Healthcare Marketing: 25 MORE Interesting Facts About Social Media

October 28, 2011

Sarah Evans, author of social media and PR blog “Commentz” regularly compiles interesting stats and facts about social media. She recently shared her most relevant ones with Ad Age. Some can be useful to healthcare marketers.

1. “In early March, Google removed from its Android Market more than 60 applications carrying malicious software. Some of the malware was designed to reveal the user’s private information to a third party, replicate itself on other devices, destroy user data or even impersonate the device owner.”

2. “Groupon is on track to bring in between $3 billion and $4 billion in revenue this year alone. Facebook’s 2010 sales were reported to be only around $2 billion in its sixth year of existence.”

3. “A study of 24,000 consumers across the 16 largest countries found that those who are most connected, living on the cutting edge of social media tend to be more ‘prosocial’ than average, being more likely to do volunteer work, offer their seats in crowded places, lend possessions to others and give directions.”

4. “99 percent of Android devices are vulnerable to password theft.”

5. “Recent estimates put less than 10% of the population using Twitter, far less than other social sites.”

6. “More than 3.34 million mentions were recorded over a one-month period of people making social asks.”

7. “David Poltrack, CBS Corp., announced that, based on a new research study, ‘age and sex don’t matter when it comes to increasing TV ad effectiveness.'”

8. “An average of 40 percent of the traffic to the top 25 news sites comes from outside referrals, the study found, with Google Search and, to a lesser extent, Google News the single biggest traffic driver.”

9. “Almost one-in-four South Africans use social media as a tool to look for work, but are concerned about the potential career fallout from personal content on social networking sites.”

10. “The percentage of US parents who allow their children between ages 10 and 12 to use Facebook or MySpace more than doubled from 8 percent a year ago to 17 percent now.”

11. “33% of Facebook posting is mobile.”

12. “Fully 69% of visitors to news.google.com ended up 3 places: nytimes.com (14.6%), cnn.com (14.4%) and abcnews.go.com (14.0%).”

13. “85% of media websites now use online video to cover news.”

14. “”Social media advertising spending will increase from $2.1 billion in 2010 to $8.3 billion by 2015.”

15. “Facebook is approaching 700 million users and Google handles over 11 billion queries per month. World-wide there are over 5 billion mobile subscribers (9 out of 10 in the U.S.) and every two days there is more information created than between the dawn of civilization and 2003.”

16. “Twitter reported that the network saw more than 4,000 tweets per second (TPS) at the beginning and end of Obama’s speech [re: death of Osama Bin Laden]“

17. “65% of all social media related to the royal wedding has come from the U.S. in the past month [April]. The U.K. has been responsible for just 20%.”

18. Re: the Royal Wedding: “911,000 wedding-related tweets were tracked in the past 30 days. That’s about 30,000 per day and accounts for 71% of all social media.”

19. “According to NPR’s internal usage data covering January 1 through mid-April, users who request audio — maybe a station stream, a national newscast, or NPR Music content — view twice as many pages as those who only read the apps’ content. On average, audio streamers rack up 4.2 pageviews per visit versus 2.4 for the text-only crowd.”

20. “Twitter penetration rates in Canada are among the highest in the world, according to new data from online tracking firm comScore Inc., which suggests that nearly one in five Canadian Internet users over the age of 15 regularly visit Twitter.”

21. “Traffic from social media has highest bounce rate. [...] If you’re looking for ‘hyper-engaged’ readers, those that click through five or more pages on your site, forget the guy who came from Twitter. A link from another content site is three times more likely to be engaged, and someone coming in from search, is also above average.”

22. “”Digital services accounted for an estimated $8.5 billion (28%) of the $30.4 billion in 2010 U.S. revenue generated by the 900-plus advertising and marketing-services agencies that Ad Age analyzed.”

23. “Total Facebook spent on lobbying, Q1 2010: $41,390. Total Facebook spent on lobbying, Q1 2011: $230,000″

24. “Nearly seven in 10 tablet owners reported spending at least 1 hour per day using the device, including 38% who spent over 2 hours on it. And while just 28% consider it their primary computer, 77% are spending less time on desktop or laptop PCs since they got a tablet.”

25. “According to a Network Solutions survey, the use of social media among SMBs has grown over the years, rising from 12 percent in 2009, to 24 percent in 2010 to 31 percent currently.”

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Healthcare Marketing: 25 Interesting Facts about Social Media

October 27, 2011

In her social media and PR blog, “Commentz“, Sarah Evans and her staff compile a lot of interesting stats. She cherry-picked the most relevant for marketers and recently shared them with Ad Age. They can be quite useful to healthcare marketers.

1. “Social media accounts for one out of every six minutes spent online in US.”

2. “Seventy-seven percent report that they use social media to share their love of a show; 65% use it as a platform to help save their favorite shows; and 35% use it to try to introduce new shows to their friends.”

3. “Facebook users are overall more trusting than non-internet others. Pew reported, 43% of survey participants were more likely than other internet users to feel that most people can be trusted.”

4. “22% of all grandparents in the UK are using social networks, according to Mashable. The study, which collected results from 1,341 grandparents from the UK, showed that 71% of grandparents who use a social network use Facebook, 34% are on Twitter and 9% use the business social network LinkedIn.”

5. “In the first four months after its January 2010 launch in Russia, Facebook use grew by 376%, and today more than 4.5 million people use the site regularly.”

6. “The ‘Weinergate’ scandal caused a significant drop in tweeting politicians. According to VentureBeat, after the scandal ‘the number of tweets by Republican members of Congress dropped by 27 percent, while those of Democrats dropped by 29 percent.'”

7. Instagram “currently has a user base of 4.25 million in only seven months, with ten photos being posted a second.”

8. “It only takes 20 people to bring an online community to a significant level of activity and connectivity.”

9. “Nearly twice as many men (63%) as women (37%) use LinkedIn.”

10. “In the last election Google was the largest player — the Obama campaign directed 45% of its online campaign dollars to the search site.”

11. “59% of adult Facebook users had “liked” a brand as of April, up from 47% the previous September. Uptake among the oldest users appears to have been a major factor in this rise.”

12. “In 2010, 29.3 million readers read some 270 million pages of Post journalism each month, a record for The Washington Post. Of that, 28.1 million did so online and, while [Washington Post] brought in 4.2 million new readers on average each month compared to the previous year, [they] also lost some 35,000 print subscribers in 2010 alone.”

13. “25% of hotels [are] still ignoring social media.”

14. “Businesses are paying Twitter $120,000 to sponsor a promoted trending topic for a day. [...] That’s up from $25,000 to $30,000 when the feature was launched in April 2010.”

15. “AOL’s newsroom is now bigger than The New York Times’.”

16. “Mobile is one of the fastest-growing platforms in the world. With 40% of U.S. mobile subscribers regularly browsing the internet on their phone and a projected 12.5% of all e-commerce transactions going mobile by the end of the year, it’s a channel that you need to be aware of. According to Google, mobile web traffic will surpass PC traffic by 2013.”

17. “Twitter is 6-7 times smaller than Facebook.”

18. “There are now 54 million active Mac users around the world.”

19. “130 million books have been downloaded from iBooks.”

20. “Users say they’re more likely to buy if a business answers their questions on Twitter.”

21. “Nearly half (42%) indicated that if they’ve already allocated a portion of their marketing spend to social media, they would increase this spend over the course of the year. Only 8% of those surveyed indicated that they would decrease social media spend.”

22. “13% of online adults use the status update service Twitter, which represents a significant increase from the 8% of online adults who identified themselves as Twitter users in November 2010. 95% of Twitter users own a mobile phone, and half of these users access the service on their handheld device.”

23. “According to HubSpot, small businesses plan to spend 19 percent of budgets on social media vs. only 6 percent in larger businesses. A similar gap is shown for blogging with 10 percent of budgets for small business vs. just 3 percent for large.”

24. “33 percent of its worldwide traffic is inside the United States.”

25. “Facebook has three times as many accounts as Twitter, and 20 percent of Twitter’s users produce at least 80 percent of the site’s content.”

 


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Hospital Advertising: Creative and Effective Ads are Not the Same

February 18, 2011

The ultimate goal of our advertising efforts is to provide information that will ultimately lead to more sells.  

The results are in.  It’s the talk of the advertising community.  The most liked spot in this year’s Super Bowl was a spot featuring a little Darth Vader.   You know the spot.  The five-year-old boy who’s dressed like Darth Vader wanders around the house trying to conjure up The Force to help him.  He has no success until he goes outside and calls on The Force to affect his dad’s car.  And to his surprise The Force is finally with him and the car comes to life.  Of course the viewer sees The Force is actually his dad using the car’s remote ignition button.

It’s a great commercial.  It was ranked as the most liked by Nielsen research.  It has created a tremendous viral following having been viewed on YouTube over 10 million times.   And it has been one of the hottest topics on Twitter and Facebook.  What a success!  But was it?

Do you remember the brand of the car?  The model?  Did it impart any information?  Did it sell anything?  Bob Garfield pointed out in an article in Ad Age that the vast majority of the conversation in social media was about the ad but not about the car.  So was it a great commercial for the brand?

David Ogilvy said, “I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information.  If it doesn’t sell, it’s not creative.” And there has to be some truth to that principle.  What did we learn about the car in the adorable spot?  That it has a remote ignition system?  Now that’s old news in the car industry.  That is hardly an advantage.  What else did the spot tell us?

We have to be careful we don’t make the same mistake in hospital advertising.  We need to communicate information.  Useful information.  Information that heightens the brand.   Selling is not a bad thing.  After all it is what all our advertising and marketing must ultimately accomplish. It’s not enough to be adorable.  We must sell.

The spot most liked in the latest Super Bowl could have been for any product.  Insert any brand you like.  Yes it’s well liked.  It has become a viral success.  But is that really what Volkswagen wanted to accomplish for its Passat?  If the American consumer remembers who the spot was for maybe they will rush out and buy one.  But then again probably not.

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Hospital Marketing: Strategy First, Social Media Second

September 21, 2010

Social media is not the answer to marketing woes. But a strong, strategic plan is.    

“TGIF” – that’s Twitter, Google, the Internet and Facebook. And listening to some people you might get the impression the answer to every marketing problem is one or all of the above.  We just need to use these four tools, use them more often, invest more money and resources in them and we will become the market leader.  There is no doubt these four revolutionary developments have forever changed how we market products and services.  But are they the answer to all our marketing issues?

I think not!  As powerful and effective as these mediums can be, they are not at the core of what makes brands strong.  The most important thing is an effective marketing strategy. Without it, no combination of TGIF can resurrect a bad brand or sustain a good one.  Al Ries, chairman of Ries & Ries effectively made this very point in an article in Ad Age.  He emphasized that better strategies, not better weapons, win wars. And he gave some compelling examples.

Linen N Things didn’t go bankrupt because it didn’t effectively use Twitter. It went bankrupt because it was a knock off of Bed Bath & Beyond and never differentiated itself from the market leader.

DHL didn’t pull out of the U.S. market because it didn’t buy enough AdWords from Google but because it was the No. 3 brand in a category dominated by UPS and FedEx.

Kmart didn’t go bankrupt because it couldn’t figure out how to use the internet to promote the brand. Rather it went bankrupt because it was caught in no man’s land between low cost Wal-Mart and the high end Target.

Coca-Cola didn’t fail in 3 attempts to build a leading energy drink brand (KMX, Full Throttle and Tab) because it didn’t have a Facebook page but because it waited too long after the launch of Red Bull.

The point is obvious.  While TGIF are useful, effective and should be important elements in most marketing campaigns, they will not compensate for a bad marketing strategy. As Ries states, “what wins wars are better strategies.”   We sometimes spend a lot of time analyzing and utilizing Twitter, Google, the Internet and Facebook and not nearly enough time developing a strong effective strategy.  Without a good strategy, no medium will be effective.  With an effective strategy, just about every medium can be effective.

Let’s do the hard work.  Let’s focus on our brand strategy.  Then we will be prepared to choose the appropriate tactics to win the brand wars.


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Hospital Marketing: Brands Not Necessarily Topics of Conversations on Twitter

August 14, 2010

Tweets are about personal things and even though brands are trying to join the conversation they are mostly ignored. 

Twitter has seen rapid growth.  More and more consumers are tweeting.  And brands are trying to make their presence known and create conversations about themselves on Twitter.  But it’s been largely unsuccessful.  A study conducted by digital agency 360i and reported by Michael Learmouth in Ad Age, indicates there is very little brand discussion happening on Twitter.

Ninety percent of tweets come from real people and only 12% of those conversations mention a brand, according to study.

The other 10% of conversations are by businesses but they are largely one-way conversations.  In fact, only 1% of consumer conversations about brands are part of a conversation with that brand. Brands are normally mentioned on Twitter as parts of normal daily conversations and not because of anything the brand is doing on Twitter.

Ninety-four percent of real people’s tweets are personal in nature and 85% are original, and not re-tweets.  The good news is that only 7% of tweets mentioning brands were negative about the brand.

Even though Twitter has become more and more popular, and marketers are trying to join the conversations there, the medium is still largely personal.  Perhaps, it’s still too early for Twitter to be very effective for marketers.  Or perhaps marketers have yet to discover effective ways to engage Tweeters in ongoing conversations.  There are other social networking sites, like Facebook, that have proven to be somewhat effective as a marketing tool.  But it doesn’t seem as if Twitter is there yet.

Twitter can be useful as a means of sending press releases and communicating to a specific group of followers with common narrow interests.  But as a mass medium it has yet proven to be marketing-friendly.  That is not good news because there is a growing number of tweeters but they are largely unengaged or not                       even concerned with businesses and brands.

So maybe most of our efforts to use social media should be concentrated in other social media options? Certainly we can try Twitter but maybe we shouldn’t concentrate a lot of effort there until effective methods can be identified. 

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Healthcare Marketing: 75% of Americans Engage in Social Media – Is Your Hospital?

May 18, 2010

Research indicates that social media is beginning to rival traditional media in reach.

In a survey of 1700 internet users in the US, Nielsen Online found that 73% engage in social media at least once a week.  That makes the total social media audience consist of 127 million people.   Brian Morrissey reported the findings in a recent article in  AdWeek.

In addition to the total number of Americans engaged in social media, the survey rendered the following results:

  • 47% visit Facebook daily
  • 32.7 million play social games daily
  • Twitter has 105 million registered users but only 11.4 million or 6% use it daily
  • 11% read blogs daily

The number of users of social media is extremely significant.  The numbers rival and even outpace some forms of traditional media.  The 47% of internet users who visit Facebook daily compares to:

  • 55% who watch television daily
  • 37% who listen to radio daily
  • 22% who read newspaper daily
  • 11% who read magazines daily

The use of social media is continuing to increase.  As seen in this study by Nielsen, the percentages that are actively engaged in social media are comparable or greater than most traditional media consumers.

This creates new challenges for healthcare marketers.  How do we effectively reach this growing audience?   The answers are not easy.  And implementation is sometimes even more difficult.  But it is important to develop strategies to engage this burgeoning audience.

Traditional media is not dead.  It can still be very effective.  But social media has become pervasive and we must be creative and increasingly proactive in taking advantage of its growing popularity.

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Hospital Marketers Should Learn From Retailers: Holidays are Social (Media)

January 11, 2010

Over half of national retail advertisers embraced social media as part of their media mix for the 2009 holidays.

Just two years ago, only 4% of national retail advertisers utilized social media in their marketing strategies.  But in 2009 more than half  embraced social media.   According to a survey by BDO Seidman, of those retailers using social media, 76% are focusing on Facebook, 50% on Twitter, 14% on MySpace and 14% on YouTube.

Natalie Zmuda and Kunur Patel wrote in the December 7th issue of Advertising Age that Facebook was the second most visited site in the US on Black Friday.  And on that day “4.3% of Facebook users and 2.3% Twitter users visited the website of a top 500 retailer immediately after perusing the social-network site.”

Some of the retailers Zmuda and Patel cited as successfully using social network sites were Best Buy, ebay, JC Penney, Toy ‘R ‘Us and Wal-Mart.  These retailers used a combination of giveaways, support for traditional advertising, customer service, charitable donations and promotion of online specials.  Amazon, Abercrombie and Fitch, Kohl’s, Old Navy and Target were listed as retailers who did not do such a great job utilizing social media.  Their various sins were lack of coordination with traditional media, lack of holiday specials, unanswered consumer complaints and unchecked pages.

This gives a microcosm of how extensive social media is used both successfully and poorly by retailers.  Lessons are abundant for healthcare marketers:

 

  • Social media is a viable option and should be included in a hospital’s marketing strategy.   As can be seen by the dramatic growth in the use of social media, retailers are way ahead in recognizing the value and importance of social networking.
  • When done right, social media can be very effective.  It can create and enhance relationships with consumers.  It can create an ongoing conversation with consumers. 
  • When done poorly, social media can damage a brand.  When a brand isn’t active and engaged and doesn’t respond to consumer comments it sends a message that it’s not consumer-focused.

Social media is growing.  Brands are recognizing the value and benefits of engaging in social media.  Hospital marketers can learn valuable lessons.  Retailers have taught us that indeed the holidays are very social.   

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Convincing Your Hospital CEO to Use Social Media

July 31, 2009

As a hospital marketer you and your team realize the importance of Social Media as a marketing tool. However, chances are your eagerness to take advantage of Social Media is not shared by your hospital CEO, Chairman of the Board or other folks in the “C Suite”. Disapproval thumbs down

Perhaps they just don’t understand. In a recent study of the CEO’s of Top 100 Companies (list according to Forbes.com), the top brass is just not participating in Social Media like their employees, partners, and customers.  Research done from May 29, 2009 thru June 16, 2009 by www.uberceo.com shows:

  • Two ouf of 100 CEO’s had Twitter accounts
  • 13 had LinkdIn profiles
  • 81% didn’t have a personal Facebook Page
  • None had a blog

This level of detachment probably means top management at a lot of institutions, including hospitals, doesn’t realize the marketing opportunities available to their brand.  Thus the Marketing/PR Department has to sell the concept “up the food chain”.

Here are some things to consider when having the discussion with your board:

  • Share the numbers:
    • Facebook just reached the 250 million user mark and is expected to reach 300 million by the end of 2009
    • There are more than 30 million active blogs on the internet
    • According to Compete, Twitter has more than 6 million unique visitors per month and more than 55 million visits per month
    • Growth in newspaper circulation since 1990: -8 million
    • Average age of network evening news viewer: 60
    • Social Media represents more than 15% of time spent online
  • Avoid the “hip factor”. Resist the urge to show your enthusiasm for how “cool” Social Media tools are. Instead cut straight to the value that participating in Social Media will provide your hospital.
  • “Show me – sell me”. Give a demonstration of Twitter or Facebook.  Show results that a search on Twitter yields for your hospital or competitor. Explain how this information can be a benefit. Show how hospitals who are leading the way on Facebook are doing it.
  • Expense: Demonstrate how the expense associated with using Social Media for your hospital is often less than traditional media expense. Not that Social Media should replace traditional media, but demonstrate how by shifting just a few dollars from traditional media, more opportunities arise – possibly at a cost savings.
  • Additional Department Benefits: Show how opportunities are possible beyond advertising, marketing and publicity such as benefits for HR Department with recruitment and retention or how employee teams and committees can use Twitter to keep informed during projects.
  • Viral Marketing: Explain how building a relationship with one person via Social Media can yield “cheerleaders” for your hospital – at no additional cost
  • Permanence: Social Media, while ever evolving, is here to stay in some form. By not participating, opportunities are missed. Hospital across town not involved? Arrive first. Hospital across town is involved? Get going.

Go for “buy in” on small projects. Set goals and timelines for these small projects. Execute them flawlessly. Report back. As more familiarity is achieved – go deeper. Wade in. Don’t try to jump off the diving board into the deep end at the onset.

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Market Your Hospital Using Twitter

July 14, 2009

twitter-logoMaybe you are connected to friends, family, news sources, celebrities, favorite brands, etc on Twitter but how can it be used to promote your hospital?

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables users to send and read other users’ updates known as tweets.

Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length and are displayed on the user’s profile page and delivered to other users who have subscribed to them (known as followers).

Twitter is the name of the site. Tweets are the messages that are sent out. Links to your hospital’s website, landing page on hospital’s website, other websites such as the Centers for Disease Control, even links to your  hospital’s Facebook Page or YouTube channel can be sent via Twitter.

Some ways to use Twitter:

  • Promote service lines. IMPORTANT: Message must be engaging, relevant, offer something of value – not a “mini commercial. Copy is not as easy to write as one would think.
  • Updates in real time such as when a physician is at a conference and learns a new procedure or the first time that a procedure is done in the hospital. Surgeries have been tweeted (successfully) from leaders such as Henry Ford and Mayo.
  • Promote events
  • Reminders – follow up the announcement with a reminder “tweet” the morning of the event, etc.
  • Establish offshoot groups and send out pertinent info (tweet expectant moms a reminder to take their prenatal vitamin, tweet diabetic group reminder to check their blood sugar level, tweet weight loss group mid morning encouragement to make good lunch choices)
  • Drive traffic to hospital’s website. Choose the topic, ask a question about it and link to website for more info “Are you squash, apple or pear shaped? What does this mean for your health, your heart?” with link to website for more info)
  • Crisis management: whether a local catastrophe (a plant explosion) or a global one (Swine Flu), consumers and the media can be kept up to the minute. Info is immediate, accurate and it cuts down on labor required to manage phones.
  • Recruitment: Need to hire 2 nurses? Send a Tweet with a link to your website, offer an employee testimonial, how to apply, etc. Even if none of your followers are looking for a job, chances are they know someone who is (viral affect).
  • Monitor what patients, consumers and the community is saying about you. This allows you to handle complaints immediately if you choose.
  • Monitor what is being said about the competition – the good and the bad.

After Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee, WI tweeted a bilateral knee replacement, the hospital reported more than 180 questions and comments in reply to the 250 tweets posted during the surgery.

There were more than 75 “retweets” (tweets sent by other Twitter users). This new media event led to a profile on “Good Morning America” and got a mention on “Oprah”. Within a month of the surgery, 10 new patients were seen for the procedure with more expected.

To see the tweet of the surgery as well as comments lookup @Aurora_Health on Twitter.com.

For more on Aurora’s Twitter success:

www.assn.org/amednews/2009/06/29/bisa0629.htm

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