Posted in #HCSM, Twitter

12 Ways To Search For Health-Related Content On Twitter

Twitter’s statistics are mind-blowing. According to Internet Live Stats, every second, on average, around 6,000 tweets are tweeted on Twitter which corresponds to over 350,000 tweets sent per minute, 500 million tweets per day and around 200 billion tweets per year! So, how do you keep up with all those tweets? Obviously it’s impossible to keep up, but you can handle the avalanche better through a combination of maintaining Twitter lists of the people you follow, health-related hashtags, etc., and using Twitter’s Advanced Search Engine.

While the easiest way to do a search on Twitter is to click the native search facility, you can do so much more with Twitter’s advanced search capabilities. It allows you to narrow down your search using parameters such as specific keywords, language, people, location, and date range. In today’s post, I will show you twelve ways you can use this powerful search engine to search for health-related content on Twitter.

1. Search for a phrase: for example “healthcare social media marketing strategy”.

2. Search for any of these words: for example “healthcare social media” or “healthcare marketing strategy”.

3. Exclude any word: for example “blog”.

4. Search for health related hashtags: for example #hcsm.

5. Search for any specific language.

6. Choose specific accounts to search within.

7. Or find tweets directed to a specified Twitter user or referencing a specific username.

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8. Search for tweets in a specific location or within a specified mile radius of a location.

9. Narrow down your tweets within a specific date range. This is useful if you want to catch up on tweets around a specific conference or event.

10. Discover sentiment around tweets – i.e. whether negative or positive.

11. Find health-related questions. This feature enables you to search for conversations happening locally that you might like to add your expertise to.

12. Choose to include re-tweets in your search. I usually exclude this search parameter, as I prefer to concentrate on original tweets; however it may be useful if you want to see how many times a tweet has been re-tweeted or who is re-tweeting specific tweets.

And here’s a snapshot of my final search results. As you can, I can zoom in on the most popular tweets, or those who are tweeting in real time. I cans also find photos and videos related to my search. I can even save this search, and embed it on my website.

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Considering its capabilities, it is surprising that Twitter’s advanced search engine is so underused. Try using it to create lists, curate content, and as a social media listening tool to find health-related conversations. Once you start, you are sure to find other ways to maximise this powerful search engine to advance your healthcare marketing.

Posted in SlideShare

15 Social Media Resolutions For 2015

The start of a new year is the perfect time to review your social media strategy: to determine what’s working best, ditch or revise what isn’t, and resolve to build a stronger online brand.

And if you’re a healthcare provider who hasn’t yet tested the social media waters, this is an excellent time to take the plunge.

This slidedeck gives you 15 tips to help get a new year of social media off to a good start. I’ve added 20 more tips in my latest Beyond The Buzz social media column for HealthWorks Collective. You can read them here.

Happy New Year!

Posted in #HCSM

4 Essential Steps to Healthcare Social Media Marketing Success

Crowd Clip ArtAs the Internet increasingly becomes the medium of choice for researching health information, social media has become an important channel for healthcare marketing.  In today’s social media-connected, content marketing rich environment, healthcare marketeers who are not using social media as part of their strategy are missing out.  In today’s post,  I will outline the four essential steps required for successful healthcare  social media marketing.

The first step is to gain a clearer image of who your audience is and what they are saying about you. Only then will you be able to create compelling, relevant and valuable content to fuel the social media engine.

(1) Identify and segment your online audience

Your healthcare marketing efforts will be much stronger if you can identify your target market and segment it so that you can tailor your content more specifically for them. Unless you take this first step, your social media marketing activities will remain unfocused. If you can clearly identify your target market, then you can plan the best combination of email marketing, social networking strategies, SEO, Pay Per Click, Banner ads, etc. You are looking to drill down deeper to discover their geographic location, their gender, level of education, family status, which social media sites they use, what conversations they are having online, how they are engaging with you, your competition and your online partners.

(2) Plan your social and digital media channels

Armed with this information you will now be able to plan which social media channels are most suited to your target market and direct your efforts accordingly. For example, if you identify that your audience is predominately female, you might direct some of your healthcare marketing efforts to Pinterest, a site whose rapid growth and success has been driven by women.

(3) Join in the online conversation

There is a support and community group for just about any medical condition or interest online.  To further expand their reach and focus on patient care, these groups need the input of qualified healthcare practitioners to help validate the information discussed on their sites and to ensure balanced views that are in the best interest of patients. Participating in these communities by providing advice, educational podcasts, guest contributions to widely read blogs and websites can help you broadcast your brand and build your reputation, while providing valuable support to the group.

(4) Monitor your online reputation

Consistency, credibility and connection are the cornerstones of maintaining your healthcare brand’s integrity.  It is important to listen to what is being said about your brand, not just to know what is going on and whether you are receiving any negative publicity or comments that need to be addressed, but also to know what you are doing right, so that you can do more of it. At a minimum keep an eye on tweets, comments and messages on your Twitter, blog and Facebook accounts. You should also set up Google Alerts for your brand and industry.

There’s no question that social media is growing in importance in the healthcare field and it is no longer an optional marketing strategy.  The conversation is happening online with or without you, so for the sake of your healthcare brand, join it!

Posted in Ethics, Marketing

Ethics in Social Media Marketing: Responding to the Boston Tragedy

 

Augie Ray reminds us: “Before you click “submit” to your next social media post, do not simply ask if it will achieve its goal, fits best practices and suits the brand. Ask yourself if it is honest, transparent and ethical. That is a much higher standard, but higher standards are what consumers want and what brands increasingly wish to deliver, aren’t they?”

See on socialmediatoday.com

Posted in #HCSM, Abstract

Integrating social media and social marketing: a four-step process (Abstract)

See on Scoop.itHealth Care Social Media Monitor

Social media is a group of Internet-based applications that allows individuals to create, collaborate, and share content with one another. Practitioners can realize social media’s untapped potential by incorporating it as part of the larger social marketing strategy, beyond promotion. Social media, if used correctly, may help organizations increase their capacity for putting the consumer at the center of the social marketing process. The purpose of this article is to provide a template for strategic thinking to successfully include social media as part of the social marketing strategy by using a four-step process.

See on www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Posted in Marketing

Using Social Media to Market and Brand Your Medical Practice

As the Internet has become the medium of choice for researching health information, social media has become an important part of how your medical practice gets found online.  In today’s social media-connected, content marketing rich environment, doctors who are not using social media as part of their marketing strategy are missing out.  This article will give you an overview of why and how you should brand and market your practice online, along with examples of those physicians who are leading the way with social media marketing.

But first, what exactly does “branding” mean?

Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers. (Business Dictionary.com)

There are many elements which make your brand more readily identifiable, ranging from tangibles like your logo, tagline and promotional materials to the more intangible – how telephone calls are answered in your practice and how you are perceived by your patients. Doctors position themselves in the healthcare market by speciality, but also by the quality of their work, their reputation, and as an acknowledged expert on specific medical conditions.

Identify and define your brand

Properly identifying your brand means you will be able to define your offering and market your communications more effectively to your patient (and prospective patient) base. Ask yourself the following questions to help you define your brand more clearly.

  • What can patients find with you that they won’t find with another doctor?
  • What are your strengths when it comes to patient care?
  • What aspect of medicine do you most enjoy?
  • Do you have knowledge of a hobby or special interest which patients would benefit from your expertise on?

Promote your brand with social media

Health topics are one of the most searched terms on the internet and it’s becoming increasingly important for doctors to get involved in the online discussion. Engagement with social media networking sites provides you with a unique opportunity to position and market your brand, add value, and differentiate your practice from your competitors. It also helps attract new patients, build existing patient loyalty and opens up new opportunities outside of your practice.

Social media gives you the tools to find where your patients are meeting online, build relationships with them, and establish yourself as an expert in your field. Many of your existing patients are already online, and regular communication with them will help cement your relationship. Remember that unlike traditional forms of advertising, social media marketing is about talking with, not to your audience; it is about adding value to the conversation. Healthcare organizations whose strategy is to simply post information (for instance on a static web page) are missing out on the true essence of social media, i.e. two-way communication.

Opportunities to brand your medical practice are plentiful online. There is support and community groups for just about any medical condition or interest. To further expand their reach and focus on patient care, these groups need the input of qualified clinicians to help validate the information discussed on their sites and to ensure balanced views that are in the best interest of patients. Participating in these communities by providing advice, educational podcasts, guest contributions to widely read blogs and websites can help you broadcast your brand and build your reputation, while providing valuable support to the group.

Establishing and maintaining an online presence will keep your brand to the fore of people’s minds – not just your patients, but your peers. It is a great way to build positive exposure and credibility for your brand and to create what marketers refer to as “top-of-mind awareness.” Adding more touchpoints with your patients and prospective patients through social media helps create this top of mind awareness.

Maintaining brand integrity and monitoring your online reputation

Consistency, credibility, and connection are the cornerstones of maintaining your healthcare brand’s integrity. Once you have a clear vision of what your brand is about, the key to establishing and maintaining it is being consistent and credible across all on and off line platforms you connect on. It is also important to listen to what is being said about your brand, not just to know what is going on and whether you are receiving any negative publicity or comments that need to be addressed, but also to know what you are doing right, so that you can do more of it. At a minimum keep an eye on tweets, comments and messages on your Twitter, blog and Facebook accounts. You should also set up google alerts for your name, your practice and your partners.

Physicians leading the way online

There are many examples of physicians with successful online brands.  One of the best known is Kevin Pho, MD, an internist from Nashua, N.H., who started his KevinMD blog in 2004. Eight years later KevinMD is one of the most popular medical blogs online and has gained Dr Pho national and international attention as an opinion maker. He is frequently asked to contribute to print and TV discussions and is a regular speaker at conferences around the world.

Howard Luks, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Hawthorne, N.Y., who consults on digital media and medicine issues, champions healthcare social media and is unequivocal in his assertion that “to ignore the intersection between healthcare and social media is to potentially ignore our own relevance as a health care practitioner”.

Deanna Attai, MD, has focused her career exclusively on the care of patients with benign and malignant breast conditions. She provides advice to breast cancer communities on blogs, Twitter and Facebook platforms and is one of the founders of #BCSM (Breast Cancer Social Media), a regular online gathering on Twitter. Through her effective use of social media, Dr Attai has humanised her practice and become a credible and trustworthy source of advice and support to the breast cancer community, which has a very active and vocal presence online.

There’s no question that social media is growing in importance in the healthcare field and it is no longer an optional marketing strategy. Access to health information online is empowering patients and forcing medicine to become part of a more consumer driven market. For doctors to distinguish themselves from each other, they must respond to a digital society which now demands transparency and engagement. Joining in the online health conversation gives your patients a sense of belonging and emotional connection; it positions you as an expert in your field, helps you stand out from your peers, and inspires your staff. Word of mouth is the most valuable form of referral you can get and social media can harness this power and spread its reach in a way that traditional advertising cannot.

Finally, don’t think because you don’t appear online doesn’t mean you aren’t being talked about. With the advent of patient review sites, and online discussion forums, you risk leaving your brand reputation in the hands of others. The conversation is happening online with or without you, so for the sake of your healthcare brand, join it!

This article originally published on Health Works Collective