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How Providers & Patients Use Social Media [Infographic]

Social media helps bring people together. When it supports conversations that enhance doctor-patient relationships, that's worth writing home about. This week an infographic associated with a survey by Master of Health Administration degrees caught my attention. It illustrates the intersection between healthcare and social media, even the extent to which consumers trust doctors who share information via social media. As expected, most healthcare-related conversations are about a worthy cause, or shared experiences. The infographic also indicates that 16% of conversations are reviews about doctors, treatments and medications, something I talked about in a previous post. It's very interesting to see a state-by-state breakdown, showing how hospitals and other healthcare brands use major social media platforms. For example Facebook … [Read more...]

10 Steps for Launching An Epic Healthcare Social Media Campaign

Are you new to healthcare social media marketing and wondering how to get started? For conservative industries such as healthcare, social media use is challenging due to potential engagement risk, and privacy regulations such as HIPPA. But that doesn't mean you should shy away from it. Even large medical institutions like Johns Hopkins are successfully using social media marketing to reach prospective patients and give their brands a more 'human' voice. Image credit: Photobucket Here are 10 steps to launching an epic healthcare social media campaign: #1. Know your audience Don’t make assumptions about your audience or demographics. Your Facebook audience may be different from your Twitter or YouTube audiences. You need to research and study your target audience by developing patient personas. #2. Define content … [Read more...]

Blogging is Top Focus for Marketers Research Shows

Do you ever wonder what tactics, tools and strategies other social media marketers are using? Regardless of how long you’ve been involved in social media, chances are you have some questions that you’d like answered. Questions such as, “What are the best social management tools?” or “What are the best ways to engage my audience with social media?” These and many more questions were answered in the 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, which surveyed over 3000 marketers with the goal of understandinghow they use social media to grow and promote their businesses. Here are some interesting findings from the survey: #1: Marketers Want Most to Learn About Blogging When asked what social media platform they wanted most to master, 62% of marketers said blogging, putting it in first place slightly ahead of Google+. This … [Read more...]

Half of Plastic Surgeons Use Social Media New Study Shows

Half of the plastic surgeons responding to a recent survey reported using social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to connect with patients. The finding doesn't surprise Dr. Louis C. Cutolo, Jr., whose Staten Island cosmetic surgery practice serves Brooklyn and other areas of New York City. "Most plastic surgeons I know," says Dr. Cutolo, "embrace social media tools as a way to educate people interested in plastic surgery." Image Credit: Photobucket I don't know how this 'happy union' between plastic surgeons and social media came about. What I do know is that for a lot of women in America, plastic surgery is a serious trend - one that is fueled by a "need" for sleeveless fashions and bikini bodies, especially during the warm summer months. But vanity aside, women are also powerful and influential social media users … [Read more...]

Medical Conversations Happening on Twitter, Not Facebook

When Twitter initially launched I was largely skeptical on how it could be utilized in medicine.  Initially I thought Facebook was a better option due to the ability to use more than 140 characters. Over time though, it has become clear that medical conversations are happening on Twitter, not Facebook. Mainly because Facebook’s privacy settings are so nebulous.  Over time I’ve come to realize Facebook is starting to turn into the old Internet Explorer — bloated. Twitter is simple, straightforward, and you’re not worried about messing around with various profile settings due to updated policies every few months. Even though I was an early adopter of Facebook, getting an account during my college years months after it’s launch, I stopped using it a few months ago and haven’t looked back. Continue reading here... … [Read more...]

Facebook Hashtags: 6 Hot Tips for Healthcare Marketers

Hashtags have finally found a home on Facebook. The new feature, which is widely used on Twitter was met with mixed reactions on Facebook. A lot of people are complaining that they find hashtags annoying, and swearing they will never use them while others are thrilled that Facebook has finally 'got it'. But for healthcare marketers Facebook hashtags will be extremely useful for search and the discoverability of your brand.   Image credit: Mashable While they're still not available to everyone on Facebook, that doesn't mean you shouldn't start thinking about how to leverage hashtags to give your business a headstart. Here are 6 hashtag tips for healthcare marketers on Facebook: #1. Experiment with Facebook hashtags Whether or not the new feature has been enabled on your page or profile, start using and … [Read more...]

How Johns Hopkins Hospital Uses Social Media

For conservative industries such as healthcare, social media can be challenging. The fear of losing control causes many hospitals to shy away from social media, opting instead for traditional marketing. But not Johns Hopkins Hospital. Stacy Poliseo is the social media voice for Hopkins Medicine, which has both a local audience and an international one. Her goal is to reach out to these audiences with social media and give a human touch to the brand. She wants patients to think of Hopkins as an interactive and conversational trusted resource. When asked what are the most valuable lessons she has learned about social media marketing at Hopkins, she explains: Think beyond YouTube "You have to think beyond YouTube, Twitter and Facebook and look to other communities where patients are, in order to listen to them and get a feel for … [Read more...]

Social Media in Medicine: What Doctors Should Know

Social media in medicine is not about socializing with others. According to Dr. Anas Younes, chief of the Lymphoma Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, it is as professional a forum as presenting at a national meeting. The difference is that with social media, the audience can consist of millions of people. Public and patient reliance on social media for important information is a fact that physicians can no longer ignore. Dr. Younes finds engaging with patients online to be very rewarding. In fact the common excuse that many doctors cite i.e. "I don't have time for social media" does not sit well with him. "We read scientific papers, respond to a constant stream of emails (some from patients), review electronic medical records, participate in video conferences, and order medicine—all online. So participating in … [Read more...]

Is It Ever OK for Doctors to Ask Patients Out Online?

Has your doctor ever asked you out on a date online? Sounds like a joke, but apparently it's happening. A recent report published by the Journal of American Medical Association finds that asking patients out online is the most common doctor violation. "Doctors are contacting patients on Internet dating sites and engaging in other unprofessional behavior - and sometimes getting caught." Some would argue, "They're people too. They're entitled to having a private life." But as with most relationships 'it's complicated'. For example in a 2012 Medscape Ethics Survey, physicians were asked whether it is ever acceptable "to become involved in a romantic or sexual relationship with a patient." 68% said no, 1% said yes, 22% said maybe, and 9% said it depends. Physician, behave thyself! The American College of Physicians says that … [Read more...]

How to Blog for Patients and Families

One of the common problems that many new physician and healthcare bloggers have is 'shaky blog syndrome'. That means writing the kind of blog post that never gets read or does anything to benefit your organization. If the purpose of your blog is to attract new patients and families here are some things you should include in all your blog posts. #1. It starts with questions In order to have a successful blog you have to help solve your readers' problems by answering their most pressing questions. These would be the typical questions they ask during a routine check up such as, 'How do I know if my cough is serious' or 'How do I know what my blood pressure readings mean.' At first you might hesitate to write about a topic that sounds so basic and familiar to you. But remember that not everyone understands the basics of your … [Read more...]