Nicole Knoll

About Nicole Knoll

Digital Marketing Strategist

AdWords Certified Professional. Social media expert (@nverhey). Market researcher. Nicole wears many hats in her role as digital marketing coordinator. A valuable support person for the business development team, she is always ready to bring new ideas to the table and lends her expertise in emerging media to marketing campaigns. She also coordinates Geonetric’s webinars and tradeshow events, and manages search engine marketing campaigns. Nicole received her BA in English from the University of Iowa with a minor in business administration. She is a three-time American Advertising Award winner and a devoted volunteer for Dance Marathon and Operation Overnight.

Twitter’s Possible Profile Redesign: What You Need to Know & Actions to Take Right Now

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Twitter gained popularity as a micro-blogging, minimalist social sharing platform focused on text-based content. The design changes they are experimenting with favor what we’ve been predicting all along: social media content is going to be increasingly visual. Twitter is trying to find a balance between keeping their current users happy while still making enough changes to attract and engage new users who are familiar with sites like Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest — which are all image-friendly.

Back in January, Twitter announced that it was “rolling out a refreshed twitter.com reflecting the look and feel of the iOS & Android apps.” The initial redesign included a white navigation bar across the top of the site showing the same options available on the mobile Twitter application. Twitter also adjusted the site layout on the Home, Connect and Discover sections to reflect the mobile design. The changes were relatively minor and made transitioning between mobile and desktop user interfaces a seamless experience.

In February, Twitter has been testing out a dramatically different profile design with a small group of users. It’s not certain if this profile redesign will roll out to all Twitter users or not — but it could. Even if the redesign doesn’t happen soon, it’s still important to be aware that anyone who is in this group of test accounts not only sees their profile with the redesign applied but all profiles on Twitter as well (including yours!). My personal profile (@nverhey) was one of those accounts and I’m able to check out the redesign and all of its features.

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Show Your Community Manager Some Appreciation!


Betty White Facebook and the Twitter GifToday is the fifth annual Community Manager Appreciation Day! Almost every organization big and small has some form of community manager. Traditionally the role of community manager applies to anyone who interacts with the public representing their organization. Most commonly this role is associated with someone who manages the organization’s social media channels. Whenever you interact with a brand online, there is (hopefully) a community manager on the other end responding to you in a timely manner.

When I get asked what I do for Geonetric I typically don’t respond with “Community Manager” simply because it’s not a widely recognized title. If I do, most people hear the word “manager” and instantly assume I manage a team of marketers (which isn’t the case since we don’t have managers at Geonetric). Instead I tell people that I’m a Digital Marketing Strategist. The broader title is a better representation of what I do since very few community managers like me just do that one role (unless you work for McDonalds or other very large corporation).

Community managers often wear multiple hats at their organizations. We have a hand in public relations, customer service, content marketing, marketing strategy, research, analytics, branding, and can touch many other departments in an organization beyond marketing.

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Geonetric’s Top Five Webinars, Blog Posts, and Tweets of 2013

Happy 2014 From Geonetric

Before looking ahead sometimes it’s important to learn from the past. Taking a look at the popular topics from webinars, blog posts and tweets from the past year provides a snap shot at past trends. Content marketing, social media and search engine optimization continue to be hot topics for healthcare marketers. Geonetric will be here throughout 2014 to keep you informed through our GeoVoices blog, free monthly webinarseHealth Spotlight eNewsletter, eHealth articleswhite papers, eBooks and on Twitter.

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How Can Healthcare Marketers Optimize for Natural Language Search?

Natural Language Search With iPhone Siri

Natural language search has been around for quite a while – ever use AskJeeves.com or WolframAlpha? But the shift from keyword-based search to natural language comprehension has gained much more attention since the release of virtual assistants such as Apple’s Siri and mobile search applications such as Google Now in 2012.

Throughout 2013, other tech giants have made moves to accommodate the growing natural language search trend as well. In March, Facebook released their natural language search engine Graph Search. Then in August Google announced Hummingbird, their latest search algorithm update. Both Graph Search and Hummingbird aim to not only understand what the searcher is asking but provide accurate and relevant search results to them. With the announcement yesterday that Yahoo has acquired natural language processing technology SkyPhase (most likely to keep up with competitors), it’s time to discuss what exactly natural language search is all about.

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5 Social Media Trends that Will Change How Healthcare Marketers Approach Strategy in 2014

5 Social Media Trends for Healthcare Marketers

Ninety-three percent of marketers will be maintaining or increasing how much they are spending on social media advertising in 2014, according to a new report from eMarketer. But where should healthcare marketers be focusing their attentions to get the most bang for their buck, not to mention their valuable time?

Social media strategy in 2014 will shift focus away from increasing the number of likes/followers your brand has to engaging your target audience through organic interactions. Marketers will need to adapt quickly across many social media channels in order to incorporate micro-video, image-centric content and native advertising into the mix. And finally, if you haven’t built out your brand’s Google+ profile yet you are already behind.

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Is Your Healthcare Marketing So Useful People Would Pay for It?

Car Seat Helper Image

Your marketing message isn’t just going up against your competitors’ when it comes to standing out to your target audience. Noise from friends, colleagues, strangers and other brands are all on the same digital channels and getting in the way. So how do you stand out? How do you succeed in this type of environment?

The secret isn’t to go viral – it’s about connecting.
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What Makes Geonetric a Cool Place to Work?

Geonetric was named one of the Coolest Places to Work this morning by the Corridor Business Journal along with 23 other companies from the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City corridor. Before each company accepted their award, a one-minute video played highlighting the culture of that company. The video below was played before Ben got up to accept the award on behalf of Geonetric.

The video does a great job highlighting was makes Geonetric cool. It could easily have gone longer than one minute. Especially when it listed the part about the employees being what really makes the company rock. Here are some other things that we didn’t have time to include in the video:

Sound like you’d fit right in? Check out our current job openings and browse the site to learn more about us. If you don’t see a job that matches your talents, send us your resume anyways! We’re always looking for bright, dedicated employees.

How Healthcare Marketers Can Improve the Mobile Experience

Cover of April 2 edition of Alert! magazine featuring responsive design

With the dramatic rise of mobile-enabled devices, healthcare marketers are looking for new ways to connect with mobile users. Stand-alone mobile sites and mobile apps just aren’t cutting it.

It’s time to consider a whole new approach to the mobile Web. One that is much more efficient for healthcare marketers to maintain and improves the mobile experience for visitors to your website.

It’s called responsive design.

Responsive design enables a website to automatically adjust to the device being used. Every site visitor has an optimal experience regardless of whether they are accessing the website with a Smartphone, tablet or on a desktop computer.

Geonetric’s Vice President Ben Dillon shares how Cone Health and Rush-Copley Medical Center leverage responsive design in his latest article “Connecting With Mobile Users: Responsive Design Offers a New Approach” which appeared in Issue 2, 2013 of the Healthcare Strategy Alert! published by the Forum for Healthcare Strategists.

Check out the article and see how responsive design helped these healthcare organizations meet their online goals.

Why Non-Profits in Linn County, IA Should Apply for Operation Overnight

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Anne – Molly – Kevin R. – Kevin S. – Nicole

If you are a non-profit headquartered in Linn County, IA we encourage you to apply for Operation Overnight by July 1, 2013. During last year’s Operation Overnight, four non-profits received brand new websites built by Geonetric’s experienced Web designers, developers and marketers. This year, it could be you we help!

In case you need more incentive to apply, here’s a sneak peak at some of the people who would be working on your site and why they think having a new website would help you.

“Having a presence on the Web is one thing. Having a high quality presence on the Web is another. Our teams will strive once again to build an experience for your site visitors that is better than what you can get elsewhere… and for free!” – Kevin Reiter

“Websites are becoming increasingly essential to the success of your mission. During Operation Overnight we promise to treat your mission as our own. At Geonetric we have experience producing strategic Web communication tools. Results? Ask any of the four non-profits we helped during Operation Overnight 2012. This year will be no different. Now it’s your chance! Apply today! Come October 18, 2013 you might be the one bragging about your new website. Let the good times roll!” – Kevin Stejskal

“It’s a no brainer – if you don’t apply we can’t select you! This opportunity isn’t like playing the lottery. There’s actually a good chance you could get a new website. You’ll find our application process quick and easy. Just tell us things you already know about your organization and how we can help create the website of your dreams.” – Molly Kovarik

“How many more lives could your organization touch and bless through a new website? If chosen, Operation Overnight could be your organization’s opportunity to expand its Web presence at no cost! Take five minutes to apply at www.operationovernight.com and tell us why your organization is the perfect fit for this gift.” – Anne Ohrt

Web Writing Best Practices for Developing Useful Healthcare Content

Cover of the Web Writing for Healthcare white paperWeb writing has a different set of rules and its own best practices. Effective Web content helps attract new visitors to your site, tell your unique story, build relationships, lead visitors to take the next step and promote your services. But where do you start?

Ben Dillon, VP and eHealth Evangelist at Geonetric, goes beyond just the basics of Web writing in Get to the Point: Web Writing for Healthcare. In this white paper, Ben answers your top content questions and provides proven tips and tricks to help you:

  • Write effective Web copy
  • Establish your voice and tone
  • Create a Content Marketing Program
  • Structure your information architecture
  • Learn the latest in content marketing trends

Download the white paper now.

So What is Vine and How Can Healthcare Marketers Leverage It?

Photo © 2013 Vine Labs, Inc.

Photo © 2013 Vine Labs, Inc.

If you haven’t heard of Vine yet, you soon will. Just as Instagram turned sharing filtered photos into a social craze, Vine is poised to revolutionize video clips. Vine users create and share videos that are six seconds or less which are then put on a continuous loop.

Twitter has been the biggest player in the growing popularity of Vine since it acquired the application in October 2012 and launched the free mobile version for iPhone in late January 2013. Just as Twitter’s success is attributed to the character limits imposed on status updates, having a six second time limit to their videos should benefit Vine. Vine’s connection with Twitter will undoubtedly help the application thrive and spread quickly to other social networks as well.

So now that you know what Vine is – what’s it mean for healthcare marketing?

Vine offers great marketing opportunities for your hospital or healthcare organization. Adding Vine to your content marketing toolbox will help add variety to your marketing messaging on social networks. Another advantage to Vine is the simplicity it offers. Instead of investing a lot of time into making a “professional” video for YouTube, you can put together a quick-hit, high-impact video.

Have a blood drive coming up? Maybe you can post a Vine video featuring a few people whose lives have been saved by blood donations saying ‘thank you.’ Or maybe you want to promote weight loss surgery? A quick patient testimonial would be a great way to compliment a tweet about that service. The creative possibilities are endless!

Since Vine is still a new-comer on the social media scene, very few (if any) early adopters are healthcare marketers. If you want to talk more about Vine or other ways to differentiate your organization online, feel free to get in contact with us. We’re always ready to help our clients stand out from the crowd.

Your Social Media Account Was Hacked: Now What?

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A little over two hours ago, Burger King’s Twitter account was hacked. Their profile was made to look like the McDonald’s Twitter account and the hackers began posting tweets no brand would be happy about. About 30 minutes later, the account was suspended. Right now it’s not clear whether it was suspended by the Burger King social media response team or by Twitter itself which takes down accounts that post offensive materials. Either way, Burger King has found itself in a delicate position where their next move is critical.

Their first step is to regain control of their account and change passwords not only on Twitter but all their social media channels. Then, after removing the unwanted tweets and getting their account back online it will be time to acknowledge the situation. They could go with a self-deprecating tweet or simply address their followers in a matter-of-fact way. The worst thing they could do is ignore the attention their account is getting and act like nothing has happened.

McDonald’s has wisely responded already to the event with a tweet stating, “We empathize with our @BurgerKing counterparts. Rest assured, we had nothing to do with the hacking.” McDonald’s knows this situation impacts them almost as much as it does Burger King and their quick response is already spreading rapidly across Twitter. Burger King would be wise to thank McDonald’s for this because that tweet is holding over the Twitter audience while the Burger King account remains suspended.

In the hour between the hacking and Burger King’s account being taken down, the account gained thousands of followers. “Burger King” became a top trend for all of Twitter to see.  After their account comes back online they will undoubtedly gain even more followers just to see how Burger King responds. The free press could be seen as the silver lining of this story. If Burger King plays their cards right this could be a great opportunity for them to connect with their expanded audience.

Do you have an emergency plan in place in the event something like this happens to your organization’s social media channels? If not, meet this afternoon or give us a call. It matters that much.

A Hard Lesson Learned in Social Media Account Management from hmv

After announcing 190 job losses yesterday, British entertainment retail company hmv learned important lessons regarding social media and crisis communication. One employee with access to the @hmvtweets Twitter account tweeted play-by-plays of the layoffs not just from her personal account of @poppy_powers, but from the hmv corporate account itself.

Her first tweet set the stage, “We’re tweeting live from HR where we’re all being fired! Exciting!! #hmvXFactorFiring.” Later she highlighted how easy it was for her to execute the tweets and more disturbingly, why the tweets stayed up on the account for hours allowing the story to spread like wildfire, “Just overheard our Marketing Director (he’s staying, folks) ask “How do I shut down Twitter?” #hmvXFactorFiring.”

Shut down Twitter? Nothing says “unprepared” like that sentence. When a social media crisis appears you should leverage Twitter to mitigate the damage. Acknowledge the situation to your followers and clearly communicate what will happen next. Don’t place blame or act like nothing happened.

This story isn’t just about having more than one social media community manager in place for your accounts as back-up, it’s about appreciating the influence of social media. Social media isn’t just a component of the marketing mix every company should have in place ‘because our competitor is doing it.’ Social media is a valuable tool that can be used to generate real relationships with current and potential customers. And when everyone in your organization understands that, a strong social media identity can take shape that represents the true essence of your company.

Poppy said it perfectly on her own account when explaining her actions, “I hoped that today’s actions would finally show them the true power and importance of Social Media, and I hope they’re listening.”

I too hope many companies listen and learn from this, Poppy.

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3 Quick Reasons to Use Countdowns in Social Media Marketing

When it comes to marketing campaigns, using a countdown isn’t a new idea. It’s a proven tactic – and healthcare marketers should consider incorporating the countdown concept in their social media strategy more often. Particularly when promoting your organization’s events. Whether your goal is to raise awareness of a new hospital opening or register participants for a fundraising event, countdowns can provide great visuals and fresh content across social media channels.

Fresh, Shareable Content

North Kansas City Hospital has been counting down the opening of their new emergency department by posting on Facebook and Twitter. Followers of their social media channels are kept up-to-date on the project and help spread awareness of the new emergency department coming to the area. When their followers like, comment or retweet the post, it then appears on that follower’s social media feed for their followers or friends to see as well. Countdown content also offers great flexibility on the frequency of posts, although having consistent posting intervals are recommended (daily, weekly, etc.)

NKCH_ER_Countdown

Social Media Users Respond to Visuals

Incorporating visual elements into your social media marketing efforts has never been more important. According to a recent HubSpot study, photos on Facebook pages receive 53% more likes and 104% more comments than the average post. Pinterest has grown so quickly that it is now the fourth largest traffic driver in the world.

Countdowns provide a great way to incorporate eye-catching posts that will stand out on your social media channels. The best part is the creative opportunities countdowns offer. The countdowns can have visual elements such as numeric graphics, photo teasers, or a combination like Geonetric used for our Operation Overnight charity event.

OperationOvernight_Countdown_Visuals

Build Anticipation

Justin Timberlake went back to the basics when he included a traditional countdown with a simple call to action on a microsite to build anticipation for a future announcement. His team sent out teasers days in advance across his social media channels and kept the reason for the countdown vague to pique interest.

There are many ways to utilize the countdown whether its mysteriously like Timberlake did or more straight forward and informative like counting down to the start of a gala. Either way, a countdown is a fun and sharable way to generate buzz and share your organization’s information.

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