Posted in #HCSM

10 Questions To Answer For Social Media Marketing Success

Social media marketing is more than just creating social accounts and posting updates once in a while.

Nor is it merely a digital tool to broadcast company updates.

To make social media marketing work you need to take a strategic approach.

This post guides you through ten questions you should ask yourself before diving into social media.

Whether you are a social media beginner or you have been using it for a while, the following questions and actionable steps will help guide your social media efforts toward success.

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Before you jump into the tactical and practical details of your social media plan, it’s critical that you take the time to understand your audience.

All successful businesses are based upon their ability to meet the needs of their audience and social media marketing is no different. Learning about the type of people you’re interacting with, from their psychological behaviours to their demographics, is crucial to creating an experience that relates directly to them.

Develop customer personas which will not only provide answers to basic demographic questions about your audience, such as age range and location, but also their challenges, dreams, hopes, and fears. Identify where your audiences congregate online, alongside which communities inform, inspire, or influence them.

Download my audience persona template here

Take Action: Finding data on your existing audience will help you identify whom you’re reaching and if they are within your target audience. Use Google Analytics and built-in audience analytics features such as Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics to do this.

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Once you’ve identified who your audience is, map this information to social media behaviour.

Armed with information on who makes up your audience, the next step is to determine which social media platforms they use and direct your efforts accordingly. This doesn’t mean that you have to be everywhere at once. Do your research to determine where best to focus your social media efforts to be successful.

Take Action: Use Surveys (e.g. Survey Monkey), Polls (PollDaddy; Facebook; Twitter), and publicly available reports to match your audience demographic to the social networks they use.

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Your goals and objectives are the foundation of your strategy, guiding every decision and tactic that comes next.

Goals are also important because they help align your social media strategy with your overarching marketing objectives. Your social media marketing efforts should not be siloed — they should be an integral part of your overall digital marketing strategy. Your goals should be as trackable and specific as possible. The more detailed your goal is, the easier it’ll be in a few months to see if you achieved your goal

Take Action: It’s important to set SMART social media goals; i.e, goals that are specific, measurable, and achievable within a specific time-frame. In addition, set benchmark goals so you can gauge the success of your efforts as you go so you can put more effort behind what’s working and improve what’s not.

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When it comes to marketing, you have two resources: money to spend and man-hours to give. It is up to you to decide how you want to allocate them.

There is a misconception that social media is completely free. While it’s true that it’s free to set up an account on all the major platforms, most offer premium features that may be worth considering.

Take Action: It’s a good idea to budget for paid advertising, particularly if you want to make an impact on Facebook, where organic reach has steadily declined over the past few years.

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Time is a cost you need to factor into the social media equation.

To achieve results and credibility you have to be prepared to devote time regularly to producing and promoting content and engaging with your audience. Ask yourself how much of a time commitment can you afford for social media? Will you concentrate on just one platform and do that really well? Or do you need to hire some social media help?

Take Action: To create and maintain interest with your audience you need to post consistently to stay in front of your audience’s eyes and keep growing. Set aside one day each month to map out upcoming events, holidays, and so forth, which you would like to write or post about. Then use a simple excel spreadsheet to create your content calendar.

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Your answer to the previous question may influence the type of content you will create for social media.

Do you have time to write regularly for a blog? Would it be better to make short videos for YouTube or to communicate through a livestream broadcast? You also need to keep in mind the content that works best on the platforms you have chosen. Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest require high-quality visuals to stand out. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is better suited to industry news and long-form thought pieces. Whichever type of content you intend to create, quality and consistency are more important than quantity.

Take Action: Think about what you want your readers to know and feel after seeing your content. What action, if any, do you want your audience to take after seeing your content?

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You can learn a lot by taking some time to observe what your competitors are doing online.

One of the key components of conducting a social media audit is to compare your competitors’ digital footprints against your own. Doing some competitor analysis allows you to benchmark your metrics against others to see how you stack up. While it’s tempting to go straight to vanity metrics such as follower numbers, it will be of more benefit if you skip the quantitative analysis for qualitative.

  • What type of content are they creating and how often are they sharing it?
  • Which content is performing well?
  • Which content is most shared, commented on, etc?
  • How have they chosen to use videos and images?
  • Which social media influencers are they interacting with?
  • Are they active on networks you aren’t?

Take Action: Use this list of six tools to hep you conduct a competitor audit.

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When developing your social media strategy, it’s key to clearly define roles and understand who will manage, monitor, and engage on each account.

You may wish to take full responsibility for maintaining your social media presence, but if you are giving the task to someone in your organization, or hiring outside help, you need to ensure they are the right person for the job.

Take Action: There are many different roles that make up a social media marketing job (for example content creation, e-mail marketing, social media management, etc.). Clearly define the roles and outline the responsibilities of this position.

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Responding in real-time and resolving issues around your brand should they arise, strengthens public perception that your focus is strongly centered on customer satisfaction.

From a marketing perspective, social media monitoring will help you determine the impact on your product, service or brand, and if required, make adjustments to your communication, marketing or sales plans.

Take Action: There are many free and paid monitoring tools, with new services being added continually, which will help you track the metrics relevant to your brand across the web. The tools vary in scope and range across a number of sites, real-time or delayed searching, the sophistication of analytics, the flexibility of data presentation, integration with other applications, and cost. Which one you choose will depend on your budget and the level of analytics you wish to achieve.

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How will you know if you achieve your social media goals? To determine how effective your social media efforts are, you will need to measure your results.

You need to understand and track the metrics that matter to the core of your business. Social media metrics should always be tied to your overall business goals. Go beyond vanity metrics which merely serve as an ego-boost. Instead, ask if these metrics make an impact on your bottom line.

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

Posted in #HCSM

10 Point Checklist For A Social Media Audit

Conducting a social media audit is a key part of a social media marketing plan.

We can waste time and resources trying to improve things that don’t need improving while neglecting the things that we really need to work on.

A social media audit is a great way to take stock of where you’re at and identify what you can improve on going forward.

vector-transparent-background-checklist-icon-png-c-07660ab7ca597a8d   List All Your Social Accounts

Create a simple excel spreadsheet and list all your social accounts, including those you set up but haven’t used in a while.

  • Check that you only have one business profile on each platform.
  • Make sure you know all the passwords for your accounts and have access to the accounts and associated emails.
  • Keep your passwords secure and set up a system for changing them regularly.
  • List all account administrators.
  • Do you need to change access or permissions for someone who no longer manages your accounts?

vector-transparent-background-checklist-icon-png-c-07660ab7ca597a8d Update Your Information

  • Have you pinned outdated information to the top of your timelines?
  • Have you fully completed your About sections? Do they contain all the information a prospective customer or client would need to find out about your services?
  • Do your social profiles include a URL that leads back to your website?
  • Are your bio details accurate?
  • Do you need to add or change any of the existing information?

vector-transparent-background-checklist-icon-png-c-07660ab7ca597a8d Review Your Images

  • Are your header images clear and compelling?
  • Do your cover photos needed updating? Are you still showing that summer picture now that it’s winter?
  • Is your image resolution good? Are you using the correct image dimensions for each social platform? Find the most up-to-date image sizes here.
  • How about your bio picture? Are you happy it conveys a professional image? Is it clearly visible on all devices?
  • Are you making good use of keywords?
  • Do you need to include a new call-to-action?

Check out my guide to creating professional graphics

vector-transparent-background-checklist-icon-png-c-07660ab7ca597a8d Check For Consistency Across All Platforms

  • Are you consistent in how you use your brand images across all platforms?
  • Do background colours, logos, and other images follow your branding?
  • Are all descriptions and URLs uniform?
  • If you were your ideal customer, would you be able to identify with your brand on social media in terms of image, tone, and voice?

vector-transparent-background-checklist-icon-png-c-07660ab7ca597a8d Claim Your Vanity URLs

 A vanity URL is the user name that you assign to your social media accounts which uniquely identifies you. Before you create your vanity URL, your social media profile is given a default URL that includes a string of random numbers.

  • Have you claimed your vanity URLS on Facebook and LinkedIn? For more information on claiming your vanity URL visit these pages at LinkedIn and Facebook.

vector-transparent-background-checklist-icon-png-c-07660ab7ca597a8d Dig Into Your Audience Demographics

How well do you know your audience? Finding data on your existing audience will help you identify who you’re currently reaching and if they are within your target market. Use Google Analytics and built-in audience analytics features such as Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics to dig into detailed demographic data, including countries, occupations and interests, and the gender split of your audience.

  • Where do they like to hang out online?
  • What content is most relevant to them?
  • What kind of information are they looking for?
  • How do they like to consume that information?

Download my free audience persona template here

vector-transparent-background-checklist-icon-png-c-07660ab7ca597a8dAudit Your Posting Activity

Social media is all about engaging with the right audience on the right platform at the right time. Are you sharing the kind of information your audience finds useful? Are you sharing at the right time of the day? Audit how often you are posting on each platform and List which times you are posting and the results you are getting.

Schedule posts according to effective times of day:

o    6-10 times daily for Twitter

o    1-2 times daily for Facebook

o    1-3 times daily for Instagram

o    Update Instagram Story

o    1 time daily for LinkedIn

Recommended Reading: When Are The Best Times To Post On Social Media In 2020?

vector-transparent-background-checklist-icon-png-c-07660ab7ca597a8dEvaluate Engagement Rates

Determine where you are getting the most engagement and make a decision about whether to continue efforts on all platforms, or to reduce your efforts to concentrate on just one or two platforms. It’s important, especially if your resources are limited, that you’re focusing your social media efforts in places that will generate the most return for your efforts.

  • How engaged is your audience with you on each of your social networks?
  • Do your interactions seem to be coming from your target market?
  • Are most of your conversions coming from one network only?

vector-transparent-background-checklist-icon-png-c-07660ab7ca597a8dStudy Your High Performing Content

Review your high performing content across all social networks.

  • Which content worked best for you? Create more of this content in the future.
  • Can you re-purpose this content and use it again.

Recommended Reading: How To Create Six Unique Social Shares From Just One Piece of Content

vector-transparent-background-checklist-icon-png-c-07660ab7ca597a8d Audit Your Competitors

Compare your competitors’ digital footprint against your own. While it’s tempting to go straight to vanity metrics such as follower numbers, it will be of more benefit if you skip the quantitative analysis for qualitative.

  • Look at the type of content your competitors are creating. How often are they sharing it?
  • How have they chosen to use brand images?
  • Which influencers are they interacting with?
  • Are they active on networks you aren’t?​
  • Take note of what they are doing well, and where they are lacking.

Recommended ReadingSix Tools To Help You Perform A Competitor Audit

How often should you do a social media audit?

I recommend you do a comprehensive audit on your accounts twice yearly to consider any major adjustments to your strategy. In the intervening time, keep an eye on your analytics and metrics on a monthly basis. Use a reporting system to keep track of monthly changes and review these when it comes time to do your twice-yearly audit.

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Check Your Wall Posting Preferences on Facebook

Welcome to this week’s social media tip. Today I want you to show you how to set your wall posting preferences on Facebook. 

Recently I was teaching a social media workshop when the topic of how to deal with people posting directly to a Family Practice Facebook page came up.  The person who raised the topic hadn’t realised that it’s possible to limit who can post to your Page. In fact, you can set your page’s Posting Ability tab so that only your page admins can post to your Facebook page.

Here’s how to do it.

1. Choose Settings from your Admin panel. Then choose Edit.

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2.  From here, edit the posting ability to decide if you want everyone to be able to post on your page, or if you want to allow only your page admins to post by checking the relevant boxes.

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3. When you’re done, hit Save Changes.

A very simple step, and one that those who are new to Facebook can easily overlook.

Here’s to your social media success!

 

 

Posted in #HCSM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Is my target audience active on this platform?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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3. Which social networks are my competitors using?

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

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

4. Will this platform match the content I create?

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

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

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

Consider creating more video content for YouTube.

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

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

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

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

6. Consider your existing resources

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

To Wrap Up

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

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

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


Related

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

Posted in #HCSM, Twitter

How Does A Health Care Twitter Chat Work?

If you are looking to connect with more people in your industry on a wider scale, joining a Twitter chat is the perfect place to start.

It’s no secret that I love Twitter. I joined it eleven years ago – that’s eons ago in social media years, which as we all know we measure in dog years.

Since then I have watched disheartened as Twitter has become a far less friendly, far noisier place. That said, there are still incredible ways to use Twitter to learn and to connect with other like-minded people.

One of those ways is a Twitter chat.

What is a Twitter Chat?

A Twitter chat is a great networking and learning tool, and a super way to engage in meaningful conversations about shared topics of interest. Think of it as a virtual meet-up for people with common interests.

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

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

What Is The Impact Of Twitter Chats On Healthcare?

For patients who participate in health-related Twitter chats, there is tremendous potential to motivate participants and encourage change. Much of this change comes from peer-to-peer support which has been shown to be highly effective in motivating change. Many participants share conversational and informational knowledge that they believe is valuable both to themselves and others.

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

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

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

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

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

Where To Find Healthcare Twitter Chats

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

How To Take Part In A Twitter Chat

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

2. When it’s time to join the chat, you can join in straight from your Twitter account. Simply search for the relevant hashtag at the designated time.

Pro Tip! TweetChat is a great tool to use to make participation easier. Simply log in with your Twitter handle, enter the hashtag of the event, and TweetChat will pull up all the related messages so you can follow the conversation. If you plan to tweet a lot during the chat, it’s good etiquette to send out a brief message to your followers letting them know that you are attending a Twitter chat.

3. Take a breath and jump right into the chat with an introduction to who you are and where you’re tweeting from. ​The person hosting the chat will ask questions in order to spark conversation between you and the other participants.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do YOU get the most out of Twitter chats?

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


You might also like to read

 Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Hashtags in Healthcare…But Were Afraid To Ask!

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Build Your Email List

Welcome to this week’s quick social media tip. Today I want you to think about the value of creating and growing a list of email subscribers. 

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

4 Reasons You Should Build An Email List

1. Email marketing helps you build relationships and credibility

People like to do business with those they know, like and trust. Email is direct, making it more personal and personalized than social media marketing. Email gives people a way to easily contact you with their questions.

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 Ann Handley, 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.

Bottom line — ignoring email as part of your marketing strategy means you are missing out on potential business opportunities.

Take Action: One of the best ways to build your list of subscribers is to offer something of value up front. This email incentive known as an “opt-in offer” or “lead magnet” is something you are willing to give away for free which requires people to provide an email address to download. Check out this list of 15 ways to create your first lead magnet.

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.

Related Reading

20 Email Marketing Dos and Don’ts for More Effective Email Campaigns

 

Posted in #HCSM

When Are The Best Times To Post On Social Media In 2021?

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

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

Sprout Social has published its latest listing of the best times to post to each of the major social media platforms, which is based on the company’s 20,000+ customer base, who use the platform to schedule and post online. It may provide a good point for you to start testing optimum times for your own social media posts.

Best Times to Post on Facebook

While Sprout Social observed that “compared to past years, there were few completely ‘off’ times for Facebook when reviewing the past year of data. Weekends, late night and earlier morning all showed more consistent engagement and have become much more opportune times for brands to get eyes on their content.” (This seems at odds with its recommended worst time to post being Saturday – but again it proves my point that it is best to test for yourself).

  • Best times: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
  • Best days: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
  • Worst day: Saturday

Best Times to Post on Instagram

Similar to Instagram’s parent company Facebook, the top times to post on Instagram expanded in 2020 compared to previous years. Midday engagement during weekdays became even denser with top times throughout the 11 a.m.–2 p.m. range, and evenings and weekend times showed increased opportunities for engagement.

  • Best times: Tuesday 11 a.m.–2 p.m., Monday through Friday 11 a.m.
  • Best day: Tuesday
  • Worst day: Sunday

Best Times to Post on Twitter

  • Best times: Wednesday 9 a.m.– 3 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday 9–11 a.m.
  • Best day: Wednesday
  • Worst day: Saturday

Best Times to Post on LinkedIn

  • Best times: Tuesday through Thursday 9 a.m.–noon
  • Best days: Tuesday and Wednesday
  • Worst day: Sunday

To sum up

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

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

Posted in #HCSM, Twitter

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

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

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

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

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


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Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Create Twitter Threads

Welcome to this week’s quick social media tip. Today I want you to show you how to create Twitter threads. 

Not sure what a Twitter thread looks like?

If you spend any time on Twitter you’ve probably already come across a Twitter thread, but perhaps not know that it was a thread.  Threads are a series of related tweets shared in succession by one person.

With a thread, you can provide additional context, an update, or an extended point by connecting multiple tweets together. When used well, threads are a powerful way to illustrate a larger point.

Before threads, users would have to just continue replying to their own Tweets in order to link them together. This was a  way to work around the old 140 character limit.

How To Create A Twitter Thread

1. Click the “Tweet” button to compose a new Tweet.

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2. Click the new “Add another Tweet” button.

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3. This brings up a second Tweet window.

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4. Continue in this way adding threads until you’ve said all you want to say.  You can either publish the entire thread by hitting “Tweet All”….

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Or you can hit post each tweet in succession, which allows you to build momentum, perfect for a live event or an ongoing train of thought.

Publishing the entire thread gives your followers a fully-formed story — a better choice for a message you want to control a bit more, like a nuanced company announcement.

Here’s how your published displays on Twitter when complete.

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Want to learn more?

Check out this guide to Twitter threads on Twitter’s business blog.

Here’s to your social media success!

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Create Content With Emotional Resonance

Welcome to this week’s social media tip. Today I want you to think about how you can create emotional resonance through your content marketing.

The word “emotion” is a combination of the prefix e-, meaning “away,” and the Latin word movere, meaning “to move.” In this sense, emotions break us away from our standstills, moving us in new directions and prompting us to take action.

Numerous studies have found emotional arousal plays a key role in driving social sharing. In 2012, researchers Jonah Berger and Katherine Milkman published research based on an analysis of 7,000 articles from the New York Times to see which types of articles were most shared by email.

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The results indicate that virality is partially driven by physiological arousal.

“Content that evokes high-arousal positive (awe) or negative (anger or anxiety) emotions is more viral. Content that evokes low-arousal, or deactivating, emotions (e.g., sadness) is less viral.” — What Makes Online Content Viral?

The Harvard Business Review released research in 2016 which showed that creating a powerful emotional experience increases the chances of going viral. The research, based on an analysis by Frac.tl of the top 100 images of the year from imgur.com, as voted on Reddit.com, found:

  • A significant correlation between content views and positive feelings (specifically joy, interest, anticipation, and trust).
  • Negative emotions were less commonly found in highly viral content than positive emotions, but viral success was still possible when negative emotion also evoked anticipation and surprise.
  • The emotion of admiration was very commonly found in highly shared content, an unexpected result.

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Heatmap of the aggregate emotional data, representing the totals compiled (HBR)

One way to create emotional resonance is to tell a heartwarming story.

Effective stories inspire people by creating human connection and emotional resonance. In 2015, an article about a husband and wife celebrating 82 years of marriage, topped USA Today’s most shared content. Not only was the story uplifting and inspirational, but it also shared insights on reaching over 100 years of age (if you’re interested — the couple describes a healthy diet and frequent naps as the secret to growing old).

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Marie Yoland Eveillard speaks with her father Duranord Veillard, who will celebrate his 108th birthday on Saturday, and mother Jeanne Veillard, who turns 105 in May. The couple got married in Haiti in 1932. Tania Savayan/The Journal News

Once you understand how to strike the right emotional chords with your message, you can greatly increase your chance of getting your content widely shared.

Here’s to your social media success!