going to click through to read it if they’re not immediately captivated by your headline.

Recommended Reading: 7 Tools To Find Inspiration For Your Headlines

3.  Use Keywords Strategically

It’s important to include keywords in your content if you want to rank higher for particular search terms and attract more readers to your blog. The Google Keyword Planner within Adwords is a useful tool to find ideas for content based on keyword search. Google also 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.

4. Create Evergreen Content

Evergreen content is the kind of content that is continually relevant and stays “fresh” for readers. A Moz case study defines evergreen posts as “content having a continued and sustained success” and also shows that evergreen posts can generate traffic years after their original publication. Some common evergreen formats include Lists, and How To’s.

5. Add Visual Appeal

Study after study confirms that how you create and share content matters
with visual content leading the way. When it comes to creating visual content, don’t be tempted to reach for the nearest stock image. These days there’s no excuse for using boring stock images. In this post, I share my best recommendations for sourcing images you can use for free to enhance your social media posts.

6. Maintain A Consistent Posting Schedule

To create and maintain interest with your audience you need to post consistently to stay in front of your audience’s eyes and keep growing. One of the best ways to do this is to create recurring content. Recurring content form hooks which keep readers interested in coming back to your site. Having specific days or times that you post content means followers will get into the habit of checking your social media to see if anything new has appeared. Examples could be creating a weekly round-up post on your blog.

7. Leverage Guest Blogging

Whether you invite a guest blogger to blog on your site, or you guest blog for someone else, guest blogging is one of the most effective ways to increase your blog’s traffic. Not only do you get the opportunity to build your authority and increase your visibility, you can also leverage the social following of your guest blogger when you mention them on social media.

8.  Drive More Traffic With Social Shares

By making it easy for visitors to your site to share your content, you increase the likelihood that they will take this action. When more people share your content, you increase the chance of driving more visitors to your blog. Make sure your social sharing buttons are clearly visible. Check out this advice on the best position to place share icons on a web page.

9. Send an e-Newsletter to Subscribers

Newsletters can help keep your content top of mind with readers and drive more traffic to your website. Consider sending an email digest of your most recent blog posts, or send a targeted email each time you publish new content.

10. Repurpose Your Existing Content

Repurposing content simply means taking one asset and reusing it somewhere else. By re-purposing content you have already written, you can expand the reach of your content and attract new audiences.  Identify your most popular content through your blog analytics tool and by using Google Analytics. You should aim to repurpose any content that consistently performs well.

These are just some of the ways in which you can drive more traffic to your website. Can you add more suggestions to this list?

Posted in #HCSM

Data Never Sleeps: Here’s What Happens In An Internet Minute (Infographic)

I never cease to be blown away by the sheer scale and acceleration of the Internet. The world is more connected than ever before.

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But just how much data is generated every minute? This fascinating infographic shows exactly how much data is created every single minute. From tweets to swipes, likes to shares, the digital world is exploding.

Stats At A Glance

  • 42,033,600,000 Facebook logins
  • 159,840,000,000 Google searches
  • 1,641,600,000,000 WhatsApp messages sent
  • 8,078,400,000,000 emails sent
Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

 

Posted in #HCSM

50 Power Words To Super Charge Your Content Marketing

 

Did you know that on average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest? Your headline is the first impression you make on a prospective reader. An eye-catching headline is a key factor in getting readers to click through to your article.

An attention-getting headline will capture the reader’s attention right away and compel them to want to find out more. Clear, concise, and original content is important, but words that appeal to their emotions is the magic ingredient to giving your visitors a reason to want to diver deeper.
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Trigger words can entice readers to your content, but use these words with caution because they can also trigger skepticism and distrust. Make sure your content carries through on the promise in the headline and always avoid click-baiting.  Clickbait headlines typically aim to exploit the “curiosity gap”, providing just enough information to make the reader curious, but not enough to satisfy their curiosity without clicking through to the linked content. Always craft a headline that links to authentic and relevant content.

Download a list of 90 headline power words here.

For a deep dive into which words and phrases drive the most shares and engagement, Buzzsumo analyzed 100 million article headlines and reported their findings here.

Further Related Reading

 

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Add SlideShare To Your Healthcare Marketing Strategy

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

Owned by LinkedIn and with over 18 million uploads and 80 million users, SlideShare is the world’s largest professional content sharing community.

Surprisingly, given how the platform is optimized for social sharing, including the ability to embed presentations (as I’ve done below), it’s often overlooked and underused in healthcare marketing.

How To Use SlideShare

1. Use SlideShare for research.

Get up to speed on any topic. Instead of scrolling through pages of text, you can flip through a SlideShare deck and absorb the same information in a fraction of the time.

2. Share your insights and get noticed

Show what you know through a presentation, infographic, document or videos. When you upload to SlideShare, you reach an audience that’s interested in your content – over 80% of SlideShare’s 80 million visitors come through targeted search. This can help you build your reputation with the right audience and cultivate more professional opportunities.

Take Action: Expand your content marketing and raise your online profile in 2019 by tapping into the power of SlideShare. The good news is that you don’t even have to create original content to do this. Simply find some content you have already written and get ready to breathe new life into it.

Here’s to your social media success!