Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

How to make your hospital’s Facebook page the life of the party.

August 1, 2012

Facebook PartyFacebook, which is all about friends and their lives, is the epitome of social media. So think of running your hospital’s Facebook page as hosting a party for your friends. Invite people to join you and welcome newcomers. Strive to be a good host. Be a good conversationalist and never talk only about yourself. Go out of your way to provide refreshments and entertainment that will please the guests. Above all, be gracious and thankful to people who attend.

Know your guests and their likes and dislikes.

  • Pay attention to health and wellness topics that garner the most attention and comments. What topics flop? In the future weight your posts to the more popular topics. Think of your Facebook page as “Pandora” for healthcare in your community.

Cater to your friends. 

  • Share important community stories on your page.
  • Post important health information and observances.
  • Include information on events, new services or treatments you offer, staff recognition and other relevant information. Think of it as small talk. Try to present it in a way that invites conversation.

Be entertaining. 

  • Provide pictures and videos to supplement your post. A good visual can add spark to any topic. A physician explaining a disease or procedure on a video is a great way to educate people in a personable way.
  • Don’t drone on. Make your point short and sweet and when appropriate ask for feedback.
  • Party games can be fun, so use health quizzes and contests to interact with your audience.

Make it worth their time. 

  • Educate in a fun way. Be sure to provide helpful information – facts, event information, a good patient story, informative videos, recipes or helpful tips.

And in the end, thank people for coming.

  • Be sure to acknowledge your fans and the comments they make.

Follow these simple steps to be the host-ess with the most-est and watch your hospital’s Facebook likes and fan base grow.

THE LOGO EVOLUTION; an optimistic revolution

January 18, 2011

A logo update often speaks of a company trying to stay up-to-date in its offerings while strengthening its’ connection with consumers. But, with Starbucks falling into the bucket of recent logo evolutions within the last few months, I was forced to put down my Venti, Non-fat, Carmel Macchiato and ponder – could it mean something more? Could we be on the cusp of a branding revolution?

Every New Year begins with the hope for better things to come. Resolutions are made to convince ourselves that we can try harder and be more than we were the year prior. Every January, we are motivated to turn over a new leaf, conceive and commit to a better version of ourselves, and to accomplish big things. 

Essentially, a rebranding.

I believe the growing appetite for brand evolutions may possibly be an effort by these companies to demonstrate a new promise for the future – even in spite of familiarity feeling more sensible to their consumers.

Perhaps after being smacked around by the impact of the recession – and still jostling from the residuals – we are all eager for a more optimistic perspective.

According to a recent Gallup Poll, twice as many Americans think the U.S. economy will be better rather than worse in 2011.

2011 Expectation (vs. 2010) In Terms of the Economy (Percent of Group)
  Expectation % of Group
Group Better Same Worse
National adults 52% 21 25
   East 55 24 21
   Midwest 56 25 18
   South 51 20 27
   West 48 17 32
$75K or more 55 23 22
$30K to $75K 52 21 25
Less than $30K 51 20 27
Republicans 46 23 31
Independents 50 23 26
Democrats 62 19 16
Source: Gallup, December 2010

Recent tracking results show that consumers only became increasingly optimistic about the economy as 2010 came to an end.

Gallup analysts suggest this could be due to our general optimistic nature as Americans, or it could possibly reflect views of a recovering economy.  

Or it could simply mean that we are all ready to move forward.

And, honestly, was it the attempt these organizations made to put forth a new image that has been debated? Or the lack of creativity, planning and strategic foresight that has forced us to question the success of these new brand transformations?

As Paul Rand said, “Good design is Good for Business.”

And bad design will get you posted on every blog and Facebook page known to man!

 

Social Media Unites People and Communities

January 14, 2011

Over the past year, I have blogged readers to sleep about what a great marketing tool we have in social media. I spend so much time reading and talking about it, it’s easy to forget how powerful it is in action. I got a beautiful reminder over the New Year holiday when our very close friends’ dog disappeared on New Year’s Eve.

Our friends’ dog, Elsa, was spending the night with another friend when Elsa got out of the back yard. Elsa’s owners, the Rudisells, were in Charleston and we were in Greenville. In the old days, we were out of luck ‘til we got home. Today, thankfully, we have Facebook.

I jumped on my profile from Greenville, as others had already done in Columbia, and was instantly in touch with the search for Elsa. Knowing her family was devastated, I was grateful for the opportunity to tell hundreds of people where and when she was lost on the off chance someone I know might have seen her or know someone who had.

As we traveled back to Columbia that day, I hoped Elsa was already home. Sadly, she wasn’t. For the next six days, we would search high and wide, driving through neighborhoods miles from home and combing the statuses and comments of strangers who might have seen a dog that might have been Elsa. We never saw Elsa as we searched the adjacent neighborhoods, but we did see something amazing as the days passed.

Michele Affronte noticed it first, posting this note on her profile. As you would expect, those who knew Elsa and her family were driving the search. Before long the search party included people who didn’t know Elsa or the Rudisells. Soon, it also included people who didn’t know any of us; people who simply said they wanted to reunite Elsa with a family that obviously adored her.

The reach we got through social media was simply astounding. Our neighborhood’s Facebook group actively shared our search. Elsa’s story appeared on countless Facebook profiles and business pages, Twitter tweets, e-mail lists and virtual lost pet directories. Friends and commenters shared leads. Friends with businesses offered rewards. Richland County shared. The City of Columbia shared. Our local tourism Twitter hashtag (#famouslyhot) shared. People who follow that hashtag shared.

As the number of people sharing Elsa’s story grew, I saw strangers posting Elsa’s lost dog poster as their profile image. Thanks to a dedicated stranger, the story appeared on WLTX and was picked up in other markets including Charleston and Alabama. It was truly amazing to watch the compassion, sharing and reassuring that went on in this brand new community the week Elsa was lost.

Then, one week after she disappeared, I got the call I‘d been aching for. Elsa had finally wandered into the right hands, all the way over in Eau Claire. She was ten pounds lighter and her pads were painfully worn, but she was finally home where she belonged.

I know social media is not how we found Elsa, but social media helped the search in so many ways.

It helped searchers stay in close contact and share information in real time. It helped quell the hopelessness. It gave people who cared a way to do something in a situation where fate was in control. It showed how local businesses (and their employees) such as Rosso, Tombo Grille and Four Paws Animal Clinic are truly members of our Forest Acres community. It expanded my circle of friends to include new ones and tightened the hold many already have on my heart.

But the biggest lesson for me can also apply to any business or group that’s considering the value of social media. Social media connects people who care. People who care are what power social media.

And that is a pretty amazing thing to have in your corner. Just ask Elsa.

CHPRMS General Session Day One: Social Media Best Practices from Chris Boyer

December 2, 2010

The CHPRMS Fall Conference kicked off with a general session featuring Chris Boyer, Senior Manager for Digital Communications at Inova Health System. Chris is a long-time Tweeter at Twitter healthcare marketing hashtags #hcmktg and #hcsm and for good reason. He has great insight for both those wading into social media for the first time and for those who consider themselves experienced users.

Rather than rehash what was a great presentation, I’ll pass along what I found to be my biggest takeaway from Chris’ session: pure positioning.

Many hospitals are positioning themselves with a product mindset: with the subject being a surgery, doctor, da Vinci robot, or new patient tower. But the answer is not a pure service message that’s based on amiability and compassion. He suggests it’s somewhere in the middle: a message that focuses on building trust. Patients want to know that hospitals can effectively address their issues and that they won’t get hurt in the process.

One of the greatest tools for building trust in today’s marketing budget: social media.

Whether your hospital participates in social media or not is 100% irrelevant. The conversations are already happening around you. People are telling several hundred friends about a nice nurse who went the extra mile for their family member in a status update. People are crabbing on Twitter about waiting too long in their doctor’s waiting room. People share triumphs, joys, petty complaints and sometimes untruths mistakenly attributed to your hospital. Social media is an opportunity for two-way communication with fans and foes but you have to be there to take part.

There are a million blog posts out there that tell you how and why to get involved in social media already so rather than go there I’ll share these points from Chris as he wrapped up his presentation today.

First, hospital marketers have to realize the role social media has and will have now and in the future. You have to change your message and how you market it. Facebook isn’t going away and it’s somewhere people live; it’s not like search. People do not spend hours sharing and liking on Google.

Second, if your organization is not participating you have to start or risk being left behind. If you participate in social media already, you have to get better.

Third, you need a good social media policy (so everyone knows the rules), to open doors (so everyone has access) and you need a plan (so you’re not wasting the precious little time you have).

Fourth, you need the right team and you need to target the right audience. And last, you need to measure. Rather than striving for friends, fans and followers, search for deeper meaning. Broaden your reach. Build your reputation. Cultivate relationships. And measure your results.

Chris shared several great case studies. The first, from Swedish, promoted their sleep lab services. The second was Innova’s Fit for 50 wellness initiative.

He shared way more than what I have covered here but it’s a lot to think about whether you’re tweeting, blogging or still watching from the sidelines. How will you move forward?

From Ps to Rs; a shift in consumer expectation

September 23, 2010

As I continue dissecting my notes from the SHSMD conference in Chicago, building from my thoughts on the theme as well as the overview of its content, I’ve realized that my reporting on the marketing evolution is of little benefit – it’s done. Now what?

The only way to successfully adapt to this new environment is by transforming your communications strategy.

While speaking at SHSMD, Phyllis Marino of MetroHealth in Cleveland, Ohio, stated the 4Ps of marketing are obsolete. The new consumer is no longer interested in your mix of Product, Price, Promotion or Place because they now demand a more personalized approach.

With this expectation shift, the 5Rs are the new principles for ensuring the strategic focus of your marketing efforts is modified to appeal to this highly consumer-centric environment.

Recognition. Only with a clear, compelling identity and message will your audience differentiate you from the competition. You need to define what your name stands for and be able to connect with your audience in a more meaningful way.

Relevance. Your audience wants to readily see the link between what your company offers and how it fills their needs; be it accomplishing a task, solving a problem, education or entertainment.

Response.  It’s a dialogue – not a monologue. Therefore, you need to also listen to the consumer and be able to quickly respond to their informational needs.

Receptivity. What they want when they want it, not when you want to deliver it to them. The consumer has his own schedule and doesn’t want to adapt to yours. This is the reason why the internet is now the CENTER of the consumer universe.

Relationships. It’s no longer about connecting the dots; it’s connecting people. If you want to establish a lifetime commitment, you need to think what will keep your audience engaged for the long-term. Till death do you part.

It may be old-fashioned and fallacious of me, but when constructing a communications strategy based on the 5Rs, I find it easier to tackle them like I would the 5Ws of Journalism: Who (Recognition), What (Relevance), When (Response), Where (Receptivity), Why (Relationships).

The trick always comes with identifying the H.

How have you shifted the structure of your communications strategy?

Breaking the Piñata: When is too much information, too much?

September 16, 2010

Four days, 6 general sessions, 70 break-out workshops, 119 exhibitors, dozens of exchanges during breaks and luncheons with fellow attendees and the SHSMD 2010 conference is complete.

Rich with content and excited to share these pretty, shiny nuggets of knowledge with you, I’m struggling to find a starting point.

It’s almost like cracking open a piñata and not being certain of the direction in which I should scamper. Which goodies do I want to hoard for myself? Which ones do I want to share with others? Which ones do I find fascinating and you may find irrelevant?

I could craft a summary of the SHSMD conference and provide an overview of all the tidbits I’ve gathered, but the final product would be more like a dissertation rather than a blog entry.

Bursting at the seams, I feel like Adam in Paradise Lost when Raphael warned:

 “But Knowledge is as food, and needs no less

Her Temperance over Appetite, to know

In measure what the mind may well contain,

Oppresses else with Surfeit, and soon turns

Wisdom to Folly, as Nourishment to Wind.”

 Now that consumers have developed an excessive craving for conversation, education and details, what makes for a successful online interaction?

Just like biting into a juicy apple, you want to give your consumer digestible bits of information.

As marketers, we need to get out of broadcast mode where we craft our talking points, add some nice graphics or even a video, and post content to the web as another means of pushing out our messages. As The Cluetrain Manifesto laments, we’re still treating the online market as “eyeballs” rather than as people engaged in conversation.

Similar to chatting it up with a fellow attendee at a conference, you need to have a genuine delivery that leads to a positive exchange of ideas and dialogue. Not too much information where you overwhelm the other person and turn them off. Rather, the right balance of content that leaves them satisfied – and wanting seconds.

I can keep serving up my sampling of the conference, but what are you craving? Click brochure to get an overview of the SHSMD 2010 conference. Then, send me a note at kcionek@adamsgroup.com and tell me what topic you would like discussed next.

Nike+ Unleashes a Data-driven Revolution

September 10, 2010

I think anyone who actually admits to enjoying running can legitimately call themselves a runner. A few years ago, I would have never called myself a runner. An iPod and Nike+ changed that.

Nike+ is a sensor system created by Nike and Apple that works with an iPod and the Nike+ website to track a runner’s data – distance, pace, caloric burn and more – over time. According to this 2009 Wired article, Nike, through Nike+, has gathered the largest community of runners ever assembled — more than 1.2 million runners who have collectively tracked more than 130 million miles and burned more than 13 billion calories. And those are last year’s numbers.

Amassing loads of data has uncovered interesting running stats. Like that people in the US run more often in winter than those in Europe and Africa. More often, but for shorter distances. That the average duration of a run worldwide is 35 minutes. The most popular day to run? Sunday. Even the songs we most often choose for extra amps of power.

You can track your data on the website, and even broadcast run stats on Twitter and Facebook. And why on Earth would anyone want to do that? The article explains something called the Hawthorne Effect. The theory that people change their behavior — often for the better — when they are being observed. An effect you can see in real-time on millions of Facebook statuses each day.

Did Nike and Apple create Nike+ to sell more stuff? Of course. But they have not rested on their leading-edge laurels. The products have evolved and the product line has grown. The irritating shoe sensor is now history thanks to a new GPS-utilizing software app that launched this week.

In a few short years, Nike has done more than sell more pairs of shoes. They have created a worldwide community of millions that are engaged and excited about running. A strategy that will surely pay dividends in the long run.

Healthcare social media: it’s about location, location, location

August 31, 2010

One of the biggest trends in healthcare social media is location-based services such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, Britekite, Google Places for businesses, Google Latitude – and now, Facebook Places.   Twitter also incorporates location sourcing as well as the online review site, Yelp!

Location-based social media channels are game-like apps that allow you to “check in” wherever you are – home, Starbucks, a ballgame, the hospital – to share your location and see where your friends are.

Retailers like Starbucks and Gap have jumped on the opportunity to offer benefits to those who check-in frequently at a store or entice those in the area with instant coupons.  Sort of the ultimate in geo-targeting.  Facebook Places also is gearing up for location-sensitive advertising

As popular as these social media services have been, Facebook has just brought them to them to the masses – all 500 million members.

So, if you don’t already have a profile set up for your healthcare organization, you soon will – courtesy of your patients.  That could be an important first impression for your hospital.

Check to see what listings may already exist in case they need to be corrected or enhanced.  If none, here are some how-tos on getting your hospital set up:

  • Facebook Places – You must claim your Place and validate your information.  Per Facebook’s Help Center: If your business’s Place already exists on Facebook, click on it to visit its page.  At the bottom left side of your Place there will be a link that says “Is this your business?”  Click on the link and you will be directed to a claiming flow.
  • Foursquare
  • Gowalla.  This app is becoming a go-to channel for travelers, so take note if your hospital is near a major interstate or part of a tourist destination.
  • Google Places
  • Twitter Places
  • Yelp!
  • Localeze.  This company is providing some of the business listings for Facebook Places, Twitter Places and other search engines.  You may want to check or set up your listing with them as well.

Location-based services help patients and families integrate your healthcare organization in their social media outreach.  Imagine them sharing “baby’s on the way” or “headed to emergency surgery” or “last chemo treatment!” 

We’d love to hear any other examples or benefits from social media geo-tagging or location listings.

Social Media Use in Southeast Hospitals

August 24, 2010

Social media in healthcare seems to be growing exponentially. Or does it?  For starters, let’s look at hospitals in the Southeast. 

Based on the Hospital Social Network List (last updated July 24), 112 hospitals across six Southeastern states engage in social media.  That’s an average of just 16% of short term acute care hospitals (not including children’s hospitals).

State Using SM Total ST-Acute (AHD.com) % in SM YouTube Facebook Twitter Blogs
AL 6 100 6% 4 5 5 0
FL 40 213 19% 20 27 26 5
GA 19 115 17% 12 18 11 2
NC 17 106 16% 8 10 16 5
SC 16 64 25% 7 14 14 3
TN 14 117 12% 8 9 12 2
               
Totals 112 715 16% 59 83 84 17

While social media may not be right for all of these hospitals, the numbers seem surprisingly low especially when considering the wealth of facts validating the top social platforms.

Danny Brown recently shared excellent stats on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs.  Some of the highlights: 

Facebook  

  • The average Facebook user has 130 friends.
  • There are more than 100 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices. [Does your hospital have a mobile-friendly site? What about your Facebook page design?]
  • People that access Facebook via mobile are twice as active than non-mobile users.
  • More than 25 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) is shared each month.
  • The average Facebook user is connected to 60 pages, groups and events.
  • People spend over 500 billion minutes per month on Facebook.

Statistics from Facebook press office

Twitter 

  • Twitter gets more than 300,000 new users every day.
  • There are currently 110 million users of Twitter’s services.
  • Twitter receives 180 million unique visits each month.
  • There are more than 600 million searches on Twitter every day – more than Yahoo and Bing combined.
  • More than a third of users access Twitter via their mobile phone.

Statistics from Twitter and the Chirp Conference.  

YouTube 

  • The very first video uploaded in April 2005. By June 2006, more than 65,000 videos were being uploaded every day.
  • YouTube receives more than 2 billion viewers per day.
  • Every minute, 24 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube.

Statistics from YouTube press center

Blogs 

  • 77% of Internet users read blogs.
  • There are currently 133 million blogs listed on leading blog directory Technorati.
  • Bloggers use an average of five different social sites to drive traffic to their blog.

Statistics from Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2009 .  
Hopefully, these stats may help you build a case for jumping into social media at your healthcare organization – or expanding your outreach into other channels. 
 

How hot dogs made us socially acceptable.

August 20, 2010

With a growl in our stomachs, we went in search of the city’s best hot dog. Little did we know what we’d find were the makings of a social media success story.

It all started with a friendly argument. As we wrestled over what makes the perfect hot dog and where one can find such an exalted treasure, we decided there was only one way to settle the matter. We’d put our city’s hot dog vendors to the test.

In true Adams Group fashion, we soon had a name for our little venture, a logo, a scoring system and parameters to guide us on our quest for the preeminent pup.

So, we set out to our first hot dog hawker, ate way too much, took a bunch of pictures, tabulated the scores and posted everything to our Facebook page. The Dog Fight was born, and it was fun.

Every week we ventured into dives and delis, gas stations and gourmet restaurants, in search of perfection. Every now and again, someone would comment on a Facebook photo, or recommend their favorite source of such succulent sustenance. But overall, things were quiet on the Facebook front. Until, one week, we took a frankfurter furlough.

The minute we failed to post our regular update, people began asking questions. What happened? Where are you? Our adventures were being followed on a grand scale – we just didn’t know.

Within weeks, we were at the center of a foodie frenzy. Other companies’ employees challenged us to Dog Fights, we hosted “celebrity” guests, and our own dog fighters were recognized around town (and heavily questioned about where to grab a good dog).

We even got the attention of traditional media, which exposed our Friday lunch activities to tens of thousands. Dog Fight had taken on a life of its own – a life that is thriving today.

Why tell this tasty tale? Because it taught us a lot about achieving social media success:

First – Have fun. Share something that interests you and, chances are, it will interest others as well.

Second – In these cases, traditional metrics may not be giving you the full story. You probably have more followers than you think.

Third – This is not a push marketing medium. Invite people into your experience, and share with them.

Fourth – Be honest, open and transparent. If you are, the medium will reward you.

 Finally, if you know of a great hot dog place in South Carolina, let us know.


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