- Create dynamic content. Blogs need to keep people’s attention and serve as a resource for lots of information in not a lot of space. The best way to do this is by including links, pictures, videos, whatever–whenever possible. Along with this, create dynamic content that’s the right fit for each of the outlets you share the blog post through. Or in other (Alejandra’s) words, “auto-feeds are just bad.” Don’t put on your Facebook the same blog teaser you put in a tweet–different audiences connect with different styled language, and when/if those audiences overlap, they’ll think it’s annoying that all your content is cookie-cutter.
- Lay some ground rules. Developed a social media and blogging guidelines for your company. It will not only help later on down the line in terms of logistics, avoiding people saying things they shouldn’t, etc.–but will also help you to figure out what your goal is exactly with the blog and keep you in line with achieving it. If you need inspiration, check out AARP’s social media guidelines.
- Keep people coming back by offering them ‘themed’ content. So for example, at Cool Green Science at The Nature Conservancy, they have one post that goes out each morning with the top five must-read articles in environmentalism. They also have a Nature Photo of the Week. These kinds of themes not only make it easier to focus on putting out enough content, they also give people something to look forward to next time if they found that post valuable.
- Learn from some of the great’s–but also maintain your own unique voice. Along with the blogs by the panelists themselves, some others mentioned include: Ebay Ink , the OKCupid blog OKTrends, and Treehugger.
- Prepare for disappointment by keeping expectations low. Sometimes you can plan and plan, but the end product just isn’t what you were expecting. Expect that it may happen and never expect lots of views to your blog in its infancy. Even if your company possesses enough of a reputation to bring more eyes to your blog doesn’t mean they will stay to hang around and read it if it’s not very good…yet.
Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category
- Don’t let a negative experience aired on Twitter linger with no response. Respond within 24 hours, take offline, and make it into a positive, even if it means offering free food. Caltort’s number one rule is never lose a customer, and that is something they adhere to. Restaurants and stores should adopt this policy if they have not already.
- Don’t treat social media as the solution, treat it as what it is, a conduit for word of mouth marketing.
- It isn’t about likes on Facebook or followers on Twitter. As Stacey remarked, it’s about “butts in seats.” Don’t get hung up on metrics that don’t matter–focus on the tactics that get people in stores (coupons/deals, Wifi offering), and actively track those efforts. Caltort has had 13 months of positive sales growth, completely paid-advertising free.
- Make your brand easy to talk about. Implement tools and incentives that will make your new products easy and desirable for people to share with their friends.
- Make your customers feel smart and and like they are “on the inside.” In my mind, this rule harkens a bit to the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, which advocates that it isn’t about YOU, it is about the other person. If you make your brand about your customers, they are going to be more responsive and interested. When Caltort was introducing a new vegetarian burrito, they tweeted out to their followers that the restaurant was debating calling the product, “the Vegito.” It got a ton of feedback, mostly negative–and turned into a sort of crowd-sourcing project. Finally, the “No Meato Burrito” was born and it’s creator was publicly recognized for it.
The room was filled with lots of eager participants, ready to hear our Moderator Alexandra Hughes (@AlexHughes01) lead our panel; Ted Eytan (@tedeytan), Alex Bornkessel (@SocialBttrfly) and Danielle Leach (@TeamInspire), as they discussed Health and Social Media.
The theme of the evening was centered around using social media in new ways to engage patients while they are well, rather than waiting until they are sick.
The panel started by talking about how healthcare providers can start implementing social media in their interaction with patients. A lot of organizations get caught up in what tool they will use, rather than focusing in on a goal and then making the goal work for their purposes. Not every tool will be appropriate for every audience. It is important to have a clear end goal and then build your social strategy around that.
Some organizations only go into social media when they want to avert or address a crisis. At that point there is not much impact that they can have unless the organization has previously been online. Ted introduced the concept of building up a ‘bank of good will’ by having an established presence in the social space and a relationship with patients.
- @ekivemark: #smcdc bank of goodwill. Don’t go to SocMed to protect yourself. You should already be there building goodwill.
From a pure communications standpoint, social media provides healthcare providers with an opportunity to get a lot of information out in a short period of time. Rather than being afraid of talking to people, they have the opportunity to join in conversations that are already taking place.
So how do you implement social media strategies and tools? One of the main tasks is to get the leadership on board so that they work with you, not against you. The second major step will be to find a way to engage your audience on whatever platforms that you choose to use.
@smcdc: Build some incentive in your social media plan/tool to encourage people to participate #smcdc
Mobile technology is increasingly favored by physicians, especially those who want instant access to patient records in a light, portable form. It opens up new opportunities to reach people who have little or no access to computers but are constantly attached to their phones.
@districtjoe: Interesting point that moving to digital records forces doctors to think about their patients even when they’re not in their office #smcdc
The reality is that there are still large groups of people with little or no access to any technology. Another group is those who have access to technology but have no idea how to use it. These individuals on the other side of the digital divide present a challenge because they cant just be ignored. In order to be a healthcare system that cares and works for everyone there is a need to look at reaching people on both sides of the digital divide.
More people are looking for public health information than they realize. They are talking about their personal experiences with illness, their doctors and the drugs they are using, as well as learning from other people.
While they value what they are learning from each other, there is still a hunger for authoritative medical information. People say their doctor is still the number one source that they want to get their information from. The problem is that very few actually reach out to their physicians outside their regular appointments.
Organizations that are successful in implementing a social media strategy externally also have to walk the talk internally, doing what they ask others to. A lot of conversation needs to take place around what is needed to bring everyone on board and make the strategy work. What tools does the organization use to foster social interaction, and are they working? What fears does the organization have about participating in new media? Bring all these issues out on the table so that they can be addressed.
@smcdc: Highlight other people who are using social media well as examples of what your company could do @TeamInspire#smcdc
Healthcare organizations have built in content in the form of their patients experiences. Find non-threatening ways to invite them to share their stories and perspectives, e.g. using third parties, surveys, or fliers. Its not a good idea for physician to be directly involved in asking patients to do this since it could potentially be misconstrued as using their authority to force participation.
A special thanks to our moderator and panelists:
- Alexandra Hughes (@AlexHughes01; http://smexchange.ogilvypr.com)
- Ted Eytan, MD (@tedeytan; http://www.tedeytan.com)
- Alex Bornkessel (@SocialBttrfly; http://www.fly4change.com)
- Danielle Leach (@TeamInspire; http://www.inspire.com)
We would also like to thank Spectrum Science (@SpectrumScience; http://www.spectrumscience.com/blog) for graciously hosting the event at their offices.