Old School Marketing in Today's Technology

Old School Marketing in Today's Technology

A personalized touch can mean a lot in today’s society, especially when it comes to healthcare. Think about situations that occur throughout your day. There is some form of technology you interact with, whether it is changing the radio station, checking your bank accounts, or giving your insurance card to your healthcare provider. While technology is helpful, in many situations, it also removes something important- the human connection! Personal communication can go a long way, especially in a time when most of us are consumed by technology all day.

Healthcare, as defined by Miriam-Webster, are efforts made to maintain or restore physical, mental, or emotional well-being especially by trained and licensed professionals. Because of today’s technology, different aspects of healthcare are being lost- compassion, care, and the comfort of genuine human concern. After all, isn’t that what we all want from our doctor who is caring for our health? Along with technological advancements, what we all want from our doctor is compassion and care. To give your practice a well-rounded marketing plan, it’s important to do both old school connecting with patients alongside modern marketing tactics. Here are a few:

SNAIL MAIL

This is still an important tool! It’s more than an e-mail blasts; think about it - how quickly do you scan through your emails, deciding whether or not you have time to read, digest, or care about the message and contents? You do this in a few seconds. As a society, we get less and less paper mail, so when we do receive something in the mail, we pay attention to it more. Here are some ways to use old school communication tactics to market your practice and remind current patients that your practice cares about them both inside and outside of the office!

  • Handwritten notes

  • Happy Birthday cards

  • Graduation congrats

FIRESIDE CHATS! OR, BETTER YET….PODCASTING & IGTV

Created and given by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Fireside Chats were a series of 30 evening radio addresses with a conversational and friendly tone to them, to address current events and issues facing the nation. Now, let’s fast forward nearly 100 years - Reaching your patients through podcast, Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube are tools to do the exact same thing in your medical practice in a simple and budget-friendly way! This is truly marrying a time old marketing tactic with modern technology/social media.

Each week or month, address a new topic in a 5 to 10 minute video. This is a good time span, as it is easily digestible and can be listened to during a commute,  while making dinner or on a quick run. The next biggest hurdle - “What will I talk about?!” Discuss the top questions you’re asked during a new patient visit, new treatment options, or health topics within your speciality. Here are some ideas to get the juices flowing:

  • Talk about breast reconstruction? Dr. M’liss Hogan is the doc to know when it comes to breast reconstruction after breast cancer.

  • Importance of clinical trials. Pontchartrain Cancer Center knows how to share about the importance of clinical trials in the cancer space.

  • Summer fun - Best methods to protect from sun burns, mosquito bites, and more. TIP: Need a dermatologist who knows how to connect with her patients? Check out Dr. Christel Malinski’s Instagram account.

  • The great vaccine debate - How do I figure out what is right for my family? Lots of questions here ~ Head over to St. Tammany Pediatrics for more information.

  • Back Pain -  How to maintain a healthy spine? Look no further - these guys are the BEST - Cantor Spine.com

  • Tips and pearls for condition and procedure. Two great docs that know how to connect with their patients - Dr. Anthony Giuffrida and Dr. John Asghar

  • Why do I have ringing in my ears? Dr. Leigh Hogan will “listen” and let you know what’s going on.

The sky is the limit when it comes to topics, so get creative! Social Media can serve as a means to reach local and national audiences- both in one fell swoop! It is a platform that has worldwide reach, but you can choose to target your message to your local community. If you are looking to become a thought leader on particular aspect of healthcare, this is a method to showcase your expertise and market your medical practice while reaching patients too!

COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS/SPONSORSHIPS & OUTREACH

Don’t be out of sight or out of mind. As a practice and a doctor, the more involved in your community, the more engaged you’ll be. People have to know, like, and trust you first. People who are acquainted with a physician and practice before ever walking through the doors have a sense of trust through a community connection. Some ways to do this would be to sponsor a local youth sports team, donate to a silent auction, sponsor the first aid area for a 5K charity race, give a free health screening on a Saturday at the community center, or go to the elementary school and give a talk about healthy eating and exercise. The sky is the limit with ways to get involved! The key is to choose events that connect back to your specific healthcare speciality. Doing so will put your name and practice out in the community.

Want more advice? We are here to help! We can help craft a genuine and unique marketing plan with old school aspects and modern technology to tell the story of you as a physician or your medical practice. Let’s Get Started!



Collaboration Done Right:  Pharma & Healthcare Companies Can Work Together to Make An Impact

Collaboration Done Right: Pharma & Healthcare Companies Can Work Together to Make An Impact

They say a picture is worth a thousand words- but when said picture is posted to social media, it can quickly be worth thousands more. In our fast-paced digital world all it takes is one photo- say in an operating room with the patient clearly identifiable- to entertain the Internet and quickly leave a physician, medical practice or hospital in danger of violating Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, commonly known as HIPAA.

So is that it?

Should all medical providers cease and desist their online following at once? On the contrary; despite the possible pitfalls, social media platforms can be a great way to connect with patients, provide valuable tips, establish trust,and position themselves as the experts in their field. With the right training and a clear-cut understanding of the rules, regulations and possible violations, physicians and healthcare companies can successfully connect with patients without ever crossing the line. Here are 6 things to consider:

1. Train, train, train

One of the biggest downfalls for companies in general is the lack of proper andconsistent training for their employees. The difference, however, for those inthe medical world is one blunder online can quickly equal tens of thousands of dollars in penalties. To avoid this, ensure every physician and new employee understand the various HIPAA and FDA regulations in regards to social media and medical marketing. Don’t forget to keep continued education a focus throughout the year, as well.

Ultimately, in healthcare, a patient’s health and privacy is the biggest priority, and it’s the responsibility of those who are managing the marketing to make sure anyone associated or employed by a medical practice or hospital has a firm grasp of what is permissible and what is not.

2. PHI violations = fines

The most important key to smart social media and HIPAA practices is to understand what is considered a violation on social networks. The mostcommon violations occur when your staff or healthcare organization does notknow, ignores or overlooks one of the 18 Protected Health Information (PHI) rules. PHI is anything that can reveal a patient’s identity. While it should be obvious that blatantly disclosing the name of a patient is a violation, it can also happen unintentionally; if a patient’s name is visible on paperwork, a monitoror X-ray document in an image, that also is considered a violation. For a full list of the 18 PHI violations, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at HHS.gov.

3. All in the details

The most important key to smart social media and HIPAA practices is to understand what is considered a violation on social networks. The most common violations occur when your staff or healthcare organization does not know, ignores or overlooks one of the 18 Protected Health Information (PHI) rules. PHI is anything that can reveal a patient’s identity. While it should be obvious that blatantly disclosing the name of a patient is a violation, it can also happen unintentionally; if a patient’s name is visible on paperwork, a monitoror X-ray document in an image, that also is considered a violation.

4. Taking ownership

We get it- it wasn’t posted under your company account, so why are you being held responsible, right? Unfortunately, even if you follow all of the rules for your company’s social media accounts, the possibility of a patient posting to your account or an employee posting on their private accounts, can still cause problems. For this reason, on Facebook specifically, it is recommendedthat physicians and healthcare institutions disable the ability for individuals to post directly to their Facebook walls. Allowing individuals to post directly to a medical practice, physician or hospital’s Facebook page could open up the opportunity for private patient information to be shown- and therefore, violating HIPAA.

If a patient posts something that is in clear violation of HIPAA to one of your account’s pages, do not engage in conversation with them about it and immediately seek guidance on whether the post should be deleted ornot. Hiring a marketing professional in the field of healthcare, is alwaysrecommended.

5. Define clear guidelines

Developing a foundation of guidelines for your social media presence is paramount to staying compliant. Creating a practice social media guideline is vital when your staff is active on social platforms. Some basic guidelines include:

  • Provide clear examples of do’s and don’ts

  • Have each social platform approved prior to use

  • Create a compliant social media marketing calendar to be approved ahead of time

  • Monitor and moderate the accounts and comments on a routine basis

  • Control who has access to the company accounts

  • Encourage employees to report any violations they see

6. Don’t forget the FDA

While everyone seems to be focused on remaining HIPAA compliant, we don’t want you to overlook the FDA’s stand on social media violations, as well. Remember, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tightly regulates advertising or sharing of information related to drugs and even medical devices. Physicians and pharma companies are also under strict guidelines when it comes to marketing or responding to requests related to the off- label use or procedure of a drug or treatment. Pharma and medical device companies are required to post the “good, bad and the ugly” when marketing their products. Many pharma and device companies provide physicians and healthcare institutions with social media content - graphics, gifs, videos, captions - assets as well as approved content to use. To stay within FDA compliance, it’s imperative that when using content and/or graphics created by pharma companies, it is used exactly as the guidelines require.

Should healthcare professionals choose to use social media marketing, they and their staff should always use guidelines and best practices as required to stay HIPAA compliant and FDA regulated.

At the end of the day, think before you post. Don’t share the patients’ names, personal information or photos without proper consent, keep social profiles professional and clean and never post a possibly criminal or negligent act being committed (we know that seems super common sense but you’d be surprised!)

A marketing plan is an essential tool for any hospital, physician or independent medical practice. A plan will create a thriving social media presence allowing you to inform, connect and educate patients in many of the same ways other companies have been taking full advantage of (in a good way) for years.

The first step in preparing a strategic plan, is to hire or consult or marketing professional that specializes in healthcare, like MOXY Company. Having a clear roadmap and guidelines for all in your organization to follow will help a with planning, anticipating, assessing, preparing, and protecting your organization from any pitfalls, as well as creating a successful marketing strategy.

Health Care and The Online Space: How Social Media Is Proving Successful For Physicians

Health Care and The Online Space: How Social Media Is Proving Successful For Physicians

According to a recent study by the American Osteopathic Association that surveyed 2,204 American adults, “54% of millennials and 42% of all adults either are or would like to be friends with or follow their health care professional on social media.”

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This may be surprising to some in the medical field who have yet to venture into the world of social media. While hesitant to join the explosion of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter in the past due to grey areas under HIPAA and FDA regulations, doctors now have a better understanding of how to tow the line for incredible connections, new business, stronger patient communication and building a better medical brand. They are embracing social media and understanding it to be an effective tool for sharing important medical information.

Here’s why your medical practice or hospital should consider a healthy social media presence:

Introducing Your Practice On Social

Choosing Familiar Faces

Much like the resurgence in loyalty for the local mom and pop restaurants or retail businesses, patients looking for physicians or healthcare facilities are attracted to the idea of a familiar face. In that regard, social media acts as the ideal bridge to connect patients to their current or potential physicians. How can this be done? Introduce staff members, humanize them in a light that is uncommon for an industry known for being sterile and cold. Doing so will help to build both trust and loyalty to a particular physician or practice as a whole.

Promoting Positivity and Recognition

Unfortunately in today’s world of instant everything, instant negativity is also a possibility. More times than not, people only review companies to complain, often casting the attention on the few instead of the majority who enjoyed their experiences.

In the medical industry, this too is common, which is why it’s important to diligently work to promote positive events or experiences with each doctor or office.

Ways to do this include:

  • Highlighting a recent award or notable recognition on social channels.

  • Capturing referrals or testimonials, specifically on video to use on Facebook or Instagram stories (all with the written consent of the patient, of course.)

  • Use social channels to share patient success stories.

Educating Patients

While there’s no doubt that social media is overwhelmingly used by a younger generation, there should be no surprise that baby boomers (and sometimes older) are embracing it, as well, to stay in touch with family, view entertainment and find information on topics relevant to them. In fact, a study by Mature Marketing Matters showed that “43% of baby boomers are starting to leverage social media for healthcare-related information.” If 43% of the most hesitant or technology challenged generation is utilizing social media to learn more about health concerns, it’s likely that their generational successors are tenfold.

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For medical professionals, this provides an incredible teaching opportunity via social channels to inform their patients while also working to stand apart as an expert in their field. Using social media to inform and educate patients about new cancer treatments, FDA drug and procedure approvals, infant safety, and much more allows doctors to connect with their patients through the convenience of a mobile, laptop or desktop device.

Specialty Audiences

There are no shortages of diseases or handicaps in our world, and unfortunately, when dealing with these particular issues life can feel lonely. Thankfully, however, the Internet provides access to people around the world fighting similar battles through forums, social pages and private groups, such as Facebook and LinkedIn Groups.

For specialty physicians or practices, this is a rare opportunity to connect with their target audience and help close the gap with patients, provide expertise and education or simply to show unity during challenging times. For social channels that utilize hashtags- which is essentially all of them at this point- it allows you and your audience to connect and follow specific threads or topics together. Take for example the #TTC (Trying...Conceive), which can be used to find/link an entire community of women with infertility issues aiming to connect with/support one another. Other examples include: #EndCancer, #GetYourBellyOut, #ScoliosisStrong- all bringing together and empowering patients and their families to join in the conversation.

Platforms To Use

Similar to other industries, not every social channel will be appropriate or useful for connecting patients with their physicians. It’s fairly obvious that LinkedIn is popular with medical professionals but more for networking amongst colleagues, healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies. While Instagram is widely popular for lifestyle, food, interior design- it’s becoming more and more popular and effective in the healthcare space. Physicians, hospitals and medical practices are finding success one picture at a time by posting captivating photos and videos of procedures, patient testimonials (with consent of course), before and after shots - all with the goal of educating followers. The same effective strategy can be applied to Facebook- every practice should have an official Facebook business page for search engine purposes- and make sure you’ve taken the necessary steps to verify your business with Facebook. Just like Instagram, Facebook provides a physician or medical practice an opportunity to educate and connect with patients.

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One area of social media where physicians should remain cautious is accepting friend requests from patients. Some larger healthcare organizations have policies in place prohibiting or discouraging their employees from connecting with patients using their personal social accounts. It’s always wise to check with administration on social media policies regarding online presence and staff interaction.

Other platforms such as, YouTube and Twitter are quickly becoming more relevant as long as they stay within HIPAA guidelines. Twitter is effective by tweeting out stats, interesting medical facts or inspiration in 280 character bursts throughout the day- including relevant hashtags.

And finally, thanks primarily to the fact that “video is king” online, YouTube has become a mecca for people looking for information on illnesses and their treatments. YouTube provides surgeons a platform for patients to watch procedures, which is beneficial in providing education and an understanding of what to expect for those waiting to undergo similar treatments.

No matter how a practice chooses to get started on social media, the most important step is to get started. Still, we understand that most doctors and health care providers have less time than others to spend hours posting and engaging on social media- let alone optimizing their accounts for the most visibility. While some may choose to go at it alone, it’s recommended to utilize a marketing firm has the tools, experience and knowledge to successfully position a physician or practice front and center with their community and patients- all the while remaining HIPAA compliant. Hint Hint….MOXY Company. :)

Choosing the Right Social Media Platform for Your Business

Choosing the Right Social Media Platform for Your Business

In the last 10 years social media has absolutely exploded- and with it, the unique opportunity to reach thousands (even hundreds of thousands) of possible new customers  faster than ever before. Choosing the right social media network (aka platform) to market your business, however, can be a daunting process. With so many options to choose from- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIN, Pinterest, etc.- knowing which to use and which to steer clear of is half the battle. According to Social Media Examiner’s annual marketing industry report, “Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter were the top three platforms used by marketers, with Facebook leading the pack by a long shot.”

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Are you in the business of attracting Millennials? Does your business cater to professionals in their 30s, 40s and 50s? Or, perhaps you’re the COO of a cancer center. The demographics of your audience-  such as age, sex, occupation, location, etc.- are major deciding factors. To help determine the best platform to invest your time, energy and marketing money into, it’s important to think about two things: 1) Who does your business serve? and 2) What do you want out of a marketing plan?

Here’s why:

Facebook

While it does seem that everyone has a penchant for Facebook- proven by the fact that there are more than 2 billion daily active users on the platform- its still necessary to ask yourself, “Can my business connect with potential customers and will it grow from being advertised there?” If you’re a retail business, then yes! Running ads or capturing potential customer information by using lead generation, is a great place to start connecting with current and potential customers. Facebook is also very effective when utilized as a networking hotspot where you can engage, connect and build relationships. In this instance, online coaches, medical practices, and financial institutions tend to do extremely well on this platform.

Instagram

If you have a product to sell then Instagram will help you get the job done. As an image-centric platform Instagram- conveniently owned by Facebook- helps businesses grow one photo at a time. Now with their ability to insert prices and links inside of the product photos, it’s easier than ever to showcase your interior design business or items from your retail store for your followers to scoop up. Artists, makers and influencers do extremely well growing their businesses on Instagram.

LinkedIn

For companies, entrepreneurs and thought leaders, LinkedIn is where you want to spend your time. While you won’t necessarily make a sale straight from the platform, the lead generation and networking will help you get new business indirectly. It’s also a great space to share articles to establish yourself as an expert in your field while building your brand.

Twitter

Admittedly, Twitter is a monster all of its own and doesn’t play by the normal marketing rules. With only 280 characters to utilize at a time, Twitter is more about having your brand in on the action than it is selling. Twitter is your digital chalkboard. Have an idea or a thought, throw it out there on Twitter and see who catches it. How often to tweet? It’s suggested to post to other platforms every 2-3 days but for Twitter, your business will want to tweet 4-5 times a day- in between of commenting, liking, and following, of course. The real goal for Twitter - growing a healthy following. It’s those people that will become automatic brand ambassadors for your company and if we’ve learned anything over the last few years, it’s that a single tweet can spread like wildfire in the blink of an eye.

Pinterest
Contrary to popular belief, Pinterest is actually less of a social network and more of a search engine. And it also happens to be incredibly underutilized by businesses. For those looking to drive traffic to their websites, blogs or online stores, Pinterest is a must. Additionally, you can get valuable insights into what your audience likes and wants to see/ use just by paying attention to what they’re pinning to their own boards.

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So, if you’re all about the numbers, let’s break it down. Check out the most used social media platforms according to Social Media Examiner:

  • Facebook 94%

  • Instagram 66%

  • Twitter 64%

  • LinkedIn 56%

  • Pinterest 27%

At the end of the day, it might take some trial and error to see where your business is getting the biggest value. While engagement is fantastic, it’s ultimately about converting leads, connections, interest and engagement into sales (aka money in the bank) that makes a social platform worth it. Understanding your target audience will go a long way towards narrowing down your platform and from there it’s all about consistency, visibility and authenticity.

Unsure which platform is right for your business, shoot us an email at team@moxycompany.com and let us help you strategize and get started growing your business.