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Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Find Your Old Tweets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bonus Tip!

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

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

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

Here’s to your Twitter success!

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: StreamYard

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Ensure Your Website Is Mobile Compatible

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

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

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

Why You Need A Mobile Responsive Website

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

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

How To Check If Your Website Is Mobile Compatible

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

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

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

 

Here’s to your digital marketing success!

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Word2cleanhtml

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

How it works

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

 

Posted in Thursday Tip

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Iconosquare

 

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I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week’s cool tool recommendation is Iconosquare, a smartphone app for managing your Facebook and Instagram presence.

Features Include:

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

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


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


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

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

Get On: App Store | Google Play

Posted in Thursday Tip

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Is my target audience active on this platform?

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

3. Which social networks are my competitors using?

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

4. Will this platform match the content I create?

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

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

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

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Bonus Tip! 

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

Here’s to your social media success!

 

 

Posted in #HCSM

Social Media In Healthcare: How To Communicate With Impact

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

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

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

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Videoshop

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

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

Videoshop is available for free on iOS or Android.

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

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Twodio

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

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Here’s how to use it

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

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

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

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

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Track Twitter Hashtags 

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

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

3 Reasons You Should Track Hashtags

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

Which Tools Should You Use?

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

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

1. Social Searcher

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

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2. Twitonomy

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3. Tagboard

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

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Here’s to your social media success!

 

 

 

Posted in Cool Tool, Visual Marketing

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Quik

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Create Live Videos on Twitter

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

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

How to start a live video

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

How to end a live video

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

How to add a guest to live video

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

 

To start a live broadcast with guests:

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

To join a live broadcast as a guest

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

To leave the broadcast as a guest

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

How to share a live broadcast or replay

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

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

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

How to edit your videos

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

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

Here’s to your social media success!

Posted in Cool Tool, Visual Marketing

Monday Morning Cool Tool: CC Search

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Create Graphics With Canva

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

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

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

Here’s how to use it

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s to your social media success!

 

 

 

Posted in #HCSM

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

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

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

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

How people are using voice search

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

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

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How to optimize your website for voice searches

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Related Reading

How to Optimize for Voice Search: 4 Simple SEO Strategies 

Voice search optimization guide: Six steps for 2019

Study: How ready are businesses for voice search? 

 

 

Posted in Cool Tool, Visual Marketing

Monday Morning Cool Tool: SocialSearcher

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

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

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

Posted in #HCSM

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

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

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

Why this study matters

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

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

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

Why do parents use the web for information?

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

What kind of information are parents seeking online?

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

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

How health professionals can use this information

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

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

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

Study Conclusion

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

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


Related Reading 

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

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

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Responsinator  

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

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

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Why Mobile Responsive Websites Are A Must

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

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

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

Posted in #HCSM

9 Proven Ways To Increase The Visibility of Your Healthcare Website

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

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

1. Audit Your Competitors

Start by drawing up a list of ten top websites in your niche. If your competitors’ websites are more streamlined, functional and fresher than yours, they may be drawing in more patients with a stronger online presence.  Make a list of their sites and critically evaluate them in terms of look, design, and functionality. Do they include a blog? Helpful checklists? Pre-registration forms patients can fill out to save time before their appointment? An online appointment system?  Screenshot the design features you think work well and think about how you might incorporate them into your own website.

2. Sign Up For Google Analytics

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

3. Tailor Your Site’s Information To Reader Needs

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

4. Use Keywords Strategically

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

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

5. Optimize Your Site For Local Search

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

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

6. Optimize Your Site For Voice Search

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

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

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

7. Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile Responsive

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

8. Include A Blog

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

9. Drive More Traffic With Social Shares

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

Wrapping Up

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

Posted in Cool Tool, Visual Marketing

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Woobox

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

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

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

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

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

 

Posted in social spotlight

Social Spotlight: Karin Sieger

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KS: I have launched a number of projects.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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


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

Posted in #HCSM

How Do Consumers Evaluate the Quality of Online Health Information?

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

Criteria and Indicators Used To Evaluate Online Health Information

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

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

(1) Source

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

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

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

Trust in Social Media

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

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

2. Content

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

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

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

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

3. Design

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

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

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

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

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

Key Takeaway For Healthcare Marketers and HCPs

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

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

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

Related Reading 

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

Evaluating the Quality of Health Information in a Changing Digital Ecosystem

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

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


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

#ThursdayTip: Add Media To A Retweet

Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip. 

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

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

Here’s to your social media success!

 

 

 

Posted in #HCSM

How Social Media Can Enhance Supportive Cancer Care [Infographic]

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

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

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

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Posted in Cool Tool, Visual Marketing

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Steller

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

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

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

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

Posted in #HCSM

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

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

Z is for Zoom

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

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

Now on with today’s post.

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

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


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

Posted in #HCSM

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

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

Y is for YouTube

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

People around the world are now watching a billion hours of YouTube’s content every single day.  That’s a huge amount of time spent watching diverse content on the channel.  Here are some more staggering stats to consider.

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

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

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

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Check out more YouTube stats here 

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

2013 study which examined the effectiveness of YouTube as a source of medical information on heart transplantation found it time-consuming to find high-quality videos and recommended that more authoritative videos by trusted sources should be posted for the dissemination of reliable information. Similarly, a 2015 study found that in YouTube videos related to skin cancer, there was a missed opportunity for cancer prevention and control.

These findings notwithstanding, there are some good examples of medical organizations who are already using YouTube to communicate health information. Mayo Clinic, in particular, stands out, with over 250K subscribers to its channel. I particularly like its series of Mayo Clinic  Minute videos.

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


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

 

 

Posted in #HCSM

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

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

W is for WordSwag

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

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Here’s how it works

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

Posted in #HCSM

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

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

U is for Unsplash

Unsplash is a royalty-free stock image resource which gives you access to a bank of 50,000+ free-to-use photos.

All photos are licensed under Creative Commons Zero, “which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash.”

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

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Posted in #HCSM

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

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

T is for Trend

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

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

My Top 5 Health Apps.jpg

Posted in #HCSM

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

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

S is for SlideShare

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

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

How To Use SlideShare

1. Use SlideShare for research

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

2. Share your insights and get noticed

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

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

Posted in #HCSM

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

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

R is for Ripl

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

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

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

Ripl

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

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

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

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

Posted in #HCSM

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

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

Q is for Quuu

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

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

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

Check it out at http://www.quuu.co

Posted in #HCSM

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

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

P is for Proofreading

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

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

1. Proofreading Requires Concentration And Focus

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

2. Don’t Proofread When You’re Tired

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

3. Read It Out Loud

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

4. Print Out Your Work

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

5. Pay Attention To Punctuation

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

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6. Keep Reference Sources On Hand

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

7. Check Your Facts

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

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8. Ask Someone Else to Proofread It

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

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

Posted in #HCSM

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

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

O is for Optimize

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

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

1. Mobile Search Optimization

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

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

2. Optimize Your Content For Google Search

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

3. Optimize Your Content For Voice Search

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Optimize Your Website For Local Search

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

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

 

Posted in #HCSM

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

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

N is for Newsletter

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

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

But nothing could be further from the truth.

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

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

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

6 reasons to send an e-newsletter to subscribers

1. Email marketing helps you build relationships and credibility

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

2. Email marketing keeps you top of mind

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

3. Email marketing is inexpensive

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

4. You own your list

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

5. Email marketing converts better than social media

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

6. Email drives visitors to your website

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

What should you share in your newsletter?

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

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

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

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

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

Insider Tip

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

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

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

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

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

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

Want to subscribe to my newsletter?

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

Click here to subscribe to my mailing list.

Posted in #HCSM

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

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

M is for Mistake

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

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

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

Mistake #1 Being Overly Promotional On Social Media

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

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

Mistake #2 Not Having A Content Promotion Plan

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

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

Mistake #3 Not Monitoring Social Media

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

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

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

Want to learn more about common social media mistakes?

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

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: L is for LinkedIn #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

L is for LinkedIn

I’m a big fan of LinkedIn. I sing its praises all the time.

At 500 million users and growing, LinkedIn is the social media site that boasts the largest network of business professionals.

Yet many professionals still treat their LinkedIn profile as little more than a place to park their CV and promptly forget about it.

If you’re wondering how to get more out of the platform, it may help to see what other professionals are doing there.

Earlier this year LinkedIn invited readers to fill out an interactive survey asking about their marketing aspirations for 2019.

LinkedIn has published those initial findings in a new infographic which you can view here.

Driving Leads And Building Brand Awareness Top Priorities

 

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63% of respondents see driving leads their top-most priority in 2019, followed closely by building brand awareness. Creating better content (53%), demonstrating thought leadership (40%), and better understanding marketing ROI (38%) follow in line.

Actionable Marketing Tip

Highlight your expertise, build your personal brand and demonstrate thought leadership by publishing original thought-pieces on LinkedIn’s publishing platform.

When you publish an article on LinkedIn:

  • Your original content becomes part of your professional profile. It is displayed on the Articles section of your LinkedIn profile.
  • It’s shared with your connections and followers in their news feeds, and sometimes through notifications.
  • Members that aren’t in your network can follow you from your article so that your next article will be surfaced in their feeds. LinkedIn Publishing is even searchable through Google.

Ready to get started? Read How To Increase Your Visibility On LinkedIn By Publishing Articles

You might also like to read How To Brand Yourself For Success On LinkedIn

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: K is for Keywords #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

K is for Keywords

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.

I frequently come across clients who use one set of words when describing their services, while their target audience uses a completely different set of words. As a result, your audience doesn’t discover your website, because of a mismatch in search terms. Good keyword research makes sure that you use the same words as your target audience.

The Google Keyword Planner within Adwords is a useful tool to find ideas for content based on keyword search. 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 of 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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Need some help with keyword optimization?

If you’d like more help with keyword optimization for your website, I’m running a special promotion this month for my email subscribers. You’ll find more details here.

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: J is for JPEG #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

J is for JPEG

JPEG is Short for Joint Photographic Experts Group, a standard for compressed pictures, widely used on the web. The degree of compression can be adjusted, allowing a selectable tradeoff between storage size and image quality. JPEG typically achieves 10:1 compression with little perceptible loss in image quality. The most common filename extensions for files employing JPEG compression are .jpg and .jpeg.

You should always use images to accompany your social media posts and the content you create.  When at all possible, its better to use original images – those you have taken yourself – than stock photo images. If you can’t do this, use one of these recommended photo sites to source your images.

Once you have found the right image,  the next step is to optimize it for use on your website or blog. Using a JPEG file extension for larger photos will give you good results with a relatively small file size.

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If you need to reduce the size of your image, use a tool like  JPEGmini, or jpeg.io. Images can have a big impact on loading times – the faster the site, the easier it is to visit and index a page. 

Lastly, be sure to add a caption and alt-text to describe what’s in the image so both search engines and people can make sense of it.

Dive deeper into the topic of optimizing images for search engines with this Yoast post.  

 

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: I is for Instagram #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

I is for Instagram

Instagram is on the rise, and will no doubt play a bigger part in healthcare communicators’ social media strategies over the course of this year.

With Facebook reach on the ever-steady decline, and Instagram’s active audience now rising above a billion per month, it makes sense to add the image-sharing platform to your social media mix.

Why use Instagram for healthcare marketing?

Instagram (IG) enables healthcare providers the opportunity to connect in an immediate way with their patients. It is particularly good for community outreach activities and patient education.  Healthcare providers can also use IG to show users a behind-the-scenes view of their practice.

Here’s how board-certified plastic surgeon, Jonathan Kaplan MD describes his approach to using IG in his practice.

By watching us in our “natural habitat,” the prospective patients feel like they know us. We seem more approachable. By the time they show up, there’s more rapport between us vs patients unengaged with us on social media.

Dermatologists, cosmetic dentists, and plastic surgeons can benefit from Instagram by using photos or video to illustrate their services. Practices can showcase before and after photos of patients, as well as videos or illustrations that educate patients on procedures and treatments.

How to get started with Instagram

To get started with Instagram, set up a business profile (or convert your current Instagram profile) to a business Instagram profile.  If you aren’t sure if you are using a business Instagram account, it’s easy to find out. Go to your account and next to “Edit Profile” check to see if you can see the “Promote” button which will tell you if you are using  Instagram for business.)

When you create a business account on Instagram, you’ll be able to get insights about your stories, posts, and followers. With an Instagram business profile, you can see real-time metrics on how your stories and promoted posts perform, and get insights into how followers are interacting with your content.

Next, choose an Instagram username – pick a name that clearly identifies you, your practice, and/or your specialty.

Complete all of your practice information and don’t forget to include a link to your website in your bio so prospective patients can go directly to your site. Aside from your business name, username, and website URL, your Instagram profile provides 150 characters for writing a bio. According to Hootsuite, “your bio is an opportunity to make a first impression, to articulate what your business offers and why people should care. Your bio should explain who you are and what you do while conveying your brand’s identity.”

Your bio is an opportunity to make a first impression, to articulate what your business offers and why people should care. Your bio should explain who you are and what you do while conveying your brand’s identity.

Adding a profile image that’s high quality and reflects your business is a must. Be sure that your IG is aligned with your website and other social media channels in terms of branding and imagery.

Looking for some inspiration?

Take a look at how these healthcare providers are using Instagram in their online marketing.

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Further Reading

 

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: H is for Hashtag #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

H is for Hashtag

Hashtags, a way for users to easily find similarly themed content, are used regularly by millions of social media users, especially on the micro-blogging site Twitter.

Hashtags tie public conversations from different users into a single stream, allowing you to connect more easily with existing conversations and discover new people who are tweeting about the healthcare topics you are interested in.

If you are running a social media campaign, hashtags allow you to measure the level of interest, sentiment (“positive” “negative” or “neutral” attitudes), key demographics and influencers of your campaign. You can then use these findings to plan future campaigns.

What began on Twitter has now spread with varying degrees of success to Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and LinkedIn (LinkedIn has recently started to experiment again with hashtags).

Hashtags on Twitter

Hashtags are a powerful way to maintain your visibility on Twitter and boost engagement with your followers. According to Twitter’s own research tweets with hashtags show a 100 percent increase in engagement (clicks, retweets, likes and replies). Hashtags can also expand the reach of your message beyond just those who follow you to help you grow your network.

Two Ways to Use Hashtags on Twitter

(1) Twitter Chats. Hashtags are an integral part of Twitter chats (live Q&A sessions organized around one unique hashtag) allowing you to follow the discussion and participate in real-time.

(2) Live Conference Reporting. Hashtags are useful when it comes to sharing insights from conferences and events. Nowadays, most organizers will designate a specific conference hashtag. By tagging your tweets with this hashtag you can expand the reach of the conference beyond the physical confines of the event.

#TwitterTip: #Don’tGo #HashtagCrazy on #Twitter.

Too many hashtags can diminish your chances of engagement with a tweet. The basic rule of thumb on Twitter is to use 1-3 hashtags within the messaging of your post. More than that and the post tends to become cluttered, hard to read and might be seen as “spammy.” The key is to use hashtags sparingly and only when they add value.

Hashtags on Instagram

Instagram is another hotspot for hashtags and unlike Twitter where less is more when it comes to using hashtags, interactions are highest on Instagram posts with 11+ hashtags. You can follow hashtags on Instagram to stay connected with interests, hobbies and communities you care about.

Hashtags on Pinterest

On Pinterest when you add hashtags to the description for a new Pin, site users can then visit a feed of all the Pins that share that hashtag.

Want to learn more about using hashtags for healthcare conversations?

Check out The What, Why, Where and How of Using Hashtags in Healthcare

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: G is for Grammar #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

G is for Grammar

Do you want to present a positive and professional online impression?

Of course, you do.

Nothing gives a poorer impression than bad grammar and spelling.

Even those of us who pride ourselves on our composition and spelling can slip up. It’s easy to type fast and miss that you wrote “their” instead of “there.”

To help avoid these kinds of mistakes, I use Grammarly a free writing app available as a Google Chrome Extension. Grammarly will catch those easy to make mistakes and question your use of the word. It also suggests better ways to get your message across.

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Adding Grammarly to Chrome means that your spelling and grammar will be vetted on Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Tumblr, and nearly everywhere else you write on the web.

I use it all the time and find it super useful.

Click here to download the app.

You might also like to read 8 Proofreading Tips and Techniques 

 

 

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: F is for Facebook #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

F is for Facebook

Worldwide, there are over 2.23 billion monthly active Facebook users and 1.47 billion people on average log onto Facebook daily. Statistically speaking, Facebook is too big to ignore but at a time when organic Facebook Reach is estimated to currently be as low as 1–3%, succeeding on the platform is more difficult than ever.

Social analytics platform Quintly released a new report, in February, for which they analyzed 94,000 Facebook Pages, and over 105 million posts, in order to achieve “a data-driven foundation” for Facebook insights and predictions.

If you’re struggling to make an impact on Facebook, then these findings may help you find a way forward.

Visuals Lead The Way

Facebook recommends each post you create should include some type of creative, like images, GIFs or videos. Quintly’s findings bear this out.

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Key Takeaway: As you can see merely posting a link without a video or image leads status updates to under-perform.

Weekends Are The Best Time To Post

On average, Quintly saw a tendency towards posting during the weekday. with 23% of all posts posted during the weekend.

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Key Takeaway: Posting on the weekend resulted in 13.3% more engagement. If you’ve not tried posting on weekends, it may also be worth testing.

Want to learn more?

Access the full study here.

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

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: E is for Egg Head #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

E is for Egg Head

Twitter suspended 70 million accounts in 2018 as part of a crackdown on malicious activity on its platform. While you may not think this crackdown will impact you, there is one surprising way in which Twitter’s attempts to control abuse on the platform might.

Twitter has made it possible to filter out accounts with the default “egg” profile picture so that they don’t appear in your notifications. Twitter will also let you filter out notifications from users who haven’t verified their email addresses or phone numbers.

It is still surprising to me the number of new (and not-so-new) Twitter users who start tweeting from an account with no clearly identifiable name, bio, or profile picture.

The first and most fundamental thing to understand about Twitter is that it is a conversation. Would you approach someone at an event and not introduce yourself first? Would you keep your face hidden from view while you hold a conversation? And yet this is precisely what some users do when they set up their Twitter accounts.

Many Twitter users will not follow accounts without a profile picture on the assumption it is a fake account.

A study published by researchers from Microsoft and Carnegie Mellon University, “Tweeting Is Believing? Understanding Microblog Credibility Perceptions,” analyzed how users assess Twitter credibility.

The study found that:

  • users are poor judges of truthfulness based on content alone and instead are influenced by heuristics such as user name when making credibility assessments.
  • users represented by the default Twitter icon, or a cartoon avatar are perceived as significantly less credible than users with a personal photo.

As soon as you have created your Twitter account, you should replace the default image with your own picture. Twitter is about human connections. When uploading a picture, don’t use a cartoon, or any other animate or inanimate object for your profile. A professional close-up headshot works best. You also have an opportunity to personalize your profile by uploading a custom header image alongside your profile picture. Use this opportunity to bring more authenticity to your account.

Want more Twitter tips?

Read Become a Social Media Ninja With These 25 Smart Twitter Hacks

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: D is for Dux-Soup #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

D is for Dux-Soup

Dux-Soup is a browser plug-in which works with Google Chrome as your virtual assistant on LinkedIn.

Dux-Soup keeps track of every single profile you visit and allows you to make notes directly on the profile page which are saved. Profile date and notes can be export as a .CSV file to be opened in Microsoft Excel or similar. The .CSV file includes data such as the name of the person whose profile you visited, job title, company name, location, email and notes.

Dux-Soup can save you hours of manual data entry when it comes to tracking all your leads you interact with on LinkedIn. You can take and save notes on each profile such as: have sent invite/need to reply to a message / likes Opera etc.

You can opt to use the free version (which enables you to view a hundred LinkedIn profiles a day) or upgrade to the paid version (which allows you to set the number of profile visits you need to make per day and export the .CSV file and make use of the data you gathered.

Dux-Soup is available as a browser plug-in which works with Google Chrome. Download here.

Want to up your LinkedIn game?

Check out How To Brand Yourself For Success On LinkedIn

Posted in #HCSM

A-Z of HCSM: B is for Blog #AtoZChallenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

B is for Blog

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

Blogs written by physicians, nurses, researchers, patients, and allied healthcare professionals add much to the richness and diversity of the online healthcare conversation. Blogs are a super way to educate patients and keep content on your website fresh.

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

Marketing to patients with a blog can be one of the most effective ways a new medical practice can reach more patients. Blogging regularly increases awareness of your practice, as well as help your website rank better in search engine result pages (SERPs) thereby increasing its organic traffic.

Need more convincing? Check out these stats.

What should you blog about?

Creating a blog is relatively easy; the challenge lies in consistently creating fresh content. If you are struggling to come up with new ideas on a regular basis for your blog, then this list of 16 content ideas should help get you started.

How do you attract more readers to your blog?

It’s not enough to write great content and hope that people will find it. You need to actively promote your blog to maximize opportunities for more people to find and learn from your content. In this post, I share 10 tried and tested ways guaranteed to drive more traffic and increase engagement on your healthcare blog and here you’ll find 3 Places To Find Interesting Ideas For Your Healthcare Blog.

You might also like to check out this list of 18 Top Tools For Your Healthcare Blog.

Got questions?

Do you have any questions about starting a blog? Leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to answer them for you.

 

Posted in #HCSM

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

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

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

It’s the tenth anniversary of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge and I only just heard about it today, which means I’m jumping into things a week late, but I’m excited to join in and that’s what counts.

A is for Algorithm

If you are going to take advantage of social media for marketing purposes, you need to understand social media algorithms.

Algorithms now dominate the social media marketing discussion — almost everywhere you engage, within almost every platform you use, machine learning and data sorting is used to decide what it is you see. Social Media Today

Facebook, the first to implement an algorithm feed, is probably the biggest example of a social media platform using algorithms. Facebook’s most recent ‘meaningful interactions’ update, is focused on prioritizing posts that create meaningful conversations, especially those from family and friends.

Unfortunately, Facebook’s algorithm is constantly changing and it now makes it increasingly difficult for businesses to make an impact without paying for advertising.

Expect other social media networks to adopt similar algorithms as time goes on — both Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, though less advanced than Facebook already use their own algorithms.

Want to beat the Facebook Algorithm? Read this.

 

Posted in #HCSM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You might also like to read 

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

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

Reputation Management for Doctors

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Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: Do These 4 Things Before You Post To Social Media

Welcome to this week’s social media tip. Today I want you to think about how you can do more than just add to the online chatter.

Here are four questions to ask yourself before you post to your social media channels.

1. Is this post valuable to my social media followers?

Ask yourself why your followers (and not just you, personally) would find the content to be valuable.

Better still, 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 or go deeper with a survey. Survey MonkeyPolldaddy and Google’s own survey forms are all simple tools of the trade which have been around for ages and they still work really well.

Recommended Reading7 Places To Discover What Your Audience Wants To Read (So You Can Write It For Them!)

2. Which channel is best suited for this post?

Now that you are certain the information adds value,  it’s time to decide which channel would be best suited to convey this message.

If you have already created a mission statement for each of your brand’s social media profiles, this step is easy: just see which channel’s mission statement best describes the post.

Recommended ReadingHow To Create A Social Media Mission Statement For Your Healthcare Business

3. Is this post optimized for the social network I’ve selected?

While the quality of your content is a key factor for successful social sharing, how you present your information is also very important.

Study after study confirms that how you create and share content matters — with visual content leading the way. According to research by Kissmetrics, photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs on links than text-based posts.

Obviously, if you’re sharing on a visual channel, like Instagram, you’ll want to add high-quality visuals, but consider adding visuals also to more text-based channels like Twitter. Tweets with photos give a boost to engagement rates. 

Pro Tip: You can easily create your own images with drag-and-drop tools, like Canva and Ribbet.  They will also automatically create the right sizes for your Facebook page, so you don’t need to worry about it.

Recommended Reading10 Places To Find The Best Free Images For Your Healthcare Marketing

Other things to consider when it comes to optimizing your posts are using the correct hashtags and creating an impactful headline.

Recommended Reading: 50 Power Words To Super Charge Your Content Marketing

4. Am I posting this at the best time?

To optimize your engagement and reach, you want to share content when your audience is online. If you search for optimal posting times, you will find many guides online. You can follow these recommendations as a starting point, but it’s best to do your own testing to see which days and times work best for your own audience.

Once you’ve determined the right posting times for each social channel, schedule your posts to hit those times. Use a scheduling tool like Buffer or Hootsuite.

Recommended ReadingHow To Better Manage Social Media With Hootsuite

Putting it all together

Think-Before-You-Post-Hootsuite-Flowchart.jpg

I’ve been sharing this graphic for the past three years from Hootsuite and I still love it. The questions above are based on this flowchart. Keep it close to you and refer to it often.

Here’s to your social media success!