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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
As we head into 2013, Geonetric wanted to take a look back at our biggest conversation starters during 2012. So we compiled our top five most popular webinars, blog posts, and tweets from the past year. Hot topics in eHealth marketing were pretty easy to spot – including mobile, social media, and content. These topics will continue to be important to healthcare marketers in 2013 and Geonetric will be here to keep you informed through our GeoVoices blog, free monthly webinars, Revolution Report eNewsletter, eHealth articles, white papers, and on Twitter.
Geonetric’s top five webinars of 2012
- Intermediate Writing for the Web
- Advanced Social Media
- Promote Your Physicians and Medical Groups
- Principles of Search Engine Marketing
- Everything You Know About Mobile is Wrong
Geonetric’s top five blog posts of 2012
- The Editorial Board: Your Chance to Maintain Consistent Voice in a Siloed Organization
- Infographic: How Health Consumers Engage Online
- Is Facebook the World’s Largest Billboard?
- Content Considerations for Responsive Websites
- Agile Behaviors vs. Agile Culture
Geonetric’s top five Tweets of 2012
- What does PIPA/SOPA mean for healthcare marketers? http://ow.ly/8ydBy #hcmktg #ehealth
- Have you seen @geonetric‘s 2012 company photo yet? http://ow.ly/be4oy
- Nielsen misses the mark on mobile – see how actual mobile visitors are using the sites of 30 health systems: http://ow.ly/aevSU
- Geonetric unveils four new websites for Cedar Rapids non-profits – http://ow.ly/f9Frr @OpOvernight #1mission
- What 10 of the most “effective US health system websites” have in common: http://ow.ly/gurnD #ehealth
Happy New Year from Geonetric!
If you manage your hospital’s social media channels, blog, or really any area where your customers interact with your organization online and offline then you, my friend, are a community manager. Unless you work at Dell or McDonald’s, community management is likely only one facet of your role within the marketing department. But it’s a very important one.
Three Main Roles of a Community Manager:
- Develop Customer Trust – Community managers are advocates for your brand’s customers. They set up and monitor communication channels (such as Facebook for example), listening to your customers’ concerns and responding to their questions. This helps build a trusting relationship between the customer and your brand.
- Be a Creative Kickstarter – Through their conversations community managers are able to identify needs in the market. Do you get multiple questions about an upcoming flu shot clinic? Then you should check your landing page or calendar of events online to see if the information is easy to find. By identifying the needs of customers, community managers can identify revenue opportunities and potential new resources and services.
- Be the Expert – This one may not be intuitively sale-oriented, but it is. After developing customer trust, community managers continually share their knowledge through their online interactions by providing the right resources at the right time. This improves your image as a trusted health information resource which can lead to word-of-mouth promotion and other new customer opportunities.
Over the past couple of days I attended the Social Brand Forum 2012 where social media experts shared some great tips and advice. I found the community management best practice tips by Kary Delaria (@KaryD) from Kane Consulting particularly valuable for healthcare marketers. Below are the highlights from the presentation she shared.
Community Management Best Practices
- Assemble your people. For a community manager to be successful, they need to have an advisory committee who will help guide social media communications. Someone from every department should be involved – from human resources to marketing. And make sure at least three people have access to all the accounts used by the community manager. They can help respond quickly when a high volume of communication is needed.
- Define the rules. Keep the whole company in the social media loop. It can’t be isolated within marketing. Establish a company-wide social media policy both internally and externally. It will protect you and the company if a situation arises. Your policy should define what employees can and can’t do. It should also establish a voice and tone for your organization.
- Develop your system. Determine the types of posts your community manager should respond to. Questions? Anger? Praise? Everything? When these posts come in make sure the community manager knows who to turn to for quick answers if they don’t already have them.
- Set your benchmarks and goals. Figure out where the organization is right now and where it needs to be. Then identify a marker for determining how the actions of a community manager will be deemed successful. Have check points where smaller goals should be reached along the way to the larger overall goal.
- Plan your content. There is a love/hate relationship with editorial calendars because they aren’t agile, but they do help establish what kind of content can be posted. Be careful when auto-posting content on social media.
- Monitor conversations. There is an art and science to reputation monitoring online. There are a variety of tools out there to help, from Google Alerts to Radian6. But also know when to disconnect. Have a priority list of what type of alerts should be responded to immediately and which ones can wait.
- Engage with purpose. Go to where your audience is. Be direct and give them calls to action like ‘Sign Up for October’s Breast Cancer Walk.’ Never lose track of the end goal. Always ask, “What do they need/want right now? What do you want them to do next?”
- Measure and report what matters. There’s no shortage of data. Based on your goals and benchmarks, outline what information is important to track (web traffic from social channels, keyword-rich mentions, leads/conversion rates from social media, etc.)Then create reports based on who measures the success and include actionable next steps related to strategic goals.
- Assemble your toolbox. There are many tools available to help. Klout, PeerIndex, SimplyMeasures, HootSuite, HubSpot, Google Analytics, and even Excel are just some of the options available for a community manager to use.
- Keep survival in mind. Community managers are going to make mistakes. But sometimes the key is in the response to those mistakes. Make sure everyone understands what to do in various situations outlined in the social media policy.
At the end of the day, know that Community Managers just need to have thick skins sometimes because it’s impossible to please everyone. Focus on expanding your audience and connecting with your brand advocates the best you can. Geonetric can help you think more strategically about your goals and identify that sometimes-difficult measurement of success with social media ROI.
Do you know the stages of the ever-evolving Web content lifecycle? How about what makes your online content effective? To be successful in today’s online world, website managers need to approach content strategically. They need to know who their content is targeting and how to stay consistent across both online and offline media channels.
In the March 2012 edition of Healthcare Marketing Report, Geonetric’s Ben Dillon explains not only what content strategy is, but also why it is so important to healthcare marketers. Ready to learn more? Read Ben’s article, “Winning the Content Battle with Strategy.“
The internet lit up today when Google and other popular sites took a stand against the Protect IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). But why? In a nut shell, there is a big disconnect between what the goals of these acts are and what they could potentially evolve into.
Content piracy has always been a hot topic online. This is especially true for the entertainment industry that constantly sees music, movies and other copyrighted material being used in unauthorized digital mediums. There are already laws in place to assist copyright-owning companies that focus on penalizing users, taking down specific site content and suing peer-to-peer software companies (remember Napster?) that infringe on copyrights.
But SOPA and PIPA take those penalties to the next level. SOPA and PIPA would enable companies to sue sites, search engines, and blogs who act as outlets for users that share copyrighted material. So the argument boils down to who is responsible when copyrighted materials are being shared online: the users who are sharing the copyrighted material without permission or the sites they use to share that material on?
Although SOPA and PIPA may have good intentions when it comes to controlling digital piracy, many are concerned about the consequences of these acts if passed. SOPA and PIPA are worded in a way that would enable the government and companies to have internet service providers (ISPs) block any site for having just one infringing link and subjected to law suits until the infringing material is removed. This would force popular sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to censor their users or potentially be sued into nonexistence. Even search engines such as Google could be liable for the links that appear in their results.
So what does this mean for healthcare marketers? The biggest takeaway is to be a responsible user today, right now. Develop original content when creating videos that are posted on YouTube. If there is a question about whether or not a song can be used in the background, make sure to double check before posting. Don’t post content on your hospital blog that wasn’t written by someone on your staff without the permission of the author. Taking a few extra steps to ensure you have the right to post the content that is associated with your brand has never been more important.
Month after month, Geonetric shares expertise in eHealth hot topics through free educational webinars, the Revolution Report eNewsletter and on Twitter. As 2011 comes to a close, we were curious to see which topics stood out as the most influential of the year. So here you have it, our top five webinars, eHealth articles and Tweets of 2011.
Geonetric’s top five webinars of 2011
- More than Bullets: Creating a Content Strategy
- The Role of the Web in Wellness Promotion
- Marketing Wellness Initiatives: A Roundtable
- Use the Web to Empower Employees
- Tools and Technology That Will Change the Face of Wellness
Geonetric’s top five articles of 2011
- When to Use a Microsite vs. a Landing Page
- Applying Gamification to Wellness
- Just Because Your Organization is Complex Doesn’t Mean Your Website Should Be
- Wellness and Health Promotion with VitalSite
- Pretty Aint Good Enough
Geonetric’s top five Tweets of 2011
- You can feel the excitement in the air. VitalSite 6, the next generation of our CMS platform, is released today! http://ow.ly/4I7PW
- Congrats @GenesisHCS on your new website and mobile site! More great things to come! http://ow.ly/6Gug7
- What does influence really mean in a Web 2.0 world? http://ow.ly/4SsrH #hcsm
- Geonetric aligns with leading Iowa companies to implement Lean culture and drive process improvement: http://ow.ly/4B8Ci
- When I’m wrong I’m really wrong… and here comes Google+ http://ow.ly/5QDTP
You can view our articles, white papers, webinars and more in our eHealth resource center.
Looking forward to 2012, we can’t wait to share more resources on timely eHealth topics with you. To get started you can view our upcoming webinars on how to bring more consistency to your offline and online initiatives.
Happy New Year from Geonetric!
Find out the answer to this very question in Ben Dillon’s article in the July 2011 issue of eHealthcare Strategy & Trends.
Due to health reform, hospitals are increasingly focused on wellness and are turning to the Web as a tool to promote and manage these initiatives. In Ben’s Ask the Expert article, he share examples of healthcare systems that have successfully utilized the Web to motivate, educate and build awareness of their wellness programs to promote healthy behaviors in their communities. He also addresses the benefits of turning to the Web and the future of wellness promotion.
The first bit of advice you probably received when your organization embarked on the social media journey was to “listen to your audience.” You searched key terms in Twitter and Facebook, and set up Google Alerts. If you are a small organization, you may not have heard a thing and got discouraged.
Your target audience didn’t join Twitter and Facebook to talk up your brand. They did it to interact with their family and friends. So stop being a social media wall flower, get out there and start dancing. But first, make a social media plan. Without having plan how will you know what your goals are? Without goals how will you know if your plan was successful? Start with figuring out how you will engage your target audience. Some ideas:
- Post images. The new Facebook format shows images larger than ever before. Incorporate an interesting image of a health walk, fundraiser or new facility. Your audience can comment or like your images.
- Highlight site features. Can you pay a bill online? Do you have an interactive map? Post a fun message linking to these features since they benefit your audience.
- Ask a question. Inquire about what your audience’s favorite part of fall is or ask a question related to your brand. Either way, this will encourage a conversation.
- Always be polite. Include someone’s Twitter handle or link their name on Facebook if someone deserves a “thank you” from your organization. This shows gratitude and acknowledges their participation. And on Facebook, your “thank you” will appear on the feeds of that person’s friends.
- Provide promotions. If available, share discounts available to the fitness center, gift shop, or anywhere else that relates to your organization.
- Don’t forget the basics. News updates may seem dry, but they are still important. Post links to press releases and other information that would be relevant to your followers.
By providing valuable content, your audience will stay engaged and keep the conversation going. Maintain a consistent posting schedule and a strategic mix of posts. Then take a second to listen to what is happening. Listening will only get you so far – so get out there and bust a move!
So you’ve expanded your marketing efforts for your hospital beyond the traditional methods to include social media and other online mediums. But have you taken any time to consider the possibility of integrating all your marketing materials into one comprehensive campaign?
My husband and I recently moved into our first home together. As soon as our internet turned on, I was searching for all the things my old neighborhood had afforded me. I was going down my checklist to find a grocery store, nearest gas station, and other basics. I honestly hadn’t even thought about healthcare, yet.
Then we received a mailing from Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids welcoming us to the area. What surprised me most about the mailing was the level of personalization it achieved.
The welcome message read “Welcome Knoll Family” with an invitation to reach out to the closest Mercy clinic. Not only was this accompanied by an image of the clinic with information on the services provided, providers we’d meet and contact information, but also a custom Google map image that started at our new address and ended at the clinic.
There’s also a section indicating I could find more information online – like classes and events, interactive health tools, and a feature where I can ask experts my health-related questions. There’s a call out to follow Mercy Medical Center on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, too.
They know me so well. I always seek out new places online before I visit them in person. With an online presence like this, they were off to a great start. I felt like Mercy had done its research to get to know my family and where we were in life before sending us a generic mailing like many other local businesses had done. This mailing went in our to-do list instead of the recycle bin.