Posted in #HCSM

Why (And How) You Should Create Recurring Content on Your Blog

Do you have a recurring content feature on your blog? If not, it’s something I’d recommend you consider as a regular element of your editorial calendar.

Recurring content form hooks which keep readers interested in coming back to your blog or seeking similarly related posts.  From a writer’s point of view it can enhance your creativity – choosing a topic in advance triggers your brain to come up with new ideas and make connections.

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I’ve experimented over the years with many different types of regular recurring columns on various blogs.  I’ve focused recently on a Cool Tool feature which I post each Monday morning.

Before you introduce a regular feature to readers, it’s important to take some time to choose a topic which matches your content strategy and crucially won’t have you running out of ideas after a few weeks.  Ideally your topic should be associated with your keyword phrases to support your organic search efforts.

Once you’ve decided on your topic, decide on the elements you will use to maintain consistency in the design and format of your content.  Choose the same day and time to publish so readers know to expect it at that time each week – this helps build an audience for your content.  Keep the format and design elements consistent.

Here are three types of recurring features to add to your content marketing.

  1. Advice Column

Set aside one day a week to provide step-by-step instructions, or answer readers’ questions.  A great example is Moz’s Rand Fiskin’s Whiteboard Friday.

  1. Interview Series

I ran an interview series, Social Spotlight, last year with healthcare thought leaders.  It followed a consistent question format, with some tailoring to the interviewee, and was a popular addition to my content calendar.

  1. Weekly Round-Up Post

I run several weekly round-up style posts for client blogs focussed on their niche. I curate the most helpful, interesting and topical news from their industry and publish them in a blog post, usually on a Friday.  It’s always the most read content when I check the weekly blog stats.

Of course your recurring content can live outside the written word. With the popularity of video, consider adding a regular vlog or even more popular, a Facebook Live recurring feature. For a super example of this, check out social media marketer, Amanda Webb who goes live on Facebook each Friday morning with a round-up of the latest social media news.

Recurring posts of high value keeps your audience interested and coming back for more. By adding a regular recurring feature to your content marketing you give your audience something to look forward, while at the same time building a unique and recognisable element into your brand.

Do you have a recurring content feature on your blog? What are some of your favourite examples of recurring content themes?

Posted in #HCSM

Social Media: A New Dimension In Health Research #HealthXPh

I’m so honored to have been invited to give the opening keynote address at the 3rd #HealthXPh Philippine Healthcare Social Media Summit  this week. I love this year’s theme of  “Social Media & Health Research: Connections that Matter.

My presentation highlights social media as a dynamic platform to conduct research on a global scale and to amplify and disseminate research findings. I focus on an understanding of some key characteristics of social media which can be leveraged for research purposes, such as interactivity and real-time communication on a global scale. What this presents is an opportunity for conducting research with an existing audience of highly targeted, motivated and connected patients.

I recommend tapping into the power of existing patient networks through social media as a means to mobilize and accelerate research faster than ever before. However, I stress that online communities are not just there to be taken from, but also given to. So I challenge researchers to consider how they might build trust and authenticity with a community of e-patients.

I finished my keynote presentation by sharing some best practice tips and left the audience with a final challenge to go beyond a basic level of social media activity to become exceptional digital communicators.  I ended with one of my favourite quotes from social media marketing guru Seth Godin.

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Posted in #HCSM

A Step By Step Guide To Digital Storytelling With Storify

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Storify is a platform that allows you to tell stories using elements from the social web such as tweets, Flickr photos and YouTube videos.  There are so many ways to use the Storify app; one of my favourite ways is to capture tweets from a live event and turn them into a visually compelling story.

If you are new to the Storify app, follow my easy step-by-step guide to help you create your first story.

1. Log-in using Twitter or Facebook.

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2. Click on Create New Story which will open a blank platform for you to create your story

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3. On the top right hand corner you will find media sources to curate the elements of your story. You can search Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and Google for elements to include.

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4.  Start by adding a headline for your story and a brief description so people will know what your story is about.

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5. You can search for elements to add to your story from your chosen media sources.Once you find something you want to add drag it over to your story. This drag-and-drop method is what makes Storify such a great platform to work with as it keeps all of the original links and functionality of the original source and embeds them into your story.

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6. Now add your commentary – this step is optional but it is a great way to personalise a story and add your own unique voice. For instructions on how to add a cover image, click here.

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7. It is easy to make changes to your story. To delete an element hit the X in the right corner; to reorder elements in a story simply drag and drop.

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8. When you are happy with your story, hit publish.

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9. You can then notify people who have been quoted in your story, helping make it go viral.

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10. You can also share your story on social networks and embed it on your website or blog.

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At first glance Storify may seem like a complicated platform to master, but my Storify tutorial shows you it is really quite easy and fun to tell a story online.

If you would like to see some examples check out my profile at: https://storify.com/JBBC

Happy Storytelling!

Posted in #HCSM

Stuck For What To Post On Social Media? Here’s The Solution

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Maintaining a consistent posting schedule on social media – whether it’s writing blog posts, or sharing updates on social media channels – can be a challenge.  When I teach social media classes, I always recommend creating an editorial calendar so you can map out in advance upcoming holidays and cause awareness days.   By doing this, you will have a ready supply of things to share on social media.

To help you plan your content in advance, Hubspot has released a super-helpful social media calendar for the remainder of 2017.  It’s downloadable, so you have an instant editorial calendar complete with hashtags to use on Twitter. Take a look at it and see which days you could build engagement around. Have some fun with it, but do make sure it fits with your brand.  I’ve already spotted some fun awareness days I wish I had known about – like #NationalAwkwardMomentsDay which was on 18 March –  but there’s still time to plan for #FindARainbowDay (3 April), #NationalPetDay (11 April) and #HaikuPoetryDay (17 April).

According to the calendar, today is #NationalDoctorsDay so what are you waiting for? Heere are some very nice examples on Twitter and Facebook to inspire you.

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Posted in #HCSM, Twitter

Twitter Adds Moments Analytics 

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Twitter has announced the launch of Moments analytics, a new tool which will show you a range of stats for each Moment you create, including ‘Opens’, ‘Unique opens’, ‘Likes’, ‘Shares’ and ‘Completion rate’.

Moments allows you to curate a series, or gallery, of tweets revolving around a particular theme, such as a developing news story or cultural meme. I’ve been a fan of the feature since Twitter unrolled it to all users late last year. However I seem to be in a minority of users. There just hasn’t been the uptake. This is a shame because I do think it has potential. Here’s an example of a recent Moments story I created:

There are some great tips on using Moments for your business in this post. Check them out and give Moments a fresh look.

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Posted in #HCSM

How Gens X, Y and Z Consume Video Content

As  I reported in a recent post, people around the world are now watching a billion hours of YouTube’s content every single day.  But who is watching what? This infographic from Adweek helpfully breaks down how much Gens X, Y and Z watches video content on YouTube, as well as what types of videos they like to watch.

Unsurprisingly, younger respondents to the survey were more likely to visit YouTube on a daily basis, while 4  percent of Gen X (34 and 54-years-old) respondents indicated they don’t use the platform at all.

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When it comes to the type of video most watched by each generation, the breakdown  is as follows:

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Whichever demographic you’re looking to market to, YouTube is a valuable channel. For maximum impact, use these findings to understand just how your target age group interacts with the video-sharing platform.

Related Reading: YouTube: A Missed Opportunity For Patient Education 

Posted in #HCSM

YouTube: A Missed Opportunity For Patient Education

Last month YouTube announced on its blog that it has hit a milestone – 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 recent 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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As a form of patient education and health promotion, YouTube has great potential but recent studies show it is not being used to its full potential. A 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 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 50,917 subscribers to its channel and over 31,000,000 video views. 

If you don’t already have a YouTube channel for your practice, perhaps now is the time to consider it. Check out this article by Sendible which has some useful tips on how to optimise your YouTube channel for success.

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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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