Featuring your state-of-the-art technology in your healthcare marketing helps educate your potential patients, but people relate to people. Featuring your staff in your hospital social media efforts is a sure bet to making your hospital a social media star.(more…)
If you don’t think that healthcare social media marketing is important, think again – because patients do. According to one survey, half of all Internet-using patients surveyed said they use social media to check out a doctor, which plays into their decision on the provider they choose.
Potential patients use social media a lot. And a lot of the healthcare information they receive on an ongoing basis comes from social media. Facebook and the like aren’t just to connect to friends and family; they are there to provide information. (more…)
I realize there are many healthcare marketers that do not have the opportunity to attend SHSMD Connections (Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development annual conference). Sometimes it is budget, sometimes it is time away (and sometimes both). We are fortunate at TotalCom Marketing that we get to attend most years, so I thought I would share some of the highlights from several of the presentations at SHSMD Connections ‘18 held in Seattle this month. There were several that were really helpful, so this will be a multi-part series.
The first session I attended on day one was a “how to” for using Facebook Live. It was presented by the communications team at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System. They have been successfully using Facebook Live since it launched and offered some helpful insight for getting started or just doing it better.
About Facebook Live
Facebook Live is a marketing tool that can prove quite helpful in meeting your organization’s social media objectives (and more). It is immediate, authentic, interactive and a great way to connect and engage with your audience.
Reasons Why You Should Consider Using Facebook Live
- For now, at least, the Facebook algorithm favors Facebook Live. We have all seen a decline in engagement with our posts, Facebook Live is a way to help overcome this. Facebook will even send your page followers a notification when start or schedule.
- You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make Facebook Live work for your organization.
- Facebook Live is another way to connect with patients where they are spending considerable amounts of time each day – on Facebook.
Get Started with Facebook Live
- You don’t have to have a special video camera, an iPhone works great.
- Polish up your efforts with a few extra items including a camera mount, tripod, lapel mics to isolate sound and simple lighting. Also, Mevo (“a tv studio in your pocket”) is an app (and more) that allows you to look like you’ve got multiple cameras, allows for on-the-fly editing, is easy to use, requires no video editing experience and can really take your live stream to the next level. Learn more at getmevo.com.
Tips for Best Results
- Always have two people to manage the live stream as it is more than one person can do alone, especially if you get a lot of engagement on your video.
- Make sure you have a strong internet connection. VERY IMPORTANT.
- Promote your live stream in advance. Promote not only on Facebook but Instagram and any other social channels you use. Ask your audience to sign up for a reminder.
- As per social media best practices, don’t use Facebook Live to sell, but rather to establish your organization or employee as a thought leader and a resource to the community you serve.
- Keep your production authentic. It is ok that your Facebook Live stream is not Spielberg quality.
- Strategy first and tactics next. Use Facebook Live for the benefit of the audience, not just because it is fun and cool.
- Engage with your audience. If people comment questions, answer them in your live video. After the video is over, respond to all of the comment questions so others have the answers, too.
- Have a lengthy event? Don’t just “set it and forget it”. Best to break up the event into manageable snippets, do interviews in between highlights. Remember to announce often where you are and what you are doing for those who tune in later.
- Lunch is a good time to go live, as are evenings. However, the majority of the engagement is AFTER the fact.
- Look outside of healthcare at organizations and brands that are successfully using Facebook Live. Here are a few brands effectively using Facebook Live.
- Practice, practice, practice… Use Facebook Live personally to learn how. But no worries, you can change the settings for Facebook Live so no one else sees it, in the “Select Privacy” mode, choose “Only me”.
- Be sure to use Facebook analytics to provide insight and learn how you can fine tune and improve your Facebook Live efforts.
- Facebook also offers these tips for using Facebook Live
Ways to Use Facebook Live
- Use in place of, or in addition to a press release. News departments are short staffed and they can’t always cover events. For media outlets not able to attend, send them a link to the stream. They can then use some of the footage and include your event in their news report.
- Interview physicians or demonstrate new technology and procedures.
- Boost the value of your sponsorships so that you get more than just your logo on a flyer or t-shirt.
- Appeal to your audience’s curiosity. The examples the presenters gave was about taking a tour of the electrophysiology lab or showcase a renovation.
- Promote events at your hospital. But always ask, “Is this important to our audience? Is it relevant?” Don’t go live just for the sake of it.
Are you using Facebook Live for your hospital or healthcare organization? We would love to see how you are doing it. Share with us, won’t you?
Blog post written by Lori Moore, Senior Account Manager for TotalCom Marketing Communications. Reach Lori Moore by email or phone at 205.345.7363.
You took the plunge about the iPhone X and you’re not even sure if you’re supposed to say iPhone X or iPhone ten.
But what’s the big difference between this model and the one you had before collecting a new monthly payment added to your stack of bills?
Facial recognition is the big difference. Are you unlocking your phone or is it unlocking you? This could bring in a new era for marketers. Since the announcement of the iPhone X, facial recognition has quickly become the topic of dinner conversations everywhere. Facial recognition used to be reserved for top secret labs or something you saw the President use in a movie. But now we have access to it as well (celebrities, they’re just like us!)
While this feature is marketed as a security function for unlocking your phone, a consumer device used by the masses is a seriously powerful technology.
It is said 90% of personal communications is nonverbal. Every day there are instances where we don’t understand the nonverbal cues of the person on the other end of our screens. We use emojis and GIFs to try and share emotion within our digital interactions.
For all of us in the communications business, we know good experiences lead to trust and loyalty while bad experiences lead to brand rejection. So what could we do as marketers if we were able to obtain real-time reactions from a consumers? Imagine a world where we have access to consumer’s facial expressions and emotional cues in reaction to products and brands?
If we could access the facial cues from patients waiting for an extended time in the emergency room? The excitement on someone’s face when they try out a restaurant’s new dish. Or the skepticism on your face when you’re indulging in a purchase you shouldn’t be.
Currently, Apple is keeping detailed facial recognition data local on the phone and not storing it on its servers. App makers can use the iPhone X, with the user’s permission, to read a rough map of a stream of facial expressions. While Apple may never store this information for public use, it’s interesting to think about a world where we design advertisements based on the most unique human feature. This technology would tell us more about our consumers than we’ve ever known before.
It’s costs less to reach men on Facebook than women.
Women dominate Facebook. They are the ones constantly posting and engaging in social activity on Facebook. So it makes sense to use the social network to reach women. But although it makes sense, maybe we should wait a minute.
Against common thought, men cost less to reach on Facebook and respond better. Noreen O’Leary reported in Adweek that the surprising conclusion comes from an analysis of 65 billion Facebook ad impressions and 20 million ad clicks in a 12 month study conducted by Resolution Media. While 58% of Facebook users are women, men see and click through more ads than women. 58% of men see Facebook ads compared to only 42% of women who notice them. And men have a click volume of 60% compared to 40%b for women.
The study concluded that men are more focused on their activities when interacting on Facebook while women do more browsing, sharing and communicating. And men have shorter attention spans on Facebook, which means they are more easily distracted and more likely to be persuaded by relevant advertising messages. As a result, men click on Facebook ads at a higher rate than women.
So the cost-per-thousand impressions for men was 16 cents compared to 20 cents for women while cost per click for men was 51 cents compared to 68 cents for women.
Many healthcare marketers use Facebook advertising as a means to reach women. And it can certainly be effective. But this research shows we shouldn’t discount men on Facebook. They are there, and although in lower numbers that are more likely to see our ads and even click on them. So it’s true after all. Women are right. Men are cheap!!!
Consumers have become very savvy and bold in their use of social media to express anger and dissatisfaction against corporations and organizations.
Many hospitals are reluctant to become active in social media. Some have no presence at all and others have very limited engagement. Some are reluctant due to compliance issues and others are just afraid of the potential for negative comments. Why provide a venue for negative comments is the argument? And the hesitations are understandable.
BUT, the lack of engagement in social media by a hospital doesn’t mean the conversations aren’t happening. Our reluctance doesn’t stop the conversations. And even more alarming, consumers are becoming more strident and sophisticated in their use of social media to express anger and dissatisfaction.
Here are just a couple of examples. A college student in Washington D.C. used a petition on Change.org to try to pressure Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts to reverse it’s denial of rehabilitation coverage for his father. A mother launched a social media campaign against Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia after it denied a transplant to her child because, as the mother contended, her child was developmentally disabled. Both organizations I’m sure based their decision upon existing standards, policies and practices. But that didn’t stop the individuals from initiating a social media campaign and engaging many others in their effort to damage the brand’s reputation. These individuals were acting emotionally out of anger and outrage, and maybe hopelessness. Many consumers have found that traditional appeals do not get the results desired and so they turn to social media guerrilla tactics. They hope they can create enough pressure to get their desired result and if not, they will damage the brand.
Now the big question for all hospital marketers: is there a campaign being conducted against your hospital right now, that you are not aware of? Are disgruntled patients (rightly or wrongly) fanning the flame, attacking your brand and soliciting others to do the same? If you ignore social media, don’t want to have anything to do with it, or take it lightly, it could be happening.
Every hospital should have means to monitor social network activity about their brand. Every hospital should have a social media presence so that if negative things are being said the hospital can join the conversation and attempt to talk the offended party offline to address the issues. And every hospital should be engaged in social networks to demonstrate the hospital’s concern and responsiveness to concerns and complaints.
Hospitals should engage authentically in social media networks and be part of the human discussion rather than being perceived as unengaged and detached. Remember, there could be conversations going on right now about your brand that you need to be aware of. And in which you should be participating.
Social media is a time suck! But there are ways to be more efficient and minimize the distraction.
One of the major issues about social media for healthcare marketers is the time it requires. Social media may be comparatively inexpensive but it requires a major investment of time to do it well. And what healthcare marketer has time?
But Corey Eridon posted on HubSpot ways to make social media more efficient. Things to do to keep the demands of social media from paralyzing you. Here’s a summary of some of the suggestions he posted.
1) Compose your updates in advance. It’s time to update your social media posts…Facebook and Twitter. Do you click around trying to find content to power those updates? If you do, you will spend an inordinate amount of time researching and posting. It’s better to bookmark information as you stumble across it. Or if you need to do research, do it in advance and bookmark the information.
Use a social media publishing schedule– an Excel template (or something similar) that lets you input all of your social media status updates for each social network, organized by the date and time you’d like to publish them.
You can set aside an hour and input all of your social media updates for the following work week. That way you’re not left scrambling to find enough compelling content for all of the social networks you need to manage.
2) Maintain a content repository. To craft a week’s worth of social media updates you should use a content repository. Here’s what it looks like:
Basically, this is the place that you can keep all the content you’d like to promote and resurface in social media — because the more content you create, the harder it will be for you to keep track of all of it. So put in your ebooks, your blog posts, your infographics, everything you will want to re-promote at a later date in social media. Then you’ll be able to jump over to this tab and quickly find content to promote! Just be sure to include an expiration date so you don’t accidentally promote something that has already taken place. And you will be less likely to let things fall between the cracks.
No more pulling content out of thin air, marketers!
3) Use a collaborative tool to share your schedule. Social media content can come from more than just you! Take the burden off of yourself and make your social media presence richer by including other people in crafting social updates. You can share the days and times when you’ll be publishing updates and it makes it easy for everyone to see what slots are available for promotion. You can even block off certain slots as “Reserved” for your own updates to ensure the content you need to promote doesn’t get swallowed up by other people’s updates.
Just make sure you communicate three notes about this collaborative approach to social media content creation: Establish a deadline for content for the following week; communicate that the spreadsheet is first come, first serve; and make it clear that the social media manager has authority to veto updates that aren’t appropriate or not consisitent with the brand.
4) Schedule your updates to auto-publish. With content ready, use automation to make your life easier.
Now, not every social network makes it easy to auto-publish, so you’ll have to do some manual updating (on LinkedIn, for example). But you can still automate a good chunk of your publishing using a tool like HootSuite.
5) Set up social media monitoring. While creating your content in advance is a serious boon to productivity, healthcare marketers should still be leaving room for timely updates, too. What if a news story breaks? Or someone covers your company in their publication? Or someone publishes an excellent blog post you’d like to share with your network? That real-time content is critical, and you can set up monitoring to ensure you see it coming through. Use Google Alerts to keep up to date on information you can use.
6) Establish your company’s social media policy. If you know exactly what you should and should not do on social media, it becomes much more natural to create content and respond to fans and followers. If your company has a social media policy that details exactly what you should and should not say in social media and the tone you want your company to convey, it’s way easier to quickly create content and interact with your fans … because that kind of detail and forethought gives your company an actual personality. It’s much easier to be social when you have a personality.
7) Leverage networks’ admin features. Sometimes, more hands are better than one… Sometimes.
It can get a little scary for marketing managers, though, when too many people are involved in social media marketing. Specifically, if they all have administrative access to the accounts. Because while you know the nooks and crannies of each network, not everyone is as knowledgeable as you. So how do you leverage the help of your fellow co-workers without having them have a free-for-all?
Make use of the admin features on social networks. On Facebook, for example, you can now assign specific roles for users that limit their ability to do things like create posts, respond as the brand in comments, or create ads:
LinkedIn and Google+ let you assign admin roles, too, but you’re out of luck with Twitter. So either keep your brand’s Twitter login credentials under wraps, or give some serious training to anyone you give those credentials to!
8) Pre-schedule your checkins throughout the day. Even with a monitoring tool set up, you’ll have to check in to each of your social networks throughout the day to respond to comments and interact with fans and followers. Some marketers feel like they need to respond to everyone on social media immediately. While immediacy is great, your network also understands that you aren’t glued to your computer screen at all times. It’s alright (and important for your productivity if you don’t have an employee dedicated only to social media monitoring) to set aside specific times during the day for social media monitoring.
10) Use tools to create visual content. You know you should be creating visual content to share on social media, but you’re not a graphic designer. What do you do? Leverage some of the visual content creation tools that make the task easy. If you have a Smartphone, you should have no trouble finding apps that make you look like a visual content creation genius. There is, of course, the much-loved Instagram to take your photos from blah to beautiful. And there’s a new favorite of many marketers, Over , that lets you overlay text over photos for that kind of content that will get you seriously high engagement.
10) Eliminate the clutter in your analytics. Social media is one of those channels that marketers have simultaneously too much data to analyze, and not enough. Don’t get bogged down in the abundance of data! Spend less time looking at the fluffy metrics that really mean nothing to your overall marketing success, and just focus on a few core metrics.
Utilize these time saving techniques to relieve the burden of social media and to improve efficiency. It will make social media more effective, less of a time suck and it will give you more control over the process. Don’t let social media control you. Instead, you control it.
Hospitals are getting into the social media game. Although late adopters, hospitals are increasing their use of social media. Some larger institutions, like the Mayo Clinic, have large social media departments and have extensive activity among social media networks. But it’s much more challenging for smaller hospitals. The resources, the time requirements and support from upper management are definite limitations. But even with those liabilities, a recent study indicated smaller hospitals can be effective utilizing social media.
In two studies at the University of Missouri, the findings indicated that smaller hospitals use Facebook more effectively than larger ones. One study was conducted by Dr Ricky C. Leung, assistant professor of health management and one by Dr. Kalyan S. Pasupathy, assistant professor of health management and informatics. The research findings were reported by Brian Horowitz in eWeek . The research indicated that smaller hospitals are more committed to Facebook once they decide to use it.
Despite larger hospitals having more resources to build stronger Facebook page, they have more channels to develop and populate. Smaller hospitals who are limited in what they can do, concentrate their efforts more narrowly and are therefore more effective with the tools they use.
Of the sites studied, the average number of “likes” for the hospital’s Facebook page was 1321.
The take-away from this research is that smaller hospitals can have success using social media. The key for smaller hospitals is to limit the number of social media channels used and concentrate on only as many channels as can be done well. To spread the marketing department too thin by trying to do too much is counter productive. It’s much more effective to do one or two things and do them well.
An effective social media effort is not limited to larger hospitals. Smaller hospitals can also be effective by strategically choosing a limited number of social media tactics and doing them as well as possible.
Timing, frequency and content of social media impact its effectiveness.
Hubspot’s Dan Zarrella examined more than 100,000 social media accounts to determine what timing and frequency renders the most effectiveness for outcomes. Of course effectiveness is different for each specific activity but Zarrella did discover some general guidelines.
Frequency: What is the right amount of frequency in social media? Am I communicating too often? Not enough? The take-away from the finding was to not crowd the content. Each site will be different depending on the activity of the site but the general recommendation is to have at least two hours on each side of shared links.
Timing: Which days and what time of day are best for generating activity and engagement? The general guidelines are:
Twitter…late in the day and week are the most tweetable times. Between 2 PM and 5 PM (EST).
Facebook…. Highest during the weekend. This is due to restrictions some employees have for social media activity at work and more time for social media activity over the weekends.
Types of Content: The most important guideline about content is to mix it up. Make sure you’re not sharing the same content and types of content. A variety of content optimizes attention and engagement.
Here are some suggestions for different types of content:
- Links to new content
- Links to other helpful content
- Industry news
- Visual content (photos, charts, video, infographics)
- Answers to common questions
Social media is a challenge for healthcare marketers. It requires a considerable amount of time, which is hard to come by. So playing the odds and learning from the research on how to maximize our efforts is essential. We need to work social media but we need to work smart.
Target has 5 million Facebook fans….. here are 5 social media lessons we can learn from their success.
Target, the third largest retailer in the nation, has 20 million fans and added over 2 million fans in one month. But they have more than just a quantity of fans. They also have very high engagement levels with their fans. Morgan Arnold, reporting for Social Media Today reviewed Target’s social media success and offered 5 of their best practices, which can be very helpful to healthcare marketers.
1. Keep messaging and delivery mechanisms simple and relevant to the customer.
Target is constantly attempting to craft tools and applications that not only facilitate interaction among online friends but also actually create new opportunities for transactions with the brand. They create win-win situations that are useful and rewarding to their fans but also lead to transactions and engagement with the brand.
2. Use Twitter as a tool to create conversations.
Many organizations use Twitter just to dispense information. It is an outstanding medium for that but also to engage followers in conversations. Additionally it’s a way to build buzz and launch new services.
3. Whenever possible, say it with pictures.
Track Social’s recent white paper Optimizing Facebook Engagement showed that photos are the hands-down winner when it comes to boosting engagement scores. Photos should be an integral component of the content brands post.
4. Community Engagement = Social Engagement.
Involvement in the community will increase engagement on Facebook. Any community involvement should be documented on Facebook as a means to create consumer involvement.
5. Think Global, Post Local.
Always localize healthcare issues and news. Use healthcare issues of the day but always explain what it means and how it impacts your local audience.
Healthcare marketers could learn from Target’s approach to social media. Be relevant and engage the social space in ways that are meaningful, creative and mutually beneficial.