HealthCare Companies Use Social Media to Market Their Brand

Using Social Media to Market and Brand Your Medical Practice
As the Internet has become the medium of choice for researching health information, social media has become an important part of how your medical practice gets found online.  In today’s social media-connected, content marketing rich environment, doctors who are not using social media as part of their marketing strategy are missing out.  This article will give you an overview of why and how you should brand and market your practice online, along with examples of those physicians who are leading the way with social media marketing.

But first, what exactly does “branding” mean?

Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers. (Business Dictionary.com)

There are many elements which make your brand more readily identifiable, ranging from tangibles like your logo, tagline and promotional materials to the more intangible – how telephone calls are answered in your practice and how you are perceived by your patients. Doctors position themselves in the healthcare market by speciality, but also by the quality of their work, their reputation, and as an acknowledged expert on specific medical conditions.

Identify and define your brand

Properly identifying your brand means you will be able to define your offering and market your communications more effectively to your patient (and prospective patient) base. Ask yourself the following questions to help you define your brand more clearly.

  • What can patients find with you that they won’t find with another doctor?
  • What are your strengths when it comes to patient care?
  • What aspect of medicine do you most enjoy?
  • Do you have knowledge of a hobby or special interest which patients would benefit from your expertise on?

Promote your brand with social media

Health topics are one of the most searched terms on the internet and it’s becoming increasingly important for doctors to get involved in the online discussion. Engagement with social media networking sites provides you with a unique opportunity to position and market your brand, add value, and differentiate your practice from your competitors. It also helps attract new patients, build existing patient loyalty and opens up new opportunities outside of your practice.

Social media gives you the tools to find where your patients are meeting online, build relationships with them, and establish yourself as an expert in your field. Many of your existing patients are already online, and regular communication with them will help cement your relationship. Remember that unlike traditional forms of advertising, social media marketing is about talking with, not to your audience; it is about adding value to the conversation. Healthcare organizations whose strategy is to simply post information (for instance on a static web page) are missing out on the true essence of social media, i.e. two-way communication.

Opportunities to brand your medical practice are plentiful online. There are support and community groups for just about any medical condition or interest. To further expand their reach and focus on patient care, these groups need the input of qualified clinicians to help validate the information discussed on their sites and to ensure balanced views that are in the best interest of patients. Participating in these communities by providing advice, educational podcasts, guest contributions to widely read blogs and websites can help you broadcast your brand and build your reputation, while providing valuable support to the group.

Establishing and maintaining an online presence will keep your brand to the fore of people’s minds – not just your patients, but your peers. It is a great way to build positive exposure and credibility for your brand and to create what marketers refer to as “top-of-mind awareness.” Adding more touchpoints with your patients and prospective patients through social media helps create this top of mind awareness.

Maintaining brand integrity and monitoring your online reputation

Consistency, credibility, and connection are the cornestones of maintaining your healthcare brand’s integrity. Once you have a clear vision of what your brand is about, the key to establishing and maintaining it is being consistent and credible across all on and off line platforms you connect on. It is also important to listen to what is being said about your brand, not just to know what is going on and whether you are receiving any negative publicity or comments that need to be addressed, but also to know what you are doing right, so that you can do more of it. At a minimum keep an eye on tweets, comments and messages on your Twitter, blog and Facebook accounts. You should also set up google alerts for your name, your practice and your partners.

Physicians leading the way online

There are many examples of physicians with successful online brands.  One of the best known is Kevin Pho, MD, an internist from Nashua, N.H., who started his KevinMD blog in 2004. Eight years later KevinMD is one of the most popular medical blogs online and has gained Dr Pho national and international attention as an opinion maker. He is frequently asked to contribute to print and TV discussions and is a regular speaker at conferences around the world.

Howard Luks, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Hawthorne, N.Y., who consults on digital media and medicine issues, champions healthcare social media and is unequivocal in his assertion that “to ignore the intersection between healthcare and social media is to potentially igonor our own relevance as a health care practitioner”.

Deanna Attai, MD, has focused her career exclusively on the care of patients with benign and malignant breast conditions. She provides advice to breast cancer communities on blogs, Twitter and Facebook platforms and is one of the founders of #BCSM (Breast Cancer Social Media), a regular online gathering on Twitter. Through her effective use of social media, Dr Attai has humanised her practice and become a credible and trustworthy source of advice and support to the breast cancer community, which has a very active and vocal presence online.

There’s no question that social media is growing in importance in the healthcare field and it is no longer an optional marketing strategy. Access to health information online is empowering patients and forcing medicine to become part of a more consumer driven market. For doctors to distinguish themselves from each other, they must respond to a digital society which now demands transparency and engagement. Joining in the online health conversation gives your patients a sense of belonging and emotional connection; it positions you as an expert in your field, helps you stand out from your peers, and inspires your staff. Word of mouth is the most valuable form of referral you can get and social media can harness this power and spread its reach in a way that traditional advertising cannot.

Finally, don’t think because you don’t appear online doesn’t mean you aren’t being talked about. With the advent of patient review sites, and online discussion forums, you risk leaving your brand reputation in the hands of others. The conversation is happening online with or without you, so for the sake of your healthcare brand, join it!

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Mae Limboc is an Social Media Specialist at Visual Ally Incorporated. She has been in the company since it started and is currently being trained for Social Media. To practice her learning’s, she is now trying to venture out into blogging. Her blogs usually showcase their different activities and interests and also her experiences of a newbie in the Social Media world.

Explore the world with her:

Facebook   Twitter   LinkedIn   Pinterest

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The Avengers – Movie Review

The Avengers - Movie Review
The Avengers, directed by Joss Whedon takes you on a roller coaster ride filled with out-of-the-world action sequences, mind boggling special effects and entertainment to the hilt.

The story of this movie was, six superheroes – Iron Man (Downey Jnr), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Hulk (Ruffalo) are brought under one roof by S.H.I.E.L.D. director, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), when Thor’s evil brother Loki threatens to destroy Earth. However, to stop Loki, the superheroes must sort out their personal differences and work together as a team.

I have got to tell anyone that this is one of the best adventure movies I’ve ever seen. The only word I can think of to describe this movie is AWESOME.  It’s amazing work and everything I had hoped for and more. One of the many things I loved was the tension and flat out conflict that arises between team members. It’s not a two dimensional “team wonderful that bands together to fight crime ho ho ho.” Most don’t like each other at fist and there is so much texture to be played. That is great because so many of these characters are larger than life. They have egos and the big guns aren’t used to working with other people or even playing by the rules. Stark, Thor and Banner all work “the other side of the fence” so to speak. Then there’s the Widow, Hawkeye and Captain America who are used to following orders and playing within a command structure. They are all thrown together in a wonderful and, best of all, believable fashion. Again, more than I ever dreamed possible.

The Avengers: Iron Man and Captain America

Iron Man and Captain America probably get the most screen time (or at least the most focus). And while Whedon and the funny and clever Tony Stark seem made for each other, I was very impressed how he handled Captain America, who is a far more straightforward and unwaveringly noble fellow than Whedon – who prefers his characters to be a bit more ambiguous and flawed — is known for, but one he handles very well, as Captain America takes on the leadership role he was destined for.

I must say The Avengers is the best Marvel superhero movie yet!

If you enjoy watching thriller action films, The Avengers is the perfect choice for you! Go, relax and settle down with your 3D glasses for a match of super powers!

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Mae Limboc is an Social Media Specialist at Visual Ally Incorporated. She has been in the company since it started and is currently being trained for Social Media. To practice her learning’s, she is now trying to venture out into blogging. Her blogs usually showcase their different activities and interests and also her experiences of a newbie in the Social Media world.

Explore the world with her:

Facebook   Twitter   LinkedIn   Pinterest

DENR: Stop selling lands in Boracay, Baguio City

MANILA, Philippines – Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje said yesterday the government should stop selling lands in Baguio City and Boracay Island to protect the environment.
“The government can only promote public welfare in lands that it owns. Once sold to the private sector, we cannot dictate. We can only tell (the buyer) how to mitigate (the impacts of development on the environment),” Paje said.
“In Baguio, the biggest landowner is still the government, so we could still mitigate and make decisions that will promote public welfare,” he said.
Paje also cited a 2006 Supreme Court ruling that the government owns Boracay until 2016 and it has the opportunity to “correct and plan for a more sustainable development of the island.”
The DENR has not issued an environmental compliance certificate for any building or establishment “until such time Boracay has been planned properly,” he said.
Under an existing ordinance passed by the municipality of Malay, Aklan, structures are not allowed within 25 meters from the mean water mark determined between low and high tides and within an additional five meters intended for tourist access within the beach area.
Paje said President Aquino issued an order directing the DENR, justice, local governments and tourism departments to study the carrying capacities of Baguio City and Boracay.
Carrying capacity refers to how much load an area can take over a given period of time from factors such as population and infrastructure without adversely affecting the environment.
In addition to issues on water pollution, environmentalists have raised concerns about the dwindling bat population in Boracay because of disturbance to their habitats.
He said the President also directed the inclusion of the police in the implementation of environmental laws.
Paje said the President wanted to ensure that the issues confronting Baguio and Boracay would not be repeated in other tourism sites.
He said the government, through the National Tourism Council, has identified 78 tourism sites, including Panglao Island in Bohol, Coron Island in Palawan and the Puerto Princesa Underground River, which has been experiencing a dramatic increase in tourist arrivals since its proclamation as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

I think the government of the Philippines must stop selling those lands to private ownership especially if it’s involves destruction of Mother Nature. Please don’t sell it to greedy businessman / businesswoman just for their own interest. We, as a Filipino, we should also respect our environment. As we can see, our environment is being destroyed by the opportunists just because of money. I’m just hoping that the DENR or the public officials who are in power should realize the importance of saving our environment.

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How to Measure Your Social Media Success


Would you like to measure how successfully you’re communicating your business message and engaging with your target audience on social media? How about whether you are generating leads or converting sales? The nice thing about social media is that, because it is a digital platform, it is ultimately track-able and measurable.

ENGAGE

A good place to start is to measure audience engagement. You want to track every action your audience takes while on your various social media sites. If someone likes your social media content, they’re likely to express this by commenting on it and/ or sharing it throughout their network. Keep track of the number of likes, re-tweets, shares, +1s, etc. Remember, any comments or likes your audience gives on social media are broadcast to all of their followers. This is a great way to broaden your reach and spread your message.¹

CTAs are not just for your website. Using CTAs to promote events and offers will drive your social media audience to deeper engagement with your brand, and provide a clear path down the sales funnel for prospects to follow.

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS

When certain members of your social media audience are interested enough in your brand to visit your website, use website conversion metrics to analyze their behavior. Make sure to monitor which site pages these prospects tend to linger on. Track whether they fill out any conversion offers, and if so, which ones. The goal here is to separate the tires kickers from the serious leads. Any leads that bother to fill out a conversion offer should be placed into alead nurturing campaign.

Monitoring social-media-derived web traffic also provides you with valuable trend data, such as which website pages or specific offers your social media audience tends to like (or dislike for that matter). Use this information to tweak your social media interaction, content and offers.

If you’re able to close a deal from a lead that originated on your social media, make sure to go back and analyze every stage of the process from the first like or comment all the way through to sales conversion. Ask yourself some basic questions such as: Did they redeem a coupon from Foursquare? Did they sign up for my webinar by clicking on a Twitter link? Did they buy a product promoted on my Facebook page? Which demographic or target audience do they fit into?¹

Finally, remember that your social media campaigns should be working in concert with your social media business goals. If you haven’t done this yet, stop reading now and get to work. If you have set goals, read on.

DO I MEASURE UP?

Try to walk the cat back from goals to social media activity and see if the two align.¹ Do this by asking some basic questions. For example, if your social media business goal is to increase website conversion, are your social media efforts focusing on the sites on which your audience is spending their time? If so, are you providing the type of content and interaction that will entice them to your website? If you are, do you have a plan to drive these prospects to your site? Links? CTAS? Do you have website analytics in place to measure incoming social media web traffic? You get the point.

I hear a lot of complaining from business owners, executives and marketers about how social media is no good for lead generation and sales conversion. My guess is that most of these naysayers are simply not using social media properly, or at least not to its fullest extent. They are probably not aligning their business goals with their social media strategy. They are not thinking about how their social media and website can integrate to from a broader and more effective sales funnel. They are likely discounting the notion that all of this can be measured, analyzed, and refined.

Most importantly, they are ignoring the fact that other companies doing all of this properly are making a boatload of money. Don’t be a complainer. Use social media to its fullest extent and become a converter.

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