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Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Listen Notes

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Image Source: Listen Notes

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week’s cool tool recommendation is Listen Notes  – a free podcast search engine.

With this tool, you can not only search the whole Internet’s podcasts, but you can also curate your own podcast playlists. (Note that the Listen Notes search engine is designed to help you find content such as people topics, not specific shows.)  If you’re researching a specific person or topic, the search tool can help you find related episodes from a range of podcasts. You can then add results that interest you to a playlist.  After you create a playlist in Listen Notes, you receive a playlist URL that you can copy and paste into your favorite podcast app so you can listen to that playlist. You can also use the URL to share the playlist.

More cool features include the clipping feature which lets you annotate, save, and share audio clips from podcast episodes.  You can add individual episodes to Listen Later playlists and bring these playlists to your podcast player apps via RSS.

The tool is totally free and if, as many people are these days, you are a podcast fan, you will want to add this tool to your toolkit.

Posted in #HCSM

7 Essential Elements Of An Effective Healthcare Digital Marketing Strategy

If you’re looking to reach more patients online, then digital is an essential tool in your marketing strategy. The following list contains the essential elements you need to have in place to ensure your digital marketing is effective.

1. An Easy-To-Navigate Website

In the online world, your website is a virtual office location and the face of your practice. It acts as the initial “touchpoint” for potential patients. It showcases who you are and what you do.

A well-designed website can:

  • Boost your online reputation
  • Increase search engine visibility
  • Attract new patients

When visitors land on your medical practice website, they’re typically looking for something specific.  You may be surprised to learn that research has revealed that easy navigation and accessibility are more important to patients than reputability.

Users should be able to use your website intuitively. Put yourself in the shoes of your visitors and ask yourself how easy it is to find key information on your site. How many clicks does a visitor have to make to get to the information they are looking for?

Think about the information someone is searching for when they visit your site—and make it easy for them to find it. If your site contains a lot of information (as some hospital websites do) consider creating separate landing pages for specific conditions.

Further Reading: Digital Health Checkup: 10 Signs It’s Time To Redesign Your Medical Practice Website

2. Include A Blog

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

Blogs written by physicians, nurses, researchers, patients, and allied healthcare professionals add much to the richness and diversity of the online healthcare conversation. Blogs are a super way to educate patients and keep content on your website fresh.  Marketing to patients with a blog can be one of the most effective ways a new medical practice can reach more patients. Blogging regularly increases awareness of your practice, as well as help your website rank better in search engine result pages (SERPs) thereby increasing its organic traffic.

Further Reading: 3 Places To Find Interesting Ideas For Your Healthcare Blog

3. Content Marketing

If you’re serious about marketing your business online, you need a strategy and a plan to execute it. A content marketing strategy is a roadmap that not only tells you what you’re going to create but how you’re going to create it, when you’re going to publish it and how you’re going to promote it. It helps you create more meaningful, engaging and sustainable content.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, having a documented (i.e. written down) strategy means:

  • You’ll feel significantly less challenged by every aspect of content marketing.
  • You’ll generally consider yourself more effective in your use of all content marketing tactics and social media channels.
  • You’ll be able to justify spending a higher percentage of your marketing budget on content marketing.

4. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

SEO is the process of earning traffic from search engines organically — meaning you aren’t paying for ads or sponsored content placement.  If you want more people to find you online, you need to optimize your website through good search engine optimization practices. SEO (the ability to optimize your site for search engines),  is a detailed and sometimes confusing process, and you may want to hire an SEO expert to do it for you. If you don’t want to hire someone, there are search engine optimization tools available to help you do your own SEO — and many of them are free. I’ve put together this list of the best free SEO tools out there to help you instantly improve your online marketing.

5. E-Mail Marketing

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

Use email personalisation and segmentation based on a recipient’s interests and needs so they’re receiving information relevant to them. Send out a video, a current blog post or provide industry news that will give readers information on various topics. Be sure to plan these ahead of time so they are timely according to what’s going on at your organization or in the health industry.

6. Video Content

Video has become the predominant way people want to consume information and this goes for patients too. Information delivered via video vs. print equates to a much higher retention rate. In addition, patients who watch videos featuring a physician feel a greater level of trust. The type of video content you can create includes Q&As with physicians, patient testimonials, explainer videos, and live streaming.

Further Reading: How To Create A YouTube Channel for Your Medical Practice

7. Social Media Marketing

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

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.

Further Reading: How To Develop A Social Media Strategy For Healthcare Marketing

Tying It All Together

Digital marketing in healthcare is dynamic and constantly evolving  — there are many different elements to consider. If this list feels overwhelming to you, don’t feel you have to do everything all at once. The best place to start is with your website – prioritise it in your strategy and build out your digital marketing from there. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me.

Here’s to your digital marketing 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 this list of 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 Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Track Twitter Hashtags 

Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip.  This week I want to show you how to  track hashtags on Twitter 

Hashtags are a useful way to find others who share your interest in similar topics, but did you know that you can do so much more with them? Analysis of hashtag data allows you to track, measure, manage and grow your social strategy.

3 Reasons You Should Track Hashtags

  1. Connect with existing conversations and people who are tweeting about your topics of interest. With this data, you can identify current trends and key influencers.
  2. Use hashtag analysis to measure and extend your social media reach.
  3. Create more effective campaigns by measuring the level of interest, sentiment (“positive”, “negative”, or “neutral” attitudes), key demographics and influencers of your campaign. Use the findings to plan future campaigns.

Which Tools Should You Use?

Twitter’s own native search can be a good starting point to track a hashtag — particularly if you make use of Twitter’s advanced search parameters.

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Apart from Twitter’s own search facility, there are a number of hashtag analysis tools at different price points. Most will allow you to try out a limited search for free, but for more detailed results, you will need to sign up to use the paid features. Here are three free tools for you to try straight away.

1. Social Searcher

Social Searcher allows you to monitor all public social mentions of your company, brand, product, or service in one easy to use dashboard.

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2. Twitonomy

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3. Tagboard

Tagboard uses hashtags to search for and collect public social media within seconds of being posted to networks like Twitter and Facebook. Robust tools offer the power to select specific posts to feature on websites, in broadcast TV, and on large displays.

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Here’s to your social media success!

 

 

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Loom

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

This week’s cool tool recommendation is video app –  Loom.

Combining face and screen video recording with audio, Loom makes it easy to create quick, personal videos ready for sharing via email, social media, YouTube, or as an embedded video on your website.

Check out this video which walks you through the desktop version (you can also use it as a Chrome extension or download iOS app). 

The basic version is free and allows you to record up to 25 videos.

Posted in Infographics

How To Create A Healthcare Infographic

Information graphics or infographics are stand-alone graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge. They are universally understandable and can illustrate information that may be too technical to communicate in text.

Research suggests that publishers who use infographics grow in traffic 12 percent more than those who don’t. This is because an infographic unless it’s completely awful (and they exist), will get a lot more attention than a typical text blog post.

They can also be a fun way to promote brand awareness. In terms of social media marketing, they are an effective way of spreading information (the “viral” process) across multiple social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and blogs.

11 content ideas for a healthcare infographic  

There are so many possibilities when it comes to creating a healthcare infographic. Below are some suggestions to get you started.

  1. Technological breakthrough
  2. Latest research
  3. Medical conditions
  4. The human body
  5. First aid advice
  6. Drug information
  7. Statistics
  8. Diseases
  9. Health care reform
  10. Surgical procedures
  11. Nutrition

 7 tips for designing a healthcare infographic 

A good infographic takes time to create and should contain the following elements.

  1. Be concise
  2. Be visually appealing
  3. Be of value and interest to your readers
  4. Be accurate
  5. Be creative
  6. Be transparent (always cite your data sources )
  7. Be mindful of copyright

How to create a healthcare infographic

Infographics are valuable tools for healthcare providers to present complex information, educate patients, and brand and market a healthcare service in a creative and visually attractive way.

The following tools will make it easy for even the novice designer to create interesting infographics.

1. Canva

2. Visme

3. Infogram

If you are serious about using infographics to inform and educate your patients or market your brand, it’s best to hire a specialist infographic designer. But, if you just want to have some fun and test your design skills, then use the tips and tools listed above to get creative with your data.

 

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: Add Media To A Retweet

Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip. 

Did you know you can add a photo, video or GIF to a Retweet, instead of just text?

It’s super simple to do.

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By expanding the Retweet feature to support additional media Twitter users have a richer, more engaging experience on the platform.

Here’s to your social media success!

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: PhotoScape X

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

This week’s cool tool recommendation is PhotoScape X – an all in one photo editing software tool. 

It has a ton of features  – too numerous to list here. 

Its editing platform is easy to use and you can see your edits appear in real-time directly on your image.You can even create animated GIFs.

Check it out at http://x.photoscape.org

 

 

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Embed A Tweet On Your Blog

Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip.  This week I want to show you how to embed a Tweet on your website or blog. 

1. Select a Tweet to embed on your site. Click on the down arrow icon (v).

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2.  Select Embed Tweet from the drop-down list.

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3. Now simply and paste the code provided into your blog or website.

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An embedded Tweet includes the Tweet itself, any media contents (photos, video) so if you don’t wish to include these, go to Customization Options and check “Hide Conversation.”

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Here you also have the option of translating your embedded Tweet into another language and selecting the colour you would like it to appear as on your website or blog.

Here’s to your Twitter success!

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: SocioViz

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

This week’s cool tool recommendation is SocioViz – a web-based Twitter analytics platform.

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Use it to:

  • search for any keyword, hashtag, emoji or user mention filtering by date, location and language. Setup your historical searches or collect posts in real-time.
  • Identify conversation peaks, hashtags, words and emoji most used, most active and influential users.
  • Analyze conversation to hear what people are saying about your brand, competitors, and industry.

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It’s a very detailed tool and best of all it’s free to sign up for an account. This short video gives you an overview of what you can do with it.

 

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Build Your Email List

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

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

4 Reasons You Should Build An Email List

1. Email marketing helps you build relationships and credibility

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

2. Email marketing keeps you top of mind

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

3. Email marketing is inexpensive

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

4. You own your list

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

5. Email marketing converts better than social media

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

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

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

Want to subscribe to my newsletter?

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

Click here to subscribe to my mailing list.

Related Reading

20 Email Marketing Dos and Don’ts for More Effective Email Campaigns

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: CopyChar.CC

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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 favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending CopyChar.CCa simple tool to copy symbols.

If you’ve ever found yourself hunting around to find a particular symbol, currency sign or emoji then this tool is great – allowing you to find what you’re looking for at a glance.  I just discovered it a couple of days ago and already I’ve added it to my list of time-saving tools. I think you’ll do the same once you’ve tried it for yourself!

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 Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Bitwarden

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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 favourite tools with you at the start of each week.

This week’s cool tool recommendation is Bitwarden – a secure and free password manager for all of your devices.

Bitwarden makes it easy for you to store all of your logins and passwords while conveniently keeping them synced between all of your devices.

The tool is available as a chrome extension. Click here to download.

 

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To 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 2020 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 Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Repost

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending  Reposta simple tool that makes it easy to Repost your photos and videos on Instagram while giving credit to the original Instagramer.

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When you find something you want to repost in Instagram, simply copy the share URL and open Repost. Then in Repost, you can position the attribution mark and send the reposted media back to Instagram.

Posted in #HCSM

Twitter Adds Context To Trends

I’m a huge Twitter fan. So many interesting healthcare conversations are happening everyday on the platform.

One of my favourite ways to use Twitter is to take part in Twitter chats. These are great networking and learning opportunities and a super way to engage in meaningful conversations about shared topics of interest. Think of it as a virtual meet-up for people with common interests.

When I teach social media classes, I do sometimes hear that Twitter is a confusing place for those new to the platform. It can take a while to learn the ropes and it’s not uncommon for new users to hesitate to ask about the meaning of some of Twitter’s features.

“What’s Trending” is one of those features that may not immediately make sense – even to those of us who are seasoned tweeters. It’s not always obvious why something is trending.

Twitter aims to fix this (hat tip Amanda Webb).

They are testing adding context to trends by attaching a ‘representative tweet which will give you a clue to the trend and they are also adding descriptions.

The representative tweets will be selected both by the algorithm and human beings.

Testing on mobile in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, France, India, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.


You might also like to read

7 Data-Backed Tips To Drive More Engagement on Twitter

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

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Responsinator  

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

Responsinator lets you see how your website looks on the most popular devices.

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Why Mobile Responsive Websites Are A Must

Mobile first-indexing is now fully underway and there’s no excuse for having a website that is not optimized for use across all platforms in 2020.  Most people aren’t looking at your website on a desktop or laptop anymore. They are looking at it on a phone or tablet.

Recent studies show 52% of smartphone users gather health-related information on their phones, ranging from information around a specific medical procedure to diet and nutrition best practices. 

Having a mobile-responsive site (ie one that automatically changes its layout and placements of certain menus and buttons automatically) is important because firstly, over half of patients search online for health information on their smartphone, and secondly, Google now gives ranking priority to those sites that are mobile friendly.  In fact, Google has stated that it will penalize websites that aren’t mobile-responsive, so if your site isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you’ll likely lose out significantly in the organic search rankings.

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Save Searches on Twitter

Welcome to this week’s social media tip. Today I want you to show you how to save searches on Twitter.

1. Go to the Search tab 

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2. Enter your search into the search box.

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3. At the top of your results page, tap the three dots icon  and then tap Save. 

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4.Next time you tap the search box, a pop-up menu will display your Saved searches.

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5. To remove a search: Tap on delete saved search.ad759305-df08-40b2-a190-eea658880b6b

 Note: You may have up to 25 saved searches per account.

 

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Preview

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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 favourite tools with you at the start of each week.

This week’s cool tool recommendation is Preview, a super useful Instagram app.

Preview is your visual planner for Instagram. Use it to predict what your feed will look like before you post anything on Instagram.

Features at a glance

DRAG & DROP

Use the drag & drop to arrange your Instagram photos & videos. Design your own unique theme. Color coordinate. Predict how your feed will look like. Or simply plan your content in advance.

ANALYTICS & INSIGHTS

Track your performance, see best times to post & best hashtags. Optimize your account to get the most out of it.

AMAZING FILTERS

Design your own unique and amazing feed that reflects your personality or brand. Preview comes with 12 beautiful filter packs and 73 unique filters.

REPOST

Share other Instagrammers’ photos and videos. Save them in Preview for later. Curate your feed.

PERFECT YOUR CAPTIONS

Write your captions in advance and perfect them. Use the hashtag suggestion tool. Save your hashtag groups within the app and add them to new posts at a press of a button.

HASHTAG FINDER

Search for the best Instagram hashtags to grow your account. Search by category, country, city & Instagram community.

SCHEDULE

Set a day and time for your post. See what you have scheduled for the day, week and month. When it’s time to post, Preview will send you a notification. All you have to do is send your post to Instagram and paste your caption.

Pricing

All plans come with: Drag and Drop, Unlimited Posts, Photo Editor, Hashtag Finder, Hashtag Groups Manager, Beautiful Stock Photos, and Photo, Video and Carousel posts.

Paid plans start at $7.99 per month.

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Optimise Your Social Media Profile

Welcome to this week’s quick social media tip. If you find yourself with some extra time on your hands, why not take the opportunity to review your social media profiles. 

Your social media profile is the first place people will find you online so it’s important you make a good first impression. Check out this video quick tip to make your social media profile shine.

 

Here’s to your social media success!

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Later

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

This week’s cool tool recommendation is Later, a scheduling and planning tool for Instagram.

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Use the app to sync photos and videos from your phone, desktop, Google Drive, or Dropbox and create a different content library for each Instagram account. And you can also search by hashtag, then save posts directly to your content library.

Pricing

You can add one account per user for free. Paid plans start at $9 per month.

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Subject Line

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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 favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week’s cool tool recommendation is subject line rating tool – SubjectLine.

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.

SubjectLine has studied and analyzed millions of headlines to see what works. Simply enter your subject or title into its online tool and get a grade (out of 100 possible points). It will tell you what works and what can help you to improve.

You might also like to read: Write Better Headlines With These 9 Winning Formulas

 

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Upload Documents To LinkedIN

Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip.  This week I want to show you how to upload documents to share on LinkedIn.

Did you know that you can now share your presentation slides, research papers, industry reports, and more directly to LinkedIn?

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How to share a document

Click on the documents item on your desktop feed.

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Choose a document from your computer or upload one from the cloud.

 

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Give your document a name. Below I’m sharing my Speaker Sheet.

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Once you’ve uploaded your document, you can provide more information and add a relevant hashtag before you hit POST.

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Uploading documents to your feed, in a group, or on your LinkedIn page is a great way to share what you know with your community.

After you post a document, your followers can download it, embed it, and reshare it. You’ll also be able to see the analytics on how people did one of those actions.

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Have you availed of this feature yet? Do you think it’s a useful LinkedIn feature?

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Piktochart

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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 favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week’s cool tool recommendation is infographic maker Piktochart . 

Infographics are great for getting your content shared but many people are put off by the thought that you have to hire a graphic designer to create them. The good news is you don’t have to be a designer nor spend a lot of money to create them. Use a tool such as Piktochart to create engaging infographics. Choose a template and then customize it with text, fonts, and colors.

Try it for yourself at https://piktochart.com

You might also like to read: How To Create A Healthcare Infographic

 

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 #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 an 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 Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: PocketVideo

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I  share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending iOS video editing app PocketVideo.

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With PocketVideo you can create, shoot and edit your videos easily. The app supports any kind of video format: Horizontal (Landscape), Vertical (Portrait) or Square videos.

Features include:

  • Video Overlaying, Green Screen overlays and Picture in Picture.
  • Animated Doodle Tool to draw on top or your videos, synchronized with the playback.
  • Easy to use, one-tap “Reaction Cam” Feature for easy creation of reaction videos.
  • Commercial-free music library
  • Animated text titles
  • Stickers, GIFs and PNGs

If you want to create compelling and professional looking Youtube Vlogs, Snapchat Memories, Instagram Stories, Facebook Videos and more, then check out this app.

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Analyse Your Twitter Activity

Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip. Today I want to show you how to use Twitter’s Analytics Dashboard. 

The Tweet activity dashboard is a tool you can use to learn more about your Tweets and how they resonate with your audience. For instance:

  • See how people engage with your Tweets in real-time.
  • Compare your Tweet activity and followers, and see how they trend over time.
  • Click on any Tweet to get a detailed view of the number of Retweets, replies, likes, follows, or clicks it receives.
  • Get detailed insights into who your audience is, especially those who engage with your Tweets.
  • Download your Tweet metrics.

How to use it

To get started, log in to analytics.twitter.com with your Twitter username and password to turn analytics on for your account.

To access your Tweet activity:

    • On a desktop or laptop computer, visit analytics.twitter.com and click on Tweets.
    • In the Twitter app for iOS or Android, tap the analytics icon visible in your Tweets. Make sure you have installed the latest version of Twitter for iPhone, iPad, or Twitter for Android.

I’m going to show you how this looks on my account on a laptop.

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From here I can click into an individual Tweet to see specific data for that Tweet:

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Use Twitter Analytics to track your progress over time – see which tweets resonate most with your followers, track your follower growth and more.

Here’s to your social media success!

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Pixaloop

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending photo animation app – Pixaloop.

This animation creator lets you create and edit moving photos with easy and powerful editing tools, bringing life to images, creating animation picture effects and cinemagraphs.   Animate photos and add picture effects to watch your image come to life as incredible videos that boomerang back and forth or flow like a GIF.

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The app is free to download from Gooogle Play and the Apple Store. 

Posted in #HCSM, Infographics

The 11 Most Common Website SEO Issues [Infographic]

SEO (the acronym stands for Search Engine Optimization) is the process of getting traffic from “organic” listings on search engines in order to improve your website’s search engine ranking.

Did you know that 39% of total global web traffic comes from search, with Google receiving over 63,000 searches per second on any given day?

But 75% of users never click past the first page of search results.

In this infographic, you can see at a glance some of the most common on-site SEO issues, with duplicate content being the worst offender.

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Want to optimize your website? Check out these tools.

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: MockoFUN

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

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An intuitive drag and drop online graphic design tool, you can easily use and customize hundreds of pre-made mockups and templates to edit text and photo and create logos.

You can use MockoFUN for free or you can also upgrade to premium or access to extra resources and unlimited access to all templates and mockups.

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Repurpose Your Digital Content

Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip.  This week I want to show you how to repurpose your existing content.  

One key to maintaining a steady stream of quality content is to re-purpose what you already have. Repurposing content simply means taking one asset and reusing it somewhere else.

The first step is to identify your most popular content through your blog analytics tool and by using Google Analytics. Perhaps the content can be turned into an infographic or a slide-deck. By re-purposing content you have already written, you can extend and breathe new life into your current and past content.

 

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Source: TopRank Marketing

Pay special attention to the content you published some time ago. Is some of this content out of date? If so, update it, and simply republish it again as an updated post. It’s important to update older content to make sure it continues to be relevant to your readers.

Get into the habit of creating each new piece of content with repurposing in mind. Read How To Create Six Unique Social Shares From Just One Piece of Content for some ideas on how to do this.

By focusing on producing one piece of really great content for repurposing, rather than several lower quality pieces, you will improve the quality of your marketing.

Here’s to your social media success!

Posted in #HCSM

Click, Like, Retweet: The Role of Social Media In Maintaining Healthcare Reputation

Social media has an increasingly important role to play in maintaining a healthcare 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.

Patients are also using social media to vocalize how they feel about their doctors, drugs, treatment plans, insurance, and medical devices. Don’t think if you are not on social media, patients aren’t discussing your organization. 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.

Be Proactive in Managing Your Online Reputation

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.

Remember that everything you do online – every blog post, every tweet, every conversation – is a reflection of your brand. A successful social media presence hinges on the trust between you and your followers. 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.

Social Media Is An Essential Component of Healthcare Marketing

Realising social media’s potential in healthcare requires an organizational culture that values social media as central to its overall strategy. Social media should be viewed not as an add-on, but as an essential component of healthcare marketing. Unlike traditional marketing practices that have stayed constant for decades, social media is still a relatively new marketing channel with new networks, updates, and features constantly emerging. Marketing departments need to invest more of their budget in platforms and resources that takes full advantage of the opportunities presented by social media.

Create A Winning Strategy

The best social media accounts are precisely targeted, updated frequently, and foster an ongoing dialogue with followers. that’s why it’s so important to have a plan in place at the outset and monitor, measure, and adjust your progress as you go.

Recommended Reading: How To Develop A Social Media Strategy For Healthcare Marketing

Start by optimizing your website – think of it as your home-base to which you will be directing your social media followers to find relevant and engaging information. With more people accessing the Internet via mobile devices, make sure your site is optimized for mobile viewing. to increase the likelihood that your website will be placed at the top of google search results, thereby earning you trust with your audience, consider adding a blog to your site. A blog serves to proactively show your patients that you are a trusted source of healthcare information.

Recommended Reading: 9 Proven Ways To Increase The Visibility of Your Healthcare Website

Next, put a content promotion plan in place. In today’s noisy social media world, you need to amplify your content to be heard. Make it easy for people to share your site’s content on social media by incorporating social share icons prominently throughout your website.

Create lots of visual content such as infographics and videos and encourage people to share these on social media. Post updates about your hospital’s accomplishments, showcasing ground-breaking surgeries, cutting-edge research, and the work of high- profile staff members. Cross-promote each piece of content you create but do not copy and paste the same post on each platform—format each of them to meet the requirements of the specific platforms.

Recommended Reading: 10 Places To Find The Best Free Images For Your Healthcare Marketing

At the end of each week, take time to monitor and measure the impact of your social media activity. Monitor your engagement rates and pages views to see which channels get the most attention and measure the return on investment for paid ads and social media promotions.

Wrapping Up

Social media’s influence has still not reached its peak; it will continue to disrupt healthcare in ways we are only beginning to understand. It is equally important nowadays for healthcare organizations to communicate with patients online as it is through more traditional offline channels. Knowing how to leverage this opportunity is an essential skill for the modern healthcare organization. I like to use a quote from Erik Qualman: “We do not have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is – how well we do it”.

You might also like to read Ten Top Tips To Celebrate Social Media Day 2020


This is an edited version of an article that appeared in HealthManagement, Volume 18 – Issue 2, 2018

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Emojim

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending Emojim – a browser-based app that helps you search for the right emoji for your social media updates.

Emojim

How to use this tool

You can either scroll through the site until you find the right emoji or use the search feature to type a description of the emoji or feelings you’re looking to convey. You can also search by category, skin color, or theme.

Enjoy 😁

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Create Facebook Collections With Saved Content

Welcome to this week’s social media tip. Today I want you to show you how to use Facebook Collections to curate and organize saved content for easy access and sharing.

Ever come across a piece of content on Facebook but don’t have time to read it in the moment? Did you know you can save that content to view later?  Facebook lets you save content (posts, events, pages, and photos) directly from your news feed and then easily access your saved items from the left navigation menu on the home page.

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Here’s how to do it.

To save content to your saved item list, simply click the three dots at the top right of any Facebook post in your news feed, and then simply select the option to save the content.

download - 2019-12-05T082106.892 When you start building a group of saved posts, you can start to organize it into collections, categorizing it by topic.

To create a collection, simply click on Create Collection in the left sidebar.  You’ll then be prompted to name your collection.

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If you want to add a saved post to a collection, simply click the Add to Collection button below the item in your saved list – or create a new collection.

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You can also share a saved item directly from your list by clicking the Share button.

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I find the ability to save content on Facebook and categorize it according to collections a very useful feature.  I like to share a #MondayMotivation quote each week and many times scrolling through Facebook I’ll find the perfect quote to save. Come Monday all I have to do is access my folder containing quotes to share one quickly and easily with my followers.

Here’s to your social media success!

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Sharethrough

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

This tool analyzes your headline and gives it a score based on a multivariate linguistic algorithm which takes into account more than 300 unique variables, enabling your headlines to capture attention, increase engagement and deliver a stronger impression.

In the example below I typed the following headline and achieved a score of 65% with suggestions on how to improve and gain a higher score. Try it with your own headlines and let me know how you find the tool.

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Related Reading

Write Better Headlines With These 9 Winning Formulas 

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Create Live Videos on Twitter

Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip.  This week I want to show you how to create live videos on Twitter.

With the announcement of its new live-streaming option, which will enable users to add audio-only guests into their streams, I thought it might be helpful to go through the steps needed to create live videos on Twitter. I’ve also included  instructions on how to add a guest to your broadcast and how to share your video with followers.

How to start a live video

  1. Swipe left from the home timeline or tap from the composer.
  2. Tap the live mode at the bottom selector.
  3. To go live with audio but not video, tap the microphone at the top right. This will turn off the camera, and you’ll be heard by viewers, but not seen.
  4. Fill in an optional description that will appear as a Tweet, and a location if desired. Then press Go live.
  5. Your live broadcast, with description and location (if added), will appear in a Tweet in your follower’s timeline and on your profile.

How to end a live video

You can end a live video at any time by pressing the Stop button on the top left and confirming your action in the menu that comes up. Your live videos will automatically be posted as a Tweet when you go live. You can also save your live video right to your device’s camera roll at the end of your live video by tapping Save to camera roll.

How to add a guest to live video

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When enabled, viewers of the live broadcast can request to join as a guest. Up to 3 guests can participate in a live broadcast at one time. Broadcasters can choose to turn off the camera, and participate as audio only. Guests will participate with audio, and can be heard by all viewers.

 

To start a live broadcast with guests:

  1. Open the camera by swiping left from your timeline.
  2. Tap the Live mode at the bottom.
  3. To allow live viewers to request to join your broadcast, tap the icon on the upper right.
  4. Tap Go LIVE to begin your broadcast.
  5. When a viewer has asked to join your broadcast, a notification will appear in the chat. You can also view the call-in list by tapping the icon on the bottom bar and see every viewer who has requested to join the broadcast.
  6. Tap the ± to add them to the broadcast. There will be a 5 second countdown before they join.
  7. To remove a guest from the broadcast, tap the X on the top right of their avatar.

To join a live broadcast as a guest

  1. While watching a live broadcast that has guests enabled, tap the icon, then tap Ask to join.
  2. The broadcaster must approve your request to join as a guest.
  3. Once accepted, a 5-second countdown will appear onscreen before you are added to the broadcast. If you choose not to join, tap Cancel.
  4. Your audio will be heard by all viewers of the broadcast.

To leave the broadcast as a guest

To exit the live broadcast as a guest, tap on the icon on the bottom, and select Hang up, or simply tap the X at the top left of the screen. When you leave the broadcast as a guest, you can continue to watch the live broadcast as a viewer.

How to share a live broadcast or replay

Your live video can go anywhere that a Tweet can go. This means that it’ll be searchable in the Twitter app, on the Twitter website, and it can be embedded on other websites just like any other Tweet. It will also exist and be searchable on Periscope, which powers live videos on Twitter.

From the live video or replay full-screen mode, click or tap the share icon then choose between the following options:

  1. Click or tap Share Live (when live) or Share From Beginning (when in replay mode) to Tweet, Direct Message, or copy the link of a full live video or replay from the beginning.
  2. Click or tap Share from… to Tweet, Direct Message, or copy the link of a live video or replay starting at a point chosen using the selection bar.

How to edit your videos

In the Twitter for iOS and Android apps, you can change the title, thumbnail image, and set a custom starting point after ending a broadcast. To get started, tap on the broadcast you’d like to edit. Tap on the overflow menu, then tap the Edit Broadcast option. Once you make your changes you’ll be prompted to save.

Keep in mind that broadcast titles can only be edited up to three times. Additionally, it will take up to 15 minutes for edits to appear in Twitter, and up to a minute for them to appear in Periscope.

Here’s to your social media success!

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Link Checker

This week’s cool tool recommendation is Link Checker

An invaluable tool for email marketing, use it to easily check all the links in an HTML email campaign you’re about to send.

Here’s how it works. 

Just paste the HTML for your next email campaign into the tool. All links are automatically checked, and the title and screenshot of each webpage is shown.

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How does this help you?

If you generally have lots of links in your email campaigns, then this tool ensures that:

  1. Your links are valid and not broken.
  2. Your links point to where you intended. Often when setting lots of links in an HTML email campaign, it’s easy to make a copy/paste mistake and set the anchor text to point to the wrong URL. With the automatically generated screenshots, you can quickly see if you made a mistake.

This tool is free to use, and can be used with any email marketing service like MailChimp or Constant Contact.

Posted in #HCSM

Social Media in Dermatology: A Review of Current Usage

In dermatology, as in other medical specialties, social media has become a platform for patient education, public outreach, and professional development and networking.

A review article published in Dermalogica Sinica sets out to investigate the use of popular social media platforms within dermatology along with the potential benefits and harms of these platforms when used by dermatology providers and their patients. 

Dermatology and Facebook

Facebook remains the most popular social media platform worldwide, with over 1.8 billion monthly active users. In the health-care field, Facebook introduces many new opportunities for networking, professional education, and patient education.

In a 2012 study, [1] Amir et al. showed that almost 13% of dermatology journals were present on Facebook and that number has increased to almost 18% in 2017.   Professional dermatology organizations have also increased their public and professional engagement through Facebook. Popular professional dermatology organizations with the most likes on Facebook include dermRounds, Dermatology, American Academy of Dermatology, and Associated Skin Care Professionals.

Facebook has also been used as an educational platform with the goal of helping providers to provide the highest-quality care to patients. Groups like DermLife and The Dermapaths, a group specifically for dermatopathologists, promote this goal. Another group, The Dermatologists, focuses on providers helping one another with particularly difficult cases.

The communication capabilities of Facebook are also used to improve medical education. In dermatology, reports describe the benefit of visually-oriented social media platforms, such as Facebook for use in medical student education.[2] Moreover, Facebook has found an avenue to enhance patient education and in some cases, patient care. There has been an increase in the number of dermatology journals and patient-centered groups that use Facebook to help educate the public. One study assessing public engagement using Facebook found online educational posts most effective.[3]

Dermatology and YouTube

YouTube is the second-most popular website in the world, hosting over 30 billion monthly users with an average viewing session of 40 min.   The presence of dermatology on YouTube is increasing, with most of its content being educational or advocacy.  One dermatologist, Dr. Sandra Lee (aka Dr. Pimple Popper), uses YouTube to post educational videos and interact with her audience of more than 5 million subscribers. This increase in availability of dermatologic information on YouTube demonstrates an opportunity for HCPs to inform the public about popular dermatologic topics.

Dermatology and Instagram

Instagram is a popular photo and video sharing media platform among teens and young adults.  Instagram “hashtags” allow users to search for and identify content related to a specific topic. In one study, researchers showed that the top three dermatology-related “hashtags” included #acne, #alopecia, and #eczema.[4] Physicians of all medical specialties including dermatologists have created Instagram profiles that allow their followers to see before and after procedure photos, patient education material, and advertisements for cosmetic lines and in-office promotions. In the academic environment, Instagram is used to connect and inform students of events, announce services, and provide public education; however, this tool is underutilized in dermatology. One study found that 7% of dermatology departments have an Instagram profile.[5] A recent study found that 5% of dermatologic focused Instagram posts were made by a board-certified dermatologist.[6] 

Dermatology and Twitter

In dermatology, Twitter has become a popular platform for users to communicate dermatologic concerns. One study shows that almost 85,000 tweets over a 1-year period communicated personal concerns with skin disease [7] while another study shows that the most common type of re-tweeted tweets (43.1%) are about acne.[8] Furthermore, medical schools have begun using Twitter to increase student engagement. For example, Northwest Ohio Medical University used twitter to post weekly dermatology quizzes and successfully increased student engagement from 23.8% to 55.9%.[9]  The authors note, one of the biggest challenges facing Twitter is the dissemination of misperceptions related to dermatologic diseases. With such a large young adult population communicating information through Twitter, there is a significant amount of incorrect information, empirical data, and myths circulating that may influence a patient’s approach to dermatologic concerns.[10]

Dermatology and Reddit

Reddit is a website that allows users to join communities of people with similar interests to share and learn information. There are over 150,000 “subreddits” containing threads of comments pertaining to a particular topic where users are able to comment and communicate with one another. Dermatology has several subreddits with the most common being cosmetic advice, disease identification, and medications.  The authors again point out that Reddit presents challenges as it allows members to post responses to medical questions, thus introducing the possibility for the dissemination of inaccurate or dangerous medical advice. But counter this by highlighting Reddit’s opportunity as an entry point for physicians to provide accurate information and dispel false information, promoting knowledge about common dermatologic topics as a public health measure.[11]

Dermatology and Pinterest

Pinterest started in 2009 as a platform designed to share images, GIFS, and videos.  Users are able to upload images, “pin” images, and create “boards” (collections of pins). With respect to dermatology, studies show that informative pins, advocacy, and home remedies compose the majority of dermatology related “pins” and “boards.” However, it is important to note that only 24% of these “boards” were created by M.D.s or advocacy organizations.[12]

Dermatology and Snapchat

Snapchat, developed in 2011, is a social media application that allows users to share photos and videos with other users for twenty-four hours. Snapchat’s interface of quick 10-second stories captures the attention of the audience and the story features allow millions of people to view the same story posted by a particular user. For example, Dr. Michael Salzhauer (a plastic surgeon better known as Dr. Snapchat) posts his surgeries live and receives over 700,000 views/day. He uses Snapchat as a tool to educate the public as well as generate new clientele, as over 60% of new patients in his office come from Snapchat and other social media.[13] The potential benefit of social media, specifically Snapchat, is clear in healthcare, but the use of Snapchat in dermatology is lagging behind that of other healthcare fields.

Social Media Opportunities in Dermatology

The study authors believe “there is a great opportunity for health care providers to enhance communities and disseminate information at a greater, more efficient rate, through platform interoperability. Improved interoperability would also allow for greater patient recruitment and social media-based research.”

Each platform is designed to function independently; however, there is a degree of interoperability among platforms, of which there is incredible potential.

An additional opportunity for social media in dermatology is patient recruitment for clinical research.

Considering each clinical study has a target population, social media provides tremendous opportunity to gather a large volume of patients.

Finally, dermatologic based social media communication, research, and outreach has tremendous value from a public health perspective.

Social media is one of the fastest means for the dissemination of information, especially when content goes “viral.” In fact, the dissemination of public health knowledge through social media platforms has demonstrated a positive impact on health outcomes and patient behaviors.

Challenges of Social Media and Healthcare

Among the challenges presented by social media in a healthcare context, the authors point to biased demographics.

The majority of social media users are white women between the ages of 30–49. [14] Therefore, social media-based research must be cognizant of the inherent biases that may be present.

Not surprisingly the authors consider “the most concerning challenge of social media use in healthcare is the spread of unreliable and sometimes incorrect medical information.”

Most authors of medical information on social media platforms have unverified credentials and are generally underqualified. Furthermore, the information put forth on these platforms is often incomplete, unreferenced, and based on personal anecdotes.

While most medical literature is evidence-based, medical information through social media focuses on individual stories and experiences that may not be generalizable to the population at large.[15]

Furthermore, professionalism is an additional, ongoing concern with the increased use of social media platforms. Other challenges of social media use in healthcare are centered on patient privacy and violations between patient-provider interactions. Social media has brought forth new challenges in this respect, specifically HCPs using identifying patient information in public posts. In one study, it was found that 17% of blogs written by HCPs describing individual patients had enough information to identify the patient or the provider.[16]

Further Reading: Social Media: Professional Boon or Bane? It’s Complicated

Conclusion

The authors conclude, these risks aside, the opportunity to promote public health, patient education, and professional interactions is impactful and should not be missed.

With 80% of people searching the Internet for health information, there is an onus on HCPs to maintain a presence on social media wherever possible to dispel misinformation and circulate evidence-based knowledge.

Notes

This is an edited version of the original review which can be accessed in full here.

[1] Amir M, Sampson BP, Endly D, Tamai JM, Henley J, Brewer AC, et al. Social networking sites: Emerging and essential tools for communication in dermatology. JAMA Dermatol 2014;150:56-60.

[2] Enhancing dermatology education with social media platforms: Are we there yet? J Am Acad Dermatol 2018;79:AB129.

[3] Enhancing dermatology education with social media platforms: Are we there yet? J Am Acad Dermatol 2018;79:AB129. Back to cited text no. 12.

[4] Braunberger T, Mounessa J, Rudningen K, Dunnick CA, Dellavalle RP. Global skin diseases on instagram hashtags. Dermatol Online J 2017;23. pii: 13030/qt7sk410j3.

[5] St Claire KM, Rietcheck HR, Patel RR, Dellavalle RP. An assessment of social media usage by dermatology residency programs. Dermatol Online J 2019;25. pii: 13030/qt5v62b42z.

[6] Park JH, Christman MP, Linos E, Rieder EA. Dermatology on instagram: An analysis of hashtags. J Drugs Dermatol 2018;17:482-4.

[7] Sarker A, Magge A, Sharma A. Dermatologic concerns communicated through twitter. Int J Dermatol 2017;56:e162-3

[8] Shive M, Bhatt M, Cantino A, Kvedar J, Jethwani K. Perspectives on acne: What twitter can teach health care providers. JAMA Dermatol 2013;149:621-2.

[9] Kunzler E, Graham J, Mostow E. Motivating medical students by utilizing dermatology-oriented online quizzes. Dermatol Online J 2016;22. pii: 13030/qt0p31j0z8.

[10] DeBord LC, Patel V, Braun TL, Dao H Jr. Social media in dermatology: Clinical relevance, academic value, and trends across platforms. J Dermatolog Treat 2019;30:511-8.

[11] Buntinx-Krieg T, Caravaglio J, Domozych R, Dellavalle RP. Dermatology on reddit: Elucidating trends in dermatologic communications on the world wide web. Dermatol Online J 2017;23. pii: 13030/qt9dr1f7x6

[12] Whitsitt J, Mattis D, Hernandez M, Kollipara R, Dellavalle RP. Dermatology on pinterest. Dermatol Online J 2015;21. pii: 13030/qt7dj4267p

[13] Patel S, Bewley S, Hodson N. Snapchat is not for sharing. BMJ 352 (2016): i1543

[14] Sadah SA, Shahbazi M, Wiley MT, Hristidis V. A study of the demographics of web-based health-related social media users. J Med Internet Res 2015;17:e194.

[15] Pirraglia PA, Kravitz RL. Social media: New opportunities, new ethical concerns. J Gen Intern Med 2013;28:165-6.

[16] Chretien KC, Kind T. Social media and clinical care: Ethical, professional, and social implications. Circulation 2013;127:1413-21

 

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How to Follow Topics on Twitter

Welcome to this week’s quick social media tip. This week I want to show you how to follow topics on Twitter. Following a Topic allows you to stay informed on what’s happening and see more relevant content about that topic.

Here’s how to follow topics on Twitter

From your Home timeline

  1. While scrolling through your Home timeline, you may notice that Twitter will suggest a Topic for you to follow.
  2. Simply Tap the Follow button next to the suggested Topic to follow.

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From your Topics menu

Tap Topics in your profile icon menu.

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Tap Follow some Topics to browse by category type.

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From within each category and sub-category type, tap the Follow button next to the Topics you’d like to follow.

When finished, tap Done.

Note:  Just like with accounts you follow, you can unfollow Topics at any time.

How to unfollow a Topic

From your Home timeline:

  1. In your Home timeline, navigate to a Tweet about a Topic you’re currently following.
  2.  Tap the  icon from the top of the Tweet and select Unfollow.

From your Topics: 

  1. Tap Topics in your profile icon menu.
  2. Tap Unfollow next to the topic.

Worth Noting

Topics you follow are public.

Anyone who can see your full profile can view the Topics you follow. If your Tweets are protected, only your followers will be able to see your Topics.

How to see the Topics someone follows

You have the option to see the Topics that someone else is following. You’re able to view their Topics if their Tweets are public, or if their Tweets are protected and you’ve been approved as a follower.

On the Twitter for iOS and Android app, and twitter.com:

  1. Go to their profile.
  2. Click or tap the more menu  at the top of their profile page.
  3. Select View Topics.

 

Here’s to your Twitter success!

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Crop Video

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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 favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week’s cool tool recommendation is video editor crop.video.

With this tool, you can turn landscape video into cropped vertical or square video for optimised viewing on social media.  Use it to adjust each shot separately, remove unwanted shots at the begining and end of your video and add subtitles or your logo.

With the free version of Crop Video, you can export one shot without a watermark, and the size, length, and quality of your exported video are limited.

Posted in #HCSM, SEO

Why and How You Should Optimise Your Medical Website For Local Search

“Near me” searches have grown consistently since 2013, according to Think With Google

Your website is the hub of your digital efforts. You want your site to be optimized for search keywords, usability, and content. Doing so will help your website appear further up Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) for the services you offer, and help increase the likelihood that users will remain on your site and get to know you better.

In the current digital age, most people find the services they are looking for, including healthcare, through search engines.  If you want more people to find you online, you need to optimize your website through good search engine optimization practices.

And if you want to attract new patients, your website also needs to be optimized for your local area. When someone uses the internet to locate a Medical Practice nearby, it’s critical that your website appears in those results (searches on mobile devices containing the phrase “near me” has skyrocketed in recent years).

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In recent research carried out by BrightLocal, consumers were asked how they used voice assistants and voice search for local business. The top three most demanded voice search functions involve finding restaurants, grocery stores, and food delivery, with clothing, accommodation, and medicine following closely behind.

what-consumers-want-voice-search.png

The Voice Search for Local Business Study also revealed that 46% of voice search users use voice search to find local businesses daily.

how-often-do-people-search-for-local-businesses-using-voice-search.png

There are a few ways you can drive local engagement via digital channels. Here are a few tactics you should consider integrating into your local marketing strategy:

1. Create targeted advertising campaigns

Digital search or display ads offer you an excellent opportunity to target your audience using various parameters. You can leverage digital ad networks, such as Google Ads, and serve ads only to people within a specific geographic location, such as your town/city.

2. Develop a local SEO strategy

When creating content for your website, it’s useful to include long-tail keywords with your geographic location. Make sure your meta descriptions and keywords include location information. Include your location information on every page of your website, either in the header, footer, or elsewhere on the page. If you have more than one office location, have a separate webpage for each site and include the address and location for each. Finally, include Google maps and/or directions to your office

2. Claim Your Google My Business Listing

Google My Business (GMB) is a free, simple to use tool that allows small business owners  to increase their online visibility and promote their business information on Google Search.According to Google “Providing and updating business information in Google My Business can help your business’s local ranking on Google and enhance your presence in Search and Maps.”

GMB appears on desktop – just to the right of the organic and paid search results. If you’re on mobile, it appears as a top result before the organic results. If you haven’t set up your GMB listing, it’s time to do so. Follow these step-by-step instructions to get started right away.

Once you’ve set up your account, it’s time to optimise it. An optimised page helps Google understand more about your business: who you are, what services/products you sell, where you’re located, etc. The more Google knows about you, the more types of searches your GMB listing can appear in.

Conclusion 

Your website is pivotal to your digital marketing strategy. And with more patients than ever searching online for you via mobile devices, it’s imperative that your website is optimized for them to find you.  It takes time and resources to optimize your site to deliver the best experience possible, but if you are serious about how your business performs, you need to get serious about the performance of your website too.

 

Sign up for our mailing list to get helpful tips for growing your practice.

Further Reading: 

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 Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Fotor

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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 favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending Fotor, a free image editing tool.

Fotor is quick and easy to use (A paid version is available that contains more features and is ad-free.)  You can use it to create a variety of images, including photo collages for social media, making as many edits as you need from an extensive menu of edits. Fotor even provides an area where you can experiment to the side of your canvas. It includes ready to go graphics, icons and studio-quality video templates.

Visit www.Fotor.com and try it for yourself.

 

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Ensure Your Website Is Mobile Compatible

Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip.  This week I want you to take a closer look at your website. 

Check how your website looks on a mobile device. If you need a magnifying glass to read it then your website is most likely not mobile responsive.

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In the online world, your website is a virtual office location. It showcases who you are and what you do.  Your website has seven seconds to make an impression and your patients are making snap judgments based on what they see and read.

Why You Need A Mobile Responsive Website

Firstly most people aren’t looking at your website on a desktop or laptop anymore. They are looking at it on a phone or tablet.

Secondly, Google now gives ranking priority to those sites that are mobile friendly. In fact, Google has stated that it will penalize websites that aren’t mobile-responsive, so if your site isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you’ll likely lose out significantly in the organic search rankings. To check if your site’s design is responsive, enter its URL into this Google tool.

How To Check If Your Website Is Mobile Compatible

Check how your website looks on a mobile device. If you need a magnifying glass to read it then your website is most likely not mobile responsive.

Below are some tips from Search Engine Watch to ensure your website is mobile compatible:

  • Use a responsive website design that adapts to mobile devices or create a mobile version of your website that is properly redirected for mobile users.
  • Use Google Search Console to add and verify the mobile version of your website.
  • Make sure that all the content formats used on your mobile site can be crawled and indexed (check using the txt testing tool ).
  • Ensure that content is consistent across your mobile site and desktop site.
  • Test your page speed using PageSpeed Insights. If your page is slow, use an auditing tool to find and fix uncompressed content, page errors, and other elements slowing your website down.

Here’s to your digital marketing success!

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Assign Admin Roles on Facebook

Welcome to this week’s social media tip. Today I want you to show you how to assign admin roles on your Facebook Page. 

Facebook allows five different administrator roles: admin, editor, moderator, advertiser and insights analyst. Each role has different capabilities.

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Admin can manage all aspects of the Page. They can publish and send Messenger messages as the Page, respond to and delete comments on the Page, post from Instagram to Facebook, create ads, see who created a post or comment, view insights, and assign Page roles. If an Instagram account is connected to the Page, they can respond to and delete comments, send Direct messages, sync business contact info and create ads.

Editor can publish content and send Messenger messages as the Page, respond to and delete comments on the Page, create ads, see who created a post or comment, post from Instagram to Facebook, and view insights. If an Instagram account is connected to the Page, they can respond to and delete comments, send Direct messages, sync business contact info and create ads.

Moderator can send Messenger messages as the Page, respond to and delete comments on the Page, create ads, see who created a post or comment, and view insights. If an Instagram account is connected to the Page, they can respond to Instagram comments, send Direct messages and create ads.

Advertiser can create ads, see who created a post or comment, and view insights. If an Instagram account is connected to the Page, they can create ads.

Analyst can create ads, see who created a post or comment, and view insights. If an Instagram account is connected to the Page, they can create ads.

To assign a role go to Settings on your Page, and click on Page Roles. Scroll down through the options above to choose which roles you wish to assign to your team members.

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Here’s to your social media success!

Posted in #HCSM

How Social Media Can Inform Public Health Education and Outreach During COVID-19

A machine learning scan of popular social media platforms could help inform public health education and outreach during Covid-19, according to a new study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

The study measured daily changes in the frequency of topics of discussion across 94,467 COVID-19-related comments on Reddit* in March, 2020 to test the following hypotheses:

  • The pandemic has been accompanied by an “infodemic,” an overabundance of information and misinformation.
  • Public response to the pandemic and infodemic is important, but undermeasured.
  • Real-time analysis of public response could lead to earlier recognition of changing public priorities, fluctuations in wellness, and uptake of public health measures, all of which carry implications for individual- and population-level health.
*Reddit is the 19th most popular website in the world with 420 million monthly active users.

The study identified topics that fell into three categories of interest, tracking daily variations in the average prevalence of topics across all comments.

  1. response to public health measures
  2. impact on daily life
  3. sense of pandemic severity.

Results

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This analysis indicates that longitudinal topic modeling of Reddit content is effective in identifying patterns of public dialogue and could be used to guide targeted interventions.

Early recognition of this reality could have led to more specific information dissemination campaigns and earlier public acknowledgment of disease severity.

Questions about safely spending time outdoors peaked in mid-March, representing a missed opportunity for public guidance.

Tracking and responding proactively to common questions, such as what material is best used for a homemade mask, may minimize the spread of misinformation.

Notably missing from these Reddit topics were discussions of contact tracing, a growing area of public concern.

Stokes, D.C., Andy, A., Guntuku, S.C. et al. Public Priorities and Concerns Regarding COVID-19 in an Online Discussion Forum: Longitudinal Topic Modeling. J GEN INTERN MED (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-020-05889-w

Notes

Limitations of this study include that Reddit users are not representative of all segments of the population, and that Reddit data is not associated with a geographic location. Real-time monitoring of online COVID-19 dialogue holds promise for more dynamically understanding and responding to needs in public health emergencies.

Further Reading  

Infodemic investigation: Facebook is biggest source of false claims about coronavirus

NUI Galway Study Finds the Sharing of COVID-19 Misinformation linked to Social Media Overload and Trust in Online Information

Disinformation, Misinformation and Inequality-Driven Mistrust in the Time of COVID-19: Lessons Unlearned from AIDS Denialism