Tag Archives: Medical Marketing

To Schedule or Not to Schedule Posts

Today’s tragic shooting at an Aurora, Colorado midnight premiere of “Dark Knight Rises” shows how pre-scheduling and/or outsourcing social media posts can have negative consequences.  Below is a screen shot of a national business who had a very ill-timed, pre-scheduled Facebook post:

Example of a pre-scheduled Facebook post gone wrong
Click to enlarge

Now, we believe that they definitely made the right call in the way they addressed the situation, up-front and honestly. BUT, the only way to avoid something like this (which can really spin out of control in a hurry) is to post LIVE. This is especially true when you link up your social media accounts together (ie. Facebook auto-posts to Twitter, which auto-posts to your LinkedIn account). Then you have a problem to solve on all 3 platforms (see below).

Twitter and Facebook pre-scheduled post example number 2
Click to enlarge

Here at Cosmetic Social Media, we prefer to post live, and from within the platform.* This means that when we make a Facebook post, we post live and while signed into Facebook (instead of using a 3rd party platform such as Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, etc.).  Prior to this past month, Facebook did not have a way to pre-schedule your posts from within their platform. You can do this now using the little clock icon (see graphic below).

Facebook Post Scheduling Icon

All this being said, there are times when pre-scheduling is a very handy tool. You might be traveling or giving a lecture and a pre-planned post can put activity on your page where there would otherwise be none. Just remember, if you do decide to pre-schedule a post, make it something benign such as a lovely quote about beauty or a “Happy Patient Quote of the Day“, so you don’t end up with a PR disaster on your hands.

*Note: We have been known to schedule a post here and there, but we do try to make it a rare exception, not the rule. 😉

What’s in Store for Social Media in 2012?

A lot of articles pass through my computer every day, but this one by  for Ad Age Daily caught my eye and I wanted to share it with you. I think he is spot on.

Pay particular attention to the 3rd tip – “Paid and earned media work best together”. “The days of building your Facebook fan count and Twitter following without paid media support are over, plain and simple.”  Unfortunately, they are probably right.

Click here for full article: Social Media: Five Facts to Bank On in 2012

I hope you find the information useful, and feel free to contact me with any questions you have – we are always happy to help!



Use SocialDitto to Embed Your Facebook & Twitter Conversations

I just love the internet (I know… I say this a lot)… but I happened upon a nifty trick today that I want to share with you. It’s called SocialDitto and it enables you to take a status update from Facebook or Twitter and embed it with HTML code! It’s fab… no more screen captures to mess with.

Here is an example of SocialDitto in action:

CosmeticSocialMedia.comOK fab peeps… here is someone who “gets it”. We ❤ Dr. Kim’s funny (and enlightening!) blog posts on Wednesdays. His conversational style makes us feel like we’ve known him for years, tho we’ve never “met” (except online). He posts “real life” events, like when he made us drool over ice cream from a fancy San Francisco ice cream parlor. And for that we love him! Take a peek at his social media musings and pick up a tip or two…


Wondering how to get the conversation URL? Just find the conversation you want to embed and then right click on the date (as shown below). Then click “copy the link address” and paste into SocialDitto and click on the “ditto” button go generate the HTML code. It’s just that easy!

How to grab the Facebook conversation URL

Just one thing to note… this doesn’t work for uploaded photos as status updates, but hopefully they will add that feature in the future. Let us know if you have any cool tools that you use and what you think!

Social Media “High T” Number 3 – High Touch

In social media we have what I like to call Monique’s Social Media High T’s. They are the four components of a successful social media strategy and all of your posts and campaigns should take them into consideration. Over the past few weeks we have explored Trust and Transparency.

Now we will talk about the value of HIGH TOUCH.

Touchpoints are interactions that your client has with your brand. Some examples include:

  • an in-office visit
  • a call to make an appointment
  • a reminder text message
  • an eBlast with your latest office news

Each one of these touchpoints allows your patient to connect with you, and more importantly, form an opinion about you. The opinion will either make them feel a stronger affinity towards your practice, or leave a negative impression.

Think about your practice for a moment. Depending on your specialty, you have a limited number of times that you see a patient in your office in a given year. Some might include:

  • Post-op /Follow-up Visit(s)
  • Injectable appointments
  • Before/After Photos
You may see some patients more frequently, and some you might not see at all.  Therefore, you should think about touchpoints that:
  • happen throughout the year
  • add value
  • are interesting
  • are varied (in-person, eBlast, email, telephone, text, mailer, social media)

Social media is a perfect way to accomplish every bullet on the above list. Between blog posts, Facebook updates, tweets, LinkedIn group postings, etc. you can really keep the message going all year long in variety of venues. Sometimes you will be educating your patients about a new procedure in a blog post. Or you might tweet to share an upcoming event. You might share a YouTube video of  you on the news, or showing off a new tool that you use to make the patient experience more comfortable, etc.

The point is, you can use social media channels to keep your patients in the loop in a very positive and non-threatening way. With every social touchpoint your patients will feel more connected to your practice, making them much more likely to refer you to their friends and family. And remember, with the “viral” nature of social media, they will also share your message with others (at no additional cost to you!).

Next week, we will explore the final “T” in our Social Media High T’s series… Traction! Stay tuned!

And if you found this post valuable, we’d love to have you pass it on to a friend or colleague!


Social Media “High T” Number Two

In social media we have what I like to call Monique’s Social Media High T’s. They are the four components of a successful social media strategy and all of your posts and campaigns should take them into consideration.

Image Source: EverydayTenacity.com

This is the second post in a series called Social Media High T’s – Read Week # 1 here

This week we’ll explore the second High T: HIGH TRANSPARENCY

We know what you may be thinking… I hear this buzzword all the time, but what do they mean by transparency?

The issue of online transparency really came about in blogging’s early days when less than honest bloggers would post rave reviews of products and services in exchange for payment or “free stuff”. Of course, it’s a little hard to keep things impartial when you have payola involved (at least in my experience). Combine this with corporate and government greed in the news, and all of a sudden, the public got wise and became much less trusting of what they read.  This culminated in a big backlash and a big emphasis on transparency and authenticity.

But as an online marketing participant, how can you incorporate the idea of transparency in your patient communications?  

I have a few ideas for you…

  1. Be Humble: No one likes a snooty, “I know more than you, therefore I’m better than you” physician. We know you went to med school and have a wealth of knowledge to share. But share it from the heart to help people, not to prove how much you know. Have someone read over any blog posts you write to make sure they feel like the “real” you (even if you didn’t write them -which in itself isn’t authentic but I’m just being realistic).
  2. Be Authentic: This comes down to being yourself… flaws and all. Give them a peek behind the scenes in your office, a typical workday, or some photos from your latest weekend hike. When you are yourself, you will actually be much more approachable to your patient base. In turn, they will feel a stronger kinship and tie to you which leads to higher patient retention (translate – loyalty) and referrals.
  3. No Hidden Agendas: Post information to help people better their lives, not pad your wallet. Don’t get me wrong, we all need to make a living, but trust me when I tell you that we consumers can see right through even the best-disguised sales pitch.
  4. Be Credible: If you make a mistake, own up to it… publicly. Let’s say you have a post on your Facebook wall from a patient who had to wait 45 minutes to see you at her last post-op appointment. The worst thing you can do is delete it (trust me on this one- the backlash to a deleted post can do more harm to your credibility than the original complaint). Instead, face it head on. Post something like this: “Our office strives to be on time for each and every appointment. Unfortunately, despite our best intentions, our schedule dosen’t always go as planned. We value our patients’ time and do our best every day to live by The Golden Rule – treating our patients the same as we would like to be treated.” 
  5. Be Influencing versus Controlling: Not every conversation online will go exactly the way you want it, but you can help steer it in the right direction. It’s okay to disagree, just do it in a humble manner. Remember – what you post on the internet is “forever” and you can’t take things back or have “do-overs”.
Feel free to give us your opinion in the comments section below! We’d love to hear your input.  Next week we”ll discuss High T number three… High Touch… so stay tuned!




Monique’s Social Media High T’s

Social Media High T'sI just returned from speaking at the Medical Internet Marketing Symposium (MIMS) at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. My course was called “Marketing in the Digital Age” and covered everything from how to make your avatars more engaging to great uses for QR codes (those funky bar code squares you might have seen around).

One theme that I emphasized was what I like to call “Monique’s Social Media High T’s”. They are the four components of a successful social media strategy and all of your posts and campaigns should take them into consideration.

This week we’ll explore the first High T: HIGH TRUST

Having a high degree of trust in social media is vital because you are communicating online verses in person.  You don’t have the benefit of hearing voice inflection, tone, or seeing facial expression, body language, etc.  This can create misunderstandings and/or confusion.

Here are a few keys to keep your writing HIGH TRUST:

  • TONE: The words you write need to be familiar in tone… not talking down or condescending. Try to write the same way you might talk to someone in person. A good way to test your post before hitting the “submit” button is to read it out loud. If it sounds forced, or unnatural, then you probably need to revise.
  • ACCESSIBILITY: Social media can be a great way to position yourself as the expert in your field, BUT this doesn’t mean you have to come off as pretentious. Your posts can still reflect a high degree of knowledge and expertise; keep the jargon and buzzwords to a minimum. This will help people to better understand and connect more to the subject. One good way to test your post for accessibility is to have an eighth grader, or non-industry person, take a read. If they find it difficult, then you might consider going back to the drawing board. Take a look at this post on the Lighthouse Writing Tips Blog for some good rules of thumb to make your writing more readable.
  • TACT: Use this rule of thumb: Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want on the front page of the New York Times. If you are a medical professional, translates to keeping things professional and HIPAA compliant.
Next week, we’ll explore the second High T – TRANSPARENCY. Stay tuned!
Still want to learn more about trust? Great… check out this post from Social Media Today.

If you want a great book about trust and social media, I highly recommend you read Trust Agents by Chris Brogan.

– From the book jacket….

“Trust agents aren’t necessarily marketers or salespeople; they’re the digitally savvy people who use the Web to humanize businesses using transparency, honesty, and genuine relationships. As a result, they wield enough online influence to build up or bring down a business’s reputation. This book will show you how to build profitable relationships with trust agents, or become one yourself.

In an online world defined by its transparency, becoming a trust agent is no easy task, but once you’ve established your reputation, you can build influence, share it, and reap the benefits of it for your business. When you’ve learned a trust agent’s secrets, your words can carry more power and more weight than any PR firm or big corporate marketing department.”