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Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Preview

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

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

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

Features at a glance

DRAG & DROP

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

ANALYTICS & INSIGHTS

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

AMAZING FILTERS

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

REPOST

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

PERFECT YOUR CAPTIONS

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

HASHTAG FINDER

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

SCHEDULE

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

Pricing

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

Paid plans start at $7.99 per month.

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Create Recurring Content

Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip.  This week I want to show you how to create a recurring content feature. 

What is recurring blog content?

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.

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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

To sum up

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.

Here’s to your social media success!

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Mail Tester

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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 will be of interest to those of you who send email marketing (like newsletters) to subscribers.

Mail Tester is a free tool which tests the “spammyness” of your email. It will analyze your message, your mail server, your sending IP and assign you a spam score along with a detailed report of what’s configured properly and what’s not.

Your result will be accessible for 7 days with the free version or 30 days if you created an account and used your own prefix.

Visit https://www.mail-tester.com to try it out.


You might also like to read How to Build Your Email List On A Firm Foundation

 

 

 

Posted in #HCSM

What Do Patients Complain About Online?

A group of researchers across China, the United Kingdom and the USA has set out to develop a taxonomy framework for patient complaints online based on patient centeredness and to examine whether the determinants of patient-centered care (PCC) mirror the determinants of patient experiences.

As internet availability and usage grows worldwide, patients are spontaneously rating their experiences with physicians and hospitals by sharing their opinions about health encounters on the World Wide Web via mediums such as social media websites, Web-based consumer opinion platforms, and physician rating websites.

Previous research has demonstrated that patients are often influenced by peer-submitted comments posted on opinion and rating websites when making health care decisions

Why this study matters

  • Medical providers are able to leverage the information posted on such platforms to better comprehend patient experiences and engagement levels and increase the understanding of patient frustrations and joy points during hospital visits.
  • By capturing patient data in real-time, health care providers can use them as a quality metric to highlight insufficient physician performances or irregular events.
  • Given the intrinsic value of comments posted online by patients, it is important that health care providers make efficient use of the information collected.
  • Patient complaints online can indicate weaknesses in the health care system through the eyes of the patients’ themselves.

Interested to learn more?

Read Liu J, Hou S, Evans R, Xia C, Xia W, Ma J. What Do Patients Complain About Online: A Systematic Review and Taxonomy Framework Based on Patient Centeredness. J Med Internet Res 2019;21(8):e14634

You might also like to read How do healthcare staff respond to patient experience feedback online? A typology of responses published on Care Opinion

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Brainstorm Fresh Content Ideas

Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip.  This week I want to show you how to generate content ideas when you are running out of inspiration.

Next time you’re stuck for something to write about,  try brainstorming using a tool like HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator. It lets you input up to three different nouns and returns five blog topic ideas that will exercise your writing muscles again.

Here are the suggestions generated for me when I input the terms “social media” and “marketing” into the tool.

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

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I also like to use Buzzsumo to find inspiration by searching which popular content is most shared right now on social media. These are the topics people want to read about so it’s worth brainstorming ideas around this content.

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In the example above, I entered “social media marketing” into the search box and discovered the most shared post is one detailing why email marketing is better than social media marketing. This led me to create a similar post right here on Medium 4 Reasons Why Email Marketing Is More Powerful Than Social Media.


For more places to find inspiration, check out my Medium article 10 Places To Find Inspiration When You Are Stuck For Blog Ideas

View at Medium.com

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Crop Video

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

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

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

Posted in #HCSM

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

Social media has an increasingly important role to play in maintaining an organization’s reputation and image. Not only are patients seeking health information online, but many also say their choice of a specific doctor, hospital or medical treatment is influenced by social media.

Patients are also using social media to vocalize how they feel about their doctors, drugs, treatment plans, insurance, and medical devices. Don’t think if you are not on social media, patients aren’t discussing your organization. You can’t opt-out of reputation management – whether you have a social media presence or not, a patient who has a bad experience with your organization is only one tweet or Facebook post away from sharing it with the world.

Be Proactive in Managing Your Online Reputation

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

Remember that everything you do online – every blog post, every tweet, every conversation – is a reflection of your brand. A successful social media presence hinges on the trust between you and your followers. Becoming a trusted source of health information for your patients and proactively developing a strong, consistent, and credible image online will increase patient trust and confidence in your organization.

Social Media Is An Essential Component of Healthcare Marketing

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

Create A Winning Strategy

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

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

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

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

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

Wrapping Up

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

 


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

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Listen Notes

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Image Source: Listen Notes

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

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

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

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

Posted in #HCSM

7 Essential Elements Of An Effective Healthcare Digital Marketing Strategy

The Internet age has dramatically changed how people seek out and find medical information. According to a Think With Google Study, search engines drive three times as many visitors to medical facility websites than other sources. The study also found that 44 percent of patients who research medical facility on a mobile device end up scheduling an appointment.

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

1. An Easy-To-Navigate Website

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

A well-designed website can:

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

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

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

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

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

2. Include A Blog

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

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

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

3. Content Marketing

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

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

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

Further Reading: How To Create Your 2019 Content Marketing Plan

4. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

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

Further Reading: How Good SEO Helps Your Website Get Found, Chosen And Converts To New Business

5. E-Mail Marketing

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

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

6. Video Content

Video 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.

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

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

7. Social Media Marketing

In the past decade, social networks have evolved from “a nice to have” add-on to a necessity for healthcare marketers.  With currently 2.8 billion social media users globally, expected to rise to almost 3 billion users by 2020, social media’s influence has still not reached its peak. It’s a dynamic environment in which new networks emerge, old networks evolve, and user bases continue to grow exponentially.

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

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

Tying It All Together

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

Here’s to your digital marketing success!

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Mute Accounts, Keywords & Hashtags on Twitter

Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip.  This week I want to show you how to use the Mute feature on Twitter.

Mute is a handy feature on Twitter, which if you’re not familiar with, can be a real boon to your Twitter experience. It allows you to remove an account’s Tweets from your timeline without unfollowing or blocking that account. Muted accounts will not know that you’ve muted them and you can unmute them at any time.

How To Mute An Account 

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Some things to note about Mute:

  • Muted accounts can follow you and you can follow muted accounts. Muting an account will not cause you to unfollow them.
  • Muting an account does not impact the account’s ability to send you a Direct Message.
  • You will no longer receive push or SMS notifications from any muted account.
  • Replies and mentions by the muted account will still appear in your Notifications tab.
  • Tweets from a muted account – posted before the account was muted – will be removed from your Home timeline.
  • When you click or tap into a conversation, replies from muted accounts will be visible.

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How To  Mute Conversations, Keywords, and Hashtags

Twitter also gives you the option to mute Tweets that contain particular words, phrases, usernames, emojis, or hashtags. Muting will remove these Tweets from your Notifications tab, push notifications, SMS, email notifications, Home timeline, and from replies to Tweets.

If you would like to stop receiving notifications for a particular conversation, you can choose to mute it. When you mute a conversation, you won’t get any new notifications about that conversation. You will, however, still see Tweets from the conversation in your timeline and when you click into the original Tweet.

For more on how to use this feature, visit advanced muting options on Twitter.

Here’s to your Twitter success!

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 Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Find Your Old Tweets

Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip.  This week I want to show you how to find old tweets in your Twitter archive. 

Have you ever wanted to search your Twitter archive to locate an old tweet? Twitter shows your last 3,200 tweets in your timeline, which to a Twitter newbie may sound like a lot of tweets, but for those of us who have been using Twitter for several years and tweet a lot, leaves us struggling to find old tweets.

The solution lies in Twitter’s Advanced Search function.  Here’s how to perform a search for your old tweets.

1.  Go to https://twitter.com/search-advanced

2. Enter your username into the “From these accounts” field under “People.”

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3. Select a date range from the pop-up calendar to view your tweets (or tweets from any profile you wish to see) within a specific time frame.

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4. click the “Latest” tab to see all your tweets from this data range.

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Bonus Tip!

Want to see the first-ever tweet you sent?  Head over to www.findfirsttweet.com. Authenticate with your twitter account to unlock the search bar.

Here’s mine. Wow, I’ve been on Twitter for over ten years!

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Try it for yourself. Take a trip down Twitter memory lane and see how far you’ve come.

Here’s to your Twitter success!

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: StreamYard

This week’s cool tool recommendation is live streaming app StreamYard.

StreamYard is a live streaming studio which runs in Chrome and Firefox on your laptop or desktop. You can use it to stream directly to Facebook, YouTube, and other platforms.  StreamYard is great for live interviews. You can have 6 people in the stream. Up to 10 people can enter the broadcast studio so you can swap people in and out if you’re doing a dynamic talk show.

Other cool features include the ability to show viewer comments on screen, add a call to action, upload your logo, images, GIFs, and even videos.

 

StreamYard has both free and paid versions of the product. You can remove the StreamYard logo and upload your own. You can also add overlays and backgrounds, and use the restream integration. Full details are on the pricing page.

 

 

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Ensure Your Website Is Mobile Compatible

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

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

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

Why You Need A Mobile Responsive Website

Most people aren’t looking at your website on a desktop or laptop anymore. They are looking at it on a phone or tablet.  It is projected that by 2020 there will be 2.87 billion smartphone users.

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

How To Check If Your Website Is Mobile Compatible

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

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

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

 

Here’s to your digital marketing success!

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Word2cleanhtml

This week’s cool tool recommendation is Word2cleanhtml, a free converter tool which cleans up HTML pasted from Word documents.

How it works

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The tool strips out invalid or proprietary tags, which Microsoft Office puts in its HTML and gives you a well-formatted result that you can paste directly into a web page, ebook or content editing system.

 

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Create A New Healthcare Hashtag [Infographic]

Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip.  This week I want to share with you the process of creating a new hashtag. 

If you cannot find an existing hashtag related to your healthcare topic, you might now be considering creating your own.

But, before you do, take a moment to consider your objectivesDoes the world truly need another hashtag?  Ask yourself: Why this hashtag? Why now? Will other users gain value from it?

Having decided the world does need another hashtag, follow the tips below to create yours.fiction (2)

Happy hashtagging and here’s to your social media success!

 

 

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 Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Choose The Best Social Network For Your Audience

Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip.  This week I want you to think about whether you are active on the best social network for your particular audience. 

Not all social media is created equal. Different platforms attract different audiences.

It’s important, especially if your resources are limited, that you’re focusing your social media efforts in places that will generate the most return for your efforts.

There’s no point spending your time on a particular social network if your audience isn’t there. Nor should you spread yourself too thin by trying to be everywhere at once. Every additional platform your business is active on means additional time and effort required to engage on and create tailored content for that platform.

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

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

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

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

2. Is my target audience active on this platform?

The most effective social media strategies are informed by social media data. Refer to Google Analytics for your website to see which social networks are sending the most traffic to your site. Look at existing data to learn where a specific demographic spends their time online. Statista and GlobalWebIndexare good sources of worldwide statistics on Internet usage.

3. Which social networks are my competitors using?

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

4. Will this platform match the content I create?

If you want your content to do well on social media, you’ve got to be strategic about what you publish and where you publish it. You need to create content that aligns with your audience’s expectations on each social channel. Identify how, when, and where your specific audience likes to engage with content. Certain content formats will be more suited to particular channels than others.

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

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

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Bonus Tip! 

Consider broadening your social media horizons. While Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat might be the most popular social networks in the West, there is a world beyond the Big Five waiting for you to explore.

Here’s to your social media success!

 

 

Posted in #HCSM

Social Media In Healthcare: How To Communicate With Impact

Last week I had the pleasure of delivering a presentation on using social media to communicate with impact, at the Annual Meeting on Supportive Care in Cancer, which took place in San Francisco  For those who are interested, here is a copy of my slide-deck.

The conference really impressed me with their push to get attendees on board with social media and their use of social media ambassadors at the event.

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It’s certainly something that more conferences should pay attention to. It takes work for sure but the end result is so worth it.

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Videoshop

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favorite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending Videoshop a free stand-alone video recorder.

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Because the app enables you to record and edit video in one place, you don’t have to use several different apps to create your video. Features include the ability to integrate your favorite songs to your video, add subtitles and noises like applause sounds. You can also adjust video speed to slow or fast, merge multiple clips into one and choose transitions to animate between video clip.

Videoshop is available for free on iOS or Android.

You might also like to read 7 Best Video Marketing Practices and Resources For 2019

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Twodio

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favorite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending Twodio – a free iOS app that allows you to tweet recorded audio.

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Here’s how to use it

To use the app, you first need to authorize it to use Twitter. Then you simply hold down a button to record up to 30 seconds of audio. When Twodio tweets your recording, it appears as a waveform.

I really like this tool to add variety to your Twitter activity. The moving waveform is eye-catching and encourages people to stop and check out your tweet.

Check out how I used it this morning to tweet about this tool. I woke with a  sore throat but was so eager to try it out, I recorded it with a scratchy voice 😉

You might also like to read Become a Social Media Ninja With These 25 Smart Twitter Hacks

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Track Twitter Hashtags 

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

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

3 Reasons You Should Track Hashtags

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

Which Tools Should You Use?

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

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

1. Social Searcher

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

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2. Twitonomy

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3. Tagboard

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

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Here’s to your social media success!

 

 

 

Posted in Cool Tool, Visual Marketing

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Quik

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favorite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending Quik for mobile – a free video-editing tool.

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This tool is easy to use and has both basic and advanced features. The basic video editing features include adding photos, videos, music, and text. You can choose a custom theme with transitions and graphics, adjust the font, filters and graphics and personalize your story with text overlays and title slides. The interface makes it easy to reorder, trim, zoom and rotate photos and video clips.

You can also add a soundtrack – choose from more than 100 free songs or import your own music. What’s really cool is that you can start your soundtrack at any point in the song and Quik automatically syncs transitions to the beat of the music.

Your videos can be saved in HD 1080p or 720p, shared to social media, or sent via a private Quik link text or email.

This really is a super tool and well worth checking out.

You might also like to read 7 Best Video Marketing Practices and Resources For 2019

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Create Live Videos on Twitter

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

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

How to start a live video

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

How to end a live video

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

How to add a guest to live video

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

 

To start a live broadcast with guests:

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

To join a live broadcast as a guest

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

To leave the broadcast as a guest

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

How to share a live broadcast or replay

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

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

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

How to edit your videos

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

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

Here’s to your social media success!

Posted in Cool Tool, Visual Marketing

Monday Morning Cool Tool: CC Search

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favorite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending  CC Search — a tool that allows openly licensed and public domain works to be discovered and used by everyone.

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CC Search searches across more than 300 million images from open APIs and the Common Crawl dataset. It goes beyond simple search to aggregate results across multiple public repositories into a single catalog, and facilitates reuse through features like machine-generated tags and one-click attribution.

There are six main Creative Commons licenses you can use when you choose to publish your work under CC terms. The six CC licenses are based on four conditions. The four conditions and the six licenses are described here.

Looking for more places to find images for your marketing? Check out this list of 10 Places To Find The Best Free Images For Your Healthcare Marketing.

 

 

 

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Create Graphics With Canva

Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip.  This week I want to show you how to create great graphics with Canva. 

Canva is one of my every-day go-to tools when I am creating visuals. It’s so easy and quick to use it with a multitude of layout options, fonts, images and illustrations to choose from. And best of all it’s free! If you want more advanced features, you do also have the option to upgrade for a small fee.

Whether you want a Twitter post or Facebook profile picture, you can create them quickly using Canva’s drag and drop editor. Select from a number of pre-set designs, or create something from scratch. You can also add elements such as custom icons, fonts, charts, and illustrations.

Here’s how to use it

i. Sign up at canva.com. The sign-up process is quick and easy.

ii. Next click on “Create a design” and choose the platform for which you wish to create a visual, for example, blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Your image will be automatically resized to fit the size dimensions of each platform.

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iii. Click on “Layouts” to select a layout for your graphic. There are tons of layouts to choose from. When you find one you like, click on it and it will automatically populate the blank screen for you to work with. You can change out the design at any time by clicking into another layout template.

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iv. To add an image, select “Elements” which allows you to choose from a variety of shapes, illustrations, and photos from the royalty-free library. Note that not all images are free, some are priced at $1 each. You can also upload your own images to use.

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v. To add text, click on “Text” and simply drag and drop your heading, subheading and body text. You can also choose from some pre-designed fonts, most of which are free.

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vi. Selecting “Background” allows you to choose different background colours and textures.

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vii. When you’re happy with your design, you have the option to embed it or share it from Canva straight to a social media platform, share a link for others to see the design or edit it if you wish. You can also download it to your computer in jpeg, png, or pdf format.

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That’s it. You’re all set to create customised graphics for your marketing.

Here’s to your social media success!

 

 

 

Posted in #HCSM

OK Google: Why & How Your Medical Practice Should Prepare For Voice Search

Your patients are searching for you online. Pew Research Center data shows 77% of all health inquiries begin at a search engine, with 72% of total Internet users say they’ve looked online for health information within the past year.

While 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).

According to comScore’s forecasting, 50 percent of searches will be performed through voice functions in 2020 and the majority will be done without even looking at a screen.

How people are using voice search

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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How to optimize your website for voice searches

In essence, voice searches are largely about answering questions, not about focusing on individual keywords. SEO is fast becoming AEO (Answer Engine Optimisation).

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What does best-answer content look like? Top Rank Blog’s Lee Odden, says best-answer content encompasses the following:

  • Specific, in-demand topic
  • More valuable and useful than other sites
  • Credible
  • High quality
  • Engaging
  • Device friendly, accessible
  • Fast

Insider Tip! When people talk to their voice assistants, they don’t form their inquiries the same way that they do in typed search queries. Rather, they tend to ask conversational questions, for example, “What’s the closest dental clinic to me?” instead of “dental clinic near me.”

Here are 3 more tips to consider while generating content for voice activation devices:

  1. Use long-tail keywords.  A great tip here is to use the “People Also Asked” Feature in Google.
  2. Structure SEO around conversational keywords – in other words, address not just a specific keyword with your content, but rather the breadth of what someone is trying to learn when they search for that keyword
  3. Account for misspelled/misinterpreted words (sometimes Siri or Alexa can misinterpret what you’re saying).

Just as marketers have optimized content for web 2.0 and mobile, they will have to start optimizing content for voice search as well. To quote NewsCred, “If you’re a marketer, “What’s the Alexa strategy?” will be a question you’ll be expected to answer.”


Related Reading

Voice Marketing Definition: Why You Need To Make Your Audience Listen Now

How to Optimize for Voice Search: 4 Simple SEO Strategies 

Voice search optimization guide: Six steps for 2019

Study: How ready are businesses for voice search? 

8 Voice Content Trends for 2020

 

 

Posted in Cool Tool, Visual Marketing

Monday Morning Cool Tool: SocialSearcher

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

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SocialSearcher allows you to monitor all public social mentions in social networks and on the web. Use it to monitor popular hashtags and trending topics. Quickly measure and track what people are saying about your company, name, product, or service in one easy to use dashboard.

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The free account gives you a generous 110 real-time searches per day and two email alerts.

Posted in #HCSM

What Information Are Parents of Children with Cancer Looking For Online?

If you haven’t already guessed it by now, I’m a sucker for a good research study. I believe strongly that we need a  more robust evidence-base around why and how people use social media for health-related information.

The latest study* I want to share with you concerns the information seeking behaviour of parents of children with cancer.

Why this study matters

For a parent, learning their child has cancer can be overwhelming, stressful, and debilitating. After a new cancer diagnosis, parents seek social support and information from multiple sources including healthcare providers and the internet. Not surprisingly the study shows that parents of children with cancer performed health-related searches at over twice the rate performed by the general population. Online searches peaks at about one month after cancer diagnosis.

To date, little has been known about the specific information parents of children with cancer search for online.  Although it has been shown that cancer searches online correlate to cancer prevalence at a population level, little is known about the specific, granular information parents search for online.

Understanding the content of parents’ searches over time offers insight into what matters most to parents and helps to identify knowledge gaps that could inform more comprehensive approaches to family education and support.

Why do parents use the web for information?

The study authors put forward some suggestions for why parents of children with cancer search online for information. One reason may be that they don’t feel their providers shared information in appropriate depth. “Alternatively, because these types of searches require less medical sophistication to interpret, parents may feel more comfortable searching for them online compared with medical information,” the authors suggest.  Or parents may simply forget to ask questions about these topics when medical providers are present and subsequently search for supportive care information at a later time.

What kind of information are parents seeking online?

Over half of the cancer-specific searches were for cancer support, such as queries for cancer charities and inspirational quotations.

Among the overall health-related searches, 31% were for “symptoms, disease and medical information.” Supportive care and logistic-related health searches were extremely common, and health insurance searches were also present, although to a lesser extent. Other relatively common health-related search categories included “Medications” (and “Treatment and disease management.” 

How health professionals can use this information

The study authors believe the results are most applicable for family support and education.

Given the peak of internet use near the time of diagnosis, educational interventions to improve parents’ ability to navigate the internet for cancer information should be considered.

The authors highlight the need to support parents’ need for logistical information. This “represents a measurable and potentially modifiable domain through interventions such as website design and educational materials.”

Study Conclusion

Google search content offers insight into what matters to parents of cancer patients. More research is needed to explore use of Google to obtain health-related information and utilize this to inform future education, quality, and research initiatives and better understand how internet use influences healthcare decision-making.

* Charles A Phillips, Alaina Hunt, Mikaela Salvesen‐Quinn, Jorge Guerra, Marilyn M Schapira, L Charles Bailey, Raina M Merchant. Health-related Google searches performed by parents of pediatric oncology patients. Pediatric Blood and Cancer, May 9, 2019. doi: 10.1002/pbc.27795.


Related Reading 

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

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

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Responsinator  

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

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

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Why Mobile Responsive Websites Are A Must

Mobile first-indexing is now fully underway and there’s no excuse for having a website that is not optimized for use across all platforms in 2018.  Most people aren’t looking at your website on a desktop or laptop anymore. They are looking at it on a phone or tablet.

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

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

Posted in #HCSM

9 Proven Ways To Increase The Visibility of Your Healthcare Website

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 to increase visibility.

There are many tactics you can use to drive more traffic to your blog and while the following list is not exhaustive, these are some of the ways I have used to increase my own visibility online.

1. Audit Your Competitors

Start by drawing up a list of ten top websites in your niche. 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 own website.

2. Sign Up For Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free tool which will help you identify how well your website is performing over time. Use it 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.  This information helps you plan ways to improve your site’s performance and visibility.

3. Tailor Your Site’s Information To Reader Needs

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. What kind of information are potential readers looking for? Identify the most frequently asked questions in your practice and create blogs, videos, and FAQs for your website to answer those questions.

4. Use Keywords Strategically

It’s important to include the right keywords on your website if you want to rank higher for particular search terms and increase your online visibility.  Keyword research is vital because identifying the terms people are searching for will determine the kind of content you create and the way you will optimize it.

Recommended Reading: How To Find The Best Keywords For Your Website

5. Optimize Your Site For Local Search

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).

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

6. Optimize Your Site For Voice Search

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).

In essence, voice searches are largely about answering questions. Here are some tips to consider while generating content for voice activation devices:

  • Write in a conversational tone
  • Use long-tail keywords
  • Account for misspelled/misinterpreted words (sometimes Siri or Alexa can misinterpret what you’re saying).

7. Make Sure Your Website 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.

8. Include A Blog

Companies who blog receive a whopping 97% more links to their website. Incorporating a blog on your site is relatively easy; the challenge lies in consistently creating fresh content. If you are struggling to come up with new ideas on a regular basis for your blog, then this list of 16 content ideas should help get you started.

9. Drive More Traffic With Social Shares

By making it easy for visitors to your site to share your content, you increase the likelihood that they will take this action. When more people share your content, you increase the chance of driving more visitors to your site.

Wrapping 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.

Posted in Cool Tool, Visual Marketing

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Woobox

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

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Woobox allows you to run sweepstakes, contests, polls, and more across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Here are some ideas on how you can use this tool.

  1. Create a sweepstakes contest
  2. Create photo or video contests that let followers submit entries
  3. Create polls and quizzes
  4. Create a landing page or form submission offer

If you want to try Woobox for free you can use it to create up Facebook tabs (up to 100 participants) per month.

 

Posted in social spotlight

Social Spotlight: Karin Sieger

This week I caught up with psychotherapist, writer and radio host, Karin Sieger to learn more about how she uses social media in her work. 

I first met Karin online through our shared connection to breast cancer.  I  admire greatly Karin’s writing and her generosity in sharing her wisdom and advice to support people with life transitions, particularly the emotional impact of life-changing illnesses, such as cancer.


Hi Karin,  I’d like to start off by asking you to share something with us about your professional background and how you got started using social media.

KS: I am a psychotherapist and writer based in West London, UK, where I see clients privately and from where I also offer support globally online via Zoom and email. Prior to my training, I worked 20+ years in consumer and media research (including BBC World Service and AOL). I was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 and diagnosed with a local recurrence in 2018. Since that experience a lot of what I do focuses on working with and supporting people affected by life changing illnesses, grief, anxiety, personal development and uncertainty. On many levels it has also become a watershed experience in my own life. I had to make choices about my wellbeing, future and finding purpose for the life I have. In many ways I have started finding my own voice creatively and that’s when and why my engagement with social media started.

How do you use social media in your work? Is social media the right fit for professionals in this space?

KS: At present, I use social media mostly as communication channels to share my motivational self-help articles, YouTube videos, radio programmes, quotes and raise awareness of projects I run myself, or that I am involved in. I am also using it to network.

Being on social media can be a challenge for counsellors or psychotherapists, as a lot of our training encourages us not to share our own experiences or private lives with clients. Because it may get in the way of the work and take the focus away from the client. For example, how do people who want to work with me feel about my own cancer experience? May they perhaps hold back from talking openly about their own concerns for fear of upsetting me? Things like that. I am always mindful to ask these questions at the outset, and assure people that I am ok doing what I do, despite my own experiences. In many ways I do what I do because of my own experiences. The impact of poor physical health (esp cancer) on our mental health is rarely covered in our training. I am trying to raise awareness and offer specialist support.

In our profession we have to keep boundaries and be clear about ethics. Therefore it took me a long time to take the plunge, and my activity online has evolved over the years and in many ways become more personal. I have to regularly check in with myself about it.

I really like how you’ve found that balance between your personal history and professional life. I know it’s a delicate balancing act – and not every professional can get it right. Of all the social networks we have available to us, which one do you use the most?

KS: Twitter was the first platform I used. In terms of frequency and volume, I use it most often. It’s familiar, I enjoy the interaction with the Twitter community and it’s easy to use. I have a professional (not private) presence on Facebook, LinkedIn and now also Instagram. I have tried Medium and others. But due to lack of time, I cannot keep it all going. A lot of my writing is reposted elsewhere online which creates more social media activity (via PositivelyPositive, The Mighty, Thrive Global, HuffPost).

While I enjoy social media, I also have to be careful how much and when I spend time on it.  Things have changed a lot since I have started using a scheduling software, source images via Pixabay or Unsplash and gradually use Canva to create ads for my radio programmes. Before I would literally do everything manually, with my own images. It’s not sustainable and started causing too much stress, which is just not healthy for me at this stage in my life.

I know from following you over the past 6 months, that you have a number of exciting new projects on the horizon. Can you tell us some more about them?

KS: I have launched a number of projects.

  • #CreativeDespiteCancer which supports the creative efforts of people affected by cancer. I offer to feature anyone interested for free on my website and social media network (writers, artists etc). 
  • #DearKarin is a free advice column I run on my website, where I offer support for a range of topics people are welcome to contact me with.
  • Most recently I have started contributing weekly radio programmes for a new global online Mental Health radio station PeaceWithinRadio.com The programmes are recorded on my orange houseboat in the Thames and mostly unscripted. You can catch up with previous broadcast via my YouTube channel.
  • #CancerAndYou is broadcast Wednesdays and offers support with the emotional and mental impact of cancer. Recent topics include cancer and relationships, why a cancer diagnosis is traumatic, cancer anger and more.  
  • #SoulCravings is on Saturdays – 20 minutes of down to earth talk about a whole range of topics important to us all, like how to turn hopelessness into hope, coping with grief, how to think big and much more.

Wow. You have been busy! We both share the same interest in cancer, but are there any other topics you follow on Twitter. Do you take part in any Twitter chats?

I have not yet fully participated or run twitter chats. I am very impressed by #bccww, but since it is in the evenings, it’s too late for me. Cramming everything in alongside cancer treatment and earning a living is a fine balancing act.

As far as topics are concerned, cancer is important to me. But I don’t want to be pigeon-holed, as cancer is only one part of my life. That’s why (personally) I have stopped referring to my life as a cancer journey. I feel more comfortable with life journey. I am very much into nature, self-care, embrace difficult topics and generally love to think creatively.

I let you into a secret. My first tweet of the day now tends to get generated at 06:30, when I start my morning routine by lying on an infrared mat and listen to classical music. I look at online photo galleries until an image “speaks to me” and then I turn it into a quote for Twitter and Facebook, sometimes also LinkedIn and Instagram. Whatever I come up with may or may not also reveal something about me.

Oh I love that image of you waiting for the muse to strike first thing in the morning. What a creative way to approach things. Do you have any other advice for those who are just getting started with social media?

KS: Avoid impulse responses. Don’t take things personal. Don’t derive self value from social media.

Very wise words Karin. And speaking of wisdom, I like to end these interviews with a favourite quote or saying. Do you have one you’d like to share?

Whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever has happened, positive change is possible.

What a positive note to end on. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your social media journey with us Karin.

KS: Thanks for inviting me on, Marie, all your fantastic work and exposure you give us all.

 

If you’d like to learn more about Karin’s work, visit her website www.karinsieger.com and follow her on Twitter @KarinSieger


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

Posted in #HCSM

How Do Consumers Evaluate the Quality of Online Health Information?

A new study* has set out to identify criteria that consumers use to evaluate the quality of online health information, and the indicators they use to support their evaluation.

Criteria and Indicators Used To Evaluate Online Health Information

The study reports that the most widely reported criteria used by consumers were (1)  trustworthiness, (2) expertise, and (3) objectivity, followed by transparency, popularity, and understandability.

The indicators were related to (1) source (a website or the owner, creator, or sponsor of the site), (2) content, and (3) design. The most widely reported indicators were site owners/sponsors; consensus among multiple sources; characteristics of writing and language; advertisements; content authorship; and interface design.

(1) Source

Mixed attitudes were found toward some indicators representing site owners/sponsors. Firstly, most participants believed that government websites reflect high levels of expertise and good intentions; however, some consumers suspected that the information on government websites is biased due to their agendas and some, particularly younger generations, did not identify themselves with government sources, considering them “less cool” and not relatable

Secondly, people usually considered websites owned by commercial companies less objective and trusted more websites with no commercial interests; nevertheless, popular commercial websites such as WebMD.com were favored by some people for their expertise and comprehensiveness.

Individuals’ prior knowledge and experience of a source were mentioned most frequently as factors that influence quality judgment. Consumers tended to trust sites that they had experience with, because they may already know the source to be credible, have had positive experiences with it, have seen it from advertisements on other media (eg, television and magazine), or are familiar with the organization behind the source.

Trust in Social Media

Consumers had mixed attitudes toward social media sites. Some consumers favored online discussion groups, chat rooms, and listservs because they offered first-person narratives and practical information and support from peers with whom they could identify, but some disliked such sites for their lack of objectivity and expertise.

Concerning Wikipedia, some people questioned its objectivity because information can be edited by anyone on the Web, but some consumers were attracted to its encyclopedic nature and comprehensiveness.

2. Content

Content refers to the information contained in a source as well as the presentation of the information. Eight categories of content-related indicators were identified: substance, writing and language, presentation, references, authorship, audience, date/updating, and advertisements.

The most frequently reported content indicators were about consensus among sources. Content that appears in multiple sources, be it online sources, sources in other media (eg, newspaper, television, books, and academic journals), or health care professionals, is trusted by consumers.

Writing- and language-related factors were the second most frequently reported content indicators. Consumers expect high-quality information to be error-free in spelling and grammar, use straightforward language, and have a clear layout. The use of medical and technical vocabularies had mixed views. For some consumers, high-quality information was easy to understand, that is, it exhibited less use of professional medical vocabularies or provided easy-to-understand definitions of medical jargon; however, for others, the use of technical vocabularies demonstrated expertise and was highly valued

The third most frequently reported indicators were advertisements. Consumers expect quality websites to neither depend on advertisements nor seek to make a profit. Therefore, sites with advertisements were considered less objective.

3. Design

Design refers to the appearance of a website or an app and the user experience (UX) it gives. Four categories of design-related quality indicators were identified: interface design, interaction design, navigation design, and security settings.

The most frequently reported design indicators were related to interface design, mostly visual factors, including the overall appearance of a site, the graphics it includes, and font size.

Interaction design features, including links, interactive functions, and other interactive features (eg, loading time and login requirement), were the second most frequently mentioned quality indicators.

Sites with robust search capabilities (eg, easy to locate and diverse search entrance), offering useful tools (eg, self-management tools), and rendering smooth user-system interaction (eg, providing links to additional relevant sources and not having pop-ups) were perceived as high quality.

Navigation-related indicators such as navigation aids and site maps were the third most frequently mentioned quality indicators.

Key Takeaway For Healthcare Marketers and HCPs

The ability to critically evaluate the quality of health information is an important component of health literacy which is an important determinant of health.

The findings of this study have practical application for designers of online health information for patients. The authors recommend the incorporation of positive indicators (eg, offering authors’ credentials and presenting information in a clear and organized way) and avoidance of negative indicators (eg, dead links and flash media format) to offer users better information seeking experiences.

The fact that the same indicator (eg, government institutions as the source owner) can lead to different quality judgment for different people suggests that designers should also carefully investigate target users’ values and the corresponding criteria that they use to evaluate health information. This calls for active user research and user involvement in the design process.

Related Reading 

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

Evaluating the Quality of Health Information in a Changing Digital Ecosystem

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

What Information Are Parents of Children with Cancer Looking For Online?


* Sun Y, Zhang Y, Gwizdka J, Trace CB, Consumer Evaluation of the Quality of Online Health Information: Systematic Literature Review of Relevant Criteria and Indicators
J Med Internet Res 2019;21(5):e12522
Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: Add Media To A Retweet

Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip. 

Twitter has this week rolled out an update to its Retweet feature. You can now add a photo, video or GIF to a Retweet, instead of just text.

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Admittedly, it’s a small change, but a welcome one.  By expanding the Retweet feature to support additional media Twitter users now have a richer, more engaging experience on the platform.

Here’s to your social media success!

 

 

 

Posted in #HCSM

How Social Media Can Enhance Supportive Cancer Care [Infographic]

Next month, I will be presenting to attendees at the joint Annual Meeting of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) and the International Society of Oral Oncology (ISOO), which will take place in San Francisco, June 21 to 23, 2019.

The topic will be one of my favourite things to talk about –  the role of social media in healthcare. To promote the session, MASC Ambassador, Dr Hannah Rose Wardill has produced this infographic. I wanted to share it with you today for two reasons. Firstly, it’s an awesome infographic and secondly, it’s a super promotion idea for a conference. Hannah sourced the content of the graphic from articles and posts I’ve written on this topic.

I’m really so impressed with how Hannah did this and I can already see I will be borrowing this idea next time I want to promote my speaking sessions in the future.

socialmediacancercare

Posted in Cool Tool, Visual Marketing

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Steller

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

Steller is a free storytelling application which lets you create photo and video stories with an emphasis on design. – the next web. It focuses on telling a story through pictures and text. The simple, yet structured layout options allow even a beginner to produce a professional standard of work.

Once your story is done, you can publish it to your favorite social media channel or embed it on your website.

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Steller is available for download on both Google Play and App Store.

Posted in #HCSM

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

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

Z is for Zoom

So I made it through to Z and with the exception of one letter (for the life of me I couldn’t come up with a social media related word for X!)  I stuck to the challenge.

It’s been a great way to get into a daily blogging habit and I highly encourage you to consider doing something similar for your own niche.

Now on with today’s post.

Zoom is a tool I use several times a week for conference calls. It allows you to have video conferences with anyone from around the world. You can also hold online meetings, trainings, webinars and conference calls with the Zoom app.

The free plan allows unlimited one on one video conferencing and up to 40 minutes for groups. It also includes screen share, a chat function and a record feature.


For more productivity tools like Zoom, check out my list of 30 Essential Productivity Tools Every Business Owner Should Try In 2019

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: Y is for YouTube #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

Y is for YouTube

YouTube has more than 1.8 billion monthly active users, and remains the online video leader. 

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 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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Check out more YouTube stats here 

YouTube is a platform that people are searching every day for how to solve their problems and get their questions answered. As a form of patient education and health promotion, it has great potential but recent studies show it is not being used to its full potential.

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 the 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 over 250K subscribers to its channel. I particularly like its series of Mayo Clinic  Minute videos.

If you don’t already have a YouTube channel for your practice, check out my guide to getting started with YouTube here


You might also like to read 9 YouTube stats to inform your marketing strategy in 2019

 

 

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: W is for WordSwag #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

W is for WordSwag

WordSwag is a mobile application that turns your ideas, quotes, and content into attractive graphics that can be shared on social media.

explorewithjoshua

Here’s how it works

1. Select your picture (Word Swag also includes 590,000+ free backgrounds!)
2. Edit your text (you can also choose from hundreds of captions and quotes)
3. Select one of 48 text styles.
5. Save or share your creative design on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook.

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: U is for Unsplash #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

U is for Unsplash

Unsplash is a royalty-free stock image resource which 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.”

Here’s a selection of healthcare-related images from the site.

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Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: T is for Trend #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

T is for Trend

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

In my annual social media marketing predictions for 2019, I identified 14 major trends that should claim your focus this year. It’s a lengthy post so if you are short on time,  I’ve highlighted five of these trends which I think will have particular relevance to medical marketing.

My Top 5 Health Apps.jpg

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: S is for SlideShare #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

S is for SlideShare

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

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

How To Use SlideShare

1. Use SlideShare for research

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

2. Share your insights and get noticed

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

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

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: R is for Ripl #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

R is for Ripl

If a picture says a thousand words, a video tells a million.

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

If the thought of creating video feels overwhelming, you can always start small using a tool like Ripl –  a mobile app (iOS and Android) that lets you create short animated videos with professionally designed templates.

Ripl

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 #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: Q is for Quuu #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

Q is for Quuu

Content curation is the process of gathering information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest.  Not only is it a way of providing value and consistency to your followers, but it’s also a great way to raise your online visibility and establish you as a thought-leader in your niche (to read more about this, see How To Curate Content Like A Pro).

To do it right requires an investment of time and that’s where Quuu can help. Quuu is a hand-curated content suggestion platform that connects to your scheduling tool of choice (I use Buffer to schedule my updates).

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Just sign up, connect your account and choose 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 scheduling too where you can choose to manually curate posts yourself or Quuu will post for you.

Check it out at http://www.quuu.co

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: P is for Proofreading #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

P is for Proofreading

Charles Dickens described proofreaders as having “… much natural intelligence, much-superadded cultivation, considerable readiness of reference, quickness of resource, an excellent memory, and a clear understanding.”

Presenting your readers with clear and compelling copy enhances your online credibility. To enhance your proofreading skills, I’ve put together this list of 8 tips and techniques which I rely on when I write online copy.

1. Proofreading Requires Concentration And Focus

One of the biggest proofreading mistakes you can make is to leave the task to the last minute and then do it too quickly. Nothing is ever done to perfection when something is rushed Always proofread your work in a quiet place that is free of distractions. Turn off your phone, TV, and radio to fully concentrate on the task at hand. This is especially important for longer work.

2. Don’t Proofread When You’re Tired

Do you know those signs on the motorway that remind you of the dangers of driving while tired? It’s the same for proofreading. Trying to proofread late at night when you are tired and your concentration is poor increases the chance you will miss essential errors. Come back with fresh eyes the next morning if you can.

3. Read It Out Loud

This is a really useful tip. If you read aloud, your ear might catch errors that your eye may have missed. It’s especially helpful for identifying run-on sentences and spotting any that don’t flow well or make sense.

4. Print Out Your Work

You’ll always notice more errors on a printed copy of your work. Using a blank sheet of paper to cover up the lines below the one you’re reading keeps you from skipping ahead of possible mistakes.

5. Pay Attention To Punctuation

Poor punctuation really undermines your professionalism. Pay particular attention to misplaced (or missing) commas and apostrophes.

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6. Keep Reference Sources On Hand

While a spell checker is useful, it can miss different meanings (for example, except vs accept). This is where a reference source such as Merriam-WebsterRoget’s Thesaurus, and The Elements of Stylare so useful. Whether it’s the online or hard-copy version, keep one close to hand as an essential guide to using the right words in the right context.

7. Check Your Facts

If you are presenting facts in your content, be sure the sources are legitimate. Check and re-check the provenance of quotes and statistics.

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8. Ask Someone Else to Proofread It

Final tip. Ask someone you trust to proofread the text for you. You will be amazed at the mistakes you’ve missed. A second person will also be in a better position to evaluate whether the sentences make sense or not.

I hope you found these tips helpful. It’s good to remind ourselves of the importance of mistake-free writing in presenting a positive and professional online impression.

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: O is for Optimize #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

O is for Optimize

Optimization in business is all about maximizing your assets – to make something, as the dictionary definition goes, as good as possible.

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Today I want to talk to you about how you can optimize four critical aspects of your website so more patients can find your site, starting with optimizing for mobile search.

1. Mobile Search Optimization

Most people aren’t looking searching for information on a desktop or laptop anymore. They are looking at it on a phone or tablet. Recent studies show 52% of smartphone users gather health-related information on their phones. This means that your website needs to be easy to read no matter where your patient may access it.

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Having a mobile-responsive site (ie one that automatically changes its layout and placements of certain menus and buttons automatically) is important because firstly, not only are over half of patients searching online for health information on their smartphone, but 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.

2. Optimize Your Content For Google Search

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.

3. Optimize Your Content For Voice Search

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).

According to comScore’s forecasting, 50 percent of searches will be performed through voice functions in 2020 and the majority will be done without even looking at a screen.

In essence, voice searches are largely about answering questions, not about focusing on individual keywords. SEO is fast becoming AEO (Answer Engine Optimisation).

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To quote NewsCred, “If you’re a marketer, “What’s the Alexa strategy?” will be a question you’ll be expected to answer.”

Here are some tips to consider while generating content for voice activation devices:

  • Write in a conversational tone
  • Use long-tail keywords
  • Account for misspelled/misinterpreted words (sometimes Siri or Alexa can misinterpret what you’re saying).

4. Optimize Your Website For Local Search

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

 

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: N is for Newsletter #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

N is for Newsletter

Once you build an audience (of email subscribers), anything is possible.” — Joe Pulizzi

With the explosion of social media marketing in recent years, the traditional email format may appear outdated.

But nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, email marketing is more powerful than ever before.

Even with the pervasiveness of new technology, email still remains a persuasive digital marketing channel for building awareness, boosting acquisition, and increasing conversion.

The most popular type of email, especially for businesses who create online content, is the e-newsletter. Newsletters can help keep your content top of mind with readers and drive more traffic to your website.

6 reasons to send an e-newsletter to subscribers

1. Email marketing helps you build relationships and credibility

People like to do business with those they know, like and trust. The advantage of sending a newsletter is the ability to create and nurture a sense of connection with your reader over time. Once you’ve built solid relationships with your subscribers through free content, you can start sending them relevant offers via email.

2. Email marketing keeps you top of mind

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

3. Email marketing is inexpensive

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

4. You own your list

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

5. Email marketing converts better than social media

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

6. Email drives visitors to your website

Email marketing can seamlessly drive more visitors to your website, and provide you with a valuable way to track which parts of your website and your marketing attracts the most interest.

What should you share in your newsletter?

Sending regular emails to your list is the best way to build relationships with your subscribers.

Commit to sending high-quality content on a regular basis to your subscribers.

Each email you send should convey something actionable and valuable, such as an offer or discount, or a solution to a problem they have.

Alongside a digest of your most recent articles or blog posts, you can also include links to quality curated content from other sites, coupons, or special offers. Y

our emails don’t have to be lengthy, but they do need to be useful to your subscriber.

Insider Tip

Don’t just compete on value, but also personality. The best email newsletters show the sender’s personality and have a relatable human voice.

To quote Content Marketing Institute, “newsletters feel inherently more personal — like a personal letter. Don’t waste that unique ambiance by sticking to impersonal corporate speak.”

Using your own voice and personality builds rapport and helps your audience get to know and trust you.

Take this to the next level by opening a two-way discussion with your subscribers.

Give your audience something they can connect back to that can also provoke a conversation.

Your family, pets, sports, or entertainment are good examples. Invite them to respond to your emails or join the discussion on your website or social channels.

Want to subscribe to my newsletter?

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

Click here to subscribe to my mailing list.

Posted in #HCSM

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

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

M is for Mistake

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

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

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

Mistake #1 Being Overly Promotional On Social Media

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

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

Mistake #2 Not Having A Content Promotion Plan

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

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

Mistake #3 Not Monitoring Social Media

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

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

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

Want to learn more about common social media mistakes?

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

Posted in #HCSM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You might also like to read 

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

Social Media and Rating Sites as Tools to Understanding Quality of Care: A Scoping Review

Reputation Management for Doctors

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Posted in Infographics

How To Create A Healthcare Infographic

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

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

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

11 content ideas for a healthcare infographic  

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

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

 7 tips for designing a healthcare infographic 

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

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

How to create a healthcare infographic

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

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

1. Canva

2. Visme

3. Infogram

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