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Guest Post: 2 Common Myths Doctors and Other Healthcare Professionals Avoid Social Media

2 Common Myths Doctors and Other Healthcare Professionals Avoid Social Media
by Designer Rob Russo, Creative Director of MediaDoc Marketing

So many doctors and other healthcare professionals avoid social media marketing and networking — at least beyond a personal Facebook profile — for two reasons. Most in the healthcare industry do not take advantage of social media, blogging and most forms of marketing and advertising, really, because they believe two common myths: 1. Doctors are afraid to share too much information online. (Think HIPAA privacy laws, etc.) and 2. Healthcare professionals don’t have the time to spend on marketing efforts or any advertising, really, beyond taking out an annual ad in the Yellow Pages.

Today we will break down those two common myths and find solutions for doctors and other healthcare professionals, helping them break through these social media marketing roadblocks.

  • Myth1: Doctors and other Healthcare Professionals Can’t Share Information on Social Media. False. While it is true you can’t (nor should you!) share private information of an individual patient, there is a plethora of health and wellness tips, suggestions and guidelines you can share. Focus on your area of expertise and become the online expert in that department. So you avoid mention of Patient John Smith’s diagnosis of diabetes. But regular posts about healthy eating habits, tips on managing sugar intake, common symptoms and explanations of the top warning signs of
    diabetes would be welcome information many would appreciate. And then, of course, during Patient John’s next office visit, you can point him to your Facebook Timeline or Twitter feed. He can follow his doctor’s advice there, using the reminders and updates to keep on track after his appointment.
  • Myth 2: Doctors and other Healthcare Professionals Don’t Have Time for Social Media. False. Once your have defined your focus and dialed in to your niche, updating your various social media channels does not have to be a massive time suck. There are management tools that can assist in uploading posts and you don’t have to be overwhelmed by all of the social media networks. Find the top one or two you enjoy — and your patients utilize, of course — and start there. In addition, expert social media managers like ME Marketing Services exist (see Mandy’s previous post Facebook & Doctor’s Offices) to help you stay in touch with your patients and take advantage of these marketing possibilities while freeing your time up to do what you do best — providing the best care.Realize the truth and take advantage of this marketing potential, doctors! While online health tips and other information will never provide equivalent care or replace the need for face-to-face time with a healthcare provider, patients will appreciate your online presence and value the knowledge shared. Patients can learn everything from common symptoms of a specific disease to basic nutrition advice for healthy living online, on their own time. Then, the doctor’s valuable time in one’s actual appointment time will be maximized for individual, specialized care.

Your turn…

Are you a healthcare professional scared to take the first step with social media? Or, are you a patient that values your health and would appreciate your doctor’s advice on social media networks?

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Designer Rob Russo has a strong background in  advertising and marketing and a love for social media which he puts to good use as Co-Founder & Creative Director of MediaDoc Marketing. He has worked with companies both large and small designing logos, print ads, websites, brochures, newsletters and more. Rob helps businesses — especially solopreneurs and start-ups — develop engaging marketing plans and an eye-catching brand identity. Otherwise, you’ll find him spending time with his wife and kids (and flock of chickens) on their family homestead. Oh, if you like to tweet, you can follow Rob and/or follow MediaDoc Marketing on Twitter.

8 Social Media Tools You Cannot Live Without

If you are just starting out in social media or just confused about social media, you will find there are a lot of social media tools out there for you to pick from to help you.

There are social media tools to post, analyze, list, email…you name it, it’s out there.  Having the right tools will help you to create a successful social media campaign or even your own social media business.

I have pared down the list of everything out there to these 8 essentials and yes, I do use them all.  Since there seem to be more Twitter management tools out there over anything else, we will start with that.

  1. ManageFlitter

ManageFlitter is a great tool to use to manage your Twitter followers.  With their free program, you can sort through who follows you, who doesn’t, who hasn’t ever tweeted and who hasn’t tweeted in a really long time.  It’s a great Twitter clean-up tool for you to use to keep only the best of your Twitter followers.  They have a Pro version that you can upgrade to that provides more advanced tools.

2. TwitList Manager

I talked about TwitList Manager in a previous post, 3 Programs to Effectively Manage Twitter.  This is great tool to place your Twitter followers in a Twitter List. When you start getting tons of followers, you will want to organize them into lists to better follow them.  With Twitter, you can have up to 20 lists.  I have some for those on Social Media, Non-Social Media, Georgia Football and friends, to list a few.

3. Social Bro

Social Bro is a really neat Twitter analyzer.  I use this as an extension on my Google Chrome browser.  With Social Bro, you can analyze your followers – find out where they are from too, manage your Twitter lists, compare your Twitter account to a competitor, get reports on your best time to post and follow & unfollow people.  This is newest tool I’ve started using.  It does provide some of each of the previously mentioned tools, but you can use each for something different.

4. Twellow

Twellow is like the Yellow Page directory of Twitter users.  Completely free to use, with Twellow you can type in your industry keywords and Twellow will provide you a list of who to follow.

5. SocialOomph

I also referenced SocialOomph in my previous Twitter post.  This is a great program to auto-follow new followers and send automatic direct messages to your Twitter uses for a very low cost per month.  Very worth it!  SocialOomph provides other levels of use, but I use it primarily for auto-follow and direct messages.

6. Buffer

Oh how I love Buffer!  Buffer is a great program that you can also get as an extension for your Chrome or Firefox browsers.  According to the Buffer site (which explains it better than I could!), “Buffer makes your life easier with a smarter way to schedule the great content you find. Fill up your Buffer at one time in the day and Buffer automagically posts them for you through the day. Simply keep that Buffer topped up to have a consistent social media presence all day round, all week long.”  Talk about easy!

7. Overall Social Media Management Software.  There are 2 popular choices, so I am mentioning both.

Hootsuite
Hootsuite provides a platform for you to schedule your posts for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.  You can also respond to posts and pull in your different streams to view them all on one screen.  Hootsuite is free up to 5 profiles.  If you need more than that, you can go Pro or Enterprise.

Sprout Social

Like Hootsuite, Sprout also provides you a platforms to schedule and respond to posts from Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.  Sprout Social does not have a free version, but they start out very affordable.  I use this one.  Sprout also provides detailed analytics on each of your linked accounts.  With Sprout, you can manually pick a time or you can pick from the peak posting times they give you.

8. Aweber

Every successful social media marketing plan includes an email element.  I choose to go with Aweber.  Aweber integrates nicely with WordPress, Twitter and Facebook to provide avenues to gain subscribers.  You can choose from hundreds of templates for your emails.  There are other programs to choose from, but if you are starting out, this is a great one to go with!

Hopefully I didn’t totally overwhelm you with this list!  These are all fabulous programs to use.  I encourage you to check each one out to see what works best for you.  If you have one you love that I didn’t list, please comment below and tell me what it is!!

If this did overwhelm you and you’d rather someone else handle it, please contact me and let’s see how we can work together!

3 Ways to Promote Your Online Business Offline

All successful businesses started somewhere. Those online have worked all their might online, promoting their links everywhere and on everything. But I have to ask, what are you doing offline to promote your online business?

Promotion of your business is important. If you are not promoting, you will not succeed. Sorry, but that’s the truth. My background prior to starting my own business was print advertising. I saw many businesses fail because of lack of promotion. Without promotion, whether it is online or offline, no one is going to know about you. There are a myriad of options out there to promote your business. For today’s sake, we are going to stick to online business promotion offline otherwise I could go on for at least 10 pages!

So let me ask again, what are you doing offline to promote your online business?  Whether you are not doing anything or just getting started, here are some ways to promote offline.

1. Business Cards

If you have a business you HAVE to have business cards!  This is you best form of offline promotion. You can leave these at your local coffee house, place on community bulletin boards and depending on the type of business you have, with your bill at the restaurant!
Business cards have come a long way. These days people are putting their pictures on them or adding a QR code to link them to their website or a contact page.  In fact, my new business cards have a QR code on them!

2. Networking

I am a big believer in networking. There are many opportunities in your community for you to network your business. There is your local Chamber of Commerce. At the Chamber they provide networking opportunities.  Ours does a monthly Business After Hours that is hosted by a different business each month. This is a perfect opportunity to take some business cards and talk about what you do.

Another option is join a professional networking group such as BNI. BNI is an international networking organization that has over 100,000 chapters across the globe. I can assure you there is a BNI group close to you. I have the privilege of serving as President of our local chapter. I have seen first-hand how a networking group can transform a business!  For more information on BNI, visit this link.

 

 

3. Advertising

I can hear you now, “I don’t have the money to advertise!”. Anytime you place your business name or logo on something, that’s advertising!  Sponsoring local events is a fairly inexpensive way to promote your business. Doing a small sponsorship to get your name on a t-shirt is my favorite. Come on, having several hundred people wandering around with a shirt with your logo on it? Visibility everywhere!  You can also sponsor something at your child’s school.  Finding inexpensive sponsorships is a great way to promote your business, not to mention supporting your community.

If you do have the money to spend on advertising, find out what your customers are reading or watching and formulate a plan from there. If you need some guidance with this, contact me!

There are thousands of ways, both inside the box and outside, that you can use to promote offline.  These 3 ways I have found to be the most effective. How about you, what ways are your promoting your online business offline?

Guest Post: Demystifying SEO – Easy Keys to Implement Into Your Online Content

Demystifying SEO – Easy Keys to Implement Into Your Online Content

Creating Online Content For Your Audience & The Search Engines

So you did it! You created an awesome looking website, have content that is valuable, and are now ready for the flood of traffic. Right?

You might want to hold on waiting for that flood, especially if you forgot one extremely important step–SEO.

Without taking a few key steps in SEO, it won’t matter how attractive your website looks, the traffic you envision will not find you.

Now before you run away, SEO is not as scary as it may sound. Intimidating, maybe, but after you learn a few easy to implement steps, you will understand the basics of getting your awesome site found!

Don’t get me wrong, there are experts out there that study SEO from the inside out and can tell you everything you want to know and then some. However, as long as you are able to implement a few key ingredients, you can easily get your site heading in the right direction.

Are you ready?

One of the most important places you need to focus your SEO efforts is through your content. With a little content tweaking, you can drastically change your SEO results.

3 Easy to Implement SEO Keys for Your Online Content

  1. Know your audience: Before you do anything with your SEO make sure you understand who you are speaking to. With each piece of online content, you need to know who your customers are and why they would want to read what you have to say. Your content is about them, not about YOU.
  2. How are they finding you: After you know who you are writing to, you need to understand how they find you. Think of it as if you are doing a Google search for your business. What would you type into the search? What words would your customers use to find what you provide. Make a list of 5 to ten keywords that you want to be found for online.
  3. Add keywords to your website: When your list of words is completed, you will need to go back through your online content and add the words into the pages. Any page that you want your audience to find needs to have keywords included. Make sure you include your keywords 3% of the time. Don’t use more than 3 keywords per page.

Yes, SEO can be extremely detailed and there is much more to learn, but if you are looking for a starting point, these keys are easy to implement and will result in increased traffic to your site. Add your keywords into any content you write online, including your blog, social media, and even press releases.

Whatever you do, make sure you are writing to your audience first, then write to the search engines.

Gretchen Pritts is a social media manager and online content writer, with a passion for connection! Whether she is meeting people face to face, or learning about someone through social media, she loves building lasting relationships!

Gretchen helps her clients build trust with their customers, by speaking their language and creating lasting relationships. She helps businesses who don’t have time to commit to their online growth, but want to reap the benefits of an online platform. You can find her at http://memarketingservices.com://gretchenpritts.com

Over the River and Through the Woods…

 

 

 

 

 

To the mountains we go!

It’s Spring Break in Statesboro, Georgia and that means we are outta there!  While I take a short break from blogging, please check out some of my previous posts!  We will be home soon and will return to my regularly blogging schedule.

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