Social Media and How to Enhance Your Personal, Professional and Community Outreach
Social Media and How to Enhance Your
Personal, Professional and Community
North Texas Dietetic Association
October 15, 2009
Executive VP - Sales and Marketing
Synergy Broadcast Systems
What is Social Media?
Thanks to the magic of the Internet, world-wide connectivity and creative
people we have the ability to connect, share, collaborate, interact, socialize,
meet, and work right from our computers. Our ability to publish, connect and
share information has been facilitated by exciting applications that are grouped
together in a phenomenon we call Social Media.
Media hype focuses on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube but there’s much more
to it. Social Media is our ability to:
1. Connect with others of like minds through networking sites like Facebook,
LinkedIn, Plaxo and Xing.
2. Share information and content on sites like StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious,
3. Have video conversations using Skype or Oovoo; participate in unique
Forums and Community sites to pose questions, seek referrals or offer
helpful advice to others that share the same interests that we do.
4. Publish content and information to promote ourselves, our organization or
our business so others can find us without depending on PR firms, ad
agencies or other media platforms.
Social Media gives you the power and opportunity to enhance your personal,
professional and community outreach by using an amazing array of free and
unique tools available on the Internet.
Why Is This Important?
Traditional Marketing (Out-bound) has focused on media campaigns that use
print, TV, radio, billboards, direct mail and telemarketing to shout at people
about their products and services. For any of us to use these tools meant a large
outlay of cash and the use of PR and advertising campaigns to reach our
audience. Today, thanks to technology, we “tune-out” irrelevant messages and
“block” any intrusion we can.
• DVR’s allow us to skip commercials
• Newspaper and magazine readership is trending downward
• Caller ID and voice mail allow us to ignore callers
• National Do Not Call Registry allows us to block telemarketers
• Most junk mail goes unread and recycled and you can remove yourself
from mailing lists through the U. S. Postal Service.
Old style marketing is being replaced by a new more direct approach that is
available to us all. New Marketing is In-bound marketing and is all about being
found. Thanks to the growth of the Internet and our ability to “search” for things
we want or need the power has shifted from the big media companies and now
resides at the “grass roots” level. Triggered by Yahoo initially and then exploded
by Google a little more than 10 year ago, “search” gives people the power to
Social Media – North Texas Dietetics Association – October 15, 2009 2
research and find the people, products and services they want without having
to deal with the shouters or out-bound marketers. We look for things that are
relevant to our special situation.
For those of us with something to say the new tools allow us to become our own
publisher and create content to feed the search hungry masses that are
clamoring for content on a variety of subjects.
Your future success depends largely on your ability to create
excellent content and be found by those who are searching for you.
Why Should You Use Social Media?
That’s where the people are.
• Facebook has over 200 million members
• Youtube hosts over 70,000,000 videos
• LinkedIn averages more than 12 million unique visitors per month
• In July 2009 there were 113 Billion global searches –– 41% increase vs. 7-08
• Google (#1) July 2009 – 76 Billion – 67% of all search traffic
• Yahoo (#2) July 2009 – 8.9 Billion – 7.8% of all search traffic
Wondering what the impact of Social Media really is? Watch this video from
Is Social Media Relevant for Healthcare?
Social Media is relevant for anyone that wants to connect with their audience.
This is especially true for healthcare providers. Consider this:
• More people consult the Internet than doctors for healthcare information.
• 83% of people search online for healthcare information.
• 57% are eager to share their new knowledge with others.
• 33% compare prescription drug options online.
• 30% compare and choose their physician online.
• Facebook has over 1,000 communities around chronic illnesses.
• Patients are only able to recall 50-60% of the information given to them by
• The average length of a primary care visit is 10 minutes.
• Half of the 2 billion prescriptions filled each year are not taken correctly.
As a healthcare provider how do you control the message? You don’t, instead
you get out in front of it and drive the message through proper and compelling
content that people find and share with others.
Are hospitals riding the wave of Social Media?
Social Media – North Texas Dietetics Association – October 15, 2009 3
Not quite yet…
Depending on who you ask the number of hospitals in the United States is
somewhere between 5,700 and 6,800. Of those:
• 391 Hospitals total using Social Media
• 194 Youtube Channels
• 203 Facebook pages
• 284 Twitter accounts
• 44 Blogs
Is There Opportunity?
The opportunity for healthcare is huge. The industry is just beginning to
understand what Social Media is and how it can be used. Many are still afraid
of it and most have not yet taken the first step as you can see from the number
of early adopters reported above.
One of the best sites I’ve found on what hospitals are doing with Social Media is
a blog run by Ed Bennett, a hospital web manager for the University of Maryland
Medical System. His blog is his own work and not affiliated with the hospital. Ed
tracks Social Media usage by hospitals and keeps a list of what they are doing.
Please visit his site and become regular reader/commenter http://ebennett.org.
Here’s some of the information you can find on Ed’s site in addition to the
statistics on the number of hospitals using Social Media:
• The Top 20 Hospitals on Facebook http://ebennett.org/top-20-most-
• The Top 20 Hospitals using Twitter http://ebennett.org/the-top-20-most-
• Top 20 Hospitals on Youtube http://ebennett.org/top20y
• Webinar slideshow on the ROI of Social Media
How Should You Begin Using Social Media?
1. Get Listed. Start by putting yourself out there so others can find you.
a. Create profiles and groups on public and industry web sites.
iv. Industry Sites
v. Local Sites
2. Listen. Use search tools to listen. Listen to what consumers say and talk
about. Listen to how they describe their problems and issues and how
they might want to solve them. Listen to other professionals. What are
Social Media – North Texas Dietetics Association – October 15, 2009 4
they saying? How are the professionals reaching out to their potential
patients? Is it resonating with the consumer or falling on deaf ears?
Listening can help you develop a unique strategy to “connect” to your
audience. Listening tools include:
a. Google Reader
b. Google Blog Search
d. Twitter Search
e. Facebook Groups
f. LinkedIn Groups
3. Participate. Be willing to engage others with comments and opinions by
reading and commenting on Blogs or participating in Forum discussions.
4. Have a Voice and Publish. Think like a publisher. What are you learning
about your audience and the types of information and communication
they want? Create content and publish relevant articles and notes about
health, nutrition, weight loss, eating philosophies, guiding principles,
diabetes, fitness, and related topics. Consider what keywords are
important. When people search for what you do, what terms or phrases
will they use? Your goal is to position yourself as an expert on your topics
and most of all, be credible and tell stories, stories that your audience can
relate to. Stories will help them remember you.
a. Blog. When you are ready it’s time to create your own blog or
convince your hospital of the value of blogging and Social Media.
If you get some push back from IT let your Administrators know that
a blog can be hosted off site and linked to the website.
b. White Papers and eBooks. Write and publish White Papers or eBooks
on relevant topics within your specialty. If you have a few years
behind you have experience and knowledge you can use to
develop your topics. If you’re new to the profession, listen to what
the patients are looking for, do some research and start there.
c. Newsletter. Publish a monthly newsletter via email on relevant
topics and news to clients and prospective clients.
d. Speak. Offer to speak on relevant topics to business, social and
service organizations. The information in your field can be made
interesting and entertaining so even Rotarians will enjoy it.
e. Events. Participate or host special events but don’t just stand
behind a table. Tweet about it. Offer specials via Facebook and
give visitors a reason to come see you.
f. Audio and Video. We are a multimedia society. Audio takes the
form of podcasts and video can be created in a variety of ways to
publish on Youtube and other similar sites. Check out the Youtube
channels on healthcare for ideas.
Social Media – North Texas Dietetics Association – October 15, 2009 5
What Tools Are Available?
LinkedIn – http://linkedin.com
This is a professional networking site. You can set up a profile for free, look for
groups and individuals to connect with. There are 29 Groups related to dietitians
Google Profile – http://google.com/profiles
Create your own free personal profile on Google so when people “google” your
name you can be found and they can see relevant information about you and
what you do professionally. If you don’t have a web site or blog this is a “must
have” so you show up in search results.
Facebook – http://facebook.com
Originally started as social network at Harvard, Facebook has grown to over 250
million members. You can create both a personal and professional image on
Facebook. Once you create a personal profile (which you can keep private)
you can also create a Fan Page or Group Page that you can use for business
and outreach. NTDA already has a Facebook Group – Way to Go!!! Here’s a
Website – http://youoryourcompany.com
Your hospital should have a web site. If not, you have a new mission. If you are
in private practice you need a web presence. There are many sources that
offer web hosting and design services to help you or you can do it on your own.
Potential resources include:
• Google Sites (free) - http://www.google.com/sites/overview.html
• Yahoo – (fee) http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com
• GoDaddy – (fee) http://godaddy.com
• Thomas Brunt – (fee) http://thomasbrunt.com (I use this guy)
Blogging is the best way to publish your own content. A good blog site can also
be your professional web site as well. Content can be original articles you write
as well as links to other blogs, articles, news stories and videos that are relevant.
You can blog for free or pay a fee, using a variety of services like these:
• Word Press – http://WordPress.com or http://wordpress.org
• Google – http://blogger.com
• Live Journal – http://livejournal.com
• Blog.com – http://blog.com
• Vox – http://vox.com
• TypePad (fee) – http://typepad.com
Want to know if other dietitians have a blog? Search Google for “dietitians with
blogs”, as a way to start your search.
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Google Reader – A Listening Tool – http://google.com/reader
Google Reader is a way to “listen” to important topics, authors and news. Set
up a Google Reader account and use search terms to find out what’s going on.
Subscribe to blogs, listen for keywords and topics. Create RSS feeds of
information from Twitter and other sources. What’s an RSS feed? It’s basically
an online subscription. You tell it what you are interested in and it brings the
articles to your Reader account. Here’s a video tutorial that explains Google
Twitter - A Micro-blogging Site – http://twitter.com
Twitter is a micro-blogging platform that enables you to “tweet” messages to
your followers. A “tweet” is a post and can be no longer than140 characters.
Twitter can be used effectively as a marketing and promotional tool but it also
can be used as a “listening” tool using Twitter Search. I use Twitter to promote
blog posts, share interesting links I find and to search conversations that mention
important key words.
To search Twitter, go to http://search.twitter.com. Enter various keywords or
search terms to see what’s being said or talked about. If you find a particular
search that produces good results you can set up an RSS feed in Google Reader
to have this information automatically updated and put in your Reader.
If you join Twitter you will see the # next to various words. This is called a hashtag
and is a way to address a specific group or search term. As an example there is
a hashtag for dietitians and its #dietitian. Other hashtags of interest include
#diabetes; #diet; #nutrition; #healthy.
To find people to follow visit http://wefollow.com. Search using the tag
“dietitian” and you will get a list. There are currently 82 people listed as dietitians
on Twitter. Pick a few to follow and observe.
There’s a Social Media in Healthcare Twitter conversation every Sunday night at
8:00pm central time. Use the hashtag #hcsm. Visit http://healthsocmed.com
for more information.
SlideShare – A Presentation Sharing Site – http://slideshare.net
SlideShare is a free hosting/sharing service for PowerPoint presentations and
White Papers or eBooks. Create a profile and upload presentations and
relevant documents you’ve given or published. To take a tour and learn more
go to http://www.slideshare.net/tour. I found 282 presentations when searching
Flickr - A Photo Sharing and Hosting Site – http://flickr.com
Post relevant photos of events, networking activities, trade shows, success stories
and other important activities here and link them back to your Google Profile,
Social Media – North Texas Dietetics Association – October 15, 2009 7
Website or Blog. NTDA should take photos at every meeting and activity and
post so others can see you are a vibrant, active organization of experts. This can
be a great recruiting tool to increase membership. I searched “dietitians” and
turned up 784 items with that tag.
Youtube – A Video Sharing and Hosting Site - http://youtube.com
Youtube is the largest video sharing site on the Web and the second largest
search engine. Use Youtube to post topical video presentations. Videos for
Youtube should be short – 2:00 to 2:30. You can create your own channel.
When you create a video, upload it on Youtube but embed it in your blog or
website. I found 1,600 reference videos using the search term “dietitian”.
Animoto – A Video Creation Site – http://animoto.com
Don’t feel comfortable in front of or using a camera? Animoto is a video site
that can take your PowerPoint slides and photos and create very interesting
videos for you. Animoto offers both free and fee based services. Annual cost
for a personal subscription is only $30 or $250 for a business. You upload text,
photos, graphics and video and they create the video in minutes.
A great way to provide information and announce activities or events is an
electronic newsletter. This is usually done using a service provider that maintains
your lists, keeps you legal, helps you format your newsletter and handles
distribution for a small monthly fee.
• Constant Contact – http://constantcontact.com
• My Newsletter Builder – http://mynewsletterbuilder.com
• iContact – http://icontact.com
• MailChimp – http://mailchimp.com(free 500 list 3,000 emails/month)
• aWeber – http://aweber.com
StumbleUpon – A Sharing Site – http://stumbleupon.com
StumbleUpon helps you discover and share great websites. They offer applets
that let you “stumbleupon” or bookmark a web site that can be shared. A
search for “dietitian” turned up 9,195 results.
Digg – A Sharing Site – http://digg.com
Digg is a place to discover and share content on the Web. Users “Digg” or
promote articles on the site by voting. Topics are divided by categories. A
search on “dietitians” produced 303 articles.
Delicious – A Sharing Site – http://delicious.com
This is a bookmaking site. If you find an interesting web page or article and you
want to be able to find it again simply copy the URL into your Delicious account,
tag it and you can return to it any time. A search for dietitians produced 365
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Diigo – A Sharing Site – http://diigo.com
This site is similar to Delicious but offers more features. Searching “dietitian”
returned only 12 bookmarks.
White Papers and eBooks
White Papers and eBooks are an excellent way to get your message out. Write
an eBook that addresses a problem your patients or clients face and post it
everywhere. Here are links to expert sources on how to write white papers and
eBooks as well as two very popular eBooks:
Forums, also called discussion groups, are websites where people go to ask
questions, look for answers and find like minded people to chat with. Forums will
usually turn up in Google search results. Find the Forums that relate to your
specialty. Visit and contribute. Solid contributions will help position you as an
expert and help with networking and link building.
Seek out professional sites to network, create profiles and links, contribute,
connect with others, share, etc.
• http://www.dietitiancentral.com/ They are on Twitter @dietitians
• http://eatright.org American Dietetic Association
• http://adaf.org American Dietetic Association Foundation
• http://nutrition4texas.org Texas Dietetic Association
• http://scandpg.org Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness
Nutrition a dietetics practice group of the ADA
• http://adapac.org ADA Political Action Committee
Social Media – North Texas Dietetics Association – October 15, 2009 9
Sources on Social Media and Inbound Marketing
Watch this video to learn more about why Social Media is important to
This is a video analogy that uses fishing to explain Social Media as a marketing
A brand new web site was launched just this week about Social Media called
the Social Media Examiner. Here’s the URL http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/
Socialnomics – http://socialnomics.com - A blogger who tracks and reports on
the use of Social Media by and for business.
Chris Brogan – Blogger – http://chrisbrogan.com
Hubspot – Resource – http://hubspot.com and http://blog.hubspot.com
Bernie Borges – Social Media Expert – http://findandconvert.com/blog
David Scott Meerman – Social Media Expert – http://webinknow.com
Top Rank Blog – Blog about Social Media, PR, and Search Optimization –
Healthcare Marketing: Making the Case for Social Media – Blog Article
Social Media Talking Points a blog article by Ed Bennett on his Social Media
talking points in his hospital http://ebennett.org/social-media-talking-points/
20 Free eBooks on Social Media
Best Podcasts on Social Media – http://toprankblog.com/2008/12/best-social-
Web 2.0 – Book by Bernie Borges
Trust Agents – Book by Chris Brogan
The New Rules of Marketing and PR – Book by David Meerman Scott
Get Content. Get Customers: How to Use Content Marketing…Book by Joe Pulizzi
Secrets of Social Media Marketing – Book by Paul Gillin
Social Media – North Texas Dietetics Association – October 15, 2009 10
Just thinking about this stuff can give you brain freeze. It may seem
overwhelming and impossible. It’s just too much! How can I possibly begin?
The answer is baby-steps. Begin by doing the simple things. This is a marathon
not a sprint. It’s about building an online presence. It does not happen
overnight, so don’t panic, plan.
First Things First
• Get a Facebook page and become a Fan of NTDA. Search for Groups
within Facebook to join and “listen”.
• Join LinkedIn and begin connecting with your co-workers and their
connections. Join several groups to “listen”.
• Create a Gmail account on Google and use Google Reader to begin
“listening” and reading. Seek out other dietitians who blog and observe.
• Check out the resources and sites in this handout. Find the sites where
you feel comfortable and follow them on a regular basis.
• Watch the videos that are linked here.
• Visit http://ebennett.org to see what hospitals are doing.
• Interested in Twitter? Sign up and begin to listen and find followers.
Once you feel comfortable begin spreading your wings, comment, create and
publish content, engage the masses so you can be found. You don’t have to
do everything but make sure what you do, you do well. As you try new things,
stick with what works. If I can answer any questions or help you please call me
at 214-783-1930 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get an electronic copy of this handout at http://slideshare.net/synergybroadcast.
About Chuck Jones
I am currently the EVP for Sales and Marketing at Synergy Broadcast Systems in
Addison, TX. I write a blog at http://synergybroadcast.com/blog called Video
Applications that covers the use of video in education, healthcare,
government, cable television and other relevant markets. I’ve been interested
in the Internet since it began and launched our first web site in 1994. I began
using Social Media about three years ago as a blogger and expanded our use
to video, Twitter, Facebook and many of the tools discussed here.
Synergy Broadcast Systems provides Patient Education Systems to hospitals and
medical centers in the form of video on demand solutions, streaming solutions,
patient channels and TV Welcome Channels. For more information please visit
our web site at http://synergybroadcast.com/patient-education.html.
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