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Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Piktochart

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

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

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

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

 

Posted in #HCSM

How To Develop A Social Media Strategy For Healthcare Marketing

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

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

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

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

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Image: Marie Ennis-O’Connor

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

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

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

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

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

Step #1 Set SMART Goals

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

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

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

Step #2 Understand Your Audience

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

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

Step #3  Set Your Marketing Budget

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

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

Step #4 Choose Your Social Channels

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

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

Step #5 Create A Content Strategy

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step #6 Track And Measure Social Media Activities

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

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

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


Need help creating a social media strategy for your business?

Get in touch with us to discuss your needs. 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: PocketVideo

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

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

Features include:

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

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

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Analyse Your Twitter Activity

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

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

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

How to use it

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

To access your Tweet activity:

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

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

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

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

Here’s to your social media success!

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Pixaloop

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

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

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

Posted in #HCSM, Infographics

The 11 Most Common Website SEO Issues [Infographic]

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

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

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

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

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Want to optimize your website? Check out these tools.

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Embed Tweets On Your Website

Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip. 

When it comes to writing, I’m a big fan of crowdsourcing quotes and ideas via Twitter. I then like to take those tweets and embed them directly into an article or blog post I’ve written.

What is an embedded Tweet?

An embedded Tweet includes the Tweet itself, plus any media content such as photo or video.  Here’s an example of a Medium article I published today containing several embedded Tweets.

How to embed a Tweet

Embedding a Tweet on your website or blog is a really simple process because Twitter auto-generates the required embed code. All you have to do is copy and paste the code and add it to your site.

Here’s how

1. Select the tweet you want to embed:

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2. Click on the down arrow icon [v]. Select Embed Tweet from the drop-down list.

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3. Copy the HTML code from the pop-up screen. If you only wish to include the Tweet without any media (photos, GIFs, videos)  displayed alongside the Tweet. then uncheck Include media to hide media.

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4. Paste the code into your blog or website.

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And voilà you’re done!

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Embedding tweets is a super way to add variety to your content and bring fresh perspectives and credibility to your writing.

Give it a go this week – and do let me know how it works out for you.

Here’s to your social media success!

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: MockoFUN

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

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

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

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Repurpose Your Digital Content

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

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

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

 

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Source: TopRank Marketing

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

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

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

Here’s to your social media success!

Posted in #HCSM

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

While every day is Social Media Day, today, June 30th, 2020 marks the eleventh annual official global celebration of all things social media.

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

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

Be Proactive in Managing Your Online Reputation

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

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

Social Media Is An Essential Component of Healthcare Marketing

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

Create A Winning Strategy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wrapping Up

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

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

 


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

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Emojim

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

Emojim

How to use this tool

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

Enjoy 😁

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Create Facebook Collections With Saved Content

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

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

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Here’s how to do it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s to your social media success!

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Sharethrough

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

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

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

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Related Reading

Write Better Headlines With These 9 Winning Formulas 

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Create Live Videos on Twitter

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

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

How to start a live video

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

How to end a live video

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

How to add a guest to live video

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

 

To start a live broadcast with guests:

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

To join a live broadcast as a guest

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

To leave the broadcast as a guest

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

How to share a live broadcast or replay

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

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

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

How to edit your videos

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

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

Here’s to your social media success!

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Link Checker

This week’s cool tool recommendation is Link Checker

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

Here’s how it works. 

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

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How does this help you?

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

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

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

Posted in #HCSM

Social Media in Dermatology: A Review of Current Usage

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

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

Dermatology and Facebook

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

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

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

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

Dermatology and YouTube

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

Dermatology and Instagram

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

Dermatology and Twitter

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

Dermatology and Reddit

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

Dermatology and Pinterest

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

Dermatology and Snapchat

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

Social Media Opportunities in Dermatology

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

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

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

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

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

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

Challenges of Social Media and Healthcare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How to Follow Topics on Twitter

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

Here’s how to follow topics on Twitter

From your Home timeline

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

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From your Topics menu

Tap Topics in your profile icon menu.

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Tap Follow some Topics to browse by category type.

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

When finished, tap Done.

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

How to unfollow a Topic

From your Home timeline:

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

From your Topics: 

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

Worth Noting

Topics you follow are public.

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

How to see the Topics someone follows

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

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

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

 

Here’s to your Twitter success!

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Crop Video

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

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

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

Posted in #HCSM, SEO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Create targeted advertising campaigns

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

2. Develop a local SEO strategy

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

2. Claim Your Google My Business Listing

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

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

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

Conclusion 

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

 

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

Further Reading: 

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Find The Best Keywords For Your Website

Welcome to this week’s social media tip. Today I want you to think about choosing the best keywords to rank higher on search engines. 

93% of online experiences begin with a search engine.

It makes search the second biggest online activity, after email.

If you want your website to rank higher in Google you have to make sure that you’re using the right keywords. Keyword research is vital because identifying the terms people are searching for will determine the kind of content you create and the way you will optimize it.

One of the biggest mistakes I come across is trying to rank for generic keywords with a high search volume.

Instead, try long tail keywords.  50% of search queries are four words or longer.

Long tail keywords are keywords or key phrases that are more specific — and usually longer — than more commonly searched for keywords. They get less search traffic, but will usually have a higher conversion value, as they are more specific.

Long tail keywords allow you gradually to get more traffic and to be found by new and motivated audiences.

Here is an example of a list of long-tail keywords based on the keyword “pdf”

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How to figure out what your target keywords or phrases should be.

 

I’m borrowing this from PR consultant Gini Dietrich‘s playbook so you may need to adapt it to your own business.

  • Write down all of the questions you are asked in new business, or sales, meetings.
  • Write down all of the questions your customer service department is asked.
  • Go to your website or your internal server/Dropbox/Google Drive and grab your most recent frequently asked questions sheet.
  • Go into your sent mail and scroll through to see what kinds of questions your clients are asking you that you’re writing long answers to … everyday. Write those down.

Now you have a nice list of content as a starting point. If you are being asked these questions, this is what people are also searching. And, if you have the answers and you’re the best suited to provide the solutions, they should be finding you when they search these things.

I use the following tools to help me find long tail keywords.

1. Google Adwords Keyword Planner 

This is a free Google tool that gives you insight into the volume of monthly searches for a particular keyword, and how much competition there is, based on advertising spend for sponsored links. It also returns suggested terms you could use instead or alongside your original keyword.

You will need to sign up for an Adwords account with a Gmail account but you don’t have to add any credit card details or create any ads to use the tool.

Pro Tip! Use Google Related Searches

Google displays related search results at the bottom of the first page when you type in your Google search query. This is a super-helpful resource as it returns ideas that are relevant to your topic based on user interest and contextual words.

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2. Keywords Everywhere

I’ve installed this tool as a Chrome extension and I find it super helpful. It returns a host of long-tail phrases based on what people are searching for using specific keywords.

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There are other long-tail keyword tools out there which you also might like to try – including Keyword Clarity (a free keyword grouping tool that makes it easy to identify keyword clusters) Answer The Public (an automated autocomplete tool that will populate relevant topics based on your search), and KWFinder.

Further Reading  How to move from keyword research to intent research

 

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Fotor

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

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

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

 

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Ensure Your Website Is Mobile Compatible

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

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

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

Why You Need A Mobile Responsive Website

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

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

How To Check If Your Website Is Mobile Compatible

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

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

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

Here’s to your digital marketing success!

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Assign Admin Roles on Facebook

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Here’s to your social media success!

Posted in #HCSM

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

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

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

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

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

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

Results

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes

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

Further Reading  

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

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

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

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: QuestionDB

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending  QuestionDB – a tool designed to help you generate content ideas.

Here’s how it works.

To get started, pick a broad keyword.

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From there, whether you’re using the free or paid version of QuestionDB, you can dive deeper.

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Then search these individually on QuestionDB, and you will get a list of specific questions about these topics that you can use as content ideas for your blog. And because questions are continually added to QuestionDB, it will help you generate content ideas easily on a continuous basis.  To help you write those topics, toggle the “source” button on so that you can click through to where the question was originally asked (and see what others answered).

QuestionDB is free for a maximum of 10 results. The pro version costs $10 per month.

You might also like to read How To Brainstorm Fresh Content Ideas

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Analyze What’s Working For Your Competitors

Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip.  This week I want to show you how to analyze what’s working for your competitors and industry peers.

Your competitors and industry peers are valuable sources of insight. Look at the type of content your competitors are creating. Identify which content is performing well for them in terms of social shares, comments, likes, etc. Now, brainstorm around how you can take a piece of content they have created and put your own unique twist on it.

How to do this

Facebook provides an excellent feature to help you “spy” on your competitors with its Pages to Watch feature. To access Pages to Watch, go to your Facebook Page Insights and scroll down to the bottom of the Overview tab.

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Here’s to your social media success!

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Evernote

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

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Evernote is one of the everyday tools I use to keep me organized. A note-taking app that synchronizes all your files by saving them to a cloud service. quickly capture ideas, whether they’re notes, to-do lists, reminders, or even pictures. Because Evernote has apps for mobile, desktop, and web, your notes are instantly available on all of your devices.

Price: Free for basic plan; Premium plan starts at $6.99 pm.

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Unfold

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending photo editor  Unfold – an app to help you easily create and edit Instagram Stories templates.

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Once downloaded you can choose from a wide range of 150+ templates to add pages to an Unfold story,  use advanced text tools with curated fonts and add unique stickers and export your stories in high resolution for seamless sharing to Instagram.

·The app is free- however, some of its templates do require in-app purchases to unlock.

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 #HCSM

3 Places To Find Interesting Ideas For Your Healthcare Blog

Have you started a blog for your medical practice or healthcare facility? Are you sometimes stuck for ideas when it comes to popular health topics to write about?

I’ve put together this list of places to find topic suggestions when your well of inspiration runs dry. I turn to these places when I need a fresh injection of ideas for my own content marketing and I feel sure you will find them helpful too.

1.Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is a useful tool to find which popular healthcare topics people are searching for on social media. These are the topics people want to read about so it’s worth brainstorming ideas around this content.

In the example below, I’ve searched for the term “mental health” and you can see it’s brought up some interesting topic ideas!

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2. Keywords Everywhere

The Keywords Everywhere browser extension returns a host of long-tail phrases based on what people are searching for using specific keywords.

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Insider Tip: The Google Keyword Planner within Adwords is another useful tool to find ideas for content based on keyword search.

3. Quora

Quora is a question and answer platform where you can either ask a question about your topic or simply do a search using your topic keyword to find what people are asking about that topic. It’s a super place for market research. Make a list of those questions which you feel you could write about.

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You have the option to follow chosen topics in your niche. Once you do so you’ll keep seeing the ‘Top Stories’ (questions) in your Quora newsfeed. You can also check out the ‘New Questions’ option to see the latest questions. When you have written an article or blog post on the topic, go back into Quora and answer a question related to the topic. You can include a link to your post in your answer.

Insider Tip: Yahoo Answers and Reddit are also good places to do market research online.

Where do you find inspiration for your content marketing?  

Posted in #HCSM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Is my target audience active on this platform?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Look beyond Facebook to the many online groups and fora where your patients are also congregating. For example, Quora is a question and answer platform where you can either ask a question about your topic or simply do a search using your topic keyword to find what people are asking about that topic.

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3. Which social networks are my competitors using?

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

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

4. Will this platform match the content I create?

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

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

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

Consider creating more video content for YouTube.

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

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

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

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

6. Consider your existing resources

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

To Wrap Up

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

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

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


Related

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

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Over

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

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This tool allows you to add text and captions to your photos, but equally, you get full access to stock photography on Unsplash, Pixabay and Google Images. Use it to create eye-catching designs and make them your own with our blending and masking tools, and use layers to edit elements in isolation.

 

Posted in #HCSM

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

In this post, you’ll learn about some effective ways to discover the content your audience is looking for so you can create that content for them.

Creating healthcare content your audience will want to read is an ongoing challenge. I want to help you solve that challenge by sharing with you 7 different ways you can uncover the content your audience is looking for so you can create that content for them.

Let’s dive in.

1. Look To Your Analytics

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The first place you should start is with your analytics. This will tell you what’s working for you, which types of posts resonate with your audience and get the most likes and comments.

Use Google Analytics to track top-performing content on your website, and the native analytics tools of each of the social networks you use to discover the type of posts that get the most engagement (shares, comments, likes, click-through rates, etc.)

2. Ask Your Audience

Go right to your audience and ask them what kind of content they’d like to see from you. You can create quick polls on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and post a question such as “What content do you want to see more of?”

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3. Find Inspiration On Buzzsumo

I 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 write about 4 Reasons Why Email Marketing Is More Powerful Than Social Media.

4. Ask Questions on Quora

Quora is a question and answer platform where you can either ask a question about your topic or simply do a search using your topic keyword to find what people are asking about that topic. It’s a super place for market research. Make a list of those questions which you feel you could write about.

Yahoo Answers and Reddit are also good places to do market research online

5. Search Keyword Suggestions with Google AdWords

This is a free Google AdWords tool that gives you insight into the volume of monthly searches for a particular keyword, and how much and how much competition there is, based on advertising spend for sponsored links. It also returns suggested terms you could use instead or alongside your original keyword.

You might also like to read  How To Find The Best Keywords For Your Website

6. Use Google Related Searches

Google displays related search results at the bottom of the first page when you type in your Google search query. This is a super-helpful resource as it returns ideas that are relevant to your topic based on user interest and contextual words.

7. Analyze What’s Working For Your Competitors and Industry Peers

Look at the type of content your competitors or industry peers are creating. Identify which content is performing well for them in terms of social shares, comments, likes, etc. Brainstorm around how you can take a piece of content they have created and add your own insight and expertise to make it more even more valuable to your readers.

Recommended ReadingSix Tools To Help You Perform A Competitor Audit

Here’s to your social media success!

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Post To Social Media At The Best Times

Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip.  This week I want to show you how to post to social media at the best times. 

Content has no value unless it’s amplified. One way to ensure amplification and optimize your social media reach is to post your content at the right so they reach your audience when they are online.

If you search for optimum posting times, you will find many guides online. You can follow these recommendations as a starting point, but I do recommend you do your own testing to see which days and times work best for your own particular audience within your industry.

One of the most comprehensive guides to the best times to post for the major social platforms is this one from Sprout Social.

Some of the top-line stats at a glance are listed below. These are global visualizations — for a more granular and industry-specific focus see the report in full.

Best times to post on Facebook

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  • The best times to post to Facebook are Wednesday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday is the best day to post on Facebook.
  • The safest times to post are weekdays from 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
  • Sunday has the least amount of engagement for Facebook during the week.
  • Early mornings and evenings, before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m. have the least amount of engagement per day.

Best times to post on Instagram

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  • The safest times to post are Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Another higher engagement time period occurs on Saturday around 10 a.m.
  • Sunday has the least engagement, as well as every day from 11 p.m–3 a.m.

Best times to post on Twitter

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  • The best times to post on Twitter are Wednesday at 9 a.m. and Friday at 9 a.m.
  • Tuesday and Wednesday are the best days to post on Twitter.
  • The safest times to post are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • Saturday gets the least engagement.
  • Times to avoid that get the lowest engagement are every day from 10 p.m–4 a.m.

To sum up

Consistent social sharing can help you stay top of mind with your audience. It’s a common mistake to only post content once and then not again. To get the most engagement, visibility and reach, reshare your content on multiple networks at various times and in different ways. Vary your updates when you do — for example, highlight a different statistic or quote, or ask your audience a question.

These data points are general but they provide a good starting point to start testing your audience engagement. Try them for a month, take note of your findings and see if your engagement shifts at the end of the month.

Here’s to your social media success!

 

Posted in #HCSM, Twitter

12 Ways To Search For Health-Related Content On Twitter

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Search for any specific language.

6. Choose specific accounts to search within.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Rank Tracker

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 keyword ranking tool  – Rank Tracker.

Use this tool to track keywords with no limit, check positions in SERPs, see rankings for the exact location, and analyze the ranking performance of any keyword — all in one ranking tool.

23 keyword tools in one

All the top keyword research tools are integrated right into the Rank Tracker keyword rank tool. Used together, these sources will give you thousands of keywords you wouldn’t have found elsewhere on the web.

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As you find keyword ideas, the tool will automatically group them by topic, so you can analyze and target entire keyword groups instead of going through bulks of terms one by one.

Geo-specific rankings

Rank Tracker is the only local rank tracking software that accurately checks positions for the exact location of your choice: country, state, city, or even an exact street address.

Keyword analysis

The keyword position checker will not only find thousands of keywords for your site; it’ll also help you pick the best ones and prioritize them for targeting.

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In addition to such SEO metrics as search volume data and competition, the rank checker can calculate Keyword Difficulty for every term — a complex metric that takes into account all SEO strengths and weaknesses of the sites of your top 10 competitors.

Competitive SEO intelligence

The keyword rank checker lets you track competitors’ keyword tactics and see how well they’re doing in organic search results. The rank checking software will track keywords your competitors already rank for. Analyze their valuable SEO metrics and weigh your chances to rank for those keywords as well.

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Download Rank Tracker at www.link-assistant.com/rank-tracker

Posted in #HCSM

#ThursdayTip: How To Pin A Tweet

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

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

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

How To Pin A Tweet

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

1. Open up your Twitter Profile Page.

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s to your tweeting success!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Google Ads’ Keyword Planner

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 keyword ranking tool  – Keyword Planner

This is a free Google AdWords tool that gives you insight into the volume of monthly searches for a particular keyword, and how much and how much competition there is, based on advertising spend for sponsored links. It also returns suggested terms you could use instead or alongside your original keyword.

You might also like to read  How To Find The Best Keywords For Your Website

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: Facebook Page Vs Facebook Group For Your Healthcare Busines

Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip.  This week I want to show you how to choose whether a Facebook  Page or a Facebook Group is better for your healthcare business.  

In her post, which sets out to provide the definitive answer to the question of Pages vs Groups, Andrea Vahl  describes the difference as follows:

When you post something on your Page, people see that post in their News Feed as coming from your Page.  Then your Page can also participate in the comment section of the post.  In Groups, you are participating as a personal profile with the Group name also mentioned in the discussion.

4 Reasons To Create A Facebook Page For Your Healthcare Business

Vahl outlines the following 4 reasons in her post.

  1. Facebook Pages have built-in analytics.  You can measure what is working.
  2. You can advertise via Facebook Pages.
  3. Facebook Pages are more branded as your business.  Groups facilitate discussion but you are participating as your profile.
  4. Facebook Pages allow the installation of Apps that can help you collect e-mail addresses and leads or do things like run contests.

When Should You Use Facebook Groups?

The number #1 reason from a visibility viewpoint to use Facebook’s  Groups feature is that you will be much more visible in the  News Feed.  At the start of 2018, Facebook announced major changes to the Facebook news feed which meant that people see fewer posts from Pages. It appears that Groups aren’t taking the hit that Pages are in the news feed, so using them in tandem with your Page is a good strategy to increase visibility.

Vahl explains, that “Groups can have higher organic growth rate than Pages because of the fact that they are more visible. For a Page to grow organically, you do need to invest time in adding great content and possibly promoting it with ads.”

A Facebook Group is a natural fit for healthcare as it facilitates a stronger sense of community and conversation. However, this can be a disadvantage if you don’t have the time to moderate these discussions.

One more reason to use Groups is the ability to store files and search through posts.

 


You might also like to read 10 Tips To Create More Engaging Content For Your Facebook Page

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Keyword Tool

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 keyword tool  – Keyword Tool.

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You can use Keyword Tool for free, even without creating an account. The free version of Keyword Tool generates up to 750+ long-tail keyword suggestions for every search term.

You can also use the tool to find popular Twitter and Instagram hashtags. If you’re looking for keywords for your YouTube videos, Keyword Tool uses YouTube autocomplete feature to generate highly relevant long-tail keywords about a particular topic.  Keyword Tool for YouTube helps you get over 750+ long tail keywords from YouTube autocomplete by appending and prepending the keyword that you specify with various letters and numbers. To make keyword suggestions more relevant, Keyword Tool allows you to localize results to all countries and languages supported by YouTube.

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Metricool

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I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favorite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending Metricool – a social media marketing tool that analyzes, manages, and grows your social presence.

Metricool unifies the data from your web, social networks and online ads in one place, so it’s easy for you to check them, make the right decisions and improve your strategy.

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You can use it to create and manage your Google Ads and Facebook Ads campaigns, and compare the performance of both platforms to optimize your online advertising investment.

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The free plan offers basic features.

If you want access to advanced features, opt for one of their paid plans.

Posted in #HCSM

How To Create Your Own Coronavirus Graphic

If you’re a Canva user, you’re probably already aware of their new templates to help you create and share health and safety announcements during this unprecedented time of Covid-19.

Based on information from the World Health Organization (WHO), these templates are a great way to easily share essential information, while at the same giving you the opportunity to add your own branding.

If you’re new to Canva and graphic creation, I encourage you to start with these ready-made templates. I have a step-by-step guide here on how to get started with Canva.

These templates are fully customisable with graphic elements and colours of your own choosing. You can even create an animated graphic.

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You might also like to check out my post How To Create A Healthcare Infographic

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Access Your Twitter Data

Welcome to this week’s quick social media tip. Today I want to show you how to review your Twitter data.

Reviewing your Twitter data can give you insights into the type of information stored for your account.

What type of information is available to you?

Your Twitter data provides you with a snapshot of your Twitter information, including the following:

Account: Log into your Twitter account and go to More.

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Click on Settings and Privacy. You will see information such as your username, email addresses or phone numbers associated with your account, etc.  You can update or correct most of this information at any time.

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Account history: You’ll also be able to see your login history, as well as the places you’ve been while using Twitter.

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Apps and devices: You can also view the browsers and mobile devices associated with your account (if you are logged in) or current device (if logged out), and the apps you have connected to your Twitter account. If you see login activity from an app you don’t recognize or that looks suspicious, you can go to the Apps tab in your settings to revoke its access to your Twitter account. The IP location shown is the approximate location of the IP address you used to access Twitter, and it may be different from your physical location.

Account activity: You will be able to see the accounts you’ve blocked or muted.

Interests and Ads data: You can also see interests that Twitter and its partners have inferred about your account or current device.

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You can also view any Twitter advertisers who have included your account or current device in their tailored audiences. You can opt-out of interest-based advertising in your personalization and data settings. This will change the ads you see on Twitter, however, it won’t remove you from advertisers’ audiences.

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Download an archive of your data: You can also download a machine-readable archive of information associated with your account in HTML and JSON files.

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Posted in social spotlight

Social Spotlight: Sara Liyanage

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I recently caught up with Sara Liyanage, author of Ticking Off Breast Cancer, a book about juggling a busy life with treatment for primary breast cancer. 

Sara is also the founder of www.tickingoffbreastcancer.com, a website dedicated to supporting those who don’t know which way to turn for help after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis; those who are overwhelmed by the breast cancer resources online and those just looking for a comfortable, safe, calm place to turn for help. The website provides practical advice for each step of the way, together with many signposts to other online resources and lots of personal stories.


Hi Sara,  I’d like to start off by asking you to tell us how you got started with social media. What prompted you to get involved?

SL: In 2017 following treatment for breast cancer, I set up a website (www.tickingoffbreastcancer.com) for people going through breast cancer treatment and those trying to move on after treatment. The website is a simple one: lots of practical tips and links to good online resources. There’s a lot of information across the internet that people – who in a vulnerable state due to their cancer diagnosis – aren’t finding or accessing because they are are either too nervous to research the web for resources and/or they are overwhelmed with what’s available. I aim to do the research so they don’t have to. I’m constantly updating the links to new information as and when I find it or I’m directed to it by people who I chat to on social media. I also publish a guest blog every week from either an expert (such as a lymphoedema specialist) or someone who is going through or has finished breast cancer treatment. In September last year my book was published (Ticking Off Breast Cancer). This accompanies the website by providing simple practical advice and also talks about my own personal experience of having treatment for breast cancer.

Was the launch of your website your first foray into social media? 

SL: I started using social media when I launched the website. I’d created a site that I was hoping would help people going through treatment, and I then needed to get this site out to those people. So I set up accounts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to help raise awareness of the website. I soon realised that using social media wasn’t just about raising awareness of my site – it was about becoming part of a cancer community and helping people that way. A lot of people turn to social media when going through cancer. There is a huge community of people providing help and support to those, whether by words of encouragement, sharing practical advice or providing tips for treatment. I found myself in this community and joined in.

I love the idea of social media being an extension of community – it’s something that resonates very strongly with my own work too.  Which social platforms do you most enjoy using to build community and share information? 

SL: I enjoy using all three platforms (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) and I’ve found that they all work well in different ways. For example, Twitter is good for chatting about a topic and sharing tips and resources that I come across. Instagram is good for sharing personal updates and interacting with people on a more personal level. And Facebook works well for providing links to useful websites, articles and to things I post on my website.

Which particular topics most interest you online?

SL: I tend to focus on supporting people as they go through breast cancer treatment and try to move on once treatment ends. So I look out for good tips, advice and resources that would help someone in this position. For example, I share articles that I’ve come across that deal with treatment side effects; personal stories from people going through it; articles on exercise and nutrition; recipes; reviews of cancer books; information about support groups, networks and centres; and anything that might be of use to someone going through or finishing treatment.

Do you have any advice for patients using social media?

SL: On balance, social media can most definitely provide more support than discouragement, but for anyone dipping their toe (or whole body) into the social media cancer community it is worth remembering:

1. Use it carefully.
2. Don’t get too invested – dip in and out.
3. Be kind and understanding of others.
4. Don’t take anything too personally.
5. Don’t compare yourself to others.

And if you do all of this, you will hopefully benefit from what is, on the whole, an incredibly warm and supportive place to visit.

Great advice Sara. So, I like to end these interviews with a favorite quote or saying. Do you have one you’d like to share?

SL: Oh there are too many to choose from!! I love a good quote and I started each chapter in my book with a different quote that resonated with the subject matter of the chapter. I guess, I would say that one of my favourites is, “She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way – and surely it has not – she adjusted her sails.” Elizabeth Edwards.

I love that quote too. What a great note to end this interview on. Thanks so much Sara for taking the time to share your social media journey with us.

If you’d like to learn more about Sara’s work, visit her website www,tickingoffbreastcancer.com Follow her on FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram.


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

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Optimise Your Social Media Profile

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

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

 

Here’s to your social media success!

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Listen Notes

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Image Source: Listen Notes

This week’s cool tool recommendation is Listen Notes  – a free podcast search engine.

At this time when many of us are forced to spend more time at home, now might be a good time to listen to more podcasts.

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 Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Find Influencers With Buzzsumo

Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip. 

Regular readers will know that I often recommend BuzzSumo as a useful tool to explore which pieces of content are popular on social media around a certain topic.  Today I want to show you another way to use the tool to find the top influencers for your topics of interest on Twitter.

This is a quick and easy process. Simply log in or if you don’t already have an account, sign up for a free trial. At the end of the trial, you have the choice of paying for a PRO plan or switching to a limited free option.

index

Once you’re logged in to Buzzsumo, click on Influencers in the top navigation.

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Use the drop-down menu to sort influencers by relevancy – number of followers, domain authority, retweet ratio, etc.

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With the free account, you can view the top 10 influencers. Here’s a snapshot from my search for “healthcare social media influencers.”

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You can dive further into the analytics to discover the most popular topics and sources of links shared by the influencer.

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It’s a cool feature and there are many possibilities for how you might use this information. For example, you could ask a question about or comment on something they’ve written or shared in the past week.

Here’s to your social media success!

 

 

 

Posted in #HCSM

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

Do you want your content to stand out in today’s crowded social media landscape? Then it’s time to get visual with social media.

You probably don’t need me to tell you that great visuals make for great marketing. Visual content can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool, one that increases message association, brand awareness, and encourages engagement and shares. The brain processes visual data 60,000 times faster than text. Additionally, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.

The continuing growth of visual platforms, such as Pinterest and Instagram, confirm that incorporating visual content into your social media strategy is a must. Not only do these platforms drive more traffic and shares, but research has also shown that tweets and Facebook posts with images encourage more engagement.  You should also add an image to every single blog post you write and use images to break up the tedium of text.

Whether it’s growing your brand identity or improving medication adherence through instructions, visuals are a key to interacting with and empowering patients. But when it comes to using images don’t be tempted to reach for the nearest stock photo.

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These days there’s no excuse for using boring stock images you can find all over the web. In this article, you’ll learn my favorite recommendations for sourcing images you can use to enhance your social media posts – and best of all they’re free!

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

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2. Gratisography is a collection of free high-resolution pictures you can use on your personal and commercial projects, free of copyright restrictions.

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Image Source: Gratistography

What I really like about this site is many of the images are quirky and fun — no cheesy stock images here!

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

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Image Source: ISO Republic

4. Life of Pix is a collection of free high resolution stock images donated to the public domain by the Leeroy Advertising Agency in Montreal.

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Image Source: Life of Pix

Their sister site Life of Vids offers royalty-free videos, clips, and loops for you to use to your heart’s content.

5. Morguefile is a free photo archive “for creatives, by creatives.” The photos have been contributed by a wide range of creatives from around the world, ranging from amateur photo hobbyists to professionals.

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Image Source: Morgue File

6. Pexels provides over 3,800 high-resolution photos, collated from other free image sites — making it one of the largest free image directories.

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Image Source: Pexels

Pexels has also added a large library of stock videos to its site under Creative Commons license. Use the site’s list of popular searches to find the most in-demand stock videos.

7.  Picjumbo is free stock photo site created by designer and photographer Viktor Hanacek in 2013.

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Image Source: PicJumbo

Users can click through the different categories of over 600 free high-resolution photos, with the option of upgrading to Premium for new unpublished images to power your social media marketing. No attribution is required.

8. Pixabay hosts over 650,000 free stock photos, vectors, and art illustrations free of copyrights under Creative Commons. On the home page, you’ll find a small, curated collection of images and a search bar for more targeted results.

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Image Source: Pixabay

Pixabay also has a collection of stock videos for use in your marketing.

9. Rawpixel prides itself on having the most diverse collection of stock photos on the web. It wants to change the face of stock photography by creating design resources that reflect today’s society as it really is. To this end, it has started the (one) world face project with the ultimate goal of photographing people from every nation in the world.

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Image Source: Rawpixel

10. Unsplash gives you access to a bank of 50,000+ free-to-use photos. You can subscribe to receive ten new images every ten days directly into your inbox.

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Image Source: Unsplash

Creating compelling visual content can be a powerful way to connect with your audience. People connect more emotionally with images than text, and in an increasingly crowded digital landscape, when our minds are attracted more readily to content that draws our eye, images can break through the online content clutter to quickly communicate your marketing messages.

Spend some time this week perusing these sites and download a selection of your favorite images to your desktop. Then get creative with the help of an image editing tool such as Canva and edit your chosen images into something more interesting for your brand. Save these images to a Dropbox folder so you now have your own library of unique images to draw on each time you write a new piece of content or post something to social media.

For more image editing tools check out my weekly cool tool recommendations.

You might also like to read How to Add Visual Appeal to Your Social Media Campaign

Posted in #HCSM

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

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

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

Why a website matters to your medical practice

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 Facebook page is no substitute for a website (particularly given the current difficulties Facebook users face in terms of privacy and trust).

A well-designed website can:

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

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression

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

In this post, I will take you through 10 signs to watch for to determine if it’s time to get your website upgraded or redesigned.

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

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

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

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

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

Google has changed considerably over the years. The search engine giant constantly updates its algorithms to ensure users are provided with the best possible results. Each and every update that Google has made has been geared towards providing more user-focused and user-friendly results – Search Engine Watch

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

  • A location map.  If there is a link to Google Maps, be sure it’s working. This section is one of the most used aspects of any website.
  • The services you provide — list any specialties here
  • A list of doctors and  nurse practitioners
  • The insurance plans you accept
  • Opening hours, plus emergency/after-hours contact details

Optional: Consider adding software which facilitates online scheduling of appointments.

3. Does your medical website communicate value?

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

4. How well is your website performing?

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

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

In order to increase conversions, you’ll need to have a clear and visible call to action (CTA) on your website.

5. Is your website design mobile responsive?

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.  It is projected that by 2020 there will be 2.87 billion smartphone users.

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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.  To check if your site’s design is responsive, enter its URL into this Google tool.

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. You may have heard the term “mobile-friendly site” and be wondering if its the same thing. A mobile-friendly site is one where code is created that allows your website to scale to a smaller size. Mobile responsive sites, in contrast, “respond” to the size of device you are using, adjusting the website accordingly. Mobile responsive sites are greatly preferred over sites that are simply mobile-friendly.

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.

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

6. Is your medical website optimized for search engines?

Eight-in-ten online health seekers say they began at a search engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. If you want more people to find you online, you need to optimize your website through good search engine optimization practices.

SEO (the ability to optimize your site for search engines),  is a detailed and sometimes confusing process, and you may want to hire an SEO expert to do it for you. If you don’t want to hire someone, there are search engine optimization tools available to help you do your own SEO — and many of them are free. I’ve put together this list of the best free SEO tools out there to help you instantly improve your online marketing.

A Note on SEO and Redesigning Your Website

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

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

How fast your website loads is critical – a good site will load in 2 seconds. Alarmingly, research shows that a single second delay in site load time can reduce your conversions by 7 percent. If your site is taking longer than that, consider that around 40% of people will leave a website if it doesn’t load in 3 seconds.

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Source: Salesforce

The faster your site, the better. Google announced back in July 2018, page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches too. Check your site speed: Google PageSpeed Insights. This tool gives you an overview of what aspects need improvement to boost the speed of a particular page.

Insider Tip! Optimize your images for faster loading. A lot of websites have images that are relatively large, which take a lot of time to load. Resizing your images can speed up the loading time.

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

8. Does your site still use Flash?

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

9. Have you included relevant imagery on your site?

High-resolution images are an important component of any website and require care and attention to make the best impression. Including photos of your the interior and exterior of your building, your logo, and your employees creates a welcoming and professional impression on prospective patients  Patients want a relationship with the people who will be caring for them.

If you are already using images, are they relevant to what you do? Or are you relying too heavily on generic stock images you can find in many other places on the web? These days there’s no excuse for using boring stock images. In this article, you’ll learn about my best recommendations for sourcing images you can use for free to enhance your medical marketing.

Insider Tip! Don’t forget to add relevant tags to your images. (i.e. don’t upload images as e.g. img_1234).  Image tags provide details when the images do not load, ensuring the user receives a similar UX irrespective of whether there is a picture or not.

10. Have you incorporated social media?

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

To Wrap Up

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

You might also like to read 

5 Conversion Elements Every Site Needs for Scoring High-Value Leads 

5 Ways to Create a More Engaging User Experience

10 Healthcare Website Design Tips that Deliver Patients 

40-Point Website Audit Checklist

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

 

Posted in #HCSM

A Three-Stage Approach to Handling a Healthcare Social Media Crisis

Knowing how to maintain an online reputation is an essential component of healthcare marketing. In this blog post, I will show you how to put an effective crisis response strategy in place for your healthcare brand.

Having an online presence has so many advantages when it comes to healthcare marketing, but it also comes with some risks. With the click of a mouse, patients can share their experiences online – good and bad – and their comments travel at lightening-speed through their social network. A social media crisis can escalate rapidly and you must be ready to step in and remedy the situation without delay. The only way to do this is to have a crisis plan already in place.

Crisis management involves dealing with threats before, during, and after they have occurred. Let’s look at these three stages in more detail.

 

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Image: HCSMMonitor

Stage 1 Preparation

Proactively prepare by developing a crisis response plan. The following elements are involved.

#1 Crisis Definition

First, define what constitutes a crisis. Three elements are common to a crisis (a) a threat to the organization, (b) the element of surprise, and (c) a short decision time.

A crisis can fall into several categories including:

(a) Technological (eg; your website has been hacked);

(b) Confrontation (disgruntled employee, client, or patient attacks you online);

(c) Rumours (eg; spreading false information about you, your product or service online);

(d) Malevolence (eg; In 1982, a murderer added cyanide to some Tylenol capsules on store shelves, killing seven people).

#2 Monitor Online Chatter

An effective social media strategy requires active listening to the online chatter about your healthcare organization. Should a crisis occur, listening to the conversation will help you shape a more insightful and effective response. Responding in real time to issues strengthens public perception that your focus is firmly on patient satisfaction. In addition, use monitoring to find the healthcare conversations you can add value to. Investing in community building online now will pay dividends in the form of support should a crisis hit you.

There are many free and paid monitoring tools available to you. These tools vary in scope and range across a number of sites, real-time or delayed searching, the sophistication of analytics, the flexibility of data presentation, integration with other applications, and of course, price. When it comes to reputation management, choose a tool that does more than just track mentions of your name. You need to be able to evaluate the sentiment (the ratio of mentions that are positive to those that are negative) attached to the mentions. Mention is a freemium monitoring tool that includes sentiment. Tweets that include words like “not working,” “fail” or “poor experience” should be resolved immediately.

#3 Create a Written Plan

Your written plan should include the following:

  • Clear guidelines on how to respond to each of the different situations outlined above in #1.
  • Links to your terms of service.
  • Who should respond – establish a clear chain of command and list contact information.
  • Make sure every member of your team knows this plan is in place, how to access it, and how to put the plan into action.

Stage 2:  Action

Now’s the time to put your carefully crafted crisis plan into place. The following are key considerations:

  • Determine the exact nature of the crisis. How and where did it originate? How is it affecting your patients or clients?
  • Go to the source. Find where the complaint originated and with whom. Determine their sphere of influence. If a blogger has published something that is untrue or misrepresentative of you, ask them to remove, amend, or modify the piece if this is appropriate.
  • Be respectful, polite and engaged. Never get into a public argument or talk down to anyone.
  • Be as transparent as possible as quickly as possible. Acknowledge that you are aware of the situation and that you are dealing with it straight away.
  • Respond swiftly and appropriately. Every moment counts on social media. The longer you wait, the more the conversation will heat up. Twitter, in particular, is a place where people expect a quick response no matter what time of day.
  • Don’t lie or try to hide the truth; admit when the fault is yours.
  • Use the same channel on which you were criticized to respond.
  • Don’t censor or remove the critical comments that appear on your social media platforms. Tempting as this may appear, it will only fan the flames of the social media fire.
  • Channel communication to your own website. Develop an area on your website or blog that houses the information about the crisis and what your organization is doing about it.
  • Communicate your story. A story gets out of control when you haven’t told your side and people begin to speculate. While you can’t control the story, you can provide the facts, information, and access to key people that allow journalists and bloggers to help you frame it in the right way.

Stage 3: Review

When the crisis has passed, go over what happened. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How well did you handle the situation?
  • Did it escalate to a bigger problem than it was?
  • What could you have done differently?
  • Prepare to deliver on your word. Make changes based on feedback if those changes are warranted and if you have promised to put them in place.

If handled well a crisis may even turn out to be an opportunity to show your commitment to your patients and consumers. Remember the Tylenol example above? Johnson & Johnson recalled and destroyed 31 million capsules at a cost of $100 million. The CEO appeared in television ads and at news conferences informing consumers of the company’s actions. Tamper-resistant packaging was quickly introduced, and Tylenol sales bounced back to near pre-crisis levels.

While you can’t control everything that happens on social media, you can control your response. The best way to handle a crisis is to have your response plan in place. If you haven’t already made one, then do it today.

Related Reading

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!