New platform mimics native pancreas, contains real cells to normalize blood sugar in real time MIAMI, Fla., March...
Via Ellen H Ullman, MSW
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Acquiring new patients is a continuing challenge for doctors and healthcare providers, but perhaps the greater challenge—with longer-term rewards—is the ongoing effort to build trust and loyalty with existing patients.
Here are several strategies to engage healthcare consumers and increase patient loyalty.
Build your brand
Branding is not just about the logo. It is all about what you and your practice is known for, and what it does better than others. For example, demonstrating a special concern for patient needs (and providing a solution) is an expression of your brand message that the practice cares deeply for people. Patients increasingly expect and select providers that deliver on their brand promise.
Understand the purpose of marketing
Marketing, in any type of business, helps develop trust and strong relationships between the provider and consumers. Effective marketing also communicates reasons to trust, choose you, and recommend you to others.
Customer feedback is an important resource that identifies things that your patients love, and don’t love, about your company. Patients appreciate that you are doing everything you can to make improvements and that inspires greater trust and loyalty. If you want a solid customer feedback forum, you can check out customer feedback software.
Questionnaires or surveys are a channel for patient feedback that reveals additional avenues for improvement.
Social media and monitoring
A social media presence is an effective way to connect with and attract new patients. Join them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Let consumers know what you are doing for them
Patients look to doctors to provide help with their individual health issues. But beyond that, some healthcare and service benefits aren’t always obvious. It’s useful to explain (beyond serving the immediate concern) how the practice can help meet future needs.
Loyalty is earned through performance and satisfaction. It’s not automatic and it can’t be taken for granted. Routinely meeting and exceeding service expectations can inspire continuing allegiance to the practice and future referrals.
Consider a delinquent taxpayer who receives one of the following two letters in the mail:
Letter 1: We are writing to inform you that we have still not received your tax payment of $5,000. It is imperative that you contact us.
Letter 2: We are writing to inform you that we have still not received your tax payment of $5,000. By now, 9 out of 10 people in your town have paid their taxes. It is imperative that you contact us.
Via The Learning Factor
As we know it can be difficult for pharmaceutical companies to use social media in the same way as brands outside the industry do. Pharma is a highly regulated industry, and needs to take special care when posting updates, and in replying to people who ask questions or post comments to its social presences.
The FDA requires that social media promotions using platforms with character limits must contain a balance of benefits and risks, and further risk information provided via a URL. That’s a lot to squeeze into limited space. Consider as well that the way we consume our information is changing drastically through increased mobile usage, making it even more challenging to remain compliant.
Many pharmaceutical companies use social to build positive sentiment about the company itself instead of focusing on specific products.
Johnson & Johnson (Janssen Pharmaceutical company of J&J)
Johnson & Johnson has a facebook page dedicated to facebook.com/careinspirescare" target="_blank">celebrating caring focusing on people and communities. You won’t find specific drug promotions, choosing rather to promote the values Johnson & Johnson finds important.
Its YouTube channel focuses on promoting awareness of issues – such as healthcare in emerging markets. In doing this, Johnson & Johnson can foster positive interactions with its brand, without risking breaching the regulations.
Similar to Johnson & Johnson, GSK uses its facebook.com/GSK/" target="_blank">facebook page to focus on a variety of non-product specific subjects such as promoting its graduate recruitment scheme, and celebrating the volunteering activities that its employees participate in. Like many other pharma companies, it uses social to post general facts about medicine and healthcare.
GSK also makes use of google Hangouts, using the platform to host discussions on important medical and social issues. All while adhering to the regulatory guidelines.
On its YouTube channel, it publishes a mixture of recruitment, company information videos and awareness campaign material. While its Twitter page shares and publishes visual content, and is used for the brand to showcase its support for the Gates Foundation and campaigns like #vaccineswork.
GSK demonstrates how it is possible to support and promote issues while avoiding direct mentions of its own particular products.
Novo Nordisk is a Danish company looking at diabetes and haemophilia. It stands out for being quite chatty on Twitter (as opposed to most pharmaceutical companies). For example, it recently hosted a Twitter chat about diabetes.
It shows that, while pharma companies need to be careful about what they say, it is possible to be social on social media.
Novartis uses Twitter to post short informational videos to its followers.https://twitter.com/Novartis/status/674338742971207680
Its research division has its own Twitter account where it posts more research-based information.https://twitter.com/Novartis/status/673565114646294529
Like other pharma companies, it uses YouTube to post videos discussing illnesses, such as this one on advances in treating multiple sclerosis:
Although the industry is highly regulated, and brands need to be cautious about what they say and do on social media, it’s evident that pharmaceutical brands can find a way to use social media without finding themselves in hot water.
Whether you’re a site, sponsor, or any other advocate for clinical research, using social media as an awareness tool can prove invaluable. But, how do you know if your social media content is reaching the right patient populations? The Facebook page for your clinical research organization can gain hundreds of likes, but if no one actually views your website or enrolls in your study, can you consider your efforts successful?
Tracking social media metrics can provide valuable insight to help you better direct your efforts and reach your target audience. There are many free tools available to help you access this information and evaluate your social media progress.
This article examines three of the best social metrics for sites to track and lists free tools to help you calculate your social media and patient recruitment success.
This social metric measures how your audience responds to your content. Engagement can be calculated a number of ways depending on the platform you’re using. On Twitter, this could be the number of retweets and mentions for each post; on Facebook and LinkedIn it could be the number of comments and shares.
Note that engagement is not the number of followers or fans your page generates. Those numbers are often superficial, as they don’t provide any valuable information about your audience. Engagement is specific to the way your followers interact with your content and reveals the type of content they enjoy most.
Why it’s valuable:Allows you to see how many people are viewing your postsHelps you determine what types of posts gain the most attentionReveals who is most engaged with your social content
As stated above, this metric gives you a better understanding of who is most engaged with specific types of content. Use this information to adapt and customize your posts to better engage your preferred patient population. If you see that those who are most engaged with your posts are not patients or are people unlikely to enroll in your clinical trial, you may want to reconsider your social strategies. You can adapt your strategies by experimenting with keywords, hashtags and links that are of interest to your audience.
You can also adjust the type and format of content you’re posting. Consider mixing your original content with some curated content; vary the number of promotional versus educational posts. You can post an article you found on a relevant site or a news update on a topic you know your audience would be interested in. Then, track the level of engagement with those items and continue to adjust your strategy accordingly.
To learn more about optimizing your social messaging, watch our free on-demand webinar, “Boost Local Patient Recruitment Instantly with Social Media.”
2. Click-Through Rate (CTR)
This metric reveals the number of people directed to your website through your social media posts, i.e. the number of people who clicked the link to your site. It’s one of the most important ways your followers can interact with your posts because it takes them to your website, where they have access to more information about your clinical research efforts and specific studies for which they may be eligible. It also reveals the type of individuals who are interested in what you have to offer, as it allows you to look to see if they are already in your patient database.
Why it’s valuable:Shows the number of people that click posted links and reach your websiteSpecifies what type of post/messaging garners the most interest in your site or study
Knowing the best methods to direct your social audience to your clinical research website is very valuable. Use this information to experiment with your posts and increase the “click-a-bility” of your social content. One easy way to do this is to include links to content on your website in order to indicate that your audience can learn more by clicking that link.
You can also compare the CTR with the level of engagement you see for each type of post. If a post received a high engagement rate in terms of likes and shares, but shows a low CTR, you can work to alleviate that discrepancy by encouraging your audience to click the included link.
To learn more about how to optimize your website and social promotion, view our free on-demand webinar, “What a Site’s Clinical Research Website Should Look Like.”
This metric measures the average dates and times your audience is likely to be on a certain social platform. Depending on the platform you’re using, timing can have a significant effect on the number of people who view and engage with your content.
There are many articles and presentations (like this one) that outline average dates and times users are most active on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. These suggestions are helpful to those just starting to experiment with post scheduling. However, it’s best to use your own measurements to get a better sense of your specific audience’s preferences and obtain the most accurate results.
Why it’s valuable:Shows when your followers are most active on social mediaReveals the average engagement occurring during specific days and times
Use this data to determine when your audience is most likely to be online and schedule your social content to post during those time periods. You can also track when your audience is most likely to engage with your posts and schedule specific types of messages to increase your overall CTR.
On most social media sites, you’re able to view the “impressions” for each post, or the number of people who saw your post on their timeline or newsfeed. Impressions can give you a good idea of how timing affects the number of people viewing your posts. If the number of impressions is consistently low (e.g. only 12 people saw your post), it’s likely time for you to experiment by posting on different days or at different times throughout the day.
Free Tools for TrackingPlatform Metrics
Metrics: Engagement, Timing
Many social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn now provide an analytics feature that allows you to view platform-specific metrics reports. As administrator of your social media pages, you have access to these reports within your account. For example, Facebook’s analytics reports can be found under “Insights” near the top of your managed page. Though these reports provide a smaller metrics window than Google Analytics, they are easy to use and provide valuable information on audience engagement and timing. The reports are also built into each platform and don’t require any manual setup.
Metrics: Engagement, Timing
This tool allows you to manage all of your social media posts and content across multiple platforms. HootSuite lets you create and schedule posts to all platforms while also providing growth and engagement analytics. Essentially, it acts as a social media hub, bringing all your social data into one environment. While the free version of this tool has limited capacity compared to Google Analytics or HootSuite’s paid versions, it still provides the convenience of compiled social data and management. HootSuite is also easy to set up and relatively user friendly for both beginners and more advanced users.
Metrics: CTR, Engagement
This is a free web analytics tool available to anyone with a Google account. Using Google Analytics, you can view statistics and track metrics using the Social Referrals feature. This feature allows you to create and track goals, measure CTR and engagement, and see an overview of your social media success. Google Analytics does require some time investment to properly setup the system, however this tool can provide more advanced, in-depth metrics to help you improve your social media efforts. Click this link for some helpful Google Analytics tips.
To get the most out of your social media patient recruitment efforts, it’s important to continuously measure and improve your performance. Using these three social metrics collectively can provide greater insight to help direct your social media efforts and hopefully increase your patient enrollment.
Most of us no longer need to walk into a bank to pay a bill or visit a shop to buy a new outfit – it can all be done online. But we still travel to the doctor’s office—and wait (and wait) to be treated. For now.
Via Alex Butler
This month Twitter started autoplaying Periscopestreams within its feed. While some marketers had previously been able to overlook the importance of livestreaming apps like Periscope, any brand with a strong Twitter presence is scurrying to catch up … As am I!
At the beginning of the week I had less than 10,000 “hearts” on Periscope, while popular people and brands tend to have more than a million.
So in anticipation of writing a best practices article for brands approaching Periscope, I interviewed Geoff Golberg. Geoff is one of the most famous livestreamers, with a following on Meerkat, Periscope, and Blab of over 40,000 people. On Periscope, Geoff has 6.3 million hearts.
Here are some key tips for using Periscope in combination with Twitter....
Via Jeff Domansky
Healthcare should embrace technology by default, Matthew Patrick, CEO of the South London and Maudsley Foundation Trust (SLaM), the UK's biggest mental health care provider, told IT Pro.Speaking at the Digital Innovation and Mental Health event hosted in London by law firm Osborne Clarke, Patrick spoke about the need for mental healthcare to keep pace with the changes to doctor/patient relationships brought about by the internet."If I was going to choose the single biggest shift that is going to impact upon healthcare in the next decade, it is the changing nature of the contract between citizens and professionals," he said. "Citizens are now more informed, they have access to the internet, to information, to data. Through the consumer movement, people's attitude towards consultation and services has changed.
Via Alex Butler
Social media is becoming an essential tool in public relations. Public relations practitioners use social media every day to publicize their clients and start two-way conversations. Blogger, Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube are all important channels for social media. As a company or organization in the health industry, it may not seem important to be participating and interacting on social media. All too often healthcare practitioners dismiss social media as not being applicable to their industry. Why would someone want to follow a hospital on Twitter? Or be Facebook friends with a pharmaceutical company? There are in fact many reasons that audiences want to connect with those in the healthcare industry on social media platforms. Therefore, healthcare social media is becoming increasingly vital.
In order to develop healthcare social media strategies, companies and organizations must first be present on social media platforms. This means setting up accounts for Blogger, Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. There may be some social media platforms that do not seem like the best fit for your company or organization. The best way to be certain is to see what your competitors are doing. If your main competitor has a YouTube channel then so should you. However, you may not want to rule out a platform for healthcare social media use, even if your competitors are not present on it. This could be an opportunity for you to gain a competitive advantage over your competitors. For example, maybe none of the hospitals in the area have a Facebook page. By creating one and using it effectively, you might be able to reach some audiences that are not being reached through other forms of social media.
Once you have created accounts on all relevant social media platforms, your healthcare social media strategies can begin. Start communicating relevant information and your messages to your audiences and converse with other companies, organizations and individuals in the health industry. Social media is best used when it fosters two-way communication and reaches the most individuals. The health industry has various information that is increasingly important to disseminate out. Receiving this information could make a significant difference in someones life. These audiences are already using social media platforms for their daily lives, which is why it makes sense to connect with them on these healthcare social media platforms. Using all social media platforms to their full potential will increase communication and publicity for your company or organization in the health industry.
I’ve seen complete beginners to internet marketing create and upload slide decks and – without any promotion – generate thousands of views to their slides, drive traffic to their sites and move their business to another level.
Via Jeff Domansky
Physicians tend to fear any act or conduct which may expose them to medial malpractice. However, often it is this very fear that may be the root cause of a malpractice suit. In every malpractice case, there tends to be fingers pointed due to miscommunication. This can occur through spoken or written miscommunication. Often times, the patient or their family has an understanding of a medical condition, prognosis, or risk that is very different from what the physician mean to communicate.
To combat this, the American Academy of Family Physicians came out with the 4 C's in their article in 2002. To minimize the risk of malpractice, a doctor must be proficient in the 4 core characteristics: Compassion, Communication, Competency, and Charting. Being a compassionate physician allows the patient to be treated rather than the disease. It provides patient with a feeling of being valuable rather than a statistic. Having great communication increases patient education so that they are able to make decisions about their health meaningfully and with minimal risk. Being a competent physician means that the doctor should be up to date with the latest evidence so that they are able to practice medicine with the most information. Charting the right way so that all patient communication is documented allows for evidence that patients' were informed about their health, and will also hold up in court in case there has been any miscommunication.
That was written in 2002. But what about 2016? Those values still hold true but the world is a very different place. Technology has come a long way and most information our patients are exposed to are on the internet. Not only are physicians battling the constant misinformation that streams through the channels on social media (40% of Facebook users get most of their daily news in their Facebook feeds), but they are also battling sponsored (paid advertising that looks like news) feeds that are really advertisements for products. Patients are placing far more trust in these ads than they are in their doctors because they are CONSTANTLY exposed to the same misinformation in many different ways (different ads). To make it worse, when patients click on a product, Facebook and Google recognizes the behavior and sends more "supporting" ads into the social media and search hits. This makes the patient believe that since they see the same information presented in different ways about one product, then it must be true. Meanwhile, the company producing the ads gets the last laugh because their product will be ordered with a few clicks of a button (to test this, just search Garcinia Cambogia on Facebook or Google and see how many times you're exposed to companies producing products with this ingredient).
This is the reality in 2016. Patients come into my office saying "they say this works" while I keep wondering who are the "they" they are talking about. "I read it in multiple sources," my patients usually say. And I bet those sources have a convenient "buy now" button at the bottom of the page (in marketing we call that call-to-action). I commend these companies for providing great marketing and spending billions of dollars to Google and Facebook, but this is getting out of hand. Overwhelming trust of misinformation leads to serious distrust of physicians. This is simply because companies producing these products are exposing their content to the consumer (our patients) 100X more than the physician's content. In fact, most physicians have no content.
So aside from the 4 C's how are doctors supposed to increase their exposure to their patients to improve communication and decrease liability? It's simple: do what the companies do: Market. Physician marketing is not just about generating revenue. It is about decreasing liability by providing trustworthy content that their patients find valuable. It's about creating a culture of trust amongst the public. It's about providing valuable information that has no financial incentives while building a relationship with the public. I am not talking about a highway billboard with a medical practice's name plastered all over it. I am talking about utilizing social media and creating blog sites to deliver content to our wonderful patients. By doing this, doctors not only build a trusting relationship with their patients, but they also build credibility in the pubic eye, thus deceasing their overall liability.
The biggest objection I get is that doctors are fearful of putting information on social media because they don't want to be sued over the information they provide. However, the opposite has been true. Those physicians who are the most vocal and provide value to the public are those who get sued the least (or never in most cases). In addition, physicians are able to build 3 of the 4 C's suggested by AAFP on their social media or blog sites. Competency, compassion, and communication are delivered and delivered well over social media.
What if doctors don't want patients to see their personal profiles on social media? Then start a professional business page on social media, offered by Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Periscope (which belongs to Twitter) and LinkedIn.
I created Fitter Docs, LLC for this purpose. It is created as a full guide to create a marketing plan and social media avenue for physicians. While our focus is on increasing revenue, the bigger focus is on providing value to patients and delivering content that is free of misinformation.
Doctors, message me if you want to create a permanent valuable presence in your community to decrease your liability and increase the amount of patients coming in who already trust you before ever meeting you in person.
Are you a superb host? Do you coordinate events—and make sure everyone RSVPs? In group settings, are you the one checking in with quieter members?
Via Anita Windisman