Friday, July 10, 2015

5 Key Principles for using Social Media to promote Health Organizations

After writing about social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google + I've come to realize that even though each of them differ in their platform, a Healthcare Organization can be successful by having a good understanding of these 5 Key Principles:

1. Don't just post random information, have a purpose in what you post. 

You are a healthcare organization and your followers look to you for information regarding your specialty.  Having a strategy and purpose in what you write will keep people interested in what you have to share.  If the information is random, disorganized, and unrelated followers are less likely to keep an interest in your business.

Aflac's is a great example of using purpose in social media for a year-long media campaign was.

  • Help deliver relevant and timely information to help small businesses understand more about the HCR changes and how they would be affected by them.
  • Help clarify regulations and helped make educated decisions about their benefits programs.

Here is how their purpose message was posted on LinkedIn and Twitter

2. Know who you are speaking to versus just blindly sending out information hoping someone is interested.

Just like standard advertising in magazines, on TV, or billboards you have know who you are sending your message out to.  

It's important to be interesting to the those who are reading your posts.

In order to do that you have no know who your followers are, what they like, their age, their interests, what is important to them.

The Red Pump Project is a non-profit organization that focuses on educating women about HIV/Aids.  They know who they speak to, their demographic focuses on women of all ages.

Their posts are geared towards empowering women with information whether it is by educating, providing outreach or educational workshops, or posting new and exciting medical research.

3. Make sure that your brand is seen throughout your posts, keep them relevant.

There is a lot of information available on social media, what is going to make you stand out?  What is going to differentiate your business from the other businesses?  You need to brand yourself.  You have to find a way to tie in the information you post, pictures you share, videos you provide, discussions you communicate with, etc to your specific business.  It is a way of earning trust in the community, gaining recognition to those who don't know our business as well, and having a personal connection with your followers - all of which combine to portray quality of care.

Do you recognize some of the companies in this picture: Pfizer, Bayer Health Care, Merck? When you see these brands, do you they portray competent and successful Healthcare Businesses? That is because over the years they have continued to make themselves stand out from the crowd, and become more recognizable.  

The American Red Cross is the perfect example of a large and successful non-profit healthcare organization that has branded itself around the concept of safety and caring.

4. Be creative - post pictures, about upcoming events, tag others, videos, create discussions   

Please! Whatever you do don't just write a sentence and call it a day!  You have SO MUCH to choose from!  

Here's a list of things you can do to keep your followers interested, engaged, educated and coming back for more!

  • Host virtual tours
  • Find potential candidates for open positions
  • Share health snippets
  • Use hashtags and tie in other businesses
  • Post videos of what is happening in your business
  • Share research
  • Post infographics instead
  • Promote national health weeks/months
  • Spotlight employees
  • Have podcasts
Here's a great example from the YMCA campaigning for Healthy Living.  It's not just a sentence that is posted on Facebook stating that this is what they do.  They are giving an individualized account of what they have to offer.

5. Stay engaged - it's a two way street that requires 2 way communication not just posting facts.   

If you are not actively participating in questions, comments or discussions then you are not engaging in the conversations that you started.  Answer questions that your followers post, even if they are negative it is a perfect chance to straighten out myths or show that you are willing to work at resolving issues.  Thank followers for their comments, or answer any questions they may have.  If you participate in a discussion you are showing them your invested interest.

There are even social networks for doctors that utilize this very concept!  SERMO is a social network for the US and globally that allows discussion to take place virtually - helping solve medical cases, aiding in medical care to help access information for floating doctors, having a discussion forum with people from all over he world get together to resolve unanswered questions.  This site is successful because of the interaction and engagement that occurs on this website.

Keeping engaged is the key to success, here's a great example from Chiropractic's Certainty Advocate Dr. Dan Sullivan on Facebook as he answers a question from one of his followers.  

Images:PurposeAflacWho are you
Branding 2

Friday, July 3, 2015

It's time for your Healthcare Organization to shine on Social Media

You're in the Healthcare Business and ready to get started on Social Media, but don't know where to begin? Feeling a bit....... overwhelmed??

No worries!  I'm going to give you the tools you need I'm going to help you get you started, and help you evaluate your progress.   

Regardless of which social media path you choose, there are some basic start up strategies to help make your business successful

  • Listen.  When it comes down to it, social media is not meat to simply broadcast information it is meant to be a network that engages and listens to its followers.   
    • Google Alerts, Twitter search, Facebook Search, etc. are all great search functions to get you started
  • Communicate.  Know your target audience, and how much time and effort you want to put invest in your media presence.
    • One of the biggest benefits of social media is that you can segment your audience.
    • Keep it short and simple. Provide links for those who want more details.
  • Reflect a Brand.  Your content has to reflect your brand.  
  • Stay Engaged.  Social media is not like a website.  The key to effective marketing on social media is interaction.  Don't just set it up and walk away.  Build a relationship.     
  • Have a purpose with your Content.  Do not just post what you think.  Every post has a purpose.  
    • The personality of the business needs to be represented in your posts
    • Have some variety in your posts - educate, ask questions, give advice, share info, problem solve and by all means time your posts according to what is going on in their lives. 

Let's take a look at how the Mayo Clinic puts these strategies into action.  This hospital dominates social media in Healthcare and as you can see below even back in 2011 it already had over 4,000 Social Media sites!

Here are three examples of the Mayo Clinic on social media to give you a better idea of how these strategies are incorporated

On Pinterest: 

  • The main page is branding itself as a lifestyle choice with many avenues of information to achieving a healthy lifestyle 
  • It is staying engaged by allowing followers to only choose categories of interest
  • This also gives the hospital a way to communicate information and serve it's a purpose

On Facebook:

  • A perfect example of targeting your audience, how about making their Facebook page available to the Spanish Speaking population!  What a great idea.

  • Check out the column to the left and you'll see other opportunities for communicating to the followers by of offering information, keeping the followers engaged by offering an events tab, even showing photos to continue to brand the hospital as a place that encourages a healthy lifestyle
  • Look at the comment to the right.  Communication is important not to forget!  Listening to the community and actively responding is crucial to having an ongoing relationship that does not fizzle.

On Twitter:

  • Having a purpose with your content - in this case educating about Menopause and Tips for Parents and Caregivers
  • The Mayo Clinic can communicate new information and events in this way
  •  Great way to engage with the community by replying to other posts, follow the hashtags and actively listen to the community without necessarily replying to everyone but learning a lot about what is being said

Now that you have an idea of how to strategize a well functioning social media Healthcare site - we need to establish how to evaluate whether or not your site is giving you a ROI (Return on Investment) 

True or False:

What do you think?  Do you think that if you started a social media platform, gained hundreds maybe even thousands of followers, posted an array of information (links, events, videos, photos, etc) and then slowly dwindled away from posting daily, to weekly, to monthly that it matters that you have more followers?

  • Nope  -  Simply having more followers does NOT increase your sales 
  • Your followers are important in that they share your information, but if you have nothing to share they cannot do much for your business.  They are your tool to success.   
The key to increased sales is more than just having followers, it's listening, engaging, and communicating with them.  So how do you evaluate whether or not you are being effective in your social media if the follower count is useless?

How can my business evaluate its success in social media if not by the amount of followers then? 

  • Conversation Rate - This can be measured on every social channel (Blogger, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube) and is basically the number of comments per post 
  • Amplification Rate or Brand Reach and Exposure "Mentions"- If you have 5,000 followers and they repost, retweet, or share your post you've amplified your post to their network, all of whom can continue to share and spread your content increasing your amplification.  In turn you'll find out what it is that interests them (because you're listening)
  • Applause Rate - Different sites have different versions of this, but all versions tell you if your followers like what you have posted (Facebook has the "Like" option, Google+ the "+1s", or Twitter using the "favorite" posts)  
  • Share of Voice and Sentiment - This is very much like the applause rate, but it is a Quantitative approach that does not just count the number of mentions, but goes a step further to tell you what kind of mentions.  For example, "75% of the shares were negative." The data has to be collected on the number of times the brand was mentioned over a set time, and then given one of the three categories: positive, negative, or neutral.
  • Influence - How influential are you to your followers? You can measure that with tools such as PostRank, or TwentyFeet!  These sites give you a metric evaluation on the number of links to your content, retweeted messages, etc. 

Your Healthcare businesses has to have a plan that can be successfully carried out by the strategies provided to you.  The evaluation process focuses on those exact strategies.  It's simple folks, your social media healthcare sites are like a garden: With a little bit of time and effort your business can flourish.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Healthcare Organizations using Google+?

The purpose of this article is to explain why Google+ is an important social media platform for a Healthcare Organization

What on earth is Google Plus 

Google "Plus" was introduced in 2011 and has since become the second largest social network in the WORLD (only outnumbered by Facebook)

Google+ stands out from the social media crowd because of the concept of CLOUD Computing

It works much like other social media sites except that it integrates all of Google's other services - Search, Gmail, Maps, Calendar

There are almost 370 MILLION actively participating members.  

Why is Cloud Computing so important for a Healthcare Organization?

Let's start with explaining what Could computing is.  It is storing and accessing data and programs over the internet versus an actual computer hard drive.

  • This allows Google+ to offer HIPPA Compliance (a critical feature for businesses that handle healthcare information)

  • This gives the healthcare industry quick, safe and accurate access to healthcare information 

  • Allows healthcare employees to have access to their information when the need it, where they need it.   

Google+ provides your Healthcare Organization with powerful tools that you can use through Cloud Computing

  • Audiences can be segmented by CIRCLES to target specific messages to specific segments of your audiences
  • Use HANGOUT a free alternative video chat up to 10 people versus video conference call software or using webinar or broadcast a public video with Hangout On Air
  • Increase visibility of blog posts with AUTHORSHIP by linking your articles to this application
  • Participate in COMMUNITIES to have discussions, asks questions or provide advice
  • Use WHAT'S HOT application to see what the popular and trending topics are based on hashtag trends 
  • Get found in LOCAL search results since Google+ is combined with Pages, Maps and Search you're automatically part of that social component allowing people to see your ratings, hours of operation and anything else you want to show all in one place. 

When you're connected to Google+ you have the key to driving traffic to our website: Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Youtube, and Google (which just happens to be the largest search engine on the PLANET.)

Here's an example of the Children's National Medical Center in  Google+ 

  • The first thing you see when you get to the main page (on Google+) is a link to the Medical Center's main website
  • Their Google+ account has a great mix of posts, photos and vidoes
  • You have an immediate invitation to follow their Google+ page
  • There's a picture focusing on a curious child
  • Whether you are a follower or not you can post a comment on anything that is posted publicly, which is great to see because it engages the viewer and allows active participation on the site from the Medical Center
  • I do wish that they would have the mission statement or some type of a purpose statement for all to see at the start of the page.  If the viewer is unfamiliar with the Medical Center a short purpose statement indicating what the Medical Center is or does is important to connect to the page.  

Here's an example of a video on how to set up your Google+ Page 

This video is great because it shows in a very simple way how to get started, and how easy it can be to expand the marketing platform for your business with no cost.  Once the initial set up is complete, the rest is up to you in how many of the tools you will utilize to maximize your business on Google+.  

Did I mention Google+ is FREE. That's right.  No cost to you. 

In today's world of budget cuts and financial strain, the fact that Google+ is free to businesses should be music to your ears.

If you are a Nonprofit Organization it cannot get any better than this!

Whether your Healthcare Organization is big or small there are 370 Million people on this network that you can connect with, and 6 incredible tools to help you get started.

Images from
Wait What
Children's National Medical Center
Google+ Toolbar
Growing your business with Google+
Free tags

Here are some great links for more information:


6 Ways nonprofits can use Google Plus 6 Ways nonprofits can use Google plus

 Why your nonprofit needs to be on Google+ Today

 22 Must-Circle nonprofits on Google+

Google Plus for Nonprofits

The Ultimate 2 Minute Google+ Guide for Nonprofits 


Why Healthcare Organizations should add Google+ to their Social Media Mix

Google+ and Why every Healthcare Organization needs a social profile

 Hosting a Google+ Hangout on Air for your Healthcare Organization

6 Google+ Positives for Healthcare

 Google+ local is now friendlier to Healthcare 

5 Social Media Trends that will change out Healthcare Marketers Aproach strategy in 2014

 The healthcare industry is moving to Google Apps for Work (2015 article - HIPPA)

 How 3 of Healthcare IT's Top Companies Are Tackling social media in a highly regulated industry 

 24 Outstanding Statistic & Figures on How Social Media has impacted the Healthcare Industry 


Google+ vs Facebook: The comparison

Investigatin of Google+ with mobile device implement into public health nursing practice course

The success of Google Search, the Failure of Google Health nd the Future of Google Plus

Assessing Patient Satisfaction through Patient-Authored Reviews of HealthCare Systems, Hospitals, and Clinics

Hangout at the library: video conferencing and more with Google+

Subculture-centered public health communication: A social media strategy

Physical Activity Line

The fifty percent rule: The challenge of engaging students in social media in the classroom

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Use Instagram for Healthcare?

The purpose of this article is to provide you with some information on how to maximize your Healthcare Organization's Business on Instagram   


Before we get started I want you you to look at the following logo of a Hospital and pictures from a hospital.  Which of these gives you a better understanding of what a Hospital is like?


This statement :      


MUSC Children's Hospital. Caring. Sharing. Giving.

 Or, these pictures :

These two pictures are the perfect example of how using Instagram can to tell your story.  The logo statement to the left simply states the facts.  It's boring, bland, and needs something more to portray the environment that it wants its customers to see.  It looks great on a header for a business letter, let's leave it there.  For social media and attracting followers and more consumers, it's time to step it up a bit.

The pictures, on the other hand, can portray a feeling (ie. happy, welcoming, safe, fun, caring) and an image that can stick in someone's mind about their idea of how they remember your business (branding).  The pictures indicate a fun loving environment, something that I don't necessarily get out of the logo, do you?  Plus, I'm much more likely to remember those  pictures than I am a logo.



OK! You've got my attention

 Tell me MORE




Let's start with the basics: What exactly is Instagram?

  • It's an online photo sharing network. Have you ever heard someone say "a picture is worth a thousand words?" Well, that's the basic idea behind Instagram.  Sometimes a picture is all your business needs to brand itself - whether hospital or with health branding.  
  • You just take a picture and share it (you can even edit it before it is shared)
  • Connects to a variety of other social media tools (i.e.. Facebook)
  • You use this application with many different devices: smartphones, tablets, or computers
  • Your account can have followers, and you can follow others
  • Photos can be found by using a # hashtag 

Let me explain why these points are important for your success.  Instagram has over 100 million users, and the odds of some of them being your clients or customers is pretty likely - don't you think?  The nice thing about Instagram is that is uses pictures which help continue to build the brand of company you want to portray - on a more intimate level - by allowing followers to get to see the personality of your business rather that read about it.  Check out my point below.

Rachel Seda shares some other ways on how your hospital or health brand can tell its story

  • Don't just talk about the good, take pictures of the staff or brand your ambassadors to start gaining trust and loyalty to show to your fans.  
  • Share sneak peek photos such as new products, ads, buildings or events
  • Take behind the scenes photos of an event and give live updates to raise awareness about living donor transplants
  • Take pictures of the lifestyle you wish to portray - share motivational pictures, healthy nutrition, healthy lifestyle
  • Just be fun!  Be creative in how you share your pictures. Stand out from the crowd.  
It's crucial to build a fan base.  Healthcare does not have to be serious all of the time.  Today's digital age followers want quick and simple snippet about what you're trying to portray.  Instagram is perfect for that and at the same time allows your organization's personality to shine through.  I do think redirecting back to your main website for more information is important as well.  I would not recommend using Instagram by itself, but it is a great supplement for your business.  Not to mention it's free, utilize what you have available.  Spending more money does not always equate to getting  more customers.  It's not all about posting pictures, though!



Instagram may be simple in that it provides mostly pictures, but it is more than just about telling a story.  Here are some examples of how it can be utilized for its maximum potential


Helen Gregg wrote an article about Downers Grove, an Illinois based Advocate Health Care, who had 670 followers by the second month of joining Instagram.  She mentions that 45% of adult internet users post photos or videos online, and 12% are on Instagram.  The Advocate's first major campaign focused on Breast Cancer Awareness Month using the hashtag #StoriesoftheGirls encouraging women to upload photos of their "best girl moments."  If the hashtag was used, a prize could be won!  The aim was to bring about more cancer awareness, and therefore advocate for breast cancer prevention.  An unexpected result from the campaign was that Advocate Healthcare got to literally see their populations profile - their diversity and what is important to them - which really told them a lot in terms of marketing! As this company continues campaigning with Instagram it will build on branding the service by engaging the consumers.  This is an excellent idea.  Anything you can do to draw consumers in and get them involved will help build the relationship with the community.

Can you imagine posting ONE single picture on Instagram (for free) and receiving donations from it?  Well, you should! Check out this picture from Save the Children.

This is an example of text-to-give picture.  It has a message on the picture that can easily be shared.  Now, I think it should include a hashtag in order to cluster the conversation about the picture, but this is a fantastic and easy way to raise money real-time.  Instead of going through long drawn out paperwork to raise money, this concept can be posted in a matter of days versus weeks and bring in money faster because of it. 

This is a fantastic way to promote a cause and help get your consumers more involved with the community at the same time.

Sometimes fundraising over a longer period of time can be helpful, which raises awareness at the same time it helps raise funds.

This is a great idea.  Using a hashtag clusters all of the messages together relating to this one topic.  You just have to continue to be involved and not let the momentum slow down.

I would suggest using a different picture weekly in order to keep your followers' attention, and keep sharing the post!

  •  Promote fundraising events, promotional discounts, and don't forget to thank your donors!   Check out these pictures to see what other businesses have done.











These are all wonderful ideas to use Instagram for fundraising and reaching out to the community with very little money spent on advertising or manpower.  The only drawback is that you have to have a little imagination in what you want to create and what you want to say!




Alyssa Anderson wrote an article for Pop Health and says there are a number of public health organizations already actively using Instagram

    • Chicago Department of Public Health (By the way, congratulations to the Blackhawks!)
    • American Public Health Association
    • Austin, TX Department of Health and Human Services (what they did is really great, more to come!)       
    • The Red Pump Project (Hey, National HIV Testing Day is June 27!)
    • American Cancer Society

    If you click on the Red Pump Project link, you'll see how engaging and interactive this company is with their followers.  The pictures include a variety of activities, campaigns, bragging rights from awards they've received, they include short videos, sell tickets to events, show highlights from followers who attended, post informative photos, and even market their products that redirect the followers back to their link.  This is a great site to get ideas on how to diversify your page and keep the interest of your followers.  Just be sure to market to your followers, which may have to adjusted as time changes. This site targets a very specific demographic, be sure not to limit your audience if it is composed of a variety of people. 


    Here are some ways to formulate and implement effective marketing strategies to help you create a successful Instagram page


    Cultivate a Following - Engagement is the key to success. Keep up with your followers and do not let this be a one sided relationship, interact with them by commenting back.

    Balance fun pictures as well as business pictures-  show your personality (remember the photos of the doctors dresses as clowns?)

    Create an occasional video - This is a new feature, but can be fun for a quick short clip to promote or advocate for campaigns

    Create trends - You can create a trend with either a hashtag or by mentioning other services or providers.  No need to overdo it, keep it simple yet effective!

    Check out the competition - It's OK to look!    

    Ask for advice or check out videos to learn more about your specialty.  Here is a great example of how a small business Healthcare Professional asks for tips on how to utilize her Instagram account to its fullest potential.  Pay attention to the following suggestions as you listen:

    • Be sure to identify the business in the profile picture
    • Must include a bio for a quick explanation to identify your business
    • Link your website
    • Be sure to represent your brand in your pictures
    • Show some personality to help your follows connect to you
    • Use hashtags to promote the business - personalize/customize them to stand out and include them in all of the relevant posts
    • In order to get followers to visit specific URL's direct them in your posts


    You should have a goal and a plan in mind in everything that you do with your Instagram account.  Utilizing the points given in this blog and remaining actively involved with your followers can boost your Healthcare business in many ways.

    Images from
    Doctor holding instagram sign
    Clown Woman
    Clown - Man
    Junior Ambassadors - Children's Hospital Los Angeles
    Save the Children 
    December beard
    Breast Cancer Fundraiser

    Botanical Choice
    Thank you Donors
    Thank you Donation
    Feeling left out 
    Let's get started
    Count me in

    Friday, June 26, 2015

    Why in the world would Healthcare Organizations use Twitter?

    The purpose of this blog is to show you why Twitter is an important tool for Healthcare Organizations and Healthcare Professionals

    What exactly IS Twitter?

    Twitter is a free social network that allows a user to either write online posts (limited to 140 characters) or read them - over 500 million active users to date.  Here's how you get started 
    • Create a profile
    • Give a short handle to state who you are
    • Upload a photo
    • Provide a short description of the yourself
    • Start to follow organizations that you are interested in

    Check out this video on a successful use of Twitter for Healthcare Organizations and Professionals

    This video addresses the large scale population that can be reached on Twitter by the medical director of Cardiology of the Mayo Clinic.  He emphasizes the importance of Twitter to the Healthcare community: it has a broad reach, easy access, and high usability.  These are all great qualities when considering how to makes the best use of your time and money as a Healthcare Organization.  

    Here's a great video explaining why Healthcare Managers should be on Twitter.

    • One of the points that he emphasis that I think is crucial to understand is that Twitter is not only about SHARING it's about LEARNING - now that's a new way to think about it! 
    • He also focuses on the fact that with all of the time constraints managers have today, Twitter can help simplify information to do the job better - quick tips versus lengthy articles.  Who has time to read long articles today? (Except of course if you're a student? :OP)
    • Having the option to only follow organizations that you choose to follow helps categorize and narrow down the information that you, as a Healthcare Professional, are genuinely interested in.  
    • He also points out that Twitter has become the source of real-time and breaking news, and being in the profession of Healthcare that is an important source to be a part of.  
    • Not only that but professional associations are sharing articles and information.  How much easier is it to have all of the organizations you are interested in on one site versus visiting each of them individually?  
    • The great thing about Twitter is that it can be used efficiently in only 5 minutes a day!  Time is money, they say :) 

    How can twitter be useful for Health Organizations?

    • It's an opportunity to deliver information directly to people who actually want to receive it without having to have a large budget set aside for advertising, or waiting for the media to cover the organization.
    •  Help amplify a message by reaching target audiences quickly and easily 
    • Can help strengthen the reputation of both the organization and area of work

    Twitter benefits the Healthcare Professional as well

    • An effective tool to engage in colleagues
    • Can disseminate important and timely news
    • It is a resource to large audiences
    • Increases awareness of issues 
    • Build and Strengthen networks

    There certainly are many reasons why a Healthcare Organization or a Healthcare Professional should get involved with Twitter.  Being able to do so much with such little funding, time and effort is certainly to the benefit of the provider.  Having the ability to share information in real time allows it to be current and much more useful to those who follow.  Having the ability to network with other organizations and healthcare professions opens up a communication forum that is simple yet effective.  The younger generation is online more and more, and Healthcare Organizations have to tap into their world.

    Top 10 suggestions for tweeting effectively

    1. Include relevant and interesting content - don't be boring
    2. Be informative and engage the audience - get information as well as feedback
    3. Keep it short - so others can re-tweet you
    4. Give credit where credit is deserved - you'll get re-tweeted more if you do
    5. There is no rule as to how often you should tweet 
    6. Be involved in the conversations and mention partners/organizations
    7. Use hashtags such as #healthcare for others to find your message easier
    8. Tweet in the afternoon it's the best time to do so
    9. Provide links - don't just give a piece of the information give your followers a way to find out more
    10. By all means, please, use proper grammar and don't use abbreviations (because not everyone knows them!)
    These tips will allow you to be a better tweeter, which will lead you more followers, and broaden the audience you wish to serve.  Keep it interesting, simple, and yet informative. 

    Here is an infographic to help you with your Twitter account

    • It's a bit overwhelming at first but once you take one section at a time it will help your Healthcare Organization, or you the Healthcare Professional, create smart and effective tweets.  Here are some highlights

      • There's a Handle (user name account) which helps you decide who to follow versus the Hashtag which a keyword or topic (the top 10-15 are considered the current trend)
      • 80% of what you tweet should be conversations and only 20% should promos
      • Join your own tweet subjects to keep them active
      • Focus on your passion - it will encourage the audience to see you as the influencer in the industry
      • Remove pointless words from your tweet - keep it short and sweet

    But, sometimes you have to be careful not to read your feedback incorrectly.  Monitor it Carefully.  Here's an example of what can happen if you don't.

    • An article posted about the Chicago Department of Public Health used Twitter because it "reaches groups not widely reached by traditional media and its use is growing in the U.S. and globally."  That sounds great right?
    • They released a series of tweets about a policy that would ban electronic cigarettes and received hundreds of feedback tweets against the policy it was trying to regulate.  
    • They received great response, but found that a large percentage of users were against the policy but also NOT local.  The locals actually were in favor of the policy.  The opinion of the locals was NOT represented by the feedback because it was overwhelmingly represented by 90% of people from other cities (non-locals).  
    • Lesson learned "professionals should be aware of these sorts of coordinated responses to controversial topics and recognize that the sentiment expressed may not be that of their local constituency."  
    Though it may sound a bit overwhelming the city still got feedback of what the majority of the public things about this topic and still learned from the experience.  At the end of the day it is a great way to create an interaction - whether for education, survey, feedback, or information.  It's a simple forum that is easy to follow and share.  That ease helps create discussion at a fast pace, and the world of healthcare certainly changes quickly enough for Twitter to be an effective tool for that!

    One of ways Twitter creates discussion is with Healthcare Tweet Chats 

    Remember the #hashtag discussed earlier?  In simple terms, hashtags cluster conversations together about a specific topic. has an important link to connect Healthcare Organizations or Healthcare Professionals:
    • Healthcare Hashtag Project  
      • Where healthcare conversations are taking place
      • Is a place where you can be discovered and followed within your specialty or disease
      • Where you can see what healthcare topics are trending in real-time
      • Typically has multiple tweet chats going on at any given point in time

    Symplur aims to utilize Healthcare Social Media and Twitter to make the healthcare community more accessible as a whole. 

    By utilizing hashtags, the site is attempting to bring together conversations of interest and importance regardless of where healthcare communities live and what time zone they live in.  With social media and faster internet Symplur has found a dramatic upsurge in healthcare communication which can "bring incredible value by segmenting, analyzing and curating online healthcare discussions to answer unique questions and needs."  

    • Can you imagine being a physician wanting to have a discussion about a healthcare topic that has you perplexed with anyone, from anywhere in the world, with experiences that you don't have and find answers in a matter of seconds? 
    • Can you imagine being a part of the hashtag phenomenon wanting to market your product and finding doctors from around the world who are interested without having to step foot outside your office?
    • Can you imagine holding a conference about a topic with people from all over the wold simply by using a hashtag?
    It's all possible.  Twitter has the ability to connect Healthcare Professionals in a way that many other social media don't.  Twitter has a way to market a Healthcare Organization and collect information from consumers, gain feedback and share information - for free.  

    Images found
    Twitter Marketing
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