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Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Quuu

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 Quuu, a hand-curated content suggestion platform that connects to your Buffer queue.

How It Works 

Select from over 300 interest categories to receive suggestions that matter to you and your audience. With the free account, you can choose up to 5 interest categories, get suggestions automatically sent to your connected accounts two times a day (six for a paid account).  Relevant suggestions will be queued to your Buffer where you can choose to manually curate posts yourself or Quuu will post for you.

It’s free to sign up at http://www.quuu.co

Posted in Newsletter

How The American Diabetes Association Unleashed The Streisand Effect

My latest healthcare social media marketing newsletter has just gone out to subscribers. In this week’s newsletter, you can catch up on the controversial decision surrounding the American Diabetes Association efforts to ban tweets at their annual congress.

You can learn more about Twitter’s new look for iOS, Twitter for Android, TweetDeck, and Twitter Lite, and WordPress’s new media library for iOs and Android. You’ll also learn about two new features Facebook is rolling out aimed at helping advertisers to reach people who are more likely to take valuable actions towards your business objectives.

Plus regular features:

  • Social Media Quote of the Week
  • Cool Tool
  • Six Things To Know

Read the latest HCSMMonitor and subscribe here. 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: BeFunky

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

There is so much you can do with this tool to enhance your visual marketing assets, including creating collages, adding “one-click” photo effects (there are over 300 photo effects and filters to choose from) and an array of graphics (eg speech bubbles). The basic account is free to use and provides users with access to a library of 125 digital effects.

Try it out for yourself at www.befunky.com

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Photofeeler

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 Photofeeler, billed as the “world’s smartest photo feedback” tool.  I’m intrigued by this free tool designed to help you make the right impression online.

 

Advanced algorithms by Carnegie Mellon University Ph.D. mathematicians make Photofeeler a valid scientific tool, not just a toy or game.  Photofeeler’s co-founder has a PhD in Optimization Algorithms and experience writing artificial intelligence for Fortune 500 companies. What Photofeeler does with algorithms and machine learning, is monitor vote quality, detect all manners of voter fraud in real time, and use sophisticated score distribution analysis — accounting for factors like individual voter styles — to optimize the accuracy of test results. The consequence is statistical accuracy far beyond what a small number of votes could normally provide.

How It Works

When you start a test on a photo, other logged-in Photofeeler users (within your selected voter demographic) can see that photo on the voting page in order to give their feedback. When the test is ended, the photo becomes entirely private again.

 

Photofeeler Ranks are a comparison between your photo’s score and all the rest that have been tested on the Photofeeler platform. Photofeeler Ranks are given as a percentile. So, for instance, a Rank of 58% means your photo did better than 58% of photos.

Let me know if you try this tool out – I’d love to hear how you get on with it. 

Sign up at http://www.photofeeler.com

 

Posted in #HCSM

What’s New in Social Media This Week?

My latest healthcare social media newsletter has gone out to subscribers. In this week’s round-up of news and tips:

  • 10 Steps To A Winning Content Strategy

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Creating great content begins with having a clear purpose in mind. Check out my ten step process to get there.

  • Mary Meeker’s 2017 Internet Trends Report

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Each year, Mary Meeker, partner at the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, releases a report, described by Tech Crunch as “essentially the state of the union for the technology industry”. Read more about the report in this week’s newsletter.

  • Snapchat Rolls Out New Web Tool To Create On-Demand Geofilter

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Snapchat has introduced a redesigned web tool to make it easier for users to create on-demand geofilters from scratch. Find more details in this week’s newsletter.

  • Instagram Rolls Out Location Stories and Hashtag Stories

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Instagram is rolling out two new features to show you what’s happening around you and find stories related to your interests. More information in this week’s newsletter.

Plus

Your weekly cool tool recommendation, social media quote of the week, and six things you should know in the world of social media.

Read this week’s newsletter and subscribe for regular tips. 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Bit.ly

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 free tools with you at the start of each week. This week’s cool tool recommendation is Bit.ly, a tool which creates shortened links to track the performance of your content once you promote it. If you create a custom short link for each content promotion campaign, you can track what works well and what doesn’t.

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Also check out Snip.ly  a url shortner tool which allows you to enhance every link you share (whether your own content or someone else’s) with a call to action.

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When people click on the Sniply-generated link, they can view the article you shared and see a CTA.

Both these tools are extremely useful to track how your content is performing and if  you aren’t already using them, I highly recommend you start today.

Posted in social spotlight

Social Spotlight: Claire Whitehouse

This week I am delighted to kick off the social spotlight interview series again with Claire Whitehouse, lead nurse for research at The James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and founder of the #WhyWeDoResearch global campaign.


I love the #WhyWeDoResearch campaign. Can you tell us some more about how it started?

CW:  In 2014 I decided to introduce my team to our local population using twitter as our social media platform. I tweeted using our Research and Development handle @JPUHResearch and having explored the use of twitter for a few months prior to this, I had identified that photographs received the most attention, retweets and ‘favourites’. To introduce our team I decided to release one photo, name and job title per day along-with the individual holding a placard upon which they had written the reason why they personally are involved in research. There was born #WhyWeDoResearch. I had intended this would be for the 12 days of Christmas as a Christmas campaign. Within four days Michael Keeling (@keeling_michael ‏) of York Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust had picked up on it and from there it became a National campaign, at which point it was extended throughout the Christmas period. By the new year it had reached Canada and Australia and became known globally. Now, two years later it is in 23 countries globally, with >15,000 separate accounts participating and >250 MILLION impressions on the hashtag. I lead the campaign entirely voluntarily and there are other individuals who support this lead eg Hazel Smith who is based in Dublin. I am also involved in the Health and Research through Social Media (HARTSofthepossible) project which aims to drive health research through and using social media.

I really love how you have created these grass-roots campaigns. How did you first get started using social media professionally?  

CW:  The Executive Team at the JPUH decided to set up a Trust twitter account and asked departments to raise a hand if they wished to host a departmental account. The Head of Research and I felt this would be a sensible step to take (being research and development) so I volunteered to host the account and take the plunge (as I felt it was at the time). I recognised that there might be individuals or groups considered ‘hard to reach’ who were missing out on research opportunities and we all know social media is a growing entity. I’d used facebook in my personal life and joined twitter as a social media platform for my professional life

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

CW:  I focus on twitter as it’s so easy to use and has an extremely large reach. The @wenurses team have a fantastic tool called twitterversity which helps people get started.

That’s fantastic! I can probably guess the answer to this next question, but do tell us more about which topics interest you on Twitter? Do you take part in any particular twitter chats?

CW:  Regular twitter chats are hosted using #whywedoresearch – the topics vary depending on who volunteers or what conversations are happening at the time, this is the beauty of twitter, you can create live chats and people will always be interested. In 2016 we hosted the worlds first research tweetfest in May to coincide with International Clinical Trials Day. We can’t claim entire credit as an idea as it grew (as most things do) from a small idea. I tweeted (from my bed) one Saturday morning 2 weeks before ICTD and asked #whywedoresearch followers if they would like a tweetchat on ICTD. By that afternoon I had 11 individuals offering to host chats and within 48 hours we had set up over 20 chats and coined the phrase #tweetfest. The 2017 tweetfest is over 2 weeks from Monday 15th May and there are 31 chats to choose from.

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

CW: Don’t be scared. Embrace it and go for it.

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

“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic” _- Albus Dumbledore

Thanks Claire for taking the time to share with us your experience of using social media in your work. I look forward to seeing your campaigns grow and prosper over the coming months. 


Posted in #HCSM

Snapchat 101: What Brands Need to Know [Infographic]

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What does the rise of Snapchat mean for brands? How big is Snapchat’s audience? Is it only for Millennials?

If you’ve been wondering what the answers to these questions are, and how you might use Snapchat in your marketing, then take a look at this new infographic created by MDG Advertising, which outlines some key usage data for Snapchat, along with notes on how brands are using the platform to best effect.

Let’s start by looking at the stats. 150 million people use Snapshat every day, with 400 million snaps sent daily. That’s a bigger daily active user base than Twitter!  Snapchat grew as much in one year as Twitter has in 4 years combined. The app is expected to add twice as many users as Twitter and Pinterest in the next year.

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So what’s the audience demographic? Is it skewed towards Millennials? Right now Snapchat is used most by those aged 25 and under, but adoption by an older demographic is growing.

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Have brands jumped on the Snapchat phenomenon? Interestingly not. The number of brands who say they are currently using the app as part of their marketing strategy is only 5%. This represents a unique opportunity for your brand to be an early adopter and lead the way on the platform.

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Of those brands who have ventured onto the platform, how are they using it?

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So finally, the big question. Is Snapchat right for your brand? If you want to connect with a younger audience, yes, you should probably be engaging on the platform. Otherwise, the advice is to wait and see. Keep an eye on what other brands are doing and start formulating a strategy for when you judge the time is right to jump on board.

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Have you started using Snapchat for your marketing yet? What ways are you using it to engage with your audience?  Or what might be holding you back from establishing a presence there?

Related Reading:

Posted in #HCSM, Twitter

12 Ways To Search For Health-Related Content On Twitter

Twitter’s statistics are mind-blowing. According to Internet Live Stats, every second, on average, around 6,000 tweets are tweeted on Twitter which corresponds to over 350,000 tweets sent per minute, 500 million tweets per day and around 200 billion tweets per year! So, how do you keep up with all those tweets? Obviously it’s impossible to keep up, but you can handle the avalanche better through a combination of maintaining Twitter lists of the people you follow, health-related hashtags, etc., and using Twitter’s Advanced Search Engine.

While the easiest way to do a search on Twitter is to click the native search facility, you can do so much more with Twitter’s advanced search capabilities. It allows you to narrow down your search using parameters such as specific keywords, language, people, location, and date range. In today’s post, I will show you twelve ways you can use this powerful search engine to search for health-related content on Twitter.

1. Search for a phrase: for example “healthcare social media marketing strategy”.

2. Search for any of these words: for example “healthcare social media” or “healthcare marketing strategy”.

3. Exclude any word: for example “blog”.

4. Search for health related hashtags: for example #hcsm.

5. Search for any specific language.

6. Choose specific accounts to search within.

7. Or find tweets directed to a specified Twitter user or referencing a specific username.

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8. Search for tweets in a specific location or within a specified mile radius of a location.

9. Narrow down your tweets within a specific date range. This is useful if you want to catch up on tweets around a specific conference or event.

10. Discover sentiment around tweets – i.e. whether negative or positive.

11. Find health-related questions. This feature enables you to search for conversations happening locally that you might like to add your expertise to.

12. Choose to include re-tweets in your search. I usually exclude this search parameter, as I prefer to concentrate on original tweets; however it may be useful if you want to see how many times a tweet has been re-tweeted or who is re-tweeting specific tweets.

And here’s a snapshot of my final search results. As you can, I can zoom in on the most popular tweets, or those who are tweeting in real time. I cans also find photos and videos related to my search. I can even save this search, and embed it on my website.

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Considering its capabilities, it is surprising that Twitter’s advanced search engine is so underused. Try using it to create lists, curate content, and as a social media listening tool to find health-related conversations. Once you start, you are sure to find other ways to maximise this powerful search engine to advance your healthcare marketing.

Posted in #HCSM

How To Increase Social Shares With “Click To Tweet”

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.

Here’s a good example of how it looks on a blog.click2tweeteg.png

And here’s how to do it for your own blog or website.

Step One: Sign in with your Twitter account.

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Step Two: Write the message that you want others to share in the box provided.

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Step Three: Click the “Generate New Link” button to create a custom link.

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Step Four: Share the link and track the activity of each link over time.

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Whoever clicks on the link will have the message automatically added to their Twitter status box- they simply click to tweet.

Try it now and see for yourself!

 

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Instagrok

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 Instagrok which allows you to research any topic with an interactive concept map, that you can customize and share.

 

As you can see from the above example it’s an interesting site to input your particular topics and get related information, giving you the ability to learn about the topics in detail before you brainstorm and giving you a new interactive way to share information with your audience.

Posted in #HCSM

The Role of Social Media in Clinical Trial Recruitment

Last week I was delighted to present at the National Lipid Association’s Scientific Meeting in Philadelphia on the topic of social media and its role in clinical trial recruitment. You can view my slides below.

I also had the honor of chairing a social media panel with Dr Martha Gulati and Dr Katey Rayner.

It was a super experience and as I pointed out in my talk, I would never have imagined myself speaking to these clinicians, nurses, and researchers, if it wasn’t for Twitter. It still gives me a thrill to think how far a tweet can take you. It was by meeting Dr James Underberg, President of the National Lipid Association on Twitter that I found myself on my way from Ireland to Philadelphia for this meeting. So never underestimate those connections you make online – you just never know how far they may take you!

Posted in #HCSM, Video

Are Stories The New Social Media Newsfeed?

The social channels we use are less important now than ever before. Today, it’s all about how you tell your story.

Convince and Convert recently created a short video which explores the idea that stories are becoming the new newsfeed of social media. It’s less about what social network you use to reach your audience. What is important today is how you tell a story.

Snapchat changed the game when it evolved from a messaging app to a storytelling platform. Now stories are integrated as part of Instagram, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp. Stories are becoming the new newsfeed of social media, and you can’t avoid stories because your customers aren’t using Snapchat. So when we think about how to make content for social media, we need to be thinking in stories, and not in posts.

The presenter shares three elements essential to producing good stories:

  1. Use vertical video
  2. Create a chronological narrative sequence
  3. Add overlays such as text, filters, stickers, and emoji

Key Takeaways

  • Carefully choosing your social channels no longer has the impact it once had on your marketing success.
  • Many of the new feature roll-outs on top social platforms have focused on storytelling.
  • Forget about reaching your daily quota of posts, and focus more on the stories you share.

Related Reading

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Buzzsumo

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 Buzzsumo a useful tool to explore what pieces of content are popular on social media around a certain topic. Use it to analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor, and find the key influencers to promote your content.

Here’s an overview of what turns up when I input “social media marketing tips” into Buzzsumo’s search tool.


I can easily determine which posts are most popular through the number of shares they get. The free version is useful to get a quick snapshot, but if you are interested in doing more with the tool, you will need to upgrade to the paid version.

Visit http://buzzsumo.com to give it a try. 

 

Posted in #HCSM, Twitter

Can A Hashtag Change Healthcare? The Impact of Healthcare Tweet Chats

tweet-follow1Can A Hashtag Change Healthcare?  

The first time I read this quote from Dana Lewis, moderator of #hcsm the premier tweet chat on healthcare, I was gripped by the notion of how Twitter and in particular tweet chats could influence the way we practise healthcare.

Social media is a radical shift in the way we communicate. The healthcare conversation is no longer a one-way narrative but is evolving into a global, participatory discussion. One of the most powerful ways I see this happening is in the modality of the tweet chat. The role Twitter plays in breaking down patient/provider barriers, disseminating and expanding the reach of healthcare information, widening social networks and co-creating a collaborative model of shared health information is one of the most exciting developments in social media.

What Is A Tweet Chat?

For those who may be unfamiliar with the phenomenon of a tweet chat – it is a pre-arranged chat that happens on Twitter through the use of updates called tweets. It includes a predefined #hashtag which links the tweets together in a virtual conversation. Most tweet chats follow a common format of a moderator who introduces pre-arranged topics relevant to the chat and keeps the conversation on track. The chats usually last one hour and a transcript of tweets is available after the chat has ended.

Symplur is doing an impressive job of compiling all of the healthcare hashtags and providing chat transcripts in The Healthcare Hashtag Project. The goal of the project is to make the use of healthcare social media and Twitter more accessible for the healthcare community as a whole (a full list and a tweet chat calendar of meeting times can be found on the Symplur website).

What Is The Impact Of Tweet Chats On Healthcare?

As a relatively new technological innovation, the use of Twitter as a modality for health communication is only now beginning to be explored with particular emphasis on the role Twitter may play in contributing to health based conversations directed at individual, community, and societal levels.

Many times, people’s choices in terms of Personal Health Practices (PHP) are context dependent and socially constructed. Healthcare tweet chats have tremendous potential to motivate participants and encourage change. Much of this change comes from peer-to-peer support which has been shown to be highly effective in motivating change. Many participants share conversational and informational knowledge that they believe is valuable both to themselves and others.

Tweet from participant in the #BCCEU (Breast Cancer Social Media Europe) tweet chat
Tweet from participant in the #BCCEU (Breast Cancer Social Media Europe) tweet chat

Studies show that individuals enrolled in meaningful social networks have protective properties in terms of overall health and wellbeing. Healthcare tweet chats provide participants with a sense of community and valuable opportunities for meaningful exchange and positive interactions.

The impact of digital technology in healthcare is leading to changing expectations by health consumers who, along with a desire to share information and connect with others, increasingly want to interact and engage with their healthcare providers. Twitter has also facilitated the emergence of  the “patient opinion leader” an individual who is seen as an expert in chronic conditions such as cancer.  Gunther Eysenbach refers to this group as “Apomediaries” – individuals that assist in the process of information searching but do not act as a gatekeeper.

So, what’s in it for healthcare practitioners?

Dr Bryan Vartabedian (@Doctor_V) of Baylor College notes of social media “the greatest value of this medium is the breakdown of barriers that have traditionally come between doctor and patient.” It is encouraging to see the increasing participation by doctors in many healthcare tweet chats, reaching out and sharing information, but also listening too.

Twitter offers opportunities for healthcare to reach out to patients in new and valuable ways.

These [social media] tools help us reach so many more people; we can bring shared interactions into our practice and that is powerful … This isn’t an addition to your job. This is part of your job.  This is a conversation, and that is what we are trained to do … This is where our patients are these days and this is where we need to reach them. We can engage learners, patients and peers, and we are not limited by geography or time – Farris Timimi, M.D., medical director for the Mayo Clinic Center for Social  Media.

Another striking feature is Twitter’s crowd-sourcing capacity which allows health consumers, researchers and practitioners tap into a global source of advice, support and information. Twitter also provides a unique opportunity to learn from patients’ direct experience shared during these chats.

If healthcare innovators and providers wish to remain relevant and connected to digitally enabled patients, they need to go where the conversations are – more and more those conversations are happening on Twitter and the evolving dynamic of the tweet chat is the best place to find them.

Reference

Eysenbach, G. (2008). Medicine 2.0: Social networking, collaboration, participation, apomediation, and openness. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 10(3), e22. doi:10.2196/jmir.1030

Posted in #HCSM

Need a topic for your healthcare blog? Here are 16 ideas to get you going

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

Blogs written by doctors, nurses, health researchers, patients, and healthcare and digital marketers and innovators add much to the richness and diversity of the online healthcare conversation. Creating a blog is relatively easy; the challenge lies in consistently updating the content. If you are struggling to come up with new ideas on a regular basis for your blog, then this list of 16 content ideas should help get you going again.

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What kind of questions do your patients most frequently ask about a specific medical condition? Compile a list of these frequently asked questions and answer them on your blog.

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Creating original content is time and resource intensive.  Curation helps you provide your audience with relevant, high quality information on a regular basis without sacrificing your time and resources. Don’t rely on curation alone; curated content is designed to complement your content creation plan—not replace it.

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Are you rolling out a new program, product or service? Write a blog post to introduce it and highlight its features and benefits.

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Healthcare is constantly changing and evolving. Can you predict or comment on the latest healthcare trend? Readers will enjoy learning about it through your blog, particularly if you share your own unique perspective. Set up Google Alerts to keep updated on emerging trends in your industry to provide the latest information for your readers.

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There are several online tools you can use to create a readers’ poll. If you have a WordPress.com site, then you’ve got Polldaddy polls already built in. You can create, manage, and see results for all of your polls directly in your WordPress.com dashboard. If you use a WordPress.org install on your self-hosted site, install the Polldaddy WordPress.org plugin. Use it to get a snapshot of readers’ attitudes to health topics like vaccination, screening, complementary therapy, mental health – the list is endless. Publish a follow-on post with your findings.

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Write about a typical day in your working life as a healthcare professional. Be careful not to write about specific patients or to commit any breaches of privacy or confidentiality.

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Use an editorial calendar to track seasonal, cultural and industry events and write a blog post which fits the theme, for example, “How To Eat Healthily During The Holiday Season”.  Check out Twitter’s #ownthemoment tool for inspiration.

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Have you been to a conference recently where you learned about new medical research? Or read about the latest research in a medical journal?  Let your readers know about it through your blog. Make sure you provide full references and link to online publications.

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A screencast is a video screen capture with audio narration. Create a screencast to demonstrate a how-to tutorial for your patients.

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Whether you are running an event, speaking, or exhibiting at it, use your blog to build pre-event interest. Can you offer readers a special code for purchasing tickets at a reduced rate via your blog?

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After a speaking event, embed a slidedeck of your presentation on your blog using SlideShare.

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Ask a colleague to write a guest blog on an area of their expertise.

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Choose a respected healthcare professional and interview them for your blog. Alternatively, contact several experts in your field and have them answer a question: Take all the answers and turn them into one big blog post.

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Provide your unique perspective on a trending topic. Find out what’s “hot right now” online by using Google Trends, Twitter.com/Search and Reddit.com.

twitter_8e7a678b95.jpgMix things up by recording a podcast relevant to your blog’s themes.

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Gather the week’s healthcare news into a round-up post. Provide links, attribute sources and add your own commentary.

Over To You!

Have you any other suggestions you can add to this list?

Related Reading

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Stencil

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 Stencil, a quick and easy tool to design visuals.

Right within the dashboard you have access to 860,000+ background images. You can add whatever text and/or graphics to these and directly share them on social media. They have 200,000+ graphics and icons. If you like sharing quotes on social media you can take advantage of their ready to add quotes feature. It will save you a lot of time. They also have a browser extension that makes it easy to instantly upload any image from a webpage, modify it and then share it.

You can save, download or share up to 10 images per month, for free. You can upgrade to 500 images per month and unlimited plans after that.

Try it and let me know what you think!

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Bloomberry

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 Bloomberry. This tool gathers questions being asked across the web on forums, e-commerce sites, Quora, Reddit, and more. It’s a useful tool to help you discover what popular questions around topics can be answered through content that you can create. Here’s a snapshot of questions related to social media strategy, one of the topics I enjoy teaching and writing about the most.

For now, BloomBerry is free whilst in beta, with a new Pro tool being tested. 

Visit https://app.bloomberry.com to try it out.

 

Posted in #HCSM

Why (And How) You Should Create Recurring Content on Your Blog

Do you have a recurring content feature on your blog? If not, it’s something I’d recommend you consider as a regular element of your editorial calendar.

Recurring content form hooks which keep readers interested in coming back to your blog or seeking similarly related posts.  From a writer’s point of view it can enhance your creativity – choosing a topic in advance triggers your brain to come up with new ideas and make connections.

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I’ve experimented over the years with many different types of regular recurring columns on various blogs.  I’ve focused recently on a Cool Tool feature which I post each Monday morning.

Before you introduce a regular feature to readers, it’s important to take some time to choose a topic which matches your content strategy and crucially won’t have you running out of ideas after a few weeks.  Ideally your topic should be associated with your keyword phrases to support your organic search efforts.

Once you’ve decided on your topic, decide on the elements you will use to maintain consistency in the design and format of your content.  Choose the same day and time to publish so readers know to expect it at that time each week – this helps build an audience for your content.  Keep the format and design elements consistent.

Here are three types of recurring features to add to your content marketing.

  1. Advice Column

Set aside one day a week to provide step-by-step instructions, or answer readers’ questions.  A great example is Moz’s Rand Fiskin’s Whiteboard Friday.

  1. Interview Series

I ran an interview series, Social Spotlight, last year with healthcare thought leaders.  It followed a consistent question format, with some tailoring to the interviewee, and was a popular addition to my content calendar.

  1. Weekly Round-Up Post

I run several weekly round-up style posts for client blogs focussed on their niche. I curate the most helpful, interesting and topical news from their industry and publish them in a blog post, usually on a Friday.  It’s always the most read content when I check the weekly blog stats.

Of course your recurring content can live outside the written word. With the popularity of video, consider adding a regular vlog or even more popular, a Facebook Live recurring feature. For a super example of this, check out social media marketer, Amanda Webb who goes live on Facebook each Friday morning with a round-up of the latest social media news.

Recurring posts of high value keeps your audience interested and coming back for more. By adding a regular recurring feature to your content marketing you give your audience something to look forward, while at the same time building a unique and recognisable element into your brand.

Do you have a recurring content feature on your blog? What are some of your favourite examples of recurring content themes?

Posted in #HCSM

Social Media: A New Dimension In Health Research #HealthXPh

I’m so honored to have been invited to give the opening keynote address at the 3rd #HealthXPh Philippine Healthcare Social Media Summit  this week. I love this year’s theme of  “Social Media & Health Research: Connections that Matter.

My presentation highlights social media as a dynamic platform to conduct research on a global scale and to amplify and disseminate research findings. I focus on an understanding of some key characteristics of social media which can be leveraged for research purposes, such as interactivity and real-time communication on a global scale. What this presents is an opportunity for conducting research with an existing audience of highly targeted, motivated and connected patients.

I recommend tapping into the power of existing patient networks through social media as a means to mobilize and accelerate research faster than ever before. However, I stress that online communities are not just there to be taken from, but also given to. So I challenge researchers to consider how they might build trust and authenticity with a community of e-patients.

I finished my keynote presentation by sharing some best practice tips and left the audience with a final challenge to go beyond a basic level of social media activity to become exceptional digital communicators.  I ended with one of my favourite quotes from social media marketing guru Seth Godin.

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Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Quotes Cover

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 Quotes Cover.

Quotes Cover turns quotes or short text into images for social media and high resolution image for posters or other print design.  It’s so simple to use. Simply enter your quote or text and then choose your preferred design elements, such as font, shadow effect, and color.  You can upload your own image as a background, or keep it plain as I have in the following example.

When you are happy with your design, simply save in JPG or PNG format and it’s ready for you to use on your chosen social media sites.   Here’s my finished design:

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: GIMP

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 GIMP – a free and open source image editor for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.

GIMP (an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program) has many uses from a simple paint program and a quality photo retouching tool to an image format converter and an online batch processing system. Here’s an example from one of GIMP’s step-by-step tutorials showing how to modify the filesize of an image when exporting it to a format like JPEG.

This  is a basic feature, but there are many more advanced features to explore. It’s a useful alternative to Photoshop for those who don’t have access to it. Check it out at www.gimp.org and see for yourself.

Posted in #HCSM

Stuck For What To Post On Social Media? Here’s The Solution

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Maintaining a consistent posting schedule on social media – whether it’s writing blog posts, or sharing updates on social media channels – can be a challenge.  When I teach social media classes, I always recommend creating an editorial calendar so you can map out in advance upcoming holidays and cause awareness days.   By doing this, you will have a ready supply of things to share on social media.

To help you plan your content in advance, Hubspot has released a super-helpful social media calendar for the remainder of 2017.  It’s downloadable, so you have an instant editorial calendar complete with hashtags to use on Twitter. Take a look at it and see which days you could build engagement around. Have some fun with it, but do make sure it fits with your brand.  I’ve already spotted some fun awareness days I wish I had known about – like #NationalAwkwardMomentsDay which was on 18 March –  but there’s still time to plan for #FindARainbowDay (3 April), #NationalPetDay (11 April) and #HaikuPoetryDay (17 April).

According to the calendar, today is #NationalDoctorsDay so what are you waiting for? Heere are some very nice examples on Twitter and Facebook to inspire you.

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Related Reading

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Freerange Stock Images

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 Freerange which provides free high res stock photos for commercial and non-commercial use.

The photos either come directly from  in-house photographers and archives or they are contributed by a growing community of  photographers. Images provided directly (in-house) by Freerange Stock originate one of two ways. They are either digitally photographed on Canon DSLR cameras or they are a high resolution (4000 dpi) Nikon scan of an original 35mm slide. Once the image is acquired, the photo is sharpened, color corrected, cropped and keyworded. Some images are manipulated in Photoshop to make them more effective. Then the original is archived and a 2400×1600 version is optimized and output, then posted on the live site.

It’s certainly one of the best sources of stock photos I’ve come across – and it’s free! Try it today.

Posted in #HCSM, Twitter

Twitter Adds Moments Analytics 

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Twitter has announced the launch of Moments analytics, a new tool which will show you a range of stats for each Moment you create, including ‘Opens’, ‘Unique opens’, ‘Likes’, ‘Shares’ and ‘Completion rate’.

Moments allows you to curate a series, or gallery, of tweets revolving around a particular theme, such as a developing news story or cultural meme. I’ve been a fan of the feature since Twitter unrolled it to all users late last year. However I seem to be in a minority of users. There just hasn’t been the uptake. This is a shame because I do think it has potential. Here’s an example of a recent Moments story I created:

There are some great tips on using Moments for your business in this post. Check them out and give Moments a fresh look.

Related Reading

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Hemingway Editor

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 Hemingway Editor, 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.

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Posted in #HCSM

How Gens X, Y and Z Consume Video Content

As  I reported in a recent post, people around the world are now watching a billion hours of YouTube’s content every single day.  But who is watching what? This infographic from Adweek helpfully breaks down how much Gens X, Y and Z watches video content on YouTube, as well as what types of videos they like to watch.

Unsurprisingly, younger respondents to the survey were more likely to visit YouTube on a daily basis, while 4  percent of Gen X (34 and 54-years-old) respondents indicated they don’t use the platform at all.

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When it comes to the type of video most watched by each generation, the breakdown  is as follows:

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Whichever demographic you’re looking to market to, YouTube is a valuable channel. For maximum impact, use these findings to understand just how your target age group interacts with the video-sharing platform.

Related Reading: YouTube: A Missed Opportunity For Patient Education 

Posted in #HCSM

YouTube: A Missed Opportunity For Patient Education

Last month YouTube announced on its blog that it has hit a milestone – people around the world are now watching a billion hours of YouTube’s content every single day.  That’s  a huge amount of time spent watching diverse content on the channel.  Here are some more staggering stats to consider.

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YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world with added SEO potential due to its Google connection. YouTube also has live-streaming options and social tools, which it’s expanding as it works to keep in line with evolving consumer trends.

Mobile devices now account for 70% of all time spent on YouTube by adults in the US, according to recent research from comScore. Audience reach is bigger on mobile than on desktop for 99 of the top 100 YouTube channels in the United States.

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Mobile viewing is especially popular with younger adults (age 18-34) and women, the analysis found. YouTube mobile viewers tend to watch shorter-form videos than desktop viewers do. However, mobile viewers watch nearly three times as many videos per month, on average.

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As a form of patient education and health promotion, YouTube has great potential but recent studies show it is not being used to its full potential. A 2013 study which examined the effectiveness of YouTube as a source of medical information on heart transplantation found it time-consuming  to find high-quality videos and recommended that more authoritative videos by trusted sources should be posted for dissemination of reliable information. Similarly a 2015 study found that in YouTube videos related to skin cancer, there was a missed opportunity for cancer prevention and control.

These findings notwithstanding, there are some good examples of medical organizations who are already using YouTube to communicate health information. Mayo Clinic in particular stands out, with 50,917 subscribers to its channel and over 31,000,000 video views. 

If you don’t already have a YouTube channel for your practice, perhaps now is the time to consider it. Check out this article by Sendible which has some useful tips on how to optimise your YouTube channel for success.

Related Reading

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Picovico

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’ve been having fun trying out Picovico, an online tool which converts your photos into videos. There are three different pricing structures – for now, I’ve gone with the free option to test things out – this comes with water-marked logo and a lower resolution, but it gives you an idea of how it works. Here’s a link to the video I created to show you. It was a really quick and simple process.

Try it out and let me know how it works for you!

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Create Screencasts With Quick Cast

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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 Quick Cast, an ios app to help you make quick 3 minute screencast videos.

Once installed, it’s easy to record. Simply select the QuickCast logo in your toolbar and then click record. You’ll get a 5 second count-in. The app allows you to record for up to three minutes and you can even talk, so it’s a great tool if you want to make a guide or a tutorial. The QuickCast icon will indicate how much time you have left and you can preview or re-record.

Your recordings can be saved directly to your device and/or you can share them online through the QuickCast portal. You can also embed them into blog posts and webpages  using a unique URL and embed code for your own site.

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Adobe Spark

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

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

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

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

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Top Design Tip!

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

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Posted in #HCSM

How Should You Handle Social Media Trolls?

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One of the questions put most frequently to me when I speak to healthcare professionals is how to handle trolling on social media. It’s an important question. How do you decide when to ban someone from your social media accounts?

I covered the question of how to deal with trolls in a keynote presentation I gave this week. I drew on solid advice from Matthew Katz MD and his tutorial on dealing with Trolls, Malware and Spam.

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Let’s define what we mean by trolling. Dr Katz begins with a reality check.

  • Trolls are not people who disagree with you.
  • Expect debate on Twitter.
  • Be open to being wrong.
  • When conversations get heated and emotional, show respect so you aren’t considered the troll

He goes on to define the different types of trolls we might encounter online.

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And provides sensible advice for dealing with trolling behaviour.

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As I was writing this post today, I came across an article on this same topic at Social Times. It cautions against blocking or banning negative comments too readily, which echoes Dr Katz’s reality check – don’t label everyone who disagrees or complains as a troll.

Comments on Facebook or Instagram should not be removed if they refer to genuine customer-service issues. While this advice is based on patience and understanding through communication and conversation, it does not apply to persistent trolls and those intent upon abusing you/ You do not have to show “tolerance” for this kind of discourse, and you are within your rights to remove inflammatory or profane content and ban or block those who perpetuate its spread. The article points to the need for organisations to have social media guidelines in place to discourage harassment and trolling, and then take action against those in violation of those guidelines.

Tip If you don’t already have a social media policy in place, create one right away which details the kind of comments you will allow (for example, no racist or abusive comments).  Post your policy in a visible place on your social channels or share a link to a blog post on the subject.

Not sure whether to ban or block trolls? Dr Katz has some pointers for you.

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I’ve had my fair share of criticism online but thankfully I haven’t yet had to deal with any trolls. I am aware though of how nasty things can turn online and it pains me to see this darker side of social media.  The best piece of advice I’ve ever read is quite simply “Don’t Feed The Trolls”. Trolls want attention.  Simply ignoring a troll could be your best tactic  – according to the Pew Research Center, 60% of respondents opted to ignore online harassment.

Have you had to deal with social media trolls? How have you handled it? Please share your tips and thoughts in the comments below. 

Related Reading

Posted in #HCSM

Social Spotlight: Iris Thiele Isip Tan

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This week it is my great pleasure to interview endocrinologist Iris Tan, MD, MSc, who teaches at the University of the Philippines College of Medicine.  A TedX speaker, Iris is one of the co-founders of the #HealthXPH tweet chat and annual healthcare and social media conference.


Hi Iris, I’ve been an admirer of your work since I first started following you three years ago on Twitter. In that time I’ve watched your social media presence evolve and grow year-on-year. Can you tell us how you use social media in a healthcare context. 

IT: I started a Facebook page www.facebook.com/EndocrineWitch in 2012 as an experiment to see if I could get photos with short captions about health to go viral. I’ve been trying ever since! One particular post on polycystic ovary syndrome which I shared last July 2015 is still active and according to Facebook, has been seen by over 4 million people. I am continuing this Facebook page as my contribution to uplifting health literacy in endocrine disorders. There are after all less than 300 endocrinologists in the Philippines which has a population of 100 million. If you’d like to know more about this, take a look at my TedXDiliman video at https://youtu.be/MQAe_2rLb6M. All my Facebook posts are written in Filipino and archived at http://www.dokbru.endocrine-witch.net.

I co-founded the #HealthXPH tweet chat with Dr. Remo (@bonedoc), Dr. Gia Sison (@giasison) and Dr. Narciso Tapia (@cebumd) in 2014. Weekly, we discuss topics related to the practice of medicine and its intersection with technology and social media. Our format was inspired by the #HCLDR chat. In 2015, we held the first #HealthXPH healthcare and social media summit with the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development. Our plenary speaker was Pat Rich (@pat_health) who came all the way from Canada. This is now an anticipated yearly event attended by medical educators, health bloggers, patients and students from various health professions. 

I began incorporating social media as part of my teaching strategy in graduate school where I teach health informatics in 2012. I subsequently won a teaching award from my university, the University of the Philippines system Gawad Pangulo for Progressive Teaching and Learning in 2015.

You mentioned your first foray into social media was using Facebook as a tool for public health. Had you been familiar with Facebook or any other social media before you used it for this purpose?

IT: I joined Facebook in 2008 because I was organizing a reunion and trying to find my high school classmates. I started my Facebook page in 2012 after seeing grumpy cat. I joined Twitter in 2010 as an assignment in graduate school. I was studying health informatics but going to the US for a week to attend the Endocrine Society meeting. To make up for my absence, my professor asked me to live tweet the conference.

I love that you were an early adopter of live-tweeting medical conferences! Is Twitter one of your favorite platforms – or do you have others?

IT: I enjoy Twitter the most because of the serendipity of meeting like-minded people through retweets and chats. I’ve found mentors on Twitter who have helped me in my professional life. Hosting the #HealthXPH tweet chat is a stimulating intellectual exercise from thinking about the topic, to writing the pre-chat blog post and moderating the discussion.

I find that maintaining my Facebook page has helped me become a better communicator at my clinic. As I write my posts in Filipino and try to avoid medical terms, it is easier now to help my patients understand complex endocrine disorders.

So endocrinology is a topic which obviously interests you. Are there any other topics you are keen to follow through social media. 

IT: I’m interested in the use of social media and technology for healthcare because of my health informatics background. Aside from #HealthXPH, I try to join the #HCLDR chat where I’ve met many of the people I follow. I lurk in diabetes chats listening to persons with diabetes at #DCDE and #DSMA. As a professor in medical school, I’m also interested in medical education. I follow #MedEd, #TEDEdChat and #FOAMEd.

You are a very experienced and expert social media user – what advice would you give to any healthcare professional who is just starting to use social media?

IT: Don’t tweet or post anything that you wouldn’t say in person. Remain professional at all times. #HealthXPH has a manifesto on maintaining medical professionalism while on social media at www.healthxph.net/manifesto.

That’s a very useful guide – thanks for sharing it with us Iris. Finally, would you like to share a favourite quote with us?

Everything you want is on the other side of fear – Jack Canfield

Thanks Iris for taking the time to share with us your experience of using social media in your work. I’ve really enjoyed learning more about how you got started and I look forward to seeing how you and your colleagues will evolve healthcare social media in the Philippines. 


Posted in #HCSM

17 Tips for Social Media Marketing Success in 2017

Is your New Year’s resolution to build a stronger personal and business brand online in 2017?

The start of a new year is the perfect time to review your social media marketing to determine what’s working (or not) for you. If you’re on social media simply for the sake of being on social media, see this as an opportunity to step back and think about why you’re doing it.

I’ve put together a comprehensive list of 17 tips to take your social media marketing to new heights of success in 2017 – read my 17 Ways To Rock Your Social Media in 2017.

Here’s a more condensed version if you only have time for a shorter read.

Here’s to your social media marketing success! 

Posted in #HCSM

Social Spotlight: Kristi Bruno

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This week I caught up with Kristi Bruno to find out how social media fits her role as Director of Communications, Media and Marketing, at the American College of Chest Physicians.

Hi Kristi, can you tell us how you are using social media in your work.


KB:
We use social media at the American College of Chest Physicians each day.  We have employed social tools to build a community, share the latest research and news in chest medicine with our membership, educate and inform the public and patients about health topics like COPD, lung cancer and asthma.

We are most proud lately of our work on Reddit. Our Reddit Ask Me Anything was designed to increase awareness of a non-pharmacological treatment of severe asthma called bronchial thermoplasty, to raise awareness of the American College of Chest Physicians, and to position the organization as a thought leader in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. We have a couple more AMAs planned this year and we’re thrilled to bring interesting researchers and ideas to this community.

I’m also really excited to continue exploring how our use of Facebook Live can help break down boundaries, bring information to those who might not otherwise get it due to geography or economics. We’ve already started dabbling in Facebook Live in our training center—it’s a great facility and we host courses often and the tool is helping us to tell that story.

Sounds like you are using social media in some creative and innovative ways Kristi. Can you remember back to when you first started using social media? What prompted you to get started with it?

KB: I began my career as a fundraiser and in partnership management for a non-profit. While working for the CHEST Foundation as a Development Manager, I fell into social media. We had a public-facing campaign and I was able to take a tiny budget and make a real impact in reach, engagement and mobilization in a New Year’s contest we were holding. I immediately fell in love and luckily work for an organization that allowed me to take on a new role in our Marketing Communications department so I could further explore my interests. My role continues to evolve at CHEST, but I absolutely have a real love for social and new media.

It’s wonderful that you are able to explore and nurture you passion for social media in your career. That’s awesome. So which platforms do you enjoy the most?

KB: It’s so hard to choose—like picking a favorite child (ha!), but I like them all for different reasons. Professionally, Twitter is amazing. I love that I’m able to connect with like-minded people working in the field, and follow clinicians working in chest medicine to see what they are most interested in—that part really informs my day-to-day work.

For reach—it’s a tool within a platform, but I’m loving the impact of Facebook Live. And, from a branding perspective, we have really enjoyed employing Spotify playlists as a tool for promoting the meeting location each year for our annual meeting. Our team has a great time curating these playlists. And, it’s a nice opportunity to show that our meeting isn’t all about the science! We’ve also used Storify as a tool to engage our subject matter experts in curating interesting content in a specific area. We syndicate these across our platforms. It’s an easy way to engage thought leaders and, again, gives us plenty of ideas as we develop our own content.

I love that idea of using Spotify! What a fun way to showcase your brand’s personality. Now I’m interested to learn more about which healthcare topics interest you. Do you take part in any particular twitter chats?

KB: CHEST holds quarterly Twitter chats with the hashtag #pulmCC. We’ve worked hard to engage different sub-specialties in the chats and we’ve talked about big data in the ICU, palliative care, sarcoidosis—it’s run the gamut. I’m also completely in awe of the lung cancer social media chat, #lcsm. The group behind the chat and Twitter handle are so passionate about what they do. I had the pleasure this year of meeting two of them at CHEST 2016—Deana Hendrickson and Tom Verghese (pictured below).

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They are two really amazing people. Deana lost her mother to lung cancer, and Tom is a thoracic surgeon. I’m just moved beyond belief by them because they have created a real grassroots movement around a highly-stigmatized disease. I’ve learned a ton from this group and continue to learn!

I know both Deana and Tom through Twitter and I too am in awe of the work they are doing. Without social media, I know I would never have met such incredible people. It’s one of the reasons I love social media so much and recommend it to people who work in health care. For those who are just starting to use social media what advice would you give to them?  

KB: Have a plan! There are so many platforms, cool ideas and things you could do. But, be true to your brand, audience and really think things through and don’t get overwhelmed. Develop a strategy and stick to it—but be flexible because the landscape is constantly changing.

And, read. I was lucky enough to go to grad school at DePaul and get my MA in New Media Studies—but before formal education, I consumed as much information as I could about social media, healthcare, health communications, the patient experience, and what clinicians were talking about on social media. This reading and research benefits me almost every day of my life. Always be a student!

Thanks Kristi for taking the time to share with us your experience of using social media in your work. I’ve really enjoyed learning about the creative ways you are leveraging popular social platforms, and I’ve even picked up some new tips from you! 


About Kristi Bruno

Kristi Bruno is Director of Communications, Media and Marketing with the American College of Chest Physicians and a proud alum of DePaul University’s New Media Studies MA program. Kristi was named Folio: Top Women in Media Rising Star and was the 2016 New Media Studies Fellow at DePaul University. She has spoken at Social Media Week Chicago, and has published on the topic of healthcare social media in several notable journals and blogs. She can be found on Twitter (of course), @kristibruno and she blogs at kristibruno.com.

Posted in #HCSM

Google Is Shifting to a Mobile-First Index. Here’s what you need to know

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We’re living in a mobile-first world and search engines are seeing the result of this trend: search queries on mobile have now surpassed desktop-based queries.

Google recently announced that its search results index is essentially being flipped and will prioritize mobile results first – so while your website may already be mobile-friendly, your content may not be optimized for the new realities of search.  With Google currently experimenting with this change, there’s a lot you need to know to ensure you’re prepared.

Hubspot has created a useful guide to help you prepare for the changes that are afoot. It explains in more detail what mobile first indexing is, and how you can start to prepare for it by ensuring your website is mobile friendly and you give priority to site speed, user experience and engagement.

Read Google Is Shifting to a Mobile-First Index: What Marketers Need to Know to Prepare

Related

Posted in #HCSM

How To Rock Social Media

Yesterday I presented a webinar with tips on how to rock your social media. For those who couldn’t make the live event, here’s the slide-deck:

Click here for the show-notes with links to tips and tools mentioned during the broadcast. I’ll be adding new resources the notes below, so check back regularly.

Posted in #HCSM, Infographics

Internet Stats & Facts 2016 (Infographic)

I was sent an interesting infographic this week from the folks at Hosting Facts, and the sheer scale of global internet penetration blew me away.

  • There are 3.26 billion internet users; that’s over 40% of the world population.
  • Facebook now has 1.55 billion active users.
  • 2.9 billion Google searches are made every day.
  • 2.7 million blog posts are published every day.

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When it comes to website and domain stats, there are currently 966 million websites in the world today.

  • Google is the #1 most popular website, followed by Facebook and YouTube.
  • The most popular CMS is WordPress, powering 25.4% of all websites in the world and responsible for over 76.5 million blogs created since 2004.
  • There are currently 123.78 million registered .com domain names, making the .com TLD the top domain name extension.

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There are more mobile internet users than desktop internet users; 52.7% of global internet users access the internet via mobile.

  • Search engines are the starting point for mobile research, with an estimated 48% of mobile internet users starting their search on search engines.
  • Google uses mobile compatibility as a factor when ranking websites.
  • 70% of mobile searches result in an online action within an hour of the search being conducted.
  • 50% of mobile users will abandon of web page if it takes more than 10 seconds to load, and 60% won’t return to the site.

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Click here to access the full report. 

Related: AdAge Social Media Facts 2016

Posted in #HCSM

Healthcare Marketing in 2017: What to expect

I was delighted to be asked recently to contribute to a article at Austin Marketing on what to expect in healthcare marketing in 2017.

My prediction is that demand for live video will grow in 2017 as consumers want a more immediate and real connection to healthcare brands. Marketing will be less about pre-produced, scripted videos, and more about delivering an authentic experience that people can connect with and feel part of.

In 2016 we saw the rise of mobile video consumption on platforms such as Snapchat and Periscope. In addition, the main social media platforms all rolled out new features and products around live streaming.

With the launch of Facebook Live, Facebook, in particular, is putting greater attention on live video in its algorithm – a move marketers cannot afford to ignore. The ability to reach and engage consumers will increasingly be driven by video, and this, in turn, will expand to include better marketing and advertising options for healthcare brands in 2017.

Read more predictions

What do you predict will happen in the coming year?

Posted in #HCSM

How Google Search Has Changed in 2016

Google’s search engine is displaying fewer organic results on it first page this year than it was last year, and it’s increasingly presenting different experiences for desktop and smartphone users, according to recent research from Searchmetrics.

The report was based on 2016 data from 500,000 general, frequently searched keywords. The researchers examined the first Google search results page for each term and analyzed how 11 features (text results, product listing ads, images, news, maps, etc.) were integrated.

Whereas Google used to almost always display 10 standard, text-based organic results on its first page, the search engine now usually presents fewer results: 8.59 results are presented to desktop users, on average, and 8.5 are presented to smartphone users, on average.

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A key reason for the decline in the number of traditional search results presented on the first page is that Google is integrating an increasing number of supplementary boxes/features. Some 34% of the desktop results for the keywords examined by the researchers included image results, 24% video results, and 20% Knowledge Graph results.

Consumers searching on desktop computers are more likely than smartphone searchers to receive Google results with images, product listing ads, and fact/answer boxes; smartphone searchers are more likely than desktop searchers to receive results with video, map, social, and mobile app integrations.

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Source: Marketing Profs

Related Reading

Posted in #HCSM

4 Ways to Build Trust and Influence on LinkedIn

Do you want to grow your LinkedIn network? Interested in practical, scalable ways to establish your professional credibility?

A recent article from Social Media Examiner shares four great ways to build trust and grow your influence on LinkedIn.

#1: Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

A strong professional LinkedIn profile creates opportunities for meaningful connections and interactions with other professionals. The article recommends securing your vanity URL, selecting a professional profile image, using industry keywords, avoiding jargon and buzzwords, and including recommendations.

#2: Proactively Grow Your LinkedIn Audience

If you want to grow your LinkedIn audience quickly, you can’t sit on the sidelines waiting for people to notice you.Make an effort to increase the quality and quantity of your connections by inviting your existing contacts on LinkedIn and finding potential contacts to connect with.

#3: Publish Content on LinkedIn

Sharing content on LinkedIn helps you stay top of mind with your core network. It positions you as an influencer who constantly delivers value with high-quality, engaging content. Consider too, publishing your own original content on LinkedIn Pulse  – a super way to showcase your expertise.

#4: Foster Your Community

Simply growing your network on LinkedIn isn’t enough. While more connections mean better social proof, gaining real trust requires an ongoing relationship-building effort. You can do this by commenting on people’s posts and updates, endorsing their skills, and participating in groups discussions.

LinkedIn is an excellent platform for establishing influence and thought leadership, but building influence doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and effort to expand your network. Many people give up before they achieve significant progress. Follow the advice in this article and you will soon start to see results.

Are we connected on LinkedIn? Send me a message and let’s reconnect if we are. Or if we are not yet connected, send me an invite and I’ll be pleased to connect with you.

https://ie.linkedin.com/in/marieennisoconnor

Posted in #HCSM

What Does the Future Hold For Social Media?

I love these kinds of articles which predict the future of social media. As marketers we need to keep an eye on trends and be ready for future changes in the social media world.

This article from Marketing Land presents six high-level possibilities for social media’s next phase of evolution.

1. Monopolization – one platform coming to dominate the social media landscape – Facebook anyone?
2. Pay-only visibility – are we in the end times of social media’s free lunch?
3. Individualization – Already, social media platforms are recognizing the demands for customizability and personalization in their user bases.
4. Niche segmentation – niche specialists will provide more novel experiences than their massive, slow-moving counterparts – think Snapchat.
5. Virtual and augmented reality – futurists have been including VR and AR in their predictions for the future of social media for a while now – this one is definitely on the future cards.
6. Streamlining  – social media apps becoming one-stop shops for everything you’d want on the internet.

What do you think of these predictions? How do you see the future of social media evolving?



You might also like to read: What You’ll Need to Build the Agency of the Future

Posted in #HCSM

The Other Side of the Firewall: Social Media Developments in Other Specialities #ESCP2016

Buongiorno from Milan this week where I’ve been attending #ESCP2016, the European Society of Coloproctology Annual Meeting. On Wednesday I was part of a social media panel – the only non-clinician (and female!) speaker on the panel.

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The title of my talk The Other Side of the Firewall: Social Media Developments in Other Specialities concerned how patients are using new digital technologies to tear down the medical firewall to access health information.

We’ve now entered a new era of networked knowledge, meaning knowledge in the form of ideas, information, wisdom – has broken out of its traditional confines and now exists in a hyper-connected online state.

And this is also true of medicine.

In the new medical paradigm, Web technologies and applications are radically transforming established notions of what it means to be a patient. We’ve entered an era of self-empowerment and self-advocacy amongst patients facilitated by digital technology.

I spoke about the growing recognition of a particular subset of patients who have become specialists in managing their own health and are sharing their expertise not just with other patients, but with physicians and researchers too. Finally I shared some of my favourite examples of this from the ePatient world.

I really enjoying listening to the other panellists who spoke about how they engage online in surgical social media, and I’ve been impressed with their work in actively encouraging surgeons to embrace the digital era. And finally, it’s always fun to see how the numbers stack up thanks to Symplur’s analytics.

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Catch up with a Storify curation of tweets from the conference.

 

Posted in #HCSM

Medical Marketing Matters: What’s New This Week In Social Media?

unnamed (1).jpgMy weekly healthcare marketing newsletter has just gone out to subscribers.

In this week’s issue:

  • How to create marketing content that patients find compelling
  • Tapping into trending news as a content strategy
  • Creating a plan for sharing good news on social media
  • 10 common social media marketing challenges – and how to solve them
  • Everything you need to know about Twitter’s latest update
  • How to change LinkedIn’s default settings

Click here to read and subscribe

Posted in #HCSM, Marketing

Medical Marketing: What Does Your Audience Value Online?

 

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Alex Membrillo

By now, people know that it is imperative that you market your medical practice online. According to a 2013 Pew Research Center report, over three-quarters of consumers start their search for a new doctor online. By ensuring that you have the sort of marketing content that patients find compelling, you can increase your chances that you are the one that they choose.

A few of the best digital marketing assets to have:

1. Testimonials and reviews.

Search Engine Land found that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust a personal recommendation. Ask happy patients to provide reviews that can help show your high level of care to new individuals. You can ask in person, include a link to your review page in emails or post on social media. You can include links to common review sites on your site or showcase a few of your best reviews directly on your website. By offering this sort of social proof, you can show potential patients how well your service is regarded by people already seeing your physicians.

2. Answers to common health questions.

About seven in ten individuals has searched online for answers to health questions in the past year. By providing information about common health issues that your patients may face, you can help them be more informed patients and live healthier lives. This sort of content can also make it easier for patients to know when symptoms indicate that they should make an appointment with their doctor. Not only will they be more likely to come in for a visit, they will also have more positive health outcomes by getting care more quickly.

3. A strong social media presence.

A study about social media in healthcare found that 41% of those questioned would choose a healthcare provider based on their social media reputation. By keeping up with what people are saying about your practice on social media and getting in touch with people who have had issues, you can manage your reputation online and keep your image positive and appealing.

Others in healthcare have had success publishing authority articles through platforms like LinkedIn. These sorts of articles establish your credibility and skill in your field and make people feel more comfortable trusting you with their health.

4. Easy to understand visual content.

Many individuals find that they have an easier time grasping health concepts that are learned through images and videos as well as text. By including diagrams, images and videos as part of your online marketing, you can empower patients with knowledge about their health and build a stronger and more comfortable relationship. You can even do live Q&A sessions using services like Facebook’s live streaming. This can help potential patients with some of their health questions and showcase your authority and expertise in your area of practice.

5. Practical content like checklists.

Content like printable checklists can make it easier for patients to do the right things for their health. For instance, a sheet on ways to protect yourself from the common cold can be a popular offering when it’s time for kids to head back to school. A summer break checklist can help your patients pack the right things in their travel first aid kit and keep themselves safe from sunburns and heat stroke.

Posting frequently and serving up a wide variety of medical marketing content can make your presence online helpful and informative to both current and prospective patients. By focusing on what materials will be most useful to them, you can begin building the trust that leads to strong relationships before they ever make their first appointment with your practice.


About the Author

Alex Membrillo is the CEO of Cardinal Web Solutions, an award winning healthcare marketing agency based in Atlanta, GA. His innovative approach to digital marketing has transformed the industry and delivered remarkable results to clients of all sizes and markets. Membrillo has extensive experience with healthcare and physician marketing.  Cardinal has been 3-time consecutively named on Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing privately-held US companies. Visit www.CardinalWebSolutions.com to find out more about Cardinal Web Solutions.  Follow him on Twitter @Alex_Membrillo

 

Posted in #HCSM, Twitter

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

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

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

The survey data was drawn from two sources:

1. Microsoft

  • respondents ranged in age from 18 – 60 (average age 32 years)
  • 29% female
  • 93.1% had a Twitter account, and all read tweets, with 91% reading them at least a few times a week, and 74% reading them at least once a day.

2. Carnegie Mellon University Alumni

  • respondents ranged in age from 18 – 54 years old.
  • 34% were female.
  • 88% had a Twitter account, and all read tweets, with 91% reading them at least a few times a week, and 77% reading them at least once a day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

What can we learn from this study?

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

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

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

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

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

Facebook Introduces New Tools For Advertisers

Facebook has introduced two new tools aimed at helping advertisers to reach people who are more likely to take valuable actions towards your business objectives.

The first, value optimization, enables advertisers to optimize their ad campaigns based on purchase value data passed through the Facebook pixel. Value optimization works by using the purchase values sent from the Facebook pixel to estimate how much a person may spend with your business over a seven-day period. The ad’s bid is then automatically adjusted based on this estimation, allowing campaigns to deliver ads to people likely to spend more with your business at a low cost. Value optimization will roll out to eligible businesses over the next few months. Businesses can access value optimization when they create website conversion ad sets that are optimizing for purchases in Ads Manager.

The second, value-based Lookalike Audiences, allows you to include a value column in your customer list, which you can then use to reach new people that look like your highest spending customers. Facebook introduced Lookalike Audiences over four years ago to help marketers reach people likely to be interested in a business based on people who have visited their site or customers added from a Custom Audience.

As Facebook explains:

While Lookalikes are a powerful tool to help grow a customer base, businesses often want to grow specific cohorts of their audience based on the value to their business. In order to provide a more effective solution to do this, we are rolling out value-based Lookalikes globally. With this enhancement, advertisers are no longer limited to creating small groups of audiences based on their spend or LTV prior to creating a Custom Audience. Now, they can include a value column to their entire customer list, which Facebook can use to create an additional weighted signal for people most likely to make a purchase after seeing your ad. Value-based lookalikes can be found across all objectives in Ads Manager or Business Manager.

And advertisers on Facebook will soon have more control over where their ads appear, as Facebook is rolling out several tools aimed at providing more transparency before campaigns go live.  The latest updates will provide advertisers with a list of publishers up front to show where ads might appear via Instant Articles, in-stream ads within Facebook and across the Facebook Audience Network.  This will help provide more transparency for advertisers before campaigns instead of only after. While the tools are now in beta they’ll be rolled out over the course of this year.

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