If social media is the best and fastest way to create conversations with customers, then why wouldn’t they serve as the perfect prescriptions for hospitals, dentists, optometrists and other healthcare professionals? Social networks provide some of the best ways to educate current and prospective patients, while also giving those professionals a chance to comment on the latest medical trends and treatments.
A study by Vision One Research validates what a lot of social media marketers have no doubt already seen: more U.S. hospitals are using Facebook to post content for patients. More details are in this Brafton news story, but what is especially illuminating is the mention of a YouGov report that says 57 percent of those surveyed would be influenced to select a particular hospital based on that institution’s use of social media.
I can vouch for the increase in healthcare-related interest in social media on an anecdotal level: it seems like I’ve been writing video scripts lately for a growing number of Splash Media clients serving the healthcare industry. Marketers should always be willing to explain all the things that social media can and can’t do for clients. But a few of the things it can do for medical professionals is help ease patient fears and present all the facts regarding certain procedures, talk about treatment options, highlight programs/services and get that much closer to the communities they serve.
I’ve already written about Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, a.k.a. @SeattleMamaDoc and her mommyblogging ways. Children’s Medical Center in Dallas also is very active with its social media platforms; check out their Facebook and Twitter accounts: http://www.facebook.com/ChildrensMedicalCenter, @ChildrensTheOne.
Do you have any examples of hospitals or healthcare-related businesses doing social media right? Please share in our Comments section. In the meantime, take two aspirin, get plenty of rest and check out these social media marketing tips from the week’s news feeds:
Google+ Can Add Value To Marketing Efforts
It launched with much fanfare in July, but social media marketers may still be wondering how they can use Google’s new social network. Rebecca Davis has the answers in this Ogilvy PR’s 360 Digital Influence blog post.
There’s An App For That – On Facebook
Jonathan Goldford in American Express Open Forum reviews four Facebook apps that can help businesses dress up their pages and open the doors to customer conversations.
Make It Your Business To Know About Social Business
IBM’s general manager for social business Alastair Rennie writes a guest post for Forbes.com about what exactly social business is, and how companies need to start adopting its tenets now.
That’s all for this week. Don’t forget to “fall back” this weekend and set your clocks an hour back, and we’ll see you back here on Monday!
Different Channels, Different Voices
As a small business engaged in social media, you probably have a Facebook company profile, a Twitter profile and a LinkedIn company page. When you update your channels, you may use management tools such as HootSuite to post to more than one site at a time. You might also link up your accounts so that your Twitter feed is synced with your LinkedIn updates.
This is terrific – you’re finding ways to make social media efficient and work for your business. But as a social media professional, I would caution you against redundancy in your social media posting. For example, if you send out a tweet on Twitter, have your account synched with LinkedIn and post using a service such as HootSuite, your updates will appear twice.
So it’s very important to make sure that each of your social channels has a different purpose. Will cross-postings still happen? Absolutely – and it’s okay! But I would recommend that you put some thought into what you hope each social media site will accomplish.
For example, Facebook could be your company photobook. It’s where employees hop on your page to comment on your latest photo album of the company picnic. Twitter could be your company’s news feed, where industry updates are broadcast. LinkedIn is where your company really struts its stuff on expertise. And YouTube could serve as the channel for education or entertainment for your potential customers – or both!
Having different purposes for each social channel will eliminate redundancy in your social media postings. This will keep your content fresh and focused. Sit down in front of your social media channels and determine the main purpose for each. After deciding on the mission for each platform, make sure all content leads you towards your goal. Begin with an end in mind. Doing so will increase your chances of aquiring new customers through social media marketing.
Social Media Help Desk is brought to you by the lovely Natalie Bidnick, a social media manager here at Splash Media. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/nataliebid.
In the world of social media, every holiday presents a special marketing opportunity – a special theme used to push or launch a product or service, a chance to offer exclusive content, another shot at goosing the conversation between customer and company.
Okay, so Halloween isn’t an official holiday, unless you manage a Party City; then it turns into an early Christmas. But it is an unofficial celebration of pop culture and memories of our youth, along with our innate desire to be taken to the brink of fear and then pulled safely back (like riding your favorite theme-park roller coaster, or attending the latest “Paranormal Activity” movie.)
More brands are taking to social media to make those scary connections, and some are doing it better than others. Audi makes smart use of the #halloween Twitter hashtag, and the social network’s Promoted Tweets feature, to push its thermal imaging cameras in its newer models:
On Facebook, the hit AMC horror series The Walking Dead offers up a bloody bucketful of behind-the-scenes material and extra content on its FB fan page; a must-click for fans of a genre show that does the best job yet of mixing gore and terrors with solid character development. And its production and makeup geniuses have some helpful hints for those who still don’t have any costume ideas for All Hallow’s Eve:
The scariest thing I’ve seen lately via social media, however, started catching some viral buzz about a week ago. It’s the Take This Lollipop Facebook app, an extraordinarily creepy way to make a point about privacy. Giving the app access to your Facebook account presents you with a two-minute horror movie where you and your friends are the stars; your status updates, photos and other content appear on the computer screen in the basement of a sweaty-looking guy in a wife-beater T-shirt – he’s right out of Central Casting for the role of Internet Stalker. He mutters, screams and types away as he looks in on your life, digs up your address on Google Maps, and then gets into a car and drives off – presumably to meet you face to face.
Frightening to be sure, but as Joe Berkowitzaptly points out in a Fast Company article Take This Lollipop also may have unwittingly put a spotlight on the technology that enables this kind of instant interactivity, and how it might be used in more productive, business-friendly ways other than scaring people.
Have you seen any recent clever tie-ins of Halloween and social media marketing? If so, please share with us in our Comments section below, and check out some advice and best practices from the week:
There’s Always Room For Jello…Brains?
Yes, another Halloween-related marketing campaign, this one from Kraft Foods. But as reported by Karlene Lukovitz of MediaPost Marketing Daily, Kraft’s efforts aren’t so much about a simple theme tie-in as they are about the company’s clever mix of all its social media and web platforms – including mobile – and its multiple family-friendly brands.
Content Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got Worth Sharing
Marcus Taylor of SEOptimize writes at Logic + Emotion about the kinds of content that gets passed along by customers and comes up with his own grading scale for determining how shareworthy a blog post or social media status update can be.
That’s all for this week. Have a great weekend; here’s hoping your Halloween scares are all of the “it’s-only-a-movie” kind, and watch out for those trick-or-treatin’ kiddos on Monday night!
Splash Media LP and Cyber-Time LTD Announce Distribution Agreement to bring SplashCube™ Social Media Marketing Software to New Zealand
Dallas, TX – October 26, 2011 – Splash Media, LP and Cyber-Time LTD today announced a strategic distribution agreement that will allow Cyber-Time to bring SplashCube™ to the New Zealand marketplace.
“With over, 450,000 active businesses countrywide, we believe that New Zealand will be a terrific market for our social media software and online training tool,” said Chris Kraft, CEO and co-founder of Splash Media. “New Zealand has shown a keen interest in using social media tools and currently ranks number 18 in the world for social media adoption. SplashCube is the perfect tool for international enterprise distributors as the tool will not only train you how to execute a successful social media campaign… it will also tell you exactly when and what to do to maximize your success.” Read More
It’s becoming one of the more popular search engines, even though most people probaby wouldn’t view YouTube as a “search engine.” It’s just a place to watch videos, right?
But businesses and those who do the marketing for them should know the tactics that can help their videos – and their companies – rank high on search results pages. That’s the focus of this week’s SplashCast, as Splash Media social media manager Matt Anderson, a YouTube specialist, tells host Renay San Miguel about tips like using videos as responses to other videos, along with the proper use of annotations and keywords.
To watch more SplashCasts, visit our YouTube channel.