Leveraging Social Media to Support Your Cause

In the past few weeks, you may have come across videos of your friends dumping a bucket of ice cold water on their heads? This viral campaign isn’t just about how to stay cool during these hot summer months. It’s about raising awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Oh, and yes, it’s working!

The challenge involves people getting doused with buckets of ice water on video, posting that video to social media, then nominating others to do the same, all in an effort to raise ALS awareness. Those who refuse to take the challenge are asked to make a donation to the ALS charity of their choice.

While the challenge is getting a lot of buzz on social media, with many participants using hashtags such as #icebucketchallenge and #StrikeoutALS, it’s also helping to raise much needed funds. According to the ALS Association, there has been a 10 percent increase in monetary donations compared to the same time period last year.

This isn’t the first time social media has helped create awareness on a specific disease.  Back in 2012, a Canadian woman was able to get a lung transplant with the help of Twitter and pop icon Justin Bieber.

Social media has can be a powerful awareness and donation tool. All you need is an idea and a strategy and the “sky is the limit,” on the buzz you can generate.

For other case studies involving social media applications in healthcare, contact Wax Custom Communications at 305-350-5700 or visit waxcom.com.

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How to Build a Better Hospital Blog

Your hospital’s blog is a powerful tool. Updating blog content on a regular basis can provide your hospital with a number of benefits, including brand building and awareness, it can help position your hospital as a thought leader and it can also help demonstrate your expertise.

Blogging is also great for optimization. Strategic and active blogging can help increase web traffic. Despite the “SEO value” of blogging, many blogs just aren’t properly optimized. Here are a few ideas on how to make your blog better:

  • Timely and relevant information is important. What is everyone talking about in the news, but many probably don’t know the facts? The answer: Ebola. Why not create different blog posts explaining what Ebola is, how it can spread and available treatment. People are curious, provide simple, easy-to-understand content that they can share with their friends and family.
  • Optimization is critical. A blog post that has interesting and useful information that is seen by just your department employees probably isn’t very beneficial. Posting a blog doesn’t mean you are done. Include alt tags for all photos, meta descriptions and other tags in their appropriate spots. Many people like to just copy, paste and hit publish. Slow down and fill out the extra information available with most blog applications. (i.e. – WordPress, Joomla, etc) It will pay off in the long run!
  • Informative posts work best. Make your blog a resource for your readers. People have many choices for finding content to read on the web, if you want to be noticed on the web you need to provide value through information, education or entertainment.

Regularly updated and relevant blogs are great and can reap positive results. Let Wax Custom Communications help your hospital develop a personalized strategy. For more information and other best practices call 305-350-5700 or visit waxcom.com.

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Your Employees Are Your Best Brand Ambassadors

According to a recent LinkedIn survey, 54 percent of engaged employees read content by their company through social media portals. In addition, 40 percent cite their company’s social media communication as their top source for staying informed on important company news.

As Facebook’s organic reach diminishes and Twitter still struggles to generate meaningful engagement, your employees are the simplest and brightest way to distribute your information to the masses: they’re your brand’s unofficial social media ambassadors.

Because healthcare is subject to HIPAA privacy laws, though, it is essential that your marketing department develop a clear strategy and policy regarding how employees can properly act the part of ambassador. You can’t have your employees uploading inappropriate images that violate patient confidentiality, for example, as happens all too often at hospitals these days, leading to negative press and, ultimately, lawsuits.

It’s standard to feature posts and Tweets that talk about current and upcoming events, but general news and health tips are also helpful, and can add a patient education component to your media profile. Personalized posts about company accomplishments and employee achievements are always a good idea, and can help personalize your company by giving it a human face.

Let’s say one of your physicians was successful with a new procedure. Tag that doctor in posts and Tweets that showcase her accomplishment. More than likely, this physician will be happy to receive the recognition and will share and retweet that post with her followers, expanding your reach organically.

Social media is about being social – and all companies have personalities. Just use common sense about what you post. And remember, it’s always a good idea to ask permission ahead of time before you mention a specific employee, since not everyone likes publicity, and you have to respect personal preference.

For additional social media best practices and training, along with assistance in putting a policy in place for your employees and healthcare facility, contact Wax Custom Communications at 305-350-5700 or visit waxcom.com.

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Other Ways to Create Engaging Content for your Hospital

It’s hard to figure out what patients want to hear. It’s harder still to create content that they’ll connect and respond to! Effective healthcare marketing should start with great content.

Blogging, email marketing and social media are great ways to brand your healthcare facility. But to stand out from the crowd you need to diversify and be different.

Here are a few different ways to help you convert web traffic into new patients:

  • Webinars. Webinars are interactive and a great way to show your expertise and knowledge on a specific subject, such as a new medication to treat a rare disease. GoToWebinar and WebinarJam are two portals that can help host your webinar.
  • White Papers. There are many benefits in using white papers. Healthcare can become technical and advanced. A white paper can provide an outlet to spread your expertise and validate your credibility on a specific subject. For example, ask one of your physicians to create a white paper on a new procedure your facility is performing to treat cancer. Once the white paper is complete you can publish it to your website, which will help with your SEO as well as syndicate it on your social media outlets and via an email blast to your mailing list.
  • Podcasts. Podcasts are an effective, portable and convenient way to produce and deliver content to potential patients. A podcast provides a format for sharing your expertise. Audio files allow you to inject your enthusiasm and speaking skills to add an air of authority to the information that is often lacking in the written word.

With advancements in technology, you have the tools to deliver great content to your audiences. For a detailed strategy on what platforms will work best for your healthcare facility, contact Wax Custom Communications at 305-350-5700 or visit waxcom.com

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New Ways to Incorporate Video into Your Healthcare Marketing Campaign

Video is hugely important these days. It is probably the fasting growing tool when it comes to online marketing. YouTube, Instagram and Vimeo are just three examples of the robust variety of social media dedicated to streaming video.

In the world of healthcare, there are many powerful ways to integrate video into your channel mix. From poignant patient testimonials to informative virtual tours of facilities and illuminating doctor spotlights, video is bursting with potential for the world of medicine.

Aside from the traditional methods of creating a video and uploading it to a website or creating it on your phone and uploading it to a particular app, there are many innovative new ways to market your videos more directly. Here are two examples:

  • If you utilize Tumblr as your blog platform, you can now embed Vine videos right onto your blog. Owned by Twitter, Vine is an app for Android and iOS that lets users create six-second videos by pressing and holding a finger down on the screen to capture short clips that are automatically strung together. These videos are easily shared. To embed a Vine video, simply add the URL or embed code into the video post box from your Tumblr homepage.

For healthcare marketing, Vine is a quick, edgy and engaging way to illustrate what you are discussing in your blog.

  • Facebook is also pushing video more aggressively. It is currently testing a new “Related Videos” feature that will surface on your mobile newsfeed. After the video is done playing, you will have an option to re-watch it or select a different, related one from a sampling provided by Facebook. This will all lead to the implementation of in-feed video advertisements that target taste with precision.

For healthcare marketing, providing your users with short, compelling health-related videos, such as ways to stay fit or tips on healthy eating habits, will help you target others who also enjoy these types of videos via paid Facebook video-advertisements.

As you can see, the major social networks are all enhancing their video capabilities within their networks. As healthcare marketers, if you aren’t creating strong video content, you might be missing the boat on some lucrative new opportunities to expand your audience. Learn more by visiting waxcom.com.

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