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Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Photofunio

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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 Photofunio an image editing tool.

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.

Here I am as a magic playing card  🙂

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Visit http://photofunia.com and try it for yourself.

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Iconosquare

 

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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 Iconosquare, a smartphone app for managing your Facebook and Instagram presence.

Features Include:

Instagram analytics: visualize how your community is growing, see how many followers you gained and lost, identify your most engaging media and more.  For Business profiles, get also access to Stories insights, to community demographics and to reach and impressions data.

Facebook analytics: see how your number of fans is growing and how many fans you gained and lost, access demographics of your community, visualize the reach and impressions of your posts, see your most engaging publications etc.


Instagram Post Scheduler: plan ahead and schedule all your Instagram posts in advance from your computer. Upload photos and videos, type captions and get notified on your smartphone when it’s time to post.


Instagram Comment tracker: monitor comments received on your Instagram posts. Reply to them, mark them as read and delete inappropriate ones.

Multi-Account Management: schedule and manage for all your Instagram accounts and Facebook pages from within the app.

Get On: App Store | Google Play

Posted in #HCSM, Twitter

How Does A Health Care Twitter Chat Work? #Twitter101

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It’s no secret that I love Twitter. In fact, I am quite the Twitterholic when it comes to using it.  I joined it nine years ago – that’s eons ago in social media years, which as we all know we measure in dog years.

Since then I have seen Twitter become a far less friendly, far noisier place. That said, there are still incredible ways to use Twitter to learn and to connect with other like-minded people. One of those ways is a Twitter chat.

What is a Twitter Chat?

For those who may be unfamiliar with Twitter chats, they are a public chat, moderated by a host that happens live on Twitter. To filter all the conversations a specific hashtag is used. This hashtag allows you to follow the discussion and participate in it.  Most Twitter chats are recurring and focus on specific topics introduced by a moderator.  The chats usually last one hour and a transcript of tweets is often made available after the chat has ended.

Twitter chats can be fun and lively, and they’re a great place to learn and network. They are also a super place to meet new people. When you attend a Twitter chat regularly, people will get to know you and in this way, you can develop your network and grow your followers

What Is The Impact Of Twitter Chats On Healthcare?

For patients who participate in health-related Twitter chats, there is 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.

The trailblazer in this area is the Breast Cancer Social Media chat (#BCSM). The first #BCSM chat took place in 2011. Moderated by two breast cancer patients, Alicia Staley and Jody Schoger, the goal was to provide credible, evidence-based information and support for anyone affected by breast cancer.

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Alicia and Jody were soon joined by breast surgeon, Dr. Deanna Attai who saw immense value in taking part in these conversations. From this inside peek into the world of patients, Dr. Attai surmised that while doctors were providing information, patients, overwhelmed by their diagnosis,  were not necessarily hearing it.

In 2015, BCSM published a study which demonstrated that breast cancer patients’ perceived knowledge increases and their anxiety decreases by participation in Twitter chats like #BCSM. In a separate paper published in 2016, the use of social media was linked to more patient confidence in cancer treatment choices.

Dr. Matthew Katz, a radiation oncologist based in the US, agrees that Twitter chats provide valuable insight into patient concerns and credits them with making him a better listener.

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I love what Elin Silveous says about Twitter chats being the best of social media. It’s about all healthcare stakeholders coming together to learn from and with each other.

Where To Find Healthcare Twitter Chats

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).

How To Take Part In A Twitter Chat

1. Find a chat you’d like to join using Symplur or another tool like Twubs.

2. When it’s time to join the chat, you can join in straight from your Twitter account. Simply search for the relevant hashtag at the designated time.  TweetChat is a great tool to use to make participation easier. Simply log in with your Twitter handle, enter the hashtag of the event, and TweetChat will pull up all the related messages so you can follow the conversation.

3. Take a breath and jump right into the chat. Twitter chats move fast, which is why using a third-party tool like TweetChat is so useful. Don’t worry if the pace is so fast that you feel you’re missing out on some of the tweets. The host will often provide a transcript after the chat so you to pick up on what you might have missed.

4. If you are new to Twitter chats, you might like to listen at first to get a better sense of how it works before you join in.  However, even if all you do is listen rather than participate, take a moment at the start to introduce yourself when the host asks for introductions. You can let participants know this is your first chat – you will often find that “newbies” receive a lot of encouragement from the group.

5. Remember to use the hashtag associated with the chat for all tweets and retweets during the chat. Again, this is where the TweetChat tool is useful because it will automatically add the hashtag to your tweets, so you don’t have to remember to do it yourself.

6. The host will introduce their questions with Q (for question) or T (for topic) followed by the number of the question, for example T1, T2, etc. When you want to respond to a question, use A (for answer) and the corresponding number, for example, A1, A2, etc.

7. A good tip is to find out in advance what the topic will be so you have time to prepare some tweets in advance. Whether it’s a question or comment relevant to the topic,  a link to some research you have seen, or an article you’ve written, being prepared in this way gives you more confidence to take part.

8. Follow Twitter etiquette. Let your Twitter followers know before the tweet chat that they’ll be seeing a lot of tweets from you for the next hour. You could even invite them to the tweet chat if you think they may be interested in the topic.

9. Enjoy! As I said at the start Twitter chats are super places to learn and find new people to connect with. If you haven’t yet tried a chat, then try one out this week and do let me know how you get on.

How do YOU get the most out of Twitter chats?

Any Twitter chats you’d recommend? What tips and tricks have you learned by participating in Twitter chats?


You might also like to read Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Hashtags in Healthcare…But Were Afraid To Ask!

 

Posted in #HCSM

#ThursdayTip: How To Pin A Tweet

Pinning a Tweet allows you to showcase your best content at the top of your profile page for as long as you’d like.

In the past Twitter typically only allowed viewers to see posts in as a sequential timeline which meant that your most important or relevant content quickly got lost in the fast-moving Twitter stream.

To solve this issue Twitter now allows you to pin a tweet or keep it placed at the top of the newsfeed giving you more editorial control as to what a viewer will see first when visiting your page.

How To Pin A Tweet

It’s super quick and easy to do. Follow the steps below to pin your first tweet.

1. Open up your Twitter Profile Page.

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2. Choose a Tweet you would like to Pin. Select “Pin to your profile page”.

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3. The Tweet will now automatically appear at the top of Page.

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4. To remove a pinned tweet, simply click on the “unpin” option. 

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It’s a good idea to review your pinned tweets regularly to make sure you are sharing up-to-date posts. Out-dated pins will make your profile look out-dated too.  To refresh your Twitter profile simply choose another tweet to pin. Twitter will ask you to confirm if you want to replace your current pinned tweet.

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It couldn’t be easier to follow these steps and it’s something you should certainly do to highlight your accomplishments, share your latest news, and bring your viewers attention to the posts you want them to see first.

Here’s to your tweeting success!

 

 

 

 

Posted in #HCSM

How To Set SMART Goals For Your Healthcare Marketing

It’s no secret that goal setting increases your likelihood of social media success, yet it never ceases to amaze me how many businesses have given scant thought to creating their social media goals.

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Source: Finances Online

When working with clients to create an online marketing strategy, one of my first questions to them is simply “what are you hoping to achieve with social media?” So many times I see businesses jump on board the latest social network without any thought as to what they actually want to achieve there.

Strategy Without Goals Is Putting The Cart Before The Horse

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.

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Common Social Media Marketing Goals

Below you will find a list of some common social media marketing goals — decide which of these are most aligned with your business goals.

  • Attract more patients to your practice
  • Improve the quality of health information online
  • Drive traffic to your  website
  • Run a disease awareness campaign
  • Establish online authority and credibility

Research shows that writing down your goals increases the completion rate of goals.

How To Set SMART Social Media Goals

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. SMART goals are one of the longest-lasting, most popular goal-setting frameworks for business.

Let’s take a closer look at what makes a goal SMART

Specific — the more specific you can be with defining a goal, the easier it will be to clearly see what it is you are trying to achieve. Let’s take as an example a goal to grow your Twitter followers.

Measurable — how will you measure your success? For example — double the number of your existing Twitter followers.

Attainable — is your goal attainable? Can you realistically double the number of your Twitter followers?

Relevant — a relevant goal is aligned closely to your business objectives. Does this goal support your business’s objectives, vision, or values?

Time Specific — give your goal a deadline. Double Twitter follower numbers in three months.

Wrapping Up

Setting SMART goals to which you can align your social media activity is a good guarantee of online marketing success. Once you have a clear set of goals, you can track your key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics more accurately. Make sure to revisit your goals on a regular basis to determine if you are still on track or if something needs adjusting. A winning formula is to measure, adjust and then rinse and repeat.

 

Posted in Cool Tool, Infographics, Visual Marketing

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Landscape

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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 Landscape, a super-cool image resizing tool from Sprout Social. 

Landscape allows you to crop images for any social profile and resize your images with always up-to-date dimensions for every network.

Here’s how it works

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You don’t have to consult a running list of network and post type dimensions anymore—let Landscape do it for you. How cool is that!

Posted in #HCSM

Stuck For What To Post On Twitter? This Might Be 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 2018.  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 earlier in the year but there’s still plenty of time to plan out the rest of the year. Get ready to polish off your best joke for National Tell A Joke Day  coming up next month.

Enjoy!

Related Reading

Posted in #HCSM, SEO

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

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.

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.

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

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To get to the top of Google’s local SERP (Search Engine Results Page) follow these steps:

  • Claim Your Google My Business Listing
  • Add exterior and interior photos of your location, your logo and location details to your Google Business Listing.
  • Encourage your patients to leave a review for you. Google reviews appear on your Google My Business profile, with a one- to five-star rating based on the number of positive ratings you receive.
  • On your website, make sure your meta descriptions and keywords include location information.
  • Create content relevant to your patients’ needs.
  • 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.
    Include Google maps and/or directions to your office

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.

Posted in #HCSM, Twitter

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

Have you recently joined Twitter and are wondering what you should tweet beyond “This is my first Tweet”? Or have you been on Twitter for a while now but are running out of things to post? 

If your tweeting needs a fresh injection of ideas, check out the following list of tweets you can adapt and post to your followers.

  1. Link to a new post on your blog – ok this is one of the most obvious tweets to send, but if you haven’t blogged in a while, why not see this as an opportunity to revisit your website and identify your most popular posts. Pull out a quote, or a statistic or turn your headline into a question before tweeting a fresh link to your chosen post.
  2. Share an inspiring or motivational quote – tag it with #MondayMotivation for more traction.
  3. Post a behind-the-scenes photo of your office.  People love to see behind the scenes stuff – so bring your camera to your next staff meeting, lunch or event. Sharing pictures of your employees (with their permission, of course) makes your practice so much more relatable. Furthermore, it helps to build a sense of camaraderie
  4. Participate in Follow Friday – #FollowFriday or #FF on Twitter is a tradition in which people send tweets recommending other Twitter users they think are interesting to follow. The tweets are sent on Fridays and contain the hashtag #ff or #FollowFriday.
  5. Use Hashtags strategically. Use hashtags to identify real-time opportunities for engagement in news and events, identify current trends and key influencers. Find trending hashtags with tools like TwitonomyHashtagify.me and RiteTag.
  6. Thank a new follower – thank someone by name when they follow you. People love to be acknowledged by name.
  7. Share a health care tip. Share a quick seasonal wellness or preventative care tip with your followers.
  8. Tweet a “Did you know?” or “True or False” style tweet. These kinds of tweets are popular for encouraging interactions among your followers.
  9. Conduct a poll. Ask your followers a question using Twitter’s Poll Feature. Use it to get a snapshot of readers’ attitudes on health topics like vaccination, screening, complementary therapy, mental health – the list is endless. Share the results in a follow-up tweet.
  10. Live tweet. Live tweeting is a great way to share valuable information at conferences and events.
  11. Post a “fill-in-the-blank” prompt. This is a fun way to engage your audience. Here’s an example:  Fill in the blank: ________________ always makes me smile.
  12. Tweet about cause awareness events. It could be Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month or Healthy Weight Week. Join in using the relevant hashtag on Twitter.
  13. Post holiday-themed tweets (Christmas, Hanukah, 4th July, etc.) You could also join in fun holidays like National Donut Day. Check out this calendar to keep you right up to day with ideas.
  14. Share news and updates from your practice. Are you rolling out a new program, product or service? Let your followers know about it in a tweet. You can highlight when someone on your team achieves a new certification level or when you acquire a new piece of equipment that affords better care. Patients will appreciate you keeping them informed.
  15. Share your thoughts on an industry trend. Healthcare is constantly changing and evolving. Can you predict or comment on the latest healthcare trend? Set up Google Alerts to keep updated on emerging trends in your industry to provide the latest information for your readers.
  16. Create a Twitter Moment. Twitter Moments — a tab on desktop and mobile that shows the top news stories trending right now — allows you to curate a series, or gallery, of tweets revolving around a particular theme. Follow this step-by-step guide to create your first Twitter Moment.
  17. Engage with your patients around relevant conversations. Join a health-related Twitter chat – you’ll find a comprehensive list at Symplur.com.

So there you have it, some suggestions for things to post on Twitter when you have run out of ideas. Of course the most important thing about Twitter, indeed any social network, is that it’s just that.. social. Don’t just engage in one-way tweeting. Twitter is a two-way communication tool.  Make sure you are also taking the time to be sociable – like and respond to others tweets, retweet and comment often.

You might also like to read Stuck For What To Post On Twitter? This Might Be The Solution You’ve Been Looking For!

https://hcsmmonitor.com/2018/07/29/stuck-for-what-to-post-on-social-media-heres-the-solution/


Want more tips like these? 

Sign up for our weekly newsletter to be in the know. 

Posted in Cool Tool, Infographics, Visual Marketing

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Biteable

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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  Biteable – a desktop video creation tool which bills itself as “The World’s Simplest Video Maker.”

You can choose from a selection of pre-designed Templates or you can build your video from scratch yourself. Biteable hosts a large collection of video clips and images (many of these clips are included with the free plan) to add to your templates.  It also provides simple animation and claymation sequences to help you produce engaging explainer videos in just a few hours.

Biteable’s free plan allows you to create five projects per month and publish HD-quality video to YouTube and Facebook. The paid plan ($29/month) offers unlimited videos, 85,000 stock footage clips, and no watermark.

 

 

Posted in #HCSM

How to Care for the Millennial Patient

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With the consumer power and share of the patient population millennials will occupy in years to come, it is likely social media will occupy at least an ancillary role in healthcare communications considering its popularity among that generation. Healthcare Finance

2012 study from ZocDoc and Harris Interactive found that millennials believe seeing a doctor is too much of a “pain.” Their frustration with the healthcare system has resulted in over half of respondents delaying seeking medical attention. Perhaps even more troubling was the fact 79% of those millennials surveyed believe it is easier to evaluate a new tech gadget than a doctor, and 76% feel it’s easier to find information about a hotel than a medical provider. download (1).png

In an age of immediate, personalized interactions, building communications channels that reflect millennials’ wants and needs will be ever-more important. If you are wondering how you can attract and care for millennial patients, this CuredMD guide provides some answers – not surprisingly understanding the Millennials’ love of technology and embracing social media top the list.  And this MNI article recommends a millennial marketing strategy should feature more conversation and real people telling meaningful stories so that your brand can resonate with millennial values.

Finally, some research from the University of Southern California’s online master of science in applied psychology found that the younger demographic values authenticity and their peers’ opinions. 84 percent of millennials say that user-generated content influences what they buy and 82 percent are comfortable enough with brands to interact directly with them.

Recommended Reading: Millennials: From Social Media in Healthcare to Rich Patient Relationships with Cutting-Edge Communications

Posted in #HCSM

3 Digital Trends Making An Impact on Healthcare Marketing Today

Although digital marketing has been making waves in the online world of medical practices for quite some time, the last two years has really seen some dynamic changes. Digital marketing has moved from a nice-to-have to a must-have for patient acquisition and retention. These changes are driven by trends in patient behavior and preferences, mainly by Gen Z and millennials.

Bottom line, if you don’t have a solid online presence, you’re missing out on many patients.

Here are three of the most important digital trends that have been making the biggest impact in the online marketing world.  How many have you integrated into your medical marketing?

1. The Shift To Video Content

Video is booming. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world with added SEO potential due to its Google connection.  By 2020, Cisco predicts that video will make up 82% of the content we consume online

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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.

Live streaming is a powerful medium because it gives your audience a chance to interact directly with you.  All the major platforms are either running and encouraging live video or soon will be. Its power lies in the fact that it is more than just a one-way flow of information. Rather, viewers can pose questions and provide feedback in real time. You can use it to reach beyond the clinic and engage with patients and caregivers wherever they are and whenever they watch to watch. Additionally, live videos on Facebook and Instagram can be saved and used later, which is perfect for repurposing your videos and getting the most traction out of them.

Viewer engagement levels for live videos are ten times more than regular video by social media metrics such as likes, comments, and shares. Facebook is now putting a greater emphasis on videos. Their algorithm prioritizes live video while they are being broadcast allowing the content to appear at the top of a  user’s News Feed. Additionally, Facebook Live videos are archived on Facebook and can be viewed and shared after the live broadcast.

The format is easy to use, can be low cost or professionally produced, and enjoys extremely high engagement levels. Thanks to the rise of Facebook LiveTwitter Live, and Instagram Stories’ “Live” mode you now not only have the ability to communicate with your audience via social media, you can also do so in real time. And with Millennials’ love for dynamic, real-time, interactive digital experience, Live is one of the best ways to reach them.

Recommended Reading: Hubspot’s Guide To Getting Started on Facebook Live

2. Mobile Responsive Websites Are A Must

Just over a year ago, Google announced a major change to the way its search index will rank sites: it will go mobile-first. As the company explained at the time, Google’s algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a website’s content to rank its pages. Without a mobile responsive site, not only are you losing out significantly in the organic search rankings, but Google has made it very clear that it will penalize sites that are not mobile responsive.

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In March 2017, comScore released its “2017 US Cross-Platform Future in Focus” report, which tracks consumer usage patterns across digital media channels and platforms. The measurement firm found that mobile now accounts for 69 percent of digital media time spent. By comparison, the desktop has fallen to less than one-third of total digital media time. Mobile viewing is especially popular with younger adults (age 18-34) and women, the analysis found.

3. Voice Search Is On The Rise

The majority of patients searching for information on the web still trust search engines but the way people search for information online is changing. Increasingly, people are using voice search on their smartphones, tablets or voice assistants (like the Amazon Echo or Google Home devices) to search for information on the internet (yet another compelling reason to make sure that your site is optimized for mobile).  By 2020, 50% percent of all searches will likely be voice searches.

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Source: Our Social Times

In essence, voice searches are largely about answering questions, not about focusing on individual keywords. To quote NewsCred, “If you’re a marketer, “What’s the Alexa strategy?” will be a question you’ll be expected to answer.”

Recommended Reading: Preparing your Content for Voice

Social media is constantly evolving, and while you need to stay abreast of trends, you don’t necessarily need to jump on each and every one of them at once. To stay competitive in the social space, we need to be open to new technology and ready to experiment with new tools, but we shouldn’t fall for the proverbial “shiny object syndrome.”

Keep your sights on the bigger picture — ask yourself how this new technology fits with your overall strategy. The challenge as always is keeping ahead of evolving social media trends, but equally staying true to your mission and vision.


Want to keep right up-to-date with what’s new in digital marketing?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter to be in the know. 

Posted in #HCSM

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

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When was the last time you took a close look at your medical practice website?

Websites are meant to be living entities that grow along with your business. A website is not a “set it and forget it” type investment.  Just like fashion, technology changes with the times. What once looked fresh and modern may now look old and outdated, giving your patients the impression that your practice is the same.

Your website has seven seconds to make an impression and your patients are making snap judgments based on what they see and read. Research Gate reports 94 percent of people are more apt to trust websites that boast good designs. Gaining trust is particularly important for medical practices, and you could lose it in a single glance with an outdated site.

Take some time this week to look at your website with fresh eyes and ask yourself the following questions.

1. How does your website stack up against my competitors?

If your competitors’ websites are more streamlined, functional and fresher than yours, they may be drawing in more patients with a stronger online presence.  Make a list of their sites and critically evaluate them in terms of look, design, and functionality. Do they include a blog? Helpful checklists? Pre-registration forms patients can fill out to save time before their appointment? An online appointment system? Screenshot the design features you think work well and think about how you might incorporate them into your website. Look also at what your competitor might be missing. Do you have a key differentiator that sets you apart from the competition? Highlight that difference on your website.

2. Can visitors easily find what they are looking for when they visit your site?

When visitors land on your medical practice website, they’re typically looking for something specific. 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.

Here are some details your patients are likely looking for on your website.

  • The services you provide
  • The insurance plans you accept
  • A location map
  • Emergency/after hours contact details

3. Does your medical website communicate value?

Is your website nothing more than a glorified brochure? To attract patients to your website, you should be prepared to add more value in the form of information. Identify the most frequently asked questions in your practice and create blogs, videos, and FAQs for your website to answer those questions.

4. How well is your website performing?

The most common mistake I encounter when I work with clients, is they have no idea if their website is even attracting any visitors.  Unless you regularly track your website performance, you will have no idea whether it’s producing results or not.

Use a tool like Google Analytics to monitor your site’s performance. Has it declined over time? Are there fewer people coming to your site? Do they stick around or “bounce” off your site too quickly? Bounce rate is a contributor to your site’s search rankings, and it refers to the amount of time someone is on your site before “bouncing” off to another site. If you have a lot of people who look and quickly click away, it tells search engines you don’t have useful information on your site.

5. Is your website design mobile responsive?

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

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Recent studies show 52% of smartphone users gather health-related information on their phonesThis means that your website needs to be easy to read no matter where your patient may access it.

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 (a site that adapts to the size of the device is mobile responsive).  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.  To check if your site’s design is responsive, enter its URL into this Google tool.

Recommended Reading: What Is Mobile Responsive and Why Should You Care?

6. Is your medical website optimized for search engines?

Eight-in-ten online health seekers say they began at a search engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. 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.

A Note on SEO and Redesigning Your Website. 

One of the biggest misconceptions among website owners is that SEO only needs to be done once.  Numerous fractions are altered during redesign including code and pages. If they are not properly handled, it can negatively impact the website’s SEO and affect the long-term growth of the site. To find how to redesign your website without affecting SEO, read this guide.

7. Does your website take time to load content and images?

How fast your website loads is critical – a good site will load in 2 seconds. If your site is taking longer than that, consider that around 40% of people will leave a website if it doesn’t load in 3 seconds. Google announced that starting in July 2018, page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches too.

Recommended Reading: Four of the Best Tools to Increase Website Speed

8. Does your site still use Flash?

There was a time when Flash was a key element of every new website, but nowadays Flash is seen an embarrassing relic of the past. It is no longer a matter of IF browsers will stop supporting Flash in the future, it is now a matter of WHEN they will do so, which means you need to take steps now if you want your site to be usable for the widest range of people in the future.

9. Have you included relevant imagery on your site?

High-resolution images are an important component of any website and require care and attention to make the best impression. If you are already using images, are they relevant to what you do? Or are you relying too heavily on generic stock images you can find in many other places on the web? These days there’s no excuse for using boring stock images. In this article, you’ll learn about my best recommendations for sourcing images you can use for free to enhance your medical marketing.

Including photos of your the interior and exterior of your building, your logo, and your employees creates a welcoming and professional impression on prospective patients  Patients want a relationship with the people who will be caring for them.

10. Have you incorporated social media?

Not only are patients seeking health information online, they are also using social media to research health information. Ask yourself if it’s easy for visitors to share your content on social media? Have you included prominent social sharing buttons? Your average reader might never share your content unless you make it seamlessly easy to do so.

To Wrap Up

Your website is pivotal to your digital marketing strategy. And with more patients than ever searching online for you, 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.

Posted in Cool Tool, Infographics, Visual Marketing

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Ripl

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 Ripl is a mobile app (iOS and Android) that lets you create short animated videos with professionally designed templates.

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Ripl was created to empower every small business owner to build an amazing brand. We made the Ripl app simple, quick and intuitive because business tools should do the work for you, not make more work for you.

You can choose from 200+ animated designs to easily create posts that fit your unique brand. You can add your photo(s) and text, choose a design template, customize the post for your business, and share in one tap to your social media accounts.

Ripl is integrated with the major social media platforms, so sharing your final video is easy. Once you’ve connected your social profiles to Ripl, you can post directly to Facebook, Facebook groups, YouTube, LinkedIn, and more. You can export your videos if you want to use them outside of your social media platforms.

Ripl is free to download and includes an assortment of free designs. Additionally, we offer Ripl Pro—a paid subscription that offers more designs, more music options, logo and brand customizations, scheduling features and more.

 

Posted in Twitter

How To Analyze Your Twitter Followers

Who do you want to reach on Twitter? What are the best times to reach them?  You can find the answers to these questions and more by using a tool like Followerwonk –  a freemium Twitter audience analysis tool.

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Followerwonk segments followers into a number of psychographic segments: including gender, location, Twitter activity, and more.

Here’s how it works.

  • Visit Followerwonk and enter your brand or company’s Twitter handle.
  • Select the option to Analyze Their Followers

Below is an overview of the data tracked by Followerwonk, using my own Twitter account as an example.

1. Mapped Location of Followers

Using the location field in Twitter accounts, Followerwonk will approximate the geographic location of up to 5,000 users and map them for you.

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2. Most Active Hours of Followers

This chart breaks down the hourly Twitter activity of your followers and the data can help you determine the best time to tweet to reach them.

 

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3. Social Authority Score

Continue reading “How To Analyze Your Twitter Followers”

Posted in #HCSM

The Evolution of Social Media [Infographic]

I’m a real geek when it comes to social media particularly when it comes to its evolution.  It still blows my mind how relatively recent a phenomenon social media is in our lives – relative that is to our age. If like me you are of the Gen X generation than you can easily remember a time when “social networking” was just something you did at parties. For later generations, social media is not so revolutionary.

Social media as an industry is continually evolving, with new networks, updates, and features constantly developing. This continually-changing landscape challenges us to keep up with trends and be ever-more creative in capturing the attention of audiences.

Here’s a cool infographic which charts the rise and rise of social media since the first social network launched in 2002. As you can see LinkedIn preceded Facebook by two years.   I can’t wait to see what the next decade holds for social media!

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Infographic by Digitalinformationworld

Posted in Cool Tool, Infographics, Visual Marketing

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Visme

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 Visme – another free design tool that allows you to create interactive presentations, infographics, banner ads, animations, customer layouts, and more.

You can search through hundreds of custom templates and fully customize each of them to fit your specific needs.

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Insert text using Visme’s shapes and icons, images as well as widgets to visualize your data into graphs and tables. You can even add video or record audio.

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Visme offers three types of accounts, one of which is free. You don’t get everything with a free account, but you get more than enough to start creating content. A Basic account is also a great way to test drive the solution before you buy.

Go to http://www.visme.co to get creating. 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: ColorZilla

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 ColorZilla.

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With ColorZilla you can get a color reading from any point in your browser, quickly adjust this color and paste it into another program. Colorzilla allows you to get the color of any pixel on the page. You can also pick a color from a palette and get the CSS code for each color.

ColorZilla is available as both Firefox and Google Chrome extensions.

Posted in #HCSM

10 Keys To Find, Grow & Nurture Your Social Media Community

What is a social media community and why should we care about creating one?

A  social media community is a group of people who share a strong common interest, form relationships and interact online. It’s important we draw a difference between a “social following” and a “social community” because sometimes people confuse the two.  Whereas a following is an audience that interacts with you, a community is an audience that interacts with you – but even more importantly with each other.

According to Meltwater, “If you don’t have a community, you don’t have anyone listening to you, and if there’s no one listening to you, it’s difficult to build brand awareness and deliver ROI.”

Want to learn more? My slide-deck from a recent talk on this topic is now available to view on SlideShare

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: 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 #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 #HCSM

Beyond Technology: A Human Experience #HIMSSEurope18

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I’ve just returned from beautiful Sitges, just outside Barcelona, Spain where I gave the joint opening keynote with Fabian Bolin, Founder of War on Cancer, at the HIMSS Europe Conference.

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I speak at and attend many, many conferences across the globe, but this was a stand-out experience for me. It wasn’t just because there were interesting sessions  – let’s be honest, we could get a lot of this information from watching a webinar – it was those conversations that happen outside the main auditorium that interest me the most.

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With Pablo Barredo, founder, La Fundación Diario De Un Cuidador and Erik Gerritsen,  Secretary General of the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (note: you cannot replicate the charisma and dynamism of these two online!)

I met some amazing people who are passionate about digital transformation. I arrived with no great expectations – a little conferenced out even this early in the year – but I returned with renewed energy and hope for the future of healthcare.  I made some really great connections in terms of future work collaborations, but more importantly to me, they are people whose vision for a better future for patients I share.

The location this year in Sitges was stunning. It’s a beautiful coastal town and I am already planning a return visit to explore it some more.

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Sitges By Night

The fact that the conference took place in a purpose-built hotel was unique to me and it worked really well in making the experience more relaxed and intimate.  Congregating in the delightful garden made it feel more like a gathering of friends than a sterile conference hall ever could. More conferences should do this and if I ruled the conference planning world, they would!

A shout-out to Pascal Lardier and Kim Mancha for being so accessible and approachable to new ideas throughout the planning process. Consummate professionals, I  loved working with them and their hard-working behind the scenes team.

Finally, at the risk of this sounding like some kind of cheesy Oscars acceptance speech, I also want to send out a special mention to the wonderful patient advisory board, Shane, Pierre-Mikael, Mitch, Dee, Emilie, Victor, Fabian, and my two co-conspirators Mitch and Pablo.

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With My Wonderful Patient Advisory Team Members

I arrived at HIMSS to attend a conference, but I left with so much more. Here’s to new friendships, fruitful collaborations, and renewing acquaintances again next year.

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See you in Helsinki!

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Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Pexels

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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 recommended tools with you at the start of each week. This week’s cool tool recommendation is stock image site Pexels.

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 CC0 license. Use the site’s list of popular searches to find the most in-demand stock video.

 

Posted in #HCSM

Exploring Hospitals’ Use of Facebook: Thematic Analysis

A new study published this month in Journal of Medical Internet Research analyzes the types of content US hospitals post on their Facebook pages and how hospitals’ Facebook activities differ with regard to content types.

The study authors, Nima Kordzadeh and Diana K. Young, point out that whilst health care organizations “have widely embraced social media as a means to educate the community on health topics and increase patient loyalty and satisfaction, little is known about the content these organizations actually share when using social media channels.”

The researchers collected and thematically analyzed more than 1700 Facebook posts made over a 3-month period by 17 US hospitals. They identified a list of 13 unique health social media post themes and classified those themes into thematic groups.

Thematic Analysis

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The most frequently used theme was sharing health information, which appeared in 35.81% of the posts analyzed. Such posts sought to provide health tips and advice to community members.

Recognizing special days and recognizing employees were the second and third most frequently used themes, respectively, with 14.95% and 11.82% of the posts containing those themes. The researchers expressed surprised at the frequency of these themes, nothing “the content was geared more toward stakeholders internal to the organization, although most previous literature has focused on social media as a tool to connect with external stakeholders.”

In addition, the researchers found many of the posts involved more than one theme, and selected sets of themes co-occurred frequently. For example, 25.4% of the posts recognizing special days also included content to share health information, and approximately 38%  of the posts announcing research activities also included content to share health information.

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The results of this study showed most posts in the sample could be classified as serving 3 purpose groups:

  •  announcing and reporting
  •  recognizing
  • sharing activities

Within the announcing and reporting purpose group, the authors found the sampled institutions used Facebook to broadcast information relating to donations opportunities, upcoming events, research activities, and organizational news. They further found that recognizing posts were used to acknowledge employees and special days, whereas sharing posts were used to disseminate health information as well as patient success and feel good stories.

Conclusions

The study concludes with a recommendation that hospitals and clinics that are expanding their social media activities or are starting to embark on social media strategies can use the results of this study to better formulate their activities on Facebook.

These results can be used as a benchmark for the health care institutions that want to establish a social media presence to communicate with the public audience and for the smaller clinics and hospitals that want to further expand and improve their activities on social media websites.

Further Research

The authors point to further research opportunities including investigating the following questions:

  1. Does announcing events on Facebook increase attendance?
  2. Does acknowledging employees increase their organizational commitment, morale, and satisfaction?
  3. Is sharing health information via Facebook an effective approach in raising awareness about diseases and medical issues in the community?

Another avenue for future research, suggested by the authors is to examine the content generation process in terms of who is responsible for posting contents on health care organizations’ Facebook pages, and whether their expertise is in health care (eg, physicians, dentists, and nurse practitioners) or in social media marketing.

Such research should investigate how the content provider impacts the type of content shared, the manner in which it is shared, and the resulting level of audience engagement. This can ultimately influence the overall effectiveness of health care organizations’ activities on Facebook and other social media platforms.

Furthermore, future research can examine user engagement in different types of posts to understand the extent to which each content type can draw users’ attention and trigger their reactions in terms of liking a post, leaving a comment on it, or sharing it with others on Facebook.

In a statement that will have many of us nodding our heads in agreement, the authors conclude that “understanding user engagement is important because it can transform one-way, provider-to-consumer information dissemination activities into two-way or many-to-many communication processes. In this way, the “social” aspect of such platforms as Facebook can be realized more meaningfully, adding value to the health care organizations’ activities in virtual environments.”

Kordzadeh N, Young DK, Exploring Hospitals’ Use of Facebook: Thematic Analysis, J Med Internet Res 2018;20(5):e190

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 #HCSM

How To Increase Social Shares With “Click To Tweet”

Updated. Since first writing this post, Click To Tweet has launched a Google Chrome Extension that makes it even easier to use the tool on any website you visit. Now, you can create and share a Click To Tweet link just by clicking a button in your Chrome browser. A Click To Tweet window will appear pre-filled with information about the site you are on and make it easy to customize and create a new link.

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: Life of Pix  

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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 recommended tools with you at the start of each week. This week’s cool tool recommendation is stock image site Life of Pix.

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.

Visit https://www.lifeofpix.com.

Posted in #HCSM

What’s The State of Healthcare Content Marketing in 2018?

I just love reports, don’t you? 

Firstly, Social Media Examiner’s annual marketing industry report, published last week, threw up these findings:

  • A very significant 94% of marketers use Facebook (followed by Instagram at 66%). Two in three marketers claim Facebook is their most important social platform. However, only 49% of marketers feel their Facebook marketing is effective and 52% said they’ve seen declines in their organic Facebook reach in the last year.
  • Facebook ads reign supreme: Facebook ads are used by 72% of marketers
    (followed by Instagram at 31%). Nearly half of all marketers increased their
    Facebook ad activities in the last year and 67% plan on increasing their use of
    Facebook ads over the next 12 months.
  • Facebook Messenger bots pique marketers’ interest: While only 15% of
    marketers are using Messenger bots, 51% plan on using Messenger bots in the
    next year.
  • For the first time in years, generating leads has become more of a focus for marketers than cultivating a loyal fan base. This could be a sign that metrics and automation are becoming more important than engagement.

You can download the report here.

Secondly, a content marketing report from True North Custom and Healthcare Insight based on data from a survey conducted in 4Q17 among 53 healthcare marketing professionals who work for hospitals, urgent care centers, physician practices, and other healthcare organizations, found that the rise of content marketing in the healthcare industry continues, with steady growth in usage. 

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However, measuring content marketing effectiveness is (still) slightly behind the adoption curve. Some 36% of respondents say their organization’s content marketing efforts are very effective, and 58% say they are somewhat effective.

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Only one-third of respondents say their healthcare organization has a documented content marketing strategy.

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Measuring ROI

Increasing the ability to demonstrate return on content marketing investment remains a challenge. The majority of respondents (65%) consider themselves successful at tracking ROI, compared to 44% who responded the same way last year. However, only 10% consider themselves very successful at tracking ROI.

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When it comes to measuring impact, website traffic is the most popular way to do this.

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Content Marketing Goals

Content marketing goals remain consistent with top-of-the-funnel priorities like Brand Awareness, Engagement and Patient Loyalty holding the top three spots for the third consecutive year. 

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Marketing Tactics

Social media reigns supreme, followed by eNewseltters and video taking the top three places in marketing tactics.

Chapter3_Graph1.pngAccording to Becker’s Hospital Review in an article on healthcare marketing trends for 2018, “Health-related video content is in demand. There is a whole market for qualified physicians to provide health information through videos without offering clinical advice.” 

Social Media Distribution

No surprise that Facebook tops the poll when it comes to organizations promoting their content on social media. YouTube is also extremely popular testifying to video’s growing influence, and I am happy to see Twitter is still hanging on in there. Chapter3_Graph2.png

Recommendations

The report concludes with three recommendations.

Create a documented strategy

A well-documented strategy will help your brand message rise above the noise. Mapping out your plan avoids what Convince & Convert Founder Jay Baer calls random acts of content and involves the use of personas, journey maps, editorial calendars, and other tools that set your brand and content apart from the pack.

Leverage Email Marketing

The large majority of people who visit your website or subscribe to your e-newsletter aren’t ready to make a healthcare decision. This is where content can play a crucial role in keeping them engaged while building affinity for your brand as a trusted resource. And while email is a leading channel for delivering content, many healthcare organizations never tap into that potential. A well-designed email nurturing program has proven to be an effective tool for building an audience and advancing them through the buyer’s journey.

Make Sure Everyone Is On Message

Rather than losing your prospect at the most critical point in the campaign, coordinate with your call center or intake team to integrate tracking mechanisms and create scripts that facilitate the lead intake process.

You can read the report in full here.

What do you think of these two reports? I don’t think there are any real surprises – we’ve been hearing for years that many healthcare organizations don’t have a documented strategy in place and struggle to measure ROI.

  • Facebook still reigns supreme, but I wonder how effective it truly is considering the lack of metrics employed to measure its effectiveness?
  • LinkedIn and Instagram are in joint place in terms of social media marketing, but should this be the case? They are two very different platforms and I wonder if marketers are using each of them effectively?
  • I am pleased to see YouTube high up the rankings – this is a good strategy for healthcare marketing.
  • And while people either fall into two camps of loving or hating Twitter, I personally see many robust healthcare conversations take place on this platform.
  • Finally, Pinterest and Snapchat are under-utilized and there’s a real opportunity here for us to own this space.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on these reports. What are your observations? What’s working for you? Where do you recommend healthcare marketers should focus their attention going forward?

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: ISO Republic 

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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 recommended tools with you at the start of each week. This week’s cool tool recommendation is stock image site ISO Republic

ISO Republic provides free stock photos for creative professionals. Since launch, it has published over 3,000  images under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means the pictures are completely free to be used for personal or commercial purposes with no attribution required.

Visit https://isorepublic.com for more information.

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: FreePik

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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 recommended tools with you at the start of each week. This week’s cool tool recommendation is stock image site FreePik.

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.

 

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Qzzr

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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 recommended tools with you at the start of each week. This week’s cool tool recommendation is Qzzr a tool to create engaging quizzes, polls, and lists to drive social traffic.

The basic plan is €24.99 per month, but you can try it for free to see if it’s right for your marketing.  if you are looking for a more advanced interactive marketing solution, check out Ceros for quality, interactive e-books, infographics, microsites, and more.

 

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Text Readability Consensus Calculator

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 the Text Readability Consensus Calculator. It 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.

Here’s what happened when I plugged the above paragraph into the tool.

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And the result

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So I come out with a difficult to read score – ironic given that I took much of the text from the description of the tool pasted on the website! That aside, it’s a good reminder to us to write more clear, accessible, and understandable copy when we write for a general audience.

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 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

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Recite

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 Recite, a tool to create quote images.  Quote images are one of the most popular types of content on social media and Recite is a really simple tool to try.

You simply enter your quote into the editor on the homepage, and then select a layout from a gallery of templates.

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Try it for yourself at http://www.recitethis.com

Posted in Cool Tool, Infographics, Visual Marketing

Monday Morning Cool Tool: TouchRetouch

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

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

TouchRetouch is available for $1.99 for iOS and Android

Posted in Cool Tool, Visual Marketing

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Easil

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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 graphic design tool Easil  an online graphic design tool with templates that are especially useful for Instagram and Facebook stories.

Easil is a simple, browser-based system with pre-made templates that you can adapt in seconds with simple drag-and-drop tools.  The vertical image templates are especially good and make this tool great for stories.  The website also hosts a blog with super helpful design tips.

The free version of Easil is for individuals and limits the types of files you can download. For example, with the free version, you can’t download a GIF or PDF. The Plus service costs $7.50 per month, and the Edge service costs $59 per month.

Posted in #HCSM

How to Create an Awareness Campaign with Social Media

Is creating an online campaign part of your 2018 marketing strategy? Do you need a plan to get started?

Whether you are an individual, a small non-profit, or a large healthcare organization, a strategic plan is essential to your campaign’s success. On Thursday, 22 February, I will be hosting an online webinar with Mayo Clinic Social Media Network, in which I will show you how to plan and execute a social media campaign from setting your campaign objectives right through to measuring your campaign’s impact. You will also learn creative ideas and best practice tips from other successful campaigns.

At the end of this webinar, you will be able to apply the learning to:

  • Clarify your campaign message
  • Set defined goals and performance metrics
  • Find and reach your target audience
  • Choose the right tactics and tools to raise campaign awareness
  • Leverage the power of online influencers to increase campaign reach
  • Create shareable content with clear calls-to-action
  • Plan your content calendar to maximize momentum
  • Use the power of storytelling to create impact
  • Measure your results

Details and Signup 

Hope to see you there!

Posted in Cool Tool, Infographics, Visual Marketing

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Burst

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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 royalty free stock image resource Burst

Burst is powered by Shopify, with many of its collections created with entrepreneurs in mind. “Business Ideas” features free photo collections and case studies that revolve around trending ecommerce niches. The free photo sets include both the product shots and lifestyle images, so that you have all the stock images you need to create a professional brand for free.

Check it out at https://burst.shopify.com

Posted in Cool Tool, Infographics, Visual Marketing

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Picjumbo

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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 royalty free stock image resource Picjumbo.

Picjumbo is free stock photo site created by designer and photographer Viktor Hanacek in 2013. Users can click through the different categories of over 600 free high resolution photos, with the option of upgrading to Premium for new unpublished images to power your social media marketing.

Check it out at https://burst.shopify.com

Posted in #HCSM

New Google Page Speed Ranking For Mobile Searches: What You Should Know

Although speed has been used in Google ranking for some time, that signal was focused on desktop searches. Google recently announced that starting in July 2018, page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches too.

The “Speed Update,” as Google is calling it, “will only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries. It applies the same standard to all pages, regardless of the technology used to build the page. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a slow page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content.”

Although there is no tool that directly indicates whether a page is affected by this new ranking factor, Google recommends the following resources can be used to evaluate a page’s performance.

  • Chrome User Experience Report, a public dataset of key user experience metrics for popular destinations on the web, as experienced by Chrome users under real-world conditions
  • Lighthouse, an automated tool and a part of Chrome Developer Tools for auditing the quality (performance, accessibility, and more) of web pages
  • PageSpeed Insights, a tool that indicates how well a page performs on the Chrome UX Report and suggests performance optimizations

Related

9 Questions To Help You Decide If It’s Time For A Website 

Posted in Cool Tool, Infographics, Visual Marketing

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Unsplash

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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 royalty free stock image resource Unsplash

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.”

Check it out at https://unsplash.com

Posted in Cool Tool, Infographics, Visual Marketing

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Morguefile

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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 royalty free stock image resource Morguefile.

Morguefile is a free photo archive “for creatives, by creatives.” Founded in the early Internet days of 1996, the site was created to serve as a free image exchange for creative professionals and teachers to use in their work. This same mission remains true today and all photos found in the Morguefile archive are free for you to download and re-use in your work, be it commercial or not. The photos have been contributed by a wide range of creatives from around the world, ranging from amateur photo hobbyists to professionals.

Check it out at https://morguefile.com

Posted in #HCSM

Social Media And Ethical Concerns For Healthcare Professionals

Social media offers innovative ways to enhance health communication, collegiality, and clinical care, but the tenets of professionalism should always guide online interactions.

Professional standards do not change in social media; rather social media proposes new circumstances to which the established ethical and professional principles can still apply. Upholding public trust in the healthcare profession is fundamental to successfully incorporating social media in clinical care.

Posted in #HCSM

How Should You Respond To Trolls On Social Media?

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Trolls Don’t Just Live Under Bridges

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. 

 

To answer the question, I’ve turned to 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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How to deal with negative comments on social media

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 organizations 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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If you have a problem with trolling on Facebook, here’s a practical tip from social media expert, Guy Kawasaki:

When trolls commented on my Facebook posts, I used to delete the comments and sometimes ban the user. I found that deleting the comments often caused the troll to post another comment complaining about the deletion – often citing “freedom of speech.” Banning the user deleted the comment and prohibited the user from posting again; however, I was often emailed with a “Why did you ban me?” complaint. Both options caused me more work and likely fostered hostility. Now I just “hide” the comments. When you do this, only the person who made the comment and his followers can see the comment. From their perspective, the comment is still there but other people can’t see it.

Don’t Feed The Trolls

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. 

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