5 Keys to Keeping the Social Media Doors Open

WOW! Look at you, out here on your own managing your social media sites! You’re doing FANTASTIC! I bet you have friends and other organizations asking you how in the world you set up a successful social media empire. Well, here are 5 key principles to share with them for using social media to promote a healthcare organization or any organization for that matter.

5 Key Principles

1.Find your Target Audience

First, ask yourself “Who are you trying to grab the attention of?” Teenagers, College Students, Parents, Older adults, or Seniors. This isn’t just WHO but make sure to keep in mind other areas like education, location, income, race, family life. There are a lot of different people you can target. Choose wisely for what you are offering on your Social Media account


2. Engage with Audience

Now that you know WHO  you are creating content for it’s time to get interact with them. Talking at people and never giving them a chance to respond is most companies mistakes but social media changes that whole problem. Alex York breaks down exactly what social media engagement is and how to use it in his blog.The interaction and engagement held with followers, fans, and friends is a tricky thing to accomplish but there are easy ways to get people talking.


Ask for reviews or testimonials and Share them on your site! A Review from fans or followers helps other followers feel more comfortable since its like hearing a recommendation from a friend.  Also receiving testimonials to utilize on your site is always something to ask followers for. Take the next step and sharing those reviews and testimonials so that more fans and followers turning their goo. Check out Mrs. Purdue’s testimonial about her health story.


3. Timing is Everything 

Don’t be that one company who is posting about Christmas on Dec. 26 but manage your post so you know when to release them. I know your thinking “How do I organize my post?” Well, its simple…create a conversation calendar. This calendar spells out exactly what you are going to post and when you will post it. Keep in mind if you are active on multiple social media platforms a calendar will be a must to keep things straight. Check out the example below of a conversation calendar.

Don’t be afraid to use Holidays to plug in a little health information in a fun manner. Check out how MUSC Health used Valentine’s day to talk about the heart!  Heart-Valentines day

4.Link Creditable Content (Only after reading the link fully)

Make your page the go-to when needing information. When retweeting or sharing content make sure you are checking and rechecking the content because this is something that can effect your creditably. So don’t just hit that share button before reading. This sounds like a given, right? Well, actually, EVERYONE is guilty of not reading content before reposting and we know this thanks to The Verge.


5. ROI- Return on Investment

ROI is one of the best ways to figure out if your organization is benefiting from the time, money, and effort that was needed to uphold the social media platform. Why waste time on a social media if your company isn’t benefiting from it? Now I bet you are wonder how do I find this out, well…


How to calculate your ROI:  It’s almost as easy as hitting that button up there but analytic tracking has seemed to be the best way! In the past it has been most common to use a third party company, which comes with a price. But why can’t this feature be FREE? Well, its becoming a tread that we see the social media websites developing their own analytic dashboard.

Check It Out: Twitter introduced its own analytic dashboard in July 2014 for ALL users, not just company pages. This dashboard tracks tweet impressions, engagement, and what sources are linked to your content.


Don’t forget to pass my blog and these 5 important keys to anyone who asks, “How did you learn to ropes of social media?”


Snapchat on the Rise

Breaking through the social media walls with 100 million daily active users, Snapchat is one of the fastest-growing social networks. Not only are users flocking to this network but other businesses aren’t taking advantage of this opportunity. Why? Who knows maybe they are nervous of using raw images and video to depict their company but in reality these raw glimpses into a company allow users to feel more personally connected. Well let me put you to ease and break down how, why and who uses this app.

Where to find Snapchat

Snapchat is an app that you download on any smart phone device. Just head on over to your app store! That being said you can not access your account from a computer making it impossible to use already shot photos making everything you shoot raw and happening at that exact time.


How to use Snapchat

Point. Shoot. Send. It is as simple as that! But you really need to know what content to post. Since the media you will use is raw, you need to make sure it is clean and still professional.

  1. Develop Content Frequently– Don’t let you fans forget about you! I know for every other social media platform you have been told to not go crazy posting multiple post a day but on Snapchat it is actually advised to post multiple snaps a day to your story.this-mind-blowing-graphic-shows-how-many-snapchat-photos-are-sent-per-second
  2. Get Creative- Draw and write on your pictures and videos. You can even use emojis now! This is the time to grab the attention of your followers. Telling stories can be another creative way to show your followers what you’re doing! Check out what GrubHub did using pizza…eg-grubhub-pizza.jpg
  3. Know your Audience & Connect with them- Snapchat is used most by 18-25 year olds. Age never stopped anyone so know what they are interested about and really focus your snaps on what they like. Social media is for interaction so why not bring that to Snapchat. Check out what Sephora did on their story…2016_04_12_15_03_41_Eyebrows_on_Fleek_SephoraSnapsSweeps_on..._BeautyTalk.png

New Feature Alert!!!

You can now create your own Geofilter. What is a geofilter, you ask, well it is a fun way to show where you are and what your doing. This filter can be used by anyone in the set location of your geofilter, they don’t even need to be your follower! The cool thing about this is now you can make your own! So that little filter at the bottom of the screen can be yours for a small price. Check out Coastal Carolina University’s first ever geofilter. Come up with creative ones to help get your name out on snapchat.


Start Snapping! 

Social Media: The Silent Killer?

Let me first state that social media will not come to your house, late at night, and quietly kill you in your sleep. But… Social media does hold the potential to cause health risks. Surprisingly since the first email was delivered in 1971, there has been many studies on the subject that controls our day to day actions.

Bring it Back to the Beginning

CNBC  shows a 90 second history of social media while showing you all the important facts about each social media platform. Now keep in mind ALL of these platforms are part of the large family of social media. Are you on one of these platforms or are you someone who has their fingers in every pie? Well no matter how many platforms you are on, your well-being and mental health can be effected.

Are you going Mental?


The average American spends 7.6 hours a month on social media. Which honestly doesn’t seem like that much but seeing the recent statistics from Honor Whitemen stating

  • 63% of Americans log onto Facebook daily
  • 40% of Facebook users log onto Facebook multiple times a day

Seeing these high statistics has worried researches and have led people to think that social media is addictive. ADDICTIVE. So Dr. Cecile Andraessen and colleagues at University of Bergen in Norway have created Berge Facebook Addiction Scale (BFAS). Now I bet you are curious and asking yourself, am I addicted? Why not take rate yourself of his scale and find out but don’t forget… Be Honest!


It looks like I scored not addicted to Facebook! What did you score? 4 or higher? Well hopefully you aren’t too addicted but there could be more health issues you need to look out for like psychological effects, negative effects on mental health, and eating disorders.

Psychological/ Mental Health

Have you ever compared yourself to someone you follow on a social media account? Don’t lie.. We ALL have so don’t be ashamed but could these comparisons be hurting your health? Yes. Most people conceal their negative emotion when broadcasting their “social media self.” This bottled in energy can be harmful and increase the amount of stress you are under.

  • 2 out of 3 people have difficulty relaxing and sleeping after using social media
  • High anxiety increase when having a face to face encounters

Cyber Bullying/ Eating Disorder


Cyber bullying has become more talked about recently since social media has grown into our lives. Most people would assume that cyber bullying is only talking about teens, and younger children who are on the sites but adults experience cyber bullying as well. This bullying, like any type of bullying, can lead to a person feeling lesser than their peers causing psychological and mental health problems and could lead to physical harm.

  • 95% of teens who use social media have witnessed forms of cyber bullying
  • 33% of teens have been a victim of cyber bullying

The cyber bullying isn’t the only thing we have noticed trending on social media. Eating disorders have also been highlighted on the same social media sites. Images of spindly legs, concave stomachs, and jutting ribs are a few ways eating disorders have emerged. Social Media is a free platform for pro-eating disorder sites to post their voice like “Pro-ana” and “Pro-mia.” This sites have amplified behaviors in someone with a eating disorder and promote them to share their story using hash tags. #thighgap #starvingforprofection

  • On Twitter. Users engage in monthly challenges to limit calorie intake. 1 Like= 2 hours of fasting
  • An estimated 30 million Americans suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life. 20 million women and 10 million men


With all of these negative impacts there are still ways to improve our health. We can take a close look at the posts we see and how/ when we use social media. We can change the way social media is impacting our lives but will you be one to stand behind these improvements?

Safety First… Ways to Improve our Social Media Sites


After seeing all of the negative effects of being on social media, won’t you think that we would cancel out some of the negativity. This might seem like a change to most but the fixes for these problems are becoming easier.

  • Weeding out negative post by a simple hashtag search. On any social media site you will have an area  where you can search for people or hashtags. Place the nasty hashtag in that search and what comes out of that search will blow your mind. EVERY post that shows up will be ones that have used the hashtag in the past. Why not take the time to report those post to get them removed. Taking down the bad and replace it with positive messages.
  • Once taking down the horrible post, why not replace them with a positive message.NEDA  has been upping their game on social media to promote a positive message by launching Proud2BMe in 2011. Proud2BMe an interactive website for teens and young adults to develop healthy attitudes about food, weight and body image. But we as individuals can make a difference to by sharing personal histories and photos of recovery. Also using positive hashtags such as #edrecovery, #edsoldier and #foodisfuel #prorecovery. Don’t be afraid to share your positive posts because it might just save a life.
  • Pocket your phone. This is a tough one, I understand but give it a try. The Muse pocketed their cell phones for an ENTIRE week, yes, an entire 7 days. But their findings show this could improve our lives. They found that most people followed suite and put their phones away when seeing someone else doing the same. The interaction between people became more chatty and people enjoyed talking to each other more. And a strange but fascinating finding that people actually put more trust into the person they were talking to without a cellphone.

    Take the time to talk to your coworkers and get to know the real them. But if you need to fulfill the urge to get on your social media accounts at least stop the negativity that you see on your feed. Let’s make the internet positive and a enjoyable place!



    The Social Media’s Do’s and Don’ts for Any Healthcare Organization

    Recap: You’ve learned the most popular social media platforms, the perfect strategy, how to evaluate those master pieces you’ve created. But how many of you went on to create at least two of those platforms?


    Woo! Looks like all of you did! Way to Go!

    But…Could there be more? You can bet your bottom dollar there is more! Healthcare can be a touchy subject and it’s time to break down what’s appropriate for your organization to post in 4 simple rules.

    4 Simple Ethics Rules

    1. Link Reliable Content (Only after reading the link fully)

    Use your page as a source for people to turn towards when wanting an interesting content pertaining to your company’s specialty. When retweeting or sharing make sure you are checking and rechecking the content because this is something that can effect your creditably by just hitting that share button. This sounds like a given, right? Well, actually, EVERYONE is guilty of not reading content before reposting it and we know this thanks to The Verge.

    Now you’re thinking… Why write these articles if no one is reading them? I guess it’s a good thing there are people out there who actually actively paying attention. And there is a simple way to calculate how many of those readers there are, by using “Attention Minutes

    Attention Min

    2. Avoid Stigmas

    With the increasing growth of social media the growth of cyber bullying is also on the rise. Let’s help eliminate those numbers by STANDING UP and SQUASH THE ISSUE! Don’t sit back, speak up if you see any sort of stigmatizing post. Check out how these women from all different backgrounds shut down a ugly comment about the black female model with full lips rocking MAC lipstick shade.


    That’s not the only way a healthcare organization can avoid stigmas. A company’s social media holds power in the fact that they are able to reach a large audience with a click of a button, so why not shed light on a negative stigma. Check out what or should I say WHO the American Cancer Society highlighted during a weekly #WCW post. (That’s Women Crush Wednesday if you aren’t up to date on the lingo yet)


    3. Make Online Engagement Conversational

    There are many different way’s to participate online, check out that conversation happening on that adorable family photo you just looked at. A sweet post about a look into a cancer survivors life has people wanting to talk, all positive and happy thoughts. The more recent The Salvation Army ad “The Dress” shows great engagement.

    The Salvation Army Ad

    The Salvation Army not only did a brilliant job portraying a difficult topic in a power stance, they included a hashtag #StopAbuseAgainstWomen. This one simple hashtag will allow the company to track and find post easily and can help their company to see how that hashtag is trending.

    4. Privacy & Safety


    There is a fine line between getting personal and over-sharing. But like Dwight clear states you can’t just post a notice protecting your privacy rights. It is important to consider your own privacy online, while sharing your story and health information because once it’s online, it’s there FOREVER! Keep in mind when sharing other’s stories, ask permission and be mindful of their privacy. Developing policies and procedures for safe commenting on any website is a great idea for companies to insure employees are making the best post under the company’s name.


    But should a company stop there or should they hold healthcare providers accountable for their behavior on social media?

    Should Healthcare Provider’s be held Accountability for their Behavior on Social Media?

    That is the all time question! Yes, everyone has a personal life but if it were to effect your company in a negative way would it become a problem?


    Lets ask a Miami hospital, Oh my, you haven’t heard about what happened down south well let me sum this crazy story up for you. A fourth-year neurology resident has been removed from her clinical duties after an outrageous drunken stupor that got it’s limelight on YouTube. She essentially violated her Uber driver and destroyed his car all followed by her fleeing the scene. If you must, you can check out the entire show.

    Would you reprimand her and to what extent?

    Social media holding such a large presents, Is it time companies enroll rules and regulations outside of the work place to uphold their company’s name?

    Evaluate your Healthcare Organization’s Social Media Marketing Plan

    Venturing back for more amazing incite, I see. From my previous blogs you have learned about the most popular social media platforms to use for your health organization and  you have perfected your social media strategy. It’s now time that you learn how to effectively evaluate your social media platform. Social media platforms take time and money from a company so why not make sure you are utilizing their full potential. Take some advice from this guy, Don’t waste money!


    Are you afraid you aren’t utilizing the full potential of your social media accounts? Well… fear no more, there are 4 simple measures to make sure you are focusing your social media participation perspective in the right direction!

    4 Simple Measures


    1. Conversation Rate–  # of audience comments (or replies) per post. This is where knowing your audience and what they enjoy seeing/reading comes into play.  Don’t be afraid to have meaningful conversations with your followers, this aspect of social media is greatly overlooked because most organizations are more worried about getting a new post out into the web.
    2. Amplification Rate– Expanding your primary followers will ultimately allow your secondary followers to grow. Having someone share your information out to their followers is the way to build your amplification rate. When your secondary followers see your content and like the things your organization post  then eventually your secondary network will become your primary network by just clicking that follower button.  

      On Twitter: Amplification = # of Retweets Per Tweet

      On Facebook, Google Plus: Amplification = # of Share Per Post

      On a blog, YouTube: Amplification = # of Share Clicks Per Post (or video)amplification_social_media_metric-1.png

    1. Applause Rate– Again,  know your audience! Get to know what they like and what they don’t like so you can  

      One Twitter: Applause Rate = # of Favorite Clicks Per Post

      On Facebook: Applause Rate = # of Likes Per Post

      On Google Plus: Applause Rate = # of +1s Per Post

      On a Blog, YouTube: Applause Rate = # of +1s and Likes Per Post (or video)amplification-applause.png

    2. Economic Value– The sum of short and long term revenue and cost savings. Social media participation isn’t solely to drive business outcomes. There will only be a small percentage of your followers that actually venture off of your social media accounts to your company’s website.

    ROI- Return on Investment

    One of the best ways to figure out if your organization is benefiting from the time, money, and effort that was needed to uphold the social media platform. Why waste time on a social media platform if your company isn’t benefiting from it but instead losing time and money. 

    How to calculate your ROI: Analytic tracking has seemed to be the best way! In the past it has been most common to use a third party company, which comes with a price. But why can’t this feature be FREE? Well, its becoming a tread that we see the social media websites developing their own analytic dashboard. 

    Check It Out: Twitter introduced its own analytic dashboard in July 2014 for ALL users, not just company pages. This dashboard tracks tweet impressions, engagement, and what sources are linked to your content. 


    Now that you have all the tools to set-up and execute a perfect social media page. It is very important to always go back and evaluate each of your platforms when there is growth. Never stop evaluating and making changes because there is always room to make improvements!

    Social Media Strategies for Healthcare Pages

    So far in previous blogs, we have covered the basics and “how-to” for Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Woo! If you have accomplished setting up ALL of these different social media accounts, why don’t you give yourself a pat on the back! Way to go! Now its time to make sure you have your basic strategy for a social media account and a content strategy to fill that account with attention grabbing posts.


    Basic Strategy.

    Before starting anything you need a Social Media Basic Strategy. Having a strategy will allow your account to operate smoothly. I highlighted these basic strategy roles in previous posts but this strategy is VERY IMPORTANT so I would like to draw a little more attention to it!

    1. Identify your Target Audience– Who are you trying to grab the attention of? Teenagers, College Students, Parents, Older adults, or Seniors. Not just WHO but look at other areas like education, location, income, race, family life. There are a lot of different people you can target. Choose wisely for what you are offering on your Social Media account. Group of Multi-Ethnic Socially Connected People
    2. Determine your  objectives- Create a timeline for your account to follow. Determine what items need to be completed and choose a due date. Giving an accomplish date will put time restraint on a checklist item to ensure they get completed. Here is an example of objectives that can be used when starting your social media account. Just don’t forget to include a date! social-media-strategic-business-objectives
    3. Select appropriate channels for your message- What Social Media platform do you want to start on first? You can honestly, pick any of them but you do want to pay attention to which are used more, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.Business-Social-Media
    4. Decide upfront how much time and effort you can invest- Are you able to pay someone or multiple people? Is this that employee’s only job? Some companies employ multiple people to run their accounts, other companies tack a social media account onto daily work of an excising employee. If your company has the mean, go ahead and splurge on an employee dedicated to Social Media. Impact-of-Social-media-on-healthcare

    Content Strategy.

    To build your accounts and get your company out there, you must have content in your post that people will actually stop and read.  There are 5 successful tips for Social Media Content.

    Know your Voice- 

    Your social media accounts should “sound” like your brand. Humorous, serious, educational, emotional; there are so many voices to choose from, just pick one. Lets say you would like to show an Educational Voice, well you’re in luck! MUSC Hospital has an amazing Facebook Page that shows you how to accomplish an educational voice.

    • Share breaking industry news that is relevant. Stay on stop of what’s going on in your industry or niche by using Google Alerts. Keep the readers up to date and feature articles that will bring track to your page. MUSC did a great job showing what tanning beds do to the body right before most people start using them to prepare for summer. tanning.png

    Time your Content-

    • Create a conversation calendar that spells out exactly what you are going to post and when you will post it. This is the time to make sure its relevant in people’s lives and the season of the year. This example of a conversation calendar includes on social media platform: Twitter and is only 2 days of planning. Keep in mind if you are active on multiple social media platforms a calendar will be a must to keep things straight.

    • Timing is KEY! Use Holidays to plug in a little health information in a fun manner. Check out how MUSC Health used Valentine’s day to talk about the heart! This is a great day to bring up how we need to keep our hearts healthy and just how to do it. Heart-Valentines day

    Engage with Audience-

    No one likes being talked at and never having a chance to respond but social media changes that whole problem. The interaction and engagement held with followers, fans, viewers is a tricky thing to accomplish but there are easy ways to get people talking.

    • Ask for reviews or testimonials and Share them! Reviews from fans or followers is one of the best ways to get testimonials that you can use as social proof on your website. Sharing those reviews and testimonials will have more fans and followers turning their good words in. Check out Mrs. Purdue’s testimonial about her health story.testimonial

    Be True. Be You. 

    Great content is not fake! If you make promises, keep them! Be honest in your posts and when interacting with people. But most importantly BE YOU! Don’t be afraid to get personal, this allows people to connect on a personal level and will be more inclined to follow.

    Now Go, Create a Strategy for each of your Social Media Platforms!Social-media


    Healthcare is becoming “Insta” Famous

    “Insta” Famous is a real thing and it has been happening since October 6, 2010 on an app, called Instagram. Yet another app, I know, but Instagram is actually connected to Facebook. Yes, you heard that correctly, Facebook bought out Instagram for $1 Billion in April 2012. Since they are connected it makes it easier to sharing content between the two sites. The sites can also be accessed from an app on your mobile device or on the screen on your computer.


    Instagram is here to put together a snap shot story for your followers. 400 Million Active Users are on Instagram but only about 54% of the world’s top brands are currently active. Why are more companies not utilizing this FREE advertising outlet?

    Could it be, people don’t understand how to tell their brand’s story? Well, there are just 5 easy steps in Story telling on Instagram.

    Just remember…

    The basics still apply like any of the other social media outlets; know your target audience, determine best marketing strategy, content type to inspire people, set goals and objectives, and have clear methods in place for measuring your pages success.

    5 Story Telling Tips

    1. Take photos of your staff.Give the viewer an idea of what is going on at that meeting your sitting in or what friendly faces came into work today. These photos will build trust, loyalty and will have your followers wanting more. Check out the Arnold Palmer Hospital page, they do a great job showing off their staff and happy patients.2016_02_22_12_27_41_Jump_List_for_Google_Chrome_2_
    2. Share a Sneak Peek. Make sure your followers feel extra special and reward them with a first look at something never seen before.  This could be anything from a new product, a future ad, a new building or even a event. Advocate Health Care did a fantastic job showing off their sneak peak of a few cars at the Chicago Auto Show.2016_02_22_12_32_56_New_notification.png
    3. Take them Behind the Scenes. Make your followers feel like they are experiencing a once in a lifetime opportunity that most people never have had the chance to feel. Palmetto Health gives you an inside look to someone undergoing a Robot assisted surgery with one of their very own doctors. 2016_02_22_12_51_16_New_notification.png
    4. Embody the Lifestyle your Company represents. There are many different routes you can take your company down using just pictures. Example: A health or healthy lifestyle brand can share motivational photos and healthy tips that educate and inspire your followers. American Red Cross does a good job educating its followers with some fun facts as a post. 2016_02_22_13_02_33_American_Red_Cross_americanredcross_Instagram_photos_and_videos
    5. Be Creative and Comical. Display your product or service in a creative or comical way. Chobani uses mass amounts of creativity in all of their post. They didn’t just throw a picture of a contain of their product, instead they transformed their Greek yogurt into a whipped pancake topping. Clever and will have their followers to try this next time. 2016_02_22_13_12_55_Chobani_chobani_Instagram_photos_and_videos.png

    Real Life: Health Organizations on Instagram

    If you are scared your health organization is going about Instagram in all the wrong ways. Well, don’t be. Check out these two current health organizations and learn from what they have done.


    Chicago Department of Public Health shares mostly promotional messages, which usually receive little engagement. Due to the way they advertise they only have 525 followers and not much interaction on their page.

    Ways to Improve:

    • Allow text to be interactive. Ask questions.
    • Promote a fundraising event in the local area.
    • Offer promotional discounts, “Bring one child for testing, get the second testing free.”
    • Thank Followers for being their and looking at content.
    • Create a clever hashtag.


    The Red Pump Project promotes awareness and education for women and girls about HIV/AIDS with using the red shoe as a symbol. Their typical post are from events and snapshots of day to day activities the project does. They also included an empowering hashtag to go along with everything #RocktheRedPump.

    Ways to Improve:

    • Thank followers for their support, show how much money they have raised.
    • Utilize text-to-give campaigns.
    • Promote website more in text on the photos.


    Some healthcare organizations have showed what they are made of and killed the Instagram game but companies can utilize their employees in a professional matter as well. Breaking Instagram is the real McDreamy, Doctor Mike. Yes, this is his personal page but since he has gotten so much attention from his good looks; he has decided to find ways to help the Limitless Tomorrow Foundation gain recognition and raise money.

    Way to go Doctor Mike!