Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Social Media Thought Leader?

Thought Leadership 2.0 by Marla Tabaka, writing in Inc. magazine:

Medical societies of all size -- and our members -- have many of the credentials to be thought leaders on medical and health care issues: we're respected and (generally) know what we're talking about. I've long advocated that social media provides some great platforms for us to become thought leaders. Here's a great article from Inc. magazine on how to do it.
A thought-leader is someone who is willing to step into the spotlight and voice their points of view, innovative ideas, and potentially controversial opinions. He drives conversation and pepeprs the Internet and other outlets with his insights, ideas, and expertise. She inspires others to follow their dreams and teaches them to think big, solve problems, and face their fears.
Here's a the presentation I made in October to the scholars in the TMA Leadership College on social media and thought leadership.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Health care’s mobile revolution - Infographic

The great team at Health Care Communication News put together this infographic on the exploding use of mobile devices (no, not the use of exploding mobile devices) in health care today.
Is your physician "super mobile"?  
According to this infographic, one in four physicians owns a tablet and a smartphone, use online resources at a much higher rate, and use their mobile devices for references, research, and even diagnosis.

Handheld devices have become a million dollar industry for health care professionals—in 2010, the total market for handheld devices in health care reached $8,800,000.

This trend shows no signs of stopping: In fact, there has been a 20 percent increase in the usage of WiFi connected mobile devices in health care this year alone.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Using Facebook to Influence Congress

NEW ORLEANS -- The American Medical Association brought Brad Fitch, CEO of the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF), here for a workshop for physician activists on lobbying Congress.Among the numerous interesting tidbits that the data-dripping Fitch dropped was this one:

Sixty-four percent of congressional aides that CMF surveyed say Facebook is an "instant gauge of public opinion on issues they are talking about." When their bosses are undecided on legislation or what to talk about, they are likely to settle on which ones get the most "like's."

Using Facebook as an incoming communication tool to reach Congress? Never thought of that.

Hungry for details, I dug up the CMF's July 201 report, #SocialCongress: Perceptions and Use of Social Media on Capitol Hill. Under the heading "Congressional offices are using social media to help gauge public opinion, augmenting traditional tools used for that purpose," this is what I found:

According to the senior managers (primarily Chiefs of Staff, Deputy Chiefs of Staff and Legislative Directors) and social media managers (staff who identified themselves as having responsibility for their office's social media practices) who responded to our survey, offices have integrated social media into the array of tools they use to understand constituents’ views and opinions. Not surprisingly, these staffers say they rely most on the more tangible and verifiable forms of interaction with constituents, such as attending events in the district or state, receiving personalized messages from constituents, and holding town hall meetings. 
However, it is clear that congressional offices are taking Members’ Facebook friends seriously. Almost two-thirds of the staffers view Facebook as an important source for understanding constituents’ views and opinions. Twitter and YouTube have also clearly gained acceptance on Capitol Hill, with significant percentages of the staffers surveyed  saying these tools are important sources for understanding constituents.
  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of the senior managers and social media managers surveyed think Facebook is a somewhat or very important tool for understanding constituents’ views and opinions.
  • More than one-third (42%) say Twitter is somewhat or very important for understanding constituents.
  • YouTube is viewed by just over one-third (34%) as somewhat or very important for understanding constituents’ views and opinions.
Facebook recognizes this trend and offers advice for those of us who might want to travel this social media advocacy avenue. In this video, Katie Harbath, Facebook's public policy manager, discusses working with members of Congress and their staff to engage with constituents on the platform.

So where do we find our senators and representatives on Facebook? Surprise -- Facebook has compiled a page at, which the network says "will highlight innovative uses of Facebook by members of Congress, list members' pages and communicate news and information about Facebook and Congress."

The "innovative uses" include Facebook chats with constituents, videos, and polls. The page also includes sub-pages listing all of the congressional Facebook sites, separated into House and Senate. I signed into Facebook as Texas Medical Association and liked both Texas senators and all the Lone Star State representatives I could find.

Now I just have to come up with a strategy to use this new tool to get TMA-member physicians to engage Capitol Hill on Facebook to build momentum for Congress to fix Medicare's broken physician payment formula.

Here are a few more links of interest:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

How You Are Secretly Driving Away Your Followers and What You CanDo to Stop its

From the SmartBlog on Social Media:
Relevance is essential to any successful social media campaign. Consistency of tone, purpose and content is how you let people know who you are and why they should follow you. Whenever you post something online, you’re adding to a body of work that becomes your brand.

But what about authenticity? Aren’t we all supposed to be authentic now that we’re on social networks? Sure, but it’s important to consider what that term really means in this context. All brands (personal and organizational) have purposes. There are reasons why we do what we do — even if we’re not always aware of our motivations. Authenticity, simply put, is having a constant commitment to your purpose. It’s your ability to follow your “why” without pause that lets people know who you really are (as a person or as an organization) and why they should connect with you. Because people don’t care about what you’re doing, they care about why you do it.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Social Media Glossary

From "api" to "YouTube," SocialBrite defines all those wacky new social media phrases you might not understand:

The social media landscape is fast changing and filled with strange terms to the uninitiated. Don’t feel intimidated! Here’s a quick guide to some of the terms you may encounter.

Here's an interesting sample, and a term I had never heard:

Copyleft: A play on the word copyright, copyleft is the practice of using copyright law to remove restrictions on distributing copies and modified versions of a work for others and requiring that the same freedoms be preserved in modified versions.

UPDATE: HubSpot just published its own "Ultimate Glossary: 120 Social Media Marketing Terms Explained," in case there's even more words you're trying to learn. (12-31-11)

Friday, November 11, 2011

5 and a Half Tips for Easy But Good Electronic Media

This is based on a short presentation I did for the American Society of Medical Society Executives County Executives Forum on Nov. 11, 2011, in New Orleans. Many thanks to my AAMSE friends for the invitation. Here is the question I was asked to answer: Faced with few resources and even less time, what can county medical societies can do in the electronic media world that pays big dividends in member participation, awareness, recruitment, retention, etc.

Social media is not free. Although a Twitter app, a Facebook account, YouTube access, etc... don't cost any money, they do require time to maintain and get the most out of them. The two things county societies chronically lack are money and time. So what to do?

Here are the five and half tips I offered:

Tip 1: Monitor what's being said about you. Here are some free tools:
Tip 2: Find a champion

Look for someone who is passionate about social media and wouldn't mind "volunteering" their time to help you, teach you, and maybe do some of it for you. Look to your staff or your family (if you have young adult children, they're usually tuned in). The best champion, of course, is one of your members who likes and uses social media and will post your news on Facebook, Tweet about you, post videos of your events.

Tip 3: Give something free to your members

There's so much free out there, take advantage of it. One service we like, which has earned TMA a nice chunk of non-dues revenue, is a weekly news bulletin to our members. We use MultiView but there are other vendors out there, like SmartBriefs. They collate the week's top stories that you want your members to see, news stories that their patients might be asking you about, and send them a weekly e-mail. Our "TMA Weekly Headlines" includes a short description of the article, when and where it was published, a link to the full article, and social media buttons that allow easy sharing.

They do all the work: gather the stories, sign up the advertisers. We spend no more than 15 minutes a week reviewing the draft "Headlines" the day before it goes out.

Tip 4: Video is king; YouTube is free
Video has it all: immediacy, emotion, impact. Video story telling is the most powerful way to get your message out. Nowadays you don't need a fancy studio and a professional videographer to shoot and share video. Nearly every exec has a mini-video recorder on his or her hip.
Consider shooting a quick-and-dirty, 30-second video of one of your physicians:
  • Commenting on the health care policy news of the day
  • Discussing the latest public health problem
  • Promoting an upcoming society event
Then post it straight to YouTube from your phone. Tweet it. Post it on Facebook. Take a few more moments and embed it on your website.

Tip 4.5:  Animoto is fun

Animoto is a free tool that puts together images, video clips, and sound into a nifty looking 30-second video. Then you can post it in all those places I just mentioned. Here's an Animoto video we did about the TMA Calendar of Doom, our newest tool to help TMA members keep up with, and comply with, the avalanche of new state and federal regulations plus commercial insurance rules, that keep coming their way:

Tip 5: Make your members stars

Social media is, well, social. It's all about people -- your people, your doctors. Show them off. Publish RSS feeds from their blogs on your website (here's how we do it at TMA). Post their photos on Facebook. There are 250 million photos posted on Facebook a day, for a good reason. People like to see themselves.) Retweet their Twitter posts. Do all this and they'll return the favor and promote your society and what you're doing.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Facebook Is Most Popular Social Network for All Ages; LinkedIn Is Second

Mashable reports on a new generational social media study from Forrester:

Of all the social networks, Facebook is the only one that knows no generational limits. From grandparents to teenagers, Facebook — the largest of the social networks — attracts users of all ages. A recent study by Forrester found that of U.S. adults who use social networking sites, 96% of them are on Facebook.

Looking at typical medical society members (Gen X through the Golden Generation), LinkedIn appears to be the only social medium with a substantial showing across the generations.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Get The Picture In Facebook Posts To Boost Engagement

Interesting post from

Research keeps pouring in supporting the use of photos in Facebook posts in order to improve engagement.

Did my gratuitous use of a photo of a Facebook page make this post any more interesting to you?


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