Social Media For The Healthcare Professional-A Beginner's Guide


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Social Media For The Healthcare Professional-A Beginner's Guide

  1. 1. GETTING STARTED:Social Media for the Healthcare Professional- A Beginner’s Guide Written by Chris Boardman Dec 2011email: 1
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTSPREFACE page 3PART 1 Social Media Overview page 5PART 2 Social Media Distribution page 11PART 3 The Power of Search and identifying your Brand page 12PART 4 The Art of Digital Curation page 16PART 5 An Overview of The Basics of Branding page 19PART 6 Editorial Calendar page 22PART 7 Content Aggregation and Distribution page 26PART 8 Composing A Blog page 29PART 9 Things you can do to help you succeed with your Social media campaign page 31email: 2
  3. 3. Getting Started-Preface “The Future Belongs To TheCredible” We are living in a time of great transition. The healthcare industry, no different than any other industry, has been affected by disruptive technology. As a result most everything you have been conditioned to believe about how to maintain and grow your practice has been challenged. Fully understanding the impact of the social web on the healthcare industry requires understanding Social Media; what it is and why it is important. We are here to help you create and maintain your online presence and integrate social media into your daily routine and marketing plans as securely and efficiently as possible.Where and how do your patients look for medical services? • Patients use search to find healthcare services. • If they can’t find you online, they will continue their search and move on. • If you do not provide enough evidence to qualify you as a credible provider, they will move on. Remember: It only takes a second to close a window. • Patients will ask people they trust when looking for a referral.What is a Social Network and why shouldI bother?Social Media Marketing is the practice ofusing Social Networks to reach yourcustomer where they look for information. Ina very short period of time Social Networkshave become a dominant informationalsource for consumers and provide themeans for a large segment of the populationto connect with one another. “If you want to reach someone, there is a good chance that you will find them on a social networking site”.email: 3
  4. 4. Integrating Social Media Marketing into your overall marketing plan will help youshape your message and give your patients the ability to share accurateinformation about you with their peers, improving your online persona,professional rankings and personal 4
  5. 5. Social Media-Getting Started Guide Part 1. SOCIAL MEDIA OVERVIEW- “The NEW word of mouth” Whether you are actively involved or just beginning, social media can be intimidating. Volumes of websites, programs, blogs, platforms, and the ways that they are related to one another can be overwhelming. We will walk you through the process with short, simple and direct steps that will not take more of your valuable personal time than necessary.What is Social Media?“Social media is any form of online publication or presence that allows end usersto engage in multi-directional conversations in or around the content on thewebsite.”( does that mean?We are experiencing a paradigm shift in the way we perceive and use media andobtain information. In the 20th century we passively consumed media bywatching television, going to the movies, listening to records, or reading what thenewspaper found fit to print. Today we control and personalize our mediaexperience. We interact with information of ourchoosing by “likes”, “comments” and sharinglinks online, watching video on-demand eitherover the Internet or cable. Never before have wehad this ability. This shift in usage and culturehas paved the way for the individual to“socialize” their media experience by sharingcontent with their peers. “Social interaction is the glue that holds communities together”email: 5
  6. 6. Why do I need to use social media for my practice? “Our attention has become our most valued resource”Billions of online pages have caused an exponential increase in demand forconsumers’ time and energy and changed the way we interact with information.Information and media have become integral parts of the online socialexperience. If you want to reach your patients you have to go to where they are.Today that means Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Youtube and more.Social networking and media tools have become an effective way to reach yourpatients, giving you the opportunity to support your branded online presence withinformation that you control. Without being engaged and aware of your patients/consumers online experience your brand and business survival is at the mercy ofwhat others say about you.How do I find and acquire more patients?Patients increasingly use search and social media to find healthcare services.Your patients will find you based upon what they are specifically looking for,not what you are trying to sell them. In addition, peer referral andrecommendation has increased in importance to the individual when looking forhealthcare services.How do I get the attention of my patients?First, your online presence must beconsistent with your reputation andportray you as the provider of servicesrelevant to the needs of the patient.Think about how you personally findinformation online and what your onlinehabits are. Invariably, if you want to findsomething, you search for it. If the pageyou find is relevant, you will stay. If thepage is not what you looked for, you willkeep searching. Your patients are nodifferent!The crux of a successful social media and online strategy is to give your patientsspecific, consistently high quality information that is relevant to their needs. Thiswill establish you as a trusted source of 6
  7. 7. How do I keep my patients coming back?The relationship between provider and patient has changed. Fully expect yourpatients to be better informed about their health issues and engaged in theirhealthcare treatment.You must treat your patient with respect and accommodate their new foundaccess to information by steering them to relevant and accurate informationregarding their condition. If you think about it, this is most likely consistent withyour current approach to patient satisfaction. The biggest difference is that asignificant portion of these communications will take place online and not in anexam room.Here are a couple of basics to think about:Social media is a tool that enables online conversations between people. Theseconversations will have a significant impact on the success or failure of yourpractice. Be it helpful or detrimental these conversations about you will takeplace and are happening online.Because you have no control over these conversations it is best to shape youronline presence by posting information preferably written by you than rely on thejudgment of an anonymous third party. Once you post your blog, status update,link, tweet, you can only react and respond to the ensuing conversation in a waythat shapes and supports you and your practice. Engaging in theseconversations will create trust between you and the individual further helping youaffect the readers perception.The Age of the Empowered ConsumerWe now live in the age of the “empowered consumer.”People have changed from a passive media society to one that demandsindividual control of, and access to, media based on personal choices.To utilize the power of social media for your practices you must engage in adialog with your patients rather than “push” an advertising message or opinion inhopes of garnering their attention.It IS possible to shape your online message.Where do I begin? I have no idea where to start.Most of us are impatient. We don’t want to take the time to get involved insomething that we don’t understand. It’s just too hard to make the 7
  8. 8. “It’s humbling to admit what you don’t know.”Let’s begin by building a foundation. “Thinking of yourself as a brand.”There are many definitions of a what brand is. One of my favorites is, “a promise(to the consumer) to deliver a consistent message, product and/or service.”Success in an online environment requires thinking of yourself and your practicein a different way.Let’s take Starbucks as an example.Regardless of where you are in the world you can walk into any Starbucks andyou will notice that: o The experience is the same. o The menu is the same. o The price is the same. o The product is the same. o The service is the same.When you think of Starbucks you recall yourperception of the Starbucks experience. If you hada good experience you will come back. If you had agreat experience you will most likely share it withyour friends. Conversely, if you had a badexperience you will share that as well. Theirconsistent delivery of their (brand) promise thatincludes superior customer service breeds loyalty.We are evolving into small communities of shared interestbased upon trust and authenticity.My practice isn’t a brand...We believe that your practice is a brand…though you most likely have neverthought of your practice in those terms. Let’s apply the Starbucks example toyour practice: • How easy is it to reach you or to make an appointment with you? • How accessible and comfortable is your office environment? • What are the attitudes of your office staff ? How do they treat your patients? • How close to their actual appointment time do you see your patients? • How do your patients feel about the actual time they spend with you? o Do your patients feel as though they have been heard? o Do your patients feel as though you spoke “at” them? • How well cared for do your patients feel when they leave their appointment?email: 8
  9. 9. • How well informed are they as to what they need to do, or what results they can expect?The image your patients have of you and your practice, as the result of theaggregate of characteristics above constitutes your brand. As you can see, it’snot a stretch to think of yourself as a brand because--you already are a brand.Applying branding principles will help you, and those in your practice,consistently maintain a positive perception of your practice online by sharingeffective messaging in line with your brand objectives.Don’t be alarmed! We are not asking you to radically change. We are only askingyou to view your practice (business) from a different perspective. In today’s online world “relevancy = quality.”Media in the 20th Century was both entertaining and manipulative. Thisconditioned us to place higher value in self-defined“experts” thus relinquishingour critical thinking skills. We had unwittingly given our power of choice to mediacreators who controlled distribution and defined quality by relying on “experts” tohelp shape our opinions.Disruptive technology has changed our behavior. Unlimited access to informationhas given us the opportunity to be better informed and less reliant upon the sameexperts we easily trusted in the past.As we question our traditional sources (experts). we are forced to find new waysto analyze and corroborate the information we find. Further complicating thesituation is the sheer volume of information available. Managing this activity is aconstant struggle. Therefore it is only natural for us to stop when we are satisfiedthat the information we have found is relevant to our search. Thus, the definitionof quality has changed. Quality has been replaced by relevancy to our currentneed.While some embrace this new behavior others retreat and rely upon only theirsmall circle of friends or those who influence them.Where do we turn?Ironically as the availability of information increase the number of people we trustdecreases. Credibility will be the new currency in a social web. Anything you cando to ensure your reputation as a trusted source will increase your 9
  10. 10. How does online presence and social media relate to (brand) loyalty?Social media is the method by which you can share your online presence andhave your audience engage with what you are offering. Being actively engaged inyour online presence and social media gives you the opportunity to effectively“shape” your message in a low-cost way to those seeking the services you offer.With repetition and repeat engagement with your patients, you can deliver onyour brand promise…creating loyal followers (patients) that will sustain and growyour practice. Overwhelmed? Don’t be, it gets 10
  11. 11. Social Media-Getting Started Guide Part 2 An Overview of Social Media DistributionImplementation of your social media program you will require social mediaplatform registrations. Ideally your username, or handle, will be consistent acrossall your social media outlets.Each platform focuses on different aspects of the social media universe havingdifferent functionality and purpose specific to their respective capabilities.A somewhat silly description is as follows:Twitter: Im peeing right now. (real time)Facebook: I just peed. (documentation)Foursquare: Im peeing here. (geo location)Quora: Why am I peeing? (question and answer wiki)YouTube: Watch this pee! (video)LinkedIn: I pee well. (business)Social networking sites are numerous. To be effective using social media willrequire you focus on the sites where your patients and audience congregates.The Twitter Help Center can be found at: help can be found at: pages: 11
  12. 12. GETTING STARTED Part 3: The Power of Search andIdentifying your Brand.Before we begin there are a few things that you should be aware of:Every keyword or search term is saved and indexed by Google.Every comment, blogpost, status update,tweet will remain onthe Internet.Everything postedonline, no matter howtrivial, can and willshow up in an onlinesearch.Translation: Everything we post online is representative of ourselves, and thebusinesses we work for. As such, we should be acutely aware and consciousabout what we post online. “If you don’t want the world to read it--don’t post it”. “Failing to plan is planning to fail”What this means to you and your practice:We are all defined by what we choose to share--be it in person or online. We nowhave the ability to control our online presence by distributing consistentmessaging across the web.Developing a consistent online profile:A well-defined online persona is CRITICAL to the success of any practice,business or personal activity. The key to creating this consistency is being ableto represent your brand in your messaging in a way that allows users to easilyunderstand and spread to their personal networks. The following is a list of topicsto explore, to help you discover. define and shape your (brand) persona.Remember that we are talking about 12
  13. 13. • Core Values- the center of gravity that will inform all of your brand (practice)based marketing decisions• Brand Pillars- the foundational qualities that will sustain and fortify the brand (practice)• Brand Characteristics- the traits that are adaptable to the community you serve• Promise- What is our mission? How do we express it?• Brand Aspirations-the definition of what attributes we aspire to portray through brand related actions• Culture- interpreting the beliefs, social forms and material traits of your brand (practice)• Personality- The marriage and matching personalities of the business and the individualMoving through this seemingly tedious process thoroughly will yield massivebenefits because you are defining your online presence and creating thefoundation for your social media marketing strategy. This will give you and youremployees the information required to implement your practice (brand) marketingstrategy successfully. And, help prevent costly missteps. “We are all brand managers and representatives of our brand” Communications as Social Objects We all have the ability to control which messages we receive, which messages we ignore and what content we share to our online social network. The information we share become “social objects” that extend our messaging and brand identity far beyond what is possible using traditional marketing methods. Effective social media campaigns engage the consumer in conversation. These conversations giveyour audience the ability to gain deeper understanding of you thus creating afoundation by which to judge if your message is relevant to their needs. Mostimportantly to note: this activity is entirely outside of you 13
  14. 14. “Express, Listen, Respond, Interpret”After completing the branding exercise,you will experience the urge to blast yourmessage out to your patients. Do notforget that the goal is to engage in aconversation, not overwhelm the userwith the virtues of your offering. A more indepth look at branding can be found inPart 5. Express Your messaging should be focused on creating value for your patients and readers in an easy to absorb,conversational manner. The goal is to establish yourself as an authentic andtrusted source. Leave your marketing and sales pitches for another day and beyourself. ListenA conversation requires you to listen. Listening to your patient or businessassociate is more important than extolling the benefits of what you offer.Reading their comments, testimonials and private messages shows respect. Thisis essential in building any 14
  15. 15. RespondIn real life if you were interested in creating a relationship your conversationswould be a combination of speaking, listening and responding. The mostsignificant difference is that in an online conversation.anyone will be able towitness the interaction and choose to engage or ignore. Your reply, as with allonline posts, will be available to all whether they comment or not. Responding topatients comments or questions serves to reinforce your relationship with yourpatients and customers. InterpretUsing web analytics! is perhaps! the single  most useful tool to consistentlymaintain high value, relevant, branded messaging to! your patients. Withoutconsistent!monitoring your!traffic you! will have no idea what works andwhat!doesnʼt. Delivering unfocused messages can cause your patients tobecome confused, lose attention and ultimately dilute your value -- potentiallyharming your practice and brand in the process.  email: 15
  16. 16. GETTING STARTED Part 4: The Art of Digital Curation.2 cu·rate verb ˈkyur-ˌāt, kyu-ˈrāt ̇ ̇cu·rat·edcu·rat·ingDefinition of CURATEtransitive verb: to act as curator of <curate a museum> <an exhibit curated by the museums director>Why Is Curation Important?FACT: Due to the power of disruptive technology… The individual has the ability to shape, distort and impact the perception of online information.FACT: Gone is the power of mass media to restrict access to information. Traditional trusted sources of information/referral have lost their relevancy.FACT: Everyone has the opportunity to distribute and share information online. Anyone can become an expert by declaration.FACT: Your patient is now forced to be responsible fordetermining the accuracy and quality of the informationthey consume, becoming accountable for their health.Credible and verifiable information will become the most powerful currency in the 16
  17. 17. We must assume that the “empowered consumer” searches for and choosesverifiable content that is relevant to their needs. We must also assume that the“empowered consumer” will distribute, interact with and share this informationwith their community of friends and acquaintances. The only control we can exert (over our reputation) is the quality and relevancy of the information we present. Who will be the judge? Ultimately it will be the patient. “Patients will look to peers for validation of information. This will be accomplished by the social sharing of information across the web and mobile devices.”How can you do?Always post credible, authentic and relevant informationTAG, CATEGORIZE andARCHIVE your digital content.BLOGS:Blogs consistently rank higherthan web pages suggesting thatyour blog will be the patient’sfirst contact with you online. As aresult, the power of your blog isenormous.Keywords incorporated in yourblog with links related to contentwill improve search results for your post, resulting in higher traffic.Categorize your content by groups- allowing you to navigate to what you want tolook for.Archiving your content makes it is easy for a patient to find previous 17
  18. 18. TIP: blog about current events, holidays or trending topics. If you can incorporate these into what you want to say, there is a strong likelihood that your blog will appear higher in search rankings by association during a keyword search.As a patient reads your blog they will evaluate your credibility. If you areauthentic in your presentation, and the relevance of what they are reading isvaluable, you will gain a follower. If you consistently share great content, you willbecome a credible source of information for your patients who will in turn feelcomfortable sharing your information with their friends and acquaintances online.It is important to understand: Your patient’s trust is EARNED. You are not entitled to this trust. It cannot be bought.If you abuse this trust the results will beimmediate:They will close your window and begone 18
  19. 19. Getting Started Part 5- An Overview Of The Basics OfBrandingWhat is Branding? Why is it Important?Primarily used as a marketing term, branding can be used to define the identityand personality of your practice. It is crucial for you to give an accurate picture ofwho you are and what you stand for as the reader will determine very quicklywhether or not what you offer is what they are looking for.Simply put, your brand is your promise to your patient. It tells them what they canexpect from your treatment and services, and it differentiates your offering fromthat of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you wantto be and who your patients perceive you to be.When a prospective patient lands on a webpage they will decide whether or not itis what they want in less than 10 seconds! Therefore, it is essentially important topresent a focused, branded message that informs the potential patient who youare and help you shape what people perceive you to be. Achieving this goal willrequire time and effort on your part to discover. Daunting but certainly not difficult.ASSESSMENT AND DISCOVERYEvery practice is a sum of itsparts. Each individual adds valueto the whole. It is important to beable to identify the strengths andweaknesses in your practice toget the maximum value out ofyour social media campaign andonline persona.Take a moment to reflect on whoyou are, where you have beenand where you wish to go.Cultivating an interactive andflourishing community to supportyour (brand) practice will requirefocus, dedication and 19
  20. 20. BRAND PERSONA Traditional management has been a control and command model. Decisions are made at the top and subsequently filtered down through the organization. Social media changes the game. Everyone can be brand ambassadors through their tweets, status updates, blogs, videos etc.Some may be concerned because of a lack of control but others will understandthat empowering employees to become brand ambassadors creates a sense ofownership amongst your employees resulting better decision-making.To begin the branding process requires that department heads, and, to someextent employees, be included in the decision making process.If employees are empowered to represent your practice, values and parameterswill need to be defined to insure that your messaging will be consistent. Thefollowing parameters will provide the guidelines necessary for building a cohesivebrand strategy.CORE VALUES The core values of your practice--its stature, intentions and purpose--are the foundation upon which all practice (brand) activity rests. These core values will dictate your words and actions, acting as a center of gravity, reinforcing your practice (brand). Without a center of gravity, uncontrolled and unrestricted activity will dilute the value of your practice (brand).PILLARS Pillars are objects that support, sustain and fortify your practice (brand). The qualities of these objects will govern the perception of your practice (brand), establishing its central themes. This will answer the question, “what is unique about our practice?”BRAND CHARACTERISTICS Defining brand characteristics will help establish the traits you wish to associate with your brand. Simply stated brand characteristics are: •What is it that we aim to portray? •How would our patients describe us? •How would our patients describe our competitors? A clear definition of these characteristics will enable your practice to adapt and grow without losing 20
  21. 21. THE PROMISE What is our mission? Answering this question is not as simple as it sounds and will require some soul searching. Your promise to your patients will guide decisions made on behalf of your practice.BRAND ASPIRATIONS Nothing in life is static.Your practice is a living and breathing entity that requires not only real-time management, but direction as well. Identification of your practice (brand) aspirations create a “traffic lane” for you to follow as you move forward toward your goals. CULTURE In a social media context, we define “culture” as the beliefs, social forms and material traits of a particular group. These traits will define, strengthen, and support the values of your practice, earning respect, confidence and loyalty. PERSONALITY It is the combination of all of the above that will determine the personality of your practice. The more authentic and unique each element is will honestly illustrate what your practice (brand) represents.Moving through a brand building process will take time and soul searching. It willrequire you to think differently about the way you do business. This is a goodthing because holding on to a status quo mindset will prevent you from becomingsuccessful as our culture struggles to meet the challenges we face.Some of you will want to roll up your sleeves and be fully engaged in thebranding process. Others will wish to hire branding/marketing companies. At thevery least, the previous descriptions of how to identify your brand will help youunderstand and start the process and/or know what questions to ask of themarketing companies you interview, if you choose to outsource this 21
  22. 22. REMEMBER: “FAILING TO PLAN IS PLANNING TO FAIL”GETTING STARTED PART 6-Creating An EditorialCalendarSocial networks allow you to share andpromote your practice (brand) message ata fraction of the cost traditionally spent toacquire new customers and maintainrelationships. Leveraging social networksis at the core of a social media marketingcampaign.The objective of your social mediacampaign should be to: • Deliver a consistent message • Create a dedicated tribe of followers (patients) who will support your message • Steer the experience of your practice (brand) by the quality of the content you share Acquiring and maintaining a relationship with your patients requires you to: •EARN their trust to garner their attention. •ONLY distribute quality content that is meaningful and relevant to their needs. •LISTEN to their comments and engage in conversation. •REVIEW and analyze traffic results of your efforts and change your approach as need be. With time, you will find what works for you. Theeffectiveness of your social media campaign will be directly related to the qualityof the information you share and the frequency that you distribute your message.Consistency of output is critical to maintain an active network. Creating an“editorial calendar” to help you manage this 22
  23. 23. Where do I begin? What do I talk about? Who is going to be responsible for this?Why do I have to have a schedule? When will I find the time? Where will I findthe content?Let’s take these one at a time.Where do I begin? • Begin by identifying who your editorial manager will be. This will be the person responsible for maintaining your schedule of tweets, status updates, blog posts and video blogs. • Identify who in your organization will be best suited to participate as “brand ambassadors”.What do I talk about? Everyone has different skills and interests. You will find that if someone is an expert in a skill set they will have something to say. The trick will be to have them adopt and integrate the goals of your practice (brand).Why do I have to have a schedule? • Without having a schedule and adhering to it, your social media campaign will be ineffective and potentially cause more harm than good. • Consistently sharing quality content generates trust and credibility • Credibility will be the most valued currency as time moves forward.When will I find the time? • It is possible to manage and maintain a robust social media presence in 30 minutes or less a day. Don’t worry. We’ll show you how.Where will I find the content? • You already possess more content sources than you are aware of.Basics of aSocial MediaMarketingCampaignemail: 23
  24. 24. A Case Study: Finding Quality Content for your Social MediaCampaign.To a keep a blog current you will constantly be looking for new topics. For mostpeople, it is hard enough to get started let alone deliver quality material on ascheduled basis. Not to worry. Help is on the way!Let’s look at a sample business: Pegasus Home Health Care.One of the services that Pegasus Home Health Care offers its customers is“Personal Care Services”. The following is from the Pegasus Home Health Carewebsite.Pegasus offersa variety ofservices. I seea year ofpotential socialmedia contenttopics.Where do youbegin to findcontent that fitsyour brandpromise?Look no furtherthan theexpertise youoffer yourpatients to finda treasuretrove ofpotential topicsto talk aboutthat will engage and inform your patients. The goal is to create trust in yourpatients as they identify you their source of credible content regardless whetherthe content is original or if merely provide a link to content relevant to their 24
  25. 25. In this example, you will see a list of blog topics created from Pegasus’ services.Training yourself to look at your practice in this way you will see that findingtopics will not be as difficult as you might think!Your biggest challenge will be to stay on schedule.To create a formatthat will be simpleto execute, wesuggest you createa calendar,available to all,and assignindividuals to beresponsible forblogs (articles)about specifictopics that arerelated to yourbrand mission andtheir personalexpertise asshown in the figure at the top of the 25
  26. 26. REMEMBER: Your content does not have to be distributed in real time.Getting Started Part 7- Content Aggregation andSyndication “Web content is the textual, visual or aural content that is encountered as part of the user experience on websites. It may include, among other things: text, images, sounds, videos and animations.” Web 2.0 has transformed our culture into a content creation machine! Blogs, Status updates, photos and videos are being created at an astonishing rate. It is apparent that the explosion in content creation is matched by our willingness and interest in sharing our creations.More significantly is the fact that we freely share the content of others with ourfriends and acquaintances. Retweeting, forwarding links, commenting and“liking” has all become commonplace, if not expected, on the web.In the context of an integrated online content strategy: what does this mean tous? Sharing content that you curate can be as important as content you create!A successful online marketing and content strategy is as much about who we areas what we say. It is the totality of what is presented and in what context that willdefine your practice (brand). Remember: What your patients will take away isthe perception of their experience.A Social Media strategy will consist of blogs, tweets, commenting on content,supplying links to other pages and responding to comments of other about yourcontent. Only posting content that is consistent with your brand values will createa unified online brand 26
  27. 27. There are no “tried and true” rules of the road. However, best practices areemerging.The following is an example of appropriating content to use for our contentstrategy and distribute to your patients on Twitter and Facebook.Goal:Drive more trafficEnhance your credibility by providing relevant informationEarn the trust of your patients.Method: 1. Find a webpage or (your) blog that contains information that would be interesting and valuable to your audience. 2. Share that link to your audience through your social networking profiles. ATTRIBUTION of sources is extremely important when sharing links. Be sure to let your readers know where you found the information.(NOTE: Owners of public content actually support the sharing because it drivesawareness and page views.)Using search, I found an article about Social Media guidelines for 27
  28. 28. The next step is to compose a short headline or description of what the article isabout. It is a call to action to get the reader’s attention. Keep this short--100-120characters including the link shortened by URL’s are too long for Twitter or status updates. is a link shortner thatcreates a unique, URL that compress a URL. This allows people to addcomments when Retweeting (sharing with their followers) if they like.For this example, I wrote:“New social media guidelines for doctors:” (60 characters)It is important to note that you should shorten only the link and not your entirestatus update (headline). Otherwise the reader will have no context by which tojudge their interest. Most likely your post will be ignored.Research and create a list of quality sources to cull content from and you will beamazed at how quickly this can be accomplished. From start to finish, thedistribution process, including linking to other web pages, literally takes secondsto complete.As you become more enthusiastic about social media, you may want to getinvolved in as many social networks as you can. There are numerous syndicationtools available. (, hootsuite, posterous). The downside would be that it istime consuming to keep up with more than a couple of networks. We suggestthat you focus your posting activity to your blog, Facebook and Twitter to 28
  29. 29. Getting Started Part 8- Composing a Blog-Given the demands on our time, we have come to expect our media to be able toimpart critical information as succinctly and quickly as possible. We make thedetermination to continue reading (or viewing) based upon what we learn fromfewer than 300 characters. If we are not sufficiently engaged, we will move on toother pages. We all have way too much to absorb. We don’t want to waste ourtime.The Headline To easily fit into status updates, blog headlines and tweets, headlines need to be limited to 100-120 characters. Short headlines combined with a link (shortened URL) of this length easily fit into status updates on most any online platform. The goal of these status updates is to create a call to action. At the same time, you should be conscious ofemail: 29
  30. 30. “overselling”. Simple, direct, and authentic post that are integrated with yourcontent strategy is always a good policy. Readers want value in return for theirattention. Perception of value creates credibility which in turn defines you as atrusted source.The First ParagraphAs we consume more information, we havecome to expect that what we read online iscompact and to the point. Effectively usingyour online real estate requires an almostlaser focus towards getting to the heart ofthe matter as quickly as possible.HyperlinksIn addition to “just the facts”, today’s readers expect an in-depth, engagingexperience. Hyperlinks and keywords embedded in a blog rate highly in Googlesearch which will increase traffic and raise your search results.Text editors have the capability to use any text in your blog as a link to anotherwebpage. This creates a rich experience for the reader and will create credibilitybased upon the quality of the content used for reference.Building an engaging patient experience enhances value. User engagement =longer page 30
  31. 31. Getting Started Part 9:5 Things you can do to help you succeed with yoursocial media campaign 1. SOCIAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT Test, learn from mistakes and be willing to fail. Start on a small scale and then apply what you learn to larger projects2. GO BEYOND YOUR UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITIONYour patients control their mediaexperience and are resistant totraditional “push” marketing. As a resultadvertisements and marketingmessages can easily be ignored. Brandsthat “pull” patients by offering greatervalue (“Multiple Brand Benefits”) willhave longer lasting 31
  32. 32. 3. STRIVE TO UNDERSTAND YOUR PATIENTS Your patients are multi- dimensional people with multiple passions and interests. The better you understand your patients and their passions the easier it will be to create an effective content strategy that engages and creates community.4. TAKE THE TIMEREQUIREDThis is a marathon not a sprint.The only short cut to hard workis to buy someone else’s 32
  33. 33. 5. DIP YOUR TOE IN Just start. You’ll never know until you try. 1. Express - your practice/brand values with a cohesive content strategy 2. Listen to your patients - they will be happy to tell what works and what doesn’t work for them. 3. Respond- never let comments go unanswered. Taking the time to reply sends an important message-that you respect your patients and business clients. 4. Measure and evaluate- set goals for your social media program with deadlines to accurately measure and evaluate your 33
  34. 34. email: 34