Posted in #HCSM

How Should You Handle Social Media Trolls?

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One of the questions put most frequently to me when I speak to healthcare professionals is how to handle trolling on social media. It’s an important question. How do you decide when to ban someone from your social media accounts?

I covered the question of how to deal with trolls in a keynote presentation I gave this week. I drew on solid advice from Matthew Katz MD and his tutorial on dealing with Trolls, Malware and Spam.

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Let’s define what we mean by trolling. Dr Katz begins with a reality check.

  • Trolls are not people who disagree with you.
  • Expect debate on Twitter.
  • Be open to being wrong.
  • When conversations get heated and emotional, show respect so you aren’t considered the troll

He goes on to define the different types of trolls we might encounter online.

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And provides sensible advice for dealing with trolling behaviour.

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As I was writing this post today, I came across an article on this same topic at Social Times. It cautions against blocking or banning negative comments too readily, which echoes Dr Katz’s reality check – don’t label everyone who disagrees or complains as a troll.

Comments on Facebook or Instagram should not be removed if they refer to genuine customer-service issues. While this advice is based on patience and understanding through communication and conversation, it does not apply to persistent trolls and those intent upon abusing you/ You do not have to show “tolerance” for this kind of discourse, and you are within your rights to remove inflammatory or profane content and ban or block those who perpetuate its spread. The article points to the need for organisations to have social media guidelines in place to discourage harassment and trolling, and then take action against those in violation of those guidelines.

Tip If you don’t already have a social media policy in place, create one right away which details the kind of comments you will allow (for example, no racist or abusive comments).  Post your policy in a visible place on your social channels or share a link to a blog post on the subject.

Not sure whether to ban or block trolls? Dr Katz has some pointers for you.

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I’ve had my fair share of criticism online but thankfully I haven’t yet had to deal with any trolls. I am aware though of how nasty things can turn online and it pains me to see this darker side of social media.  The best piece of advice I’ve ever read is quite simply “Don’t Feed The Trolls”. Trolls want attention.  Simply ignoring a troll could be your best tactic  – according to the Pew Research Center, 60% of respondents opted to ignore online harassment.

Have you had to deal with social media trolls? How have you handled it? Please share your tips and thoughts in the comments below. 

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Posted in #HCSM

Social Spotlight: Iris Thiele Isip Tan

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This week it is my great pleasure to interview endocrinologist Iris Tan, MD, MSc, who teaches at the University of the Philippines College of Medicine.  A TedX speaker, Iris is one of the co-founders of the #HealthXPH tweet chat and annual healthcare and social media conference.


Hi Iris, I’ve been an admirer of your work since I first started following you three years ago on Twitter. In that time I’ve watched your social media presence evolve and grow year-on-year. Can you tell us how you use social media in a healthcare context. 

IT: I started a Facebook page www.facebook.com/EndocrineWitch in 2012 as an experiment to see if I could get photos with short captions about health to go viral. I’ve been trying ever since! One particular post on polycystic ovary syndrome which I shared last July 2015 is still active and according to Facebook, has been seen by over 4 million people. I am continuing this Facebook page as my contribution to uplifting health literacy in endocrine disorders. There are after all less than 300 endocrinologists in the Philippines which has a population of 100 million. If you’d like to know more about this, take a look at my TedXDiliman video at https://youtu.be/MQAe_2rLb6M. All my Facebook posts are written in Filipino and archived at http://www.dokbru.endocrine-witch.net.

I co-founded the #HealthXPH tweet chat with Dr. Remo (@bonedoc), Dr. Gia Sison (@giasison) and Dr. Narciso Tapia (@cebumd) in 2014. Weekly, we discuss topics related to the practice of medicine and its intersection with technology and social media. Our format was inspired by the #HCLDR chat. In 2015, we held the first #HealthXPH healthcare and social media summit with the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development. Our plenary speaker was Pat Rich (@pat_health) who came all the way from Canada. This is now an anticipated yearly event attended by medical educators, health bloggers, patients and students from various health professions. 

I began incorporating social media as part of my teaching strategy in graduate school where I teach health informatics in 2012. I subsequently won a teaching award from my university, the University of the Philippines system Gawad Pangulo for Progressive Teaching and Learning in 2015.

You mentioned your first foray into social media was using Facebook as a tool for public health. Had you been familiar with Facebook or any other social media before you used it for this purpose?

IT: I joined Facebook in 2008 because I was organizing a reunion and trying to find my high school classmates. I started my Facebook page in 2012 after seeing grumpy cat. I joined Twitter in 2010 as an assignment in graduate school. I was studying health informatics but going to the US for a week to attend the Endocrine Society meeting. To make up for my absence, my professor asked me to live tweet the conference.

I love that you were an early adopter of live-tweeting medical conferences! Is Twitter one of your favorite platforms – or do you have others?

IT: I enjoy Twitter the most because of the serendipity of meeting like-minded people through retweets and chats. I’ve found mentors on Twitter who have helped me in my professional life. Hosting the #HealthXPH tweet chat is a stimulating intellectual exercise from thinking about the topic, to writing the pre-chat blog post and moderating the discussion.

I find that maintaining my Facebook page has helped me become a better communicator at my clinic. As I write my posts in Filipino and try to avoid medical terms, it is easier now to help my patients understand complex endocrine disorders.

So endocrinology is a topic which obviously interests you. Are there any other topics you are keen to follow through social media. 

IT: I’m interested in the use of social media and technology for healthcare because of my health informatics background. Aside from #HealthXPH, I try to join the #HCLDR chat where I’ve met many of the people I follow. I lurk in diabetes chats listening to persons with diabetes at #DCDE and #DSMA. As a professor in medical school, I’m also interested in medical education. I follow #MedEd, #TEDEdChat and #FOAMEd.

You are a very experienced and expert social media user – what advice would you give to any healthcare professional who is just starting to use social media?

IT: Don’t tweet or post anything that you wouldn’t say in person. Remain professional at all times. #HealthXPH has a manifesto on maintaining medical professionalism while on social media at www.healthxph.net/manifesto.

That’s a very useful guide – thanks for sharing it with us Iris. Finally, would you like to share a favourite quote with us?

Everything you want is on the other side of fear – Jack Canfield

Thanks Iris for taking the time to share with us your experience of using social media in your work. I’ve really enjoyed learning more about how you got started and I look forward to seeing how you and your colleagues will evolve healthcare social media in the Philippines. 


Posted in #HCSM

17 Tips for Social Media Marketing Success in 2017

Is your New Year’s resolution to build a stronger personal and business brand online in 2017?

The start of a new year is the perfect time to review your social media marketing to determine what’s working (or not) for you. If you’re on social media simply for the sake of being on social media, see this as an opportunity to step back and think about why you’re doing it.

I’ve put together a comprehensive list of 17 tips to take your social media marketing to new heights of success in 2017 – read my 17 Ways To Rock Your Social Media in 2017.

Here’s a more condensed version if you only have time for a shorter read.

Here’s to your social media marketing success! 

Posted in #HCSM

Social Spotlight: Kristi Bruno

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This week I caught up with Kristi Bruno to find out how social media fits her role as Director of Communications, Media and Marketing, at the American College of Chest Physicians.

Hi Kristi, can you tell us how you are using social media in your work.


KB:
We use social media at the American College of Chest Physicians each day.  We have employed social tools to build a community, share the latest research and news in chest medicine with our membership, educate and inform the public and patients about health topics like COPD, lung cancer and asthma.

We are most proud lately of our work on Reddit. Our Reddit Ask Me Anything was designed to increase awareness of a non-pharmacological treatment of severe asthma called bronchial thermoplasty, to raise awareness of the American College of Chest Physicians, and to position the organization as a thought leader in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. We have a couple more AMAs planned this year and we’re thrilled to bring interesting researchers and ideas to this community.

I’m also really excited to continue exploring how our use of Facebook Live can help break down boundaries, bring information to those who might not otherwise get it due to geography or economics. We’ve already started dabbling in Facebook Live in our training center—it’s a great facility and we host courses often and the tool is helping us to tell that story.

Sounds like you are using social media in some creative and innovative ways Kristi. Can you remember back to when you first started using social media? What prompted you to get started with it?

KB: I began my career as a fundraiser and in partnership management for a non-profit. While working for the CHEST Foundation as a Development Manager, I fell into social media. We had a public-facing campaign and I was able to take a tiny budget and make a real impact in reach, engagement and mobilization in a New Year’s contest we were holding. I immediately fell in love and luckily work for an organization that allowed me to take on a new role in our Marketing Communications department so I could further explore my interests. My role continues to evolve at CHEST, but I absolutely have a real love for social and new media.

It’s wonderful that you are able to explore and nurture you passion for social media in your career. That’s awesome. So which platforms do you enjoy the most?

KB: It’s so hard to choose—like picking a favorite child (ha!), but I like them all for different reasons. Professionally, Twitter is amazing. I love that I’m able to connect with like-minded people working in the field, and follow clinicians working in chest medicine to see what they are most interested in—that part really informs my day-to-day work.

For reach—it’s a tool within a platform, but I’m loving the impact of Facebook Live. And, from a branding perspective, we have really enjoyed employing Spotify playlists as a tool for promoting the meeting location each year for our annual meeting. Our team has a great time curating these playlists. And, it’s a nice opportunity to show that our meeting isn’t all about the science! We’ve also used Storify as a tool to engage our subject matter experts in curating interesting content in a specific area. We syndicate these across our platforms. It’s an easy way to engage thought leaders and, again, gives us plenty of ideas as we develop our own content.

I love that idea of using Spotify! What a fun way to showcase your brand’s personality. Now I’m interested to learn more about which healthcare topics interest you. Do you take part in any particular twitter chats?

KB: CHEST holds quarterly Twitter chats with the hashtag #pulmCC. We’ve worked hard to engage different sub-specialties in the chats and we’ve talked about big data in the ICU, palliative care, sarcoidosis—it’s run the gamut. I’m also completely in awe of the lung cancer social media chat, #lcsm. The group behind the chat and Twitter handle are so passionate about what they do. I had the pleasure this year of meeting two of them at CHEST 2016—Deana Hendrickson and Tom Verghese (pictured below).

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They are two really amazing people. Deana lost her mother to lung cancer, and Tom is a thoracic surgeon. I’m just moved beyond belief by them because they have created a real grassroots movement around a highly-stigmatized disease. I’ve learned a ton from this group and continue to learn!

I know both Deana and Tom through Twitter and I too am in awe of the work they are doing. Without social media, I know I would never have met such incredible people. It’s one of the reasons I love social media so much and recommend it to people who work in health care. For those who are just starting to use social media what advice would you give to them?  

KB: Have a plan! There are so many platforms, cool ideas and things you could do. But, be true to your brand, audience and really think things through and don’t get overwhelmed. Develop a strategy and stick to it—but be flexible because the landscape is constantly changing.

And, read. I was lucky enough to go to grad school at DePaul and get my MA in New Media Studies—but before formal education, I consumed as much information as I could about social media, healthcare, health communications, the patient experience, and what clinicians were talking about on social media. This reading and research benefits me almost every day of my life. Always be a student!

Thanks Kristi for taking the time to share with us your experience of using social media in your work. I’ve really enjoyed learning about the creative ways you are leveraging popular social platforms, and I’ve even picked up some new tips from you! 


About Kristi Bruno

Kristi Bruno is Director of Communications, Media and Marketing with the American College of Chest Physicians and a proud alum of DePaul University’s New Media Studies MA program. Kristi was named Folio: Top Women in Media Rising Star and was the 2016 New Media Studies Fellow at DePaul University. She has spoken at Social Media Week Chicago, and has published on the topic of healthcare social media in several notable journals and blogs. She can be found on Twitter (of course), @kristibruno and she blogs at kristibruno.com.

Posted in #HCSM

Google Is Shifting to a Mobile-First Index. Here’s what you need to know

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We’re living in a mobile-first world and search engines are seeing the result of this trend: search queries on mobile have now surpassed desktop-based queries.

Google recently announced that its search results index is essentially being flipped and will prioritize mobile results first – so while your website may already be mobile-friendly, your content may not be optimized for the new realities of search.  With Google currently experimenting with this change, there’s a lot you need to know to ensure you’re prepared.

Hubspot has created a useful guide to help you prepare for the changes that are afoot. It explains in more detail what mobile first indexing is, and how you can start to prepare for it by ensuring your website is mobile friendly and you give priority to site speed, user experience and engagement.

Read Google Is Shifting to a Mobile-First Index: What Marketers Need to Know to Prepare

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Posted in #HCSM

How To Rock Social Media

Yesterday I presented a webinar with tips on how to rock your social media. For those who couldn’t make the live event, here’s the slide-deck:

Click here for the show-notes with links to tips and tools mentioned during the broadcast. I’ll be adding new resources the notes below, so check back regularly.

Posted in #HCSM, Infographics

Internet Stats & Facts 2016 (Infographic)

I was sent an interesting infographic this week from the folks at Hosting Facts, and the sheer scale of global internet penetration blew me away.

  • There are 3.26 billion internet users; that’s over 40% of the world population.
  • Facebook now has 1.55 billion active users.
  • 2.9 billion Google searches are made every day.
  • 2.7 million blog posts are published every day.

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When it comes to website and domain stats, there are currently 966 million websites in the world today.

  • Google is the #1 most popular website, followed by Facebook and YouTube.
  • The most popular CMS is WordPress, powering 25.4% of all websites in the world and responsible for over 76.5 million blogs created since 2004.
  • There are currently 123.78 million registered .com domain names, making the .com TLD the top domain name extension.

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There are more mobile internet users than desktop internet users; 52.7% of global internet users access the internet via mobile.

  • Search engines are the starting point for mobile research, with an estimated 48% of mobile internet users starting their search on search engines.
  • Google uses mobile compatibility as a factor when ranking websites.
  • 70% of mobile searches result in an online action within an hour of the search being conducted.
  • 50% of mobile users will abandon of web page if it takes more than 10 seconds to load, and 60% won’t return to the site.

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Click here to access the full report. 

Related: AdAge Social Media Facts 2016

Posted in #HCSM

10 takeaways from the 20th Healthcare Internet Conference (HCIC)

Lots of super insights here

Steve Leibforth

This year’s Healthcare Internet Conference again set the bar for healthcare digital marketing conferences with great presentations from a number of healthcare systems to enjoyable and educational keynote speakers like Scott Straton of UnMarketing (who managed to wake up the room at 8 a.m. in Vegas!). Thanks to the team from Greystone including Mike Schneider and Kathy Divis for putting together a thoroughly enjoyable and valu20-years-2able conference.

The two main themes that I took away from the conference this year were the transition to MarTech (marketing technology) and the challenges associated with the move and the move away from “Vanity Metrics” to more actionable metrics.

The annual Healthcare Internet Conference kicked off its 20th year with a Sunday evening event entitled “Let’s Talk Engagement”.

  1. Let’s Talk – Transitioning to a MarTech Mindset: Why It’s Important. How It Happens. Karen Corrigan (@karencorrigan) and Kathy Divis (

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Posted in #HCSM

Healthcare Marketing in 2017: What to expect

I was delighted to be asked recently to contribute to a article at Austin Marketing on what to expect in healthcare marketing in 2017.

My prediction is that demand for live video will grow in 2017 as consumers want a more immediate and real connection to healthcare brands. Marketing will be less about pre-produced, scripted videos, and more about delivering an authentic experience that people can connect with and feel part of.

In 2016 we saw the rise of mobile video consumption on platforms such as Snapchat and Periscope. In addition, the main social media platforms all rolled out new features and products around live streaming.

With the launch of Facebook Live, Facebook, in particular, is putting greater attention on live video in its algorithm – a move marketers cannot afford to ignore. The ability to reach and engage consumers will increasingly be driven by video, and this, in turn, will expand to include better marketing and advertising options for healthcare brands in 2017.

Read more predictions

What do you predict will happen in the coming year?

Posted in #HCSM

How Google Search Has Changed in 2016

Google’s search engine is displaying fewer organic results on it first page this year than it was last year, and it’s increasingly presenting different experiences for desktop and smartphone users, according to recent research from Searchmetrics.

The report was based on 2016 data from 500,000 general, frequently searched keywords. The researchers examined the first Google search results page for each term and analyzed how 11 features (text results, product listing ads, images, news, maps, etc.) were integrated.

Whereas Google used to almost always display 10 standard, text-based organic results on its first page, the search engine now usually presents fewer results: 8.59 results are presented to desktop users, on average, and 8.5 are presented to smartphone users, on average.

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A key reason for the decline in the number of traditional search results presented on the first page is that Google is integrating an increasing number of supplementary boxes/features. Some 34% of the desktop results for the keywords examined by the researchers included image results, 24% video results, and 20% Knowledge Graph results.

Consumers searching on desktop computers are more likely than smartphone searchers to receive Google results with images, product listing ads, and fact/answer boxes; smartphone searchers are more likely than desktop searchers to receive results with video, map, social, and mobile app integrations.

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Source: Marketing Profs

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