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 Embrace Long-Form Content

Welcome to this week’s quick social media tip. Today I want you to think about how you can add more long-form content to your content marketing strategy.

It seems ironic, but even with the popularity of video and expiring content, there also exists an appetite for longer, more in-depth content.

serpIQ did a study of the average length of the content in the top 10 results of search queries. The company found that the top-rated posts usually were over 2,000 words.

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Long-form content also gives you an SEO edge. Put simply, search engines are built to serve people the best content, from credible sources, that answers users’ questions. Google has made it explicitly clear that it now prioritizes longer, informative posts over short ones that exist only to sell a product.

Try writing posts that are 1000 to 2000 plus words. Make them a resource type post that people will want to link to when they are writing their posts.

This tactic is no short-cut to success. To write a comprehensive, long-form piece of content with practical application that people want to share and link to takes a lot of research and time.

You won’t write this sort of content every day, but if you plan to make 2020 the year you will produce just one piece of stand-out content, I promise you will look back at the end of the year and feel you’ve really achieved something worth the effort.

Here’s to your social media success!

 

Posted in #HCSM

Twitter Adds Context To Trends

I’m a huge Twitter fan. So many interesting healthcare conversations are happening everyday on the platform.

One of my favourite ways to use Twitter is to take part in Twitter chats. These are great networking and learning opportunities 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.

When I teach social media classes, I do sometimes hear that Twitter is a confusing place for those new to the platform. It can take a while to learn the ropes and it’s not uncommon for new users to hesitate to ask about the meaning of some of Twitter’s features.

“What’s Trending” is one of those features that may not immediately make sense – even to those of us who are seasoned tweeters. It’s not always obvious why something is trending.

Twitter aims to fix this (hat tip Amanda Webb).

They are testing adding context to trends by attaching a ‘representative tweet which will give you a clue to the trend and they are also adding descriptions.

The representative tweets will be selected both by the algorithm and human beings.

Testing on mobile in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, France, India, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.


You might also like to read

7 Data-Backed Tips To Drive More Engagement on Twitter

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

Posted in #HCSM

How To Create A YouTube Channel for Your Medical Practice

Earlier this month I wrote a post about the missed opportunity in healthcare to use YouTube as a patient education tool.

As a form of patient education and health promotion, YouTube has great potential but currently, it’s not being used to its full potential.

Aside from patient education, YouTube is a significant addition to your marketing toolkit. Owned by Google, it’s the second largest search engine in the world with added SEO potential due to its Google connection.

YouTube At A Glance

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If you don’t already have a YouTube channel for your practice, perhaps now is the time to consider it.

A Step By Step Guide To Creating Your YouTube Channel

Follow these simple steps and you will have your own YouTube channel up running and ready to reap rewards.

Step #1 You’ll need a Google account to sign-in to YouTube

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Step #2 Next click on “My Channel”

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Step #3 Now add your business name or your own name 

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Step #4 Create a title for your channel

Your channel title should be descriptive and briefly tell viewers what your channel is about.

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Step #5 Select Customize Channel to fill in more details 

Add a link to your website and a description of your practice.  Adding your location to your YouTube videos will make them geographically searchable,

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Step #6 Add a thumbnail image (e.g your logo) and banner (channel art)

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I  recommend you use the same picture across all online media: Facebook, Twitter, website, YouTube, etc. Aligning your video branding with that of your business creates a consistent experience for your audience. When existing and potential customers visit your YouTube channel, they need to feel that it is part of a greater whole.

The recommended size for channel art is 2560 px by 1440 px.

Pro Tip: Canva can help you create correctly-sized thumbnail and channel art.

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Step #7 Connect your social media accounts

Add in your social media accounts.

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These can be overlayed on your banner image.

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As you can see it’s super simple to set up your own YouTube channel. In my next post, I’ll show you how to upload your first video and optimize it for viewing. 


Subscribe to my YouTube channel here. I’ll be uploading new videos in 2019

Posted in #HCSM

7 Data-Backed Tips To Drive More Engagement on Twitter

Backed up by research from Hubspot, here are seven tips to help you drive your Twitter marketing forward.

1. Use Both “Title Tweets” and “Copy Tweets”

“Title tweets” start each word with a capital letter — just like a headline. They are tweets with just the title of a blog post or article and the link to that article. There are no extra words. However, a “copy tweet” presents the article or blog post as a sentence or question.

Hubspot’s research showed that their average tweet copy got an average of 98 clicks, while headline-based tweets got an average of 110 clicks.

Image Credit: HubSpot

Insider Tip: The fundamental rule of clickable tweets is the same as the rule of clickable headlines. No matter how amazing your content is, few people are going to click through to read it if they’re not immediately captivated by your headline. Read 15 Ways To Crack Captivating Headlines to find out more about creating better titles for your tweets.

2. Include Shortened Links

Image Credit: HubSpot

A URL shortener is an online tool that converts a regular URL into an abbreviated version that is around 10 to 20 characters long. Use a third-party tool like Bit.ly to help you do this. Here’s what a bit.ly link looks like when it’s shortened.

Insider Tip: Don’t necessarily place the link at the end of the tweet. Zarrella’s analysis of 200,000 link-containing tweets concluded that putting the link approximately 25% of the way through would achieve the highest CTR.

3. Add Images To Tweets

Adding visual appeal to your tweet is a smart way to make your content stand out among a sea of tweets.

Image Credit: HubSpot

Insider Tip: You can add up to 4 images to your tweets ( all you have to do is click on the photo icon after you have added your first image, then add up to 3 more images) so take advantage of this and create a carousel of images to draw a reader’s eye.

4. Ask For Retweets

Twitter uses Likes and re-tweets as indicators of popularity in the algorithm.

Image Credit: HubSpot

Insider Tip: Though I’d be wary of over-doing this strategy (from a narcissistic viewpoint) it appears that you can also increase your exposure by liking and re-tweeting your own content. An experiment from Buffer found that retweeting their own tweets generated significantly higher click-through and engagement rates.

5. Add A Call-To-Action

Image Credit: HubSpot

What kind of action do you want your followers to take when they read your tweet? Whether it’s “Sign Up Here” or “Download Now”, adding a call-to-action to your tweet increases engagement by 13% according to Hubspot.

6. Recycle Tweets

At about 18 minutes, tweets have the shortest lifespan of any social media post. Even though the latest Twitter algorithm means that posts are no longer displayed chronologically, Twitter is fast-paced, and messages get buried quickly. To counter this, you need to share your post multiple times on Twitter to increase visibility (use a scheduling tool to optimize the times you post it).

Image Credit: HubSpot

Insider Tip: Practice writing multiple versions of your tweets. Then A/B test them by changing some keywords, playing with the structure, etc. to determine which works best for your specific audience. This doesn’t mean you should post the same update every time. Using best practice headline tips, write multiple versions of tweets to post — and don’t forget to include a compelling image too.

7. Tweet About Twitter

According to Hubspot, if it makes sense for your account to tweet about social media — do it. It found that their tweets that included links to blog posts and offers about Twitter and other social media topics received 22.5% more clicks on average than the average clicks for a tweet during a set period of time.

Image Credit: HubSpot

Insider Tip: From the Neil Patel playbook:

How can you talk about Twitter if your subject has nothing to do with Twitter? Try one of these:

  • Hey Twitter users….
  • Best thing on Twitter all day…
  • You needed this in your Twitter feed…
  • Twitter is raving about…

To Sum Up

The key to success with Twitter, as with life, is to work smarter not harder. Implement these tactics the next time you post on Twitter and watch your engagement rate rocket.

You might also like to read What To Post on Twitter: A Cheat Sheet For Healthcare Tweeters

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Save Searches on Twitter

Welcome to this week’s social media tip. Today I want you to show you how to save searches on Twitter.

1. Go to the Search tab 

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2. Enter your search into the search box.

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3. At the top of your results page, tap the three dots icon  and then tap Save. 

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4.Next time you tap the search box, a pop-up menu will display your Saved searches.

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5. To remove a search: Tap on delete saved search.ad759305-df08-40b2-a190-eea658880b6b

 Note: You may have up to 25 saved searches per account.

 

 

Posted in #HCSM

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

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

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

Why a website matters to your medical practice

In the online world, your website is a virtual office location and the face of your practice. It acts as the initial “touchpoint” for potential patients. It showcases who you are and what you do. A Facebook page is no substitute for a website (particularly given the current difficulties Facebook users face in terms of privacy and trust).

A well-designed website can:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When visitors land on your medical practice website, they’re typically looking for something specific.  You may be surprised to learn that research has revealed that easy navigation and accessibility are more important to patients than reputability.

Users should be able to use your website intuitively. Put yourself in the shoes of your visitors and ask yourself how easy it is to find key information on your site. How many clicks does a visitor have to make to get to the information they are looking for?

Think about the information someone is searching for when they visit your site—and make it easy for them to find it. If your site contains a lot of information (as some hospital websites do) consider creating separate landing pages for specific conditions.

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

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

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

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

3. Does your medical website communicate value?

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

4. How well is your website performing?

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

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

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

5. Is your website design mobile responsive?

Mobile first-indexing is now fully underway and there’s no excuse for having a website that is not optimized for use across all platforms in 2018.  Most people aren’t looking at your website on a desktop or laptop anymore. They are looking at it on a phone or tablet.  It is projected that by 2020 there will be 2.87 billion smartphone users.

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

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

Check how your website looks on a mobile device. If you need a magnifying glass to read it then your website is most likely not mobile responsive. You may have heard the term “mobile-friendly site” and be wondering if its the same thing. A mobile-friendly site is one where code is created that allows your website to scale to a smaller size. Mobile responsive sites, in contrast, “respond” to the size of device you are using, adjusting the website accordingly. Mobile responsive sites are greatly preferred over sites that are simply mobile-friendly.

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

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

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

6. Is your medical website optimized for search engines?

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

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

A Note on SEO and Redesigning Your Website

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

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

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

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Source: Salesforce

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

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

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

8. Does your site still use Flash?

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

9. Have you included relevant imagery on your site?

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

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

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

10. Have you incorporated social media?

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

To Wrap Up

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

You might also like to read 

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

5 Ways to Create a More Engaging User Experience

10 Healthcare Website Design Tips that Deliver Patients 

40-Point Website Audit Checklist

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

 

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Optimise Your Social Media Profile

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

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

 

Here’s to your social media success!

Posted in #HCSM

How To Set SMART Goals For Your Healthcare Marketing

It’s no secret that goal setting increases your likelihood of social media success, yet it never ceases to amaze me how many businesses have given scant thought to creating their social media goals.

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Source: Finances Online

When working with clients to create an online marketing strategy, one of my first questions to them is simply “what are you hoping to achieve with social media?” So many times I see businesses jump on board the latest social network without any thought as to what they actually want to achieve there.

Strategy Without Goals Is Putting The Cart Before The Horse

Without goals, it’s hard to know exactly how well your social media strategy is performing. Clear goals will not only propel your strategy forward, but they will also serve as defined metrics when it comes to measuring your progress.

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Common Social Media Marketing Goals

Below you will find a list of some common social media marketing goals — decide which of these are most aligned with your business goals.

  • Attract more patients to your practice
  • Improve the quality of health information online
  • Drive traffic to your  website
  • Run a disease awareness campaign
  • Establish online authority and credibility

Research shows that writing down your goals increases the completion rate of goals.

How To Set SMART Social Media Goals

For a goal to become a reality, it needs to be specific, measurable, attainable, and realistic, as well as time specific — these are often called SMART goals. SMART goals are one of the longest-lasting, most popular goal-setting frameworks for business.

Let’s take a closer look at what makes a goal SMART

Specific — the more specific you can be with defining a goal, the easier it will be to clearly see what it is you are trying to achieve. Let’s take as an example a goal to grow your Twitter followers.

Measurable — how will you measure your success? For example — double the number of your existing Twitter followers.

Attainable — is your goal attainable? Can you realistically double the number of your Twitter followers?

Relevant — a relevant goal is aligned closely to your business objectives. Does this goal support your business’s objectives, vision, or values?

Time Specific — give your goal a deadline. Double Twitter follower numbers in three months.

Wrapping Up

Setting SMART goals to which you can align your social media activity is a good guarantee of online marketing success. Once you have a clear set of goals, you can track your key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics more accurately. Make sure to revisit your goals on a regular basis to determine if you are still on track or if something needs adjusting. A winning formula is to measure, adjust and then rinse and repeat.