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May 18, 2013 / achanguris

Playing with my Prezume

I just got an email from Prezi showing off their new “Prezume” templates and had to give it a go. I think I like it!

…the embed code isn’t working but this link should get you right to my Prezume.

April 24, 2013 / achanguris

Then Edgerank Clicked

While I was out of the office last month (on safari in Africa — yep, I did that), I was forced to do something I’ve always resisted. Since I was planning to be on another continent and without access to the internet, I set up automated posts from the blog I run at work to feed directly to our Facebook page.

I’m not a big fan of automation in social media. It’s a personal preference, I know some people swear by it; it’s just not for me. Or so I thought.

I set up the automation through our social media management software, Argyle Social (it’s awesome and relatively inexpensive if you’re looking for that kind of thing).

Image courtesy:

When I came back, I was stunned to find that — contrary to my expectations — more (literally hundreds more) of our page’s followers saw our blog posts while the automation was turned on than saw similar posts when I took the time to log in and  post the links directly through Facebook. It was absolutely confounding to me. Everything I’ve read suggests that my posts should gain more traction in the Facebook Edgerank algorithm if I post organically rather than through a third party service. Apparently not.

Just today I stumbled upon an infographic explaining how Edgerank works and it clicked (hat tip to Post Rocket). Forgive me if I’m late to this party, but it seems that Edgerank considers the types of posts your followers most often interact with (links, statuses, photos, videos) when it filters what they see in their news feeds.

So here’s my theory: if our page’s followers interact more often with statuses than links, it could explain how my automated posts could be seen by more people than posts created within Facebook. I was logging in and creating a link (complete with a picture and a little description of the blog post), and that made it less appealing to our page’s followers.

Long story short: I’m sticking with the automation (but only for our blog feed).

November 16, 2012 / achanguris

Mayo Clinic Healthcare Social Media Summit – Opportunistic Marketing

I came into this day-two session at the Mayo Clinic Healthcare Social Media Summit ready to hear how a hospital made the most of scarce resources (because who has ample resources these days?) to get its message out to the masses.

My eagerness was quickly replaced with jealous annoyance, as I realized the PR team for the hospital in question had incredible connections and seemingly endless funding. For example, they were able to get $30,000 from Anheuser Busch to print t-shirts which they then sold to major league baseball fans as the team pursued a World Series title. Then they partnered with the team (another $280,000 investment) for another fundraiser. That’s nice, but I struggled to see how I could make either example work with my real-world budget.

Even so, I tried to get past my annoyance and openly-admitted jealousy to find something I could use back at home.

The PR duo broke their efforts into three categories:

  1. Spontaneous
  2. Strategic
  3. Specific

Spontaneous opportunities (as you might imagine) pop up suddenly. You have to be ready to act just as quickly to capitalize on them, before the moment passes. In the world of social media, memes come and go lightning quick. Remember when candidate Mitt Romney mentioned Big Bird in the first presidential debate? There were PhotoShopped images, people in costumet-shirts, and more recently a Million Puppet March. Would you believe that was only a month ago? If you tried to jump on that wave today you’d be comically late. The point here is you need to have the ability (and perhaps the permission) to act when these opportunities arise.

A strategic opportunity is one you develop and nurture over time — it’s planned. My hospital recently launched a new logo, and in doing so we developed a diverse marketing plan spanning social media, paid placements (print and television), earned media, events (internal and external) — you get the idea. It was all methodically planned and executed according to a schedule.

Specific marketing opportunities are tied to existing events or dates, and you build on them. An example I think we can all identify with is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Every October, my hospital is involved with a breast cancer symposium, a 5K, a gala, special mammogram events and a bra donation drive. We start with the nationally-recognized observation and bring it home to our community.

In short, what I took away from this presentation was:

  1. Be nimble.
  2. Plan what you can.
  3. Tie in to bigger events.

Now those are things any social media manager or marketing department can handle.

November 9, 2012 / achanguris

A Social Media Check Up

Earlier this week I visited my primary care physician for a routine check up. We chatted about my health stats, talked about stress management, all that good stuff, and then it was time for the once-over with the stethoscope, look-in-your-ears part.

Stay with me, I promise I won’t over-share.

During the chit-chat as he listened to my lungs, I divulged that I’m responsible for the social media presence for my hospital. We were done talking about my personal health (and that was fine, we had already covered what needed to be covered), and he switched gears to ask me about social media in the world of healthcare.

What do you post on Facebook? What do you tweet?

The grand question: what do I say? My mind immediately went back to the Mayo Clinic Healthcare Social Media Summit (held in Rochester, Minnesota last month) and its closing session from Dr. Natasha Burgert. Known as @DoctorNatasha on Twitter, this pediatrician is a one-woman social media powerhouse. She sees tools like Twitter, blogs and even video as ways to interact with her patients (and their parents) outside of their office visits. With Doctor Natasha in mind, I rattled a couple of pieces of her advice:

  • Practice the “rule of three”: if she hears the same question from patients or parents three times in a week or so, Doctor Natasha writes a blog post answering the question. That way the next time she hears it, she has the answer and a blog post to point to.
  • Engage with your captive audience: patients typically end up sitting in the exam room waiting for the doctor, so why not take advantage of that time and educate them? Doctor Natasha records short video clips, posts them online, and then posts QR codes on the back of her exam room doors. A quick scan of the code with a smart phone loads the video, and voila — she’s engaging with patients even before she enters the room.
  • Don’t leave patients who aren’t using social media out in the cold: if your patient isn’t going to look at your online article (she refers to them as articles because her patients seem put off by the world “blog”), meet them where they are. Email it to them, print a copy, whatever works best for them.

What’s the point? What will I get out of it?

Like most things in life, I think you get out what you put in. I told my doctor if he takes the time to follow respected sources of health care information (American Cancer Society, American Academy of Pediatrics, etc.), he’d get a good idea for what works when using each tool. I advised he should listen first, learn the tool and community, and then leap in.

Once you’re in, you can set yourself up as a subject matter expert, a trusted source of information (specifically health information). You gain at least some brand recognition. Most importantly, you begin to build relationships with patients (or prospective patients) beyond the walls of your office. Jane Smith, wife and mother of three, may not need you today, but if she’s engaging with you on Facebook — even infrequently — and you nurture that relationship well, she’ll come to you when she does need you.

What do you do if someone says something bad about you?

I think my eyes lit up when he asked this one. I’ve spoken at two conferences and a webinar on precisely this topic. He’s lucky I didn’t pull out my slides and go to town (yes, they’re on a flash drive in my purse).

The short answer is:

  • If they have a problem you can fix, fix it.
  • If you can’t fix it, find someone who can.
  • If no one can fix it, offer a blameless apology.
  • If they’re still upset, offer to take the conversation off-line.

Of course there’s a lot more to it than that… but he had patients to see. :)

November 4, 2012 / achanguris

Mayo Clinic Healthcare Social Media Summit – Stop Blocking Social Media

Day two of the Mayo Clinic Healthcare Social Media Summit began with a discussion of the many, many reasons healthcare organizations shouldn’t be blocking social media. It’s a stance long-championed by Shel Holtz (his StopBlocking website is an extensive resource on the subject). Still, blocking social media seems to be the rule in the healthcare setting.

I’m lucky, social media is part of my job, so I have access. That’s good, because the one thing I really missed from my life as a news reporter was the AP news feed. Twitter fills that void quite nicely.

Still, if I want to share a great YouTube video with a co-worker (an instructional one, not a cute cat video), I have to work around the blocking issue (typically by sending it to his or her cell phone). Also,  if you visit my hospital’s webpage from the hospital network you’ll find big, empty spaces where the YouTube videos should be. The only good news is that it’s not blocked for the public wifi – otherwise I think we’d have full-scale riots on our hands.

The panel suggested gathering the key players in a room — legal, communications, IT, HR and nursing (for starters) — and openly discussing the fears that surround open access to social media. As a proponent of unblocking access, be ready to listen with an open mind and educate without getting defensive or belittling those who express what you might see as unfounded fears.

The panel also recommended looking for case studies to support your argument — they’re more effective than best practices because they’re more specific and concrete. Best practices have their place, but case studies are the better tool in making your case.

Here’s a question to bring up to the group: how would unblocking social media support our strategic goals and/or culture? Be ready to provide compelling answers specific to your organization, but one culture-related point I noted is that opening access is a great way to show trust in your employees. Of course, those who abuse the privilege will suffer the consequences, but it should be a management issue — not a blanket revocation of access.

One more very important nugget: remember that if you’re going to unblock social media, you’re going to need to educate people on how to (and how not to) use it. Get your policies in place and craft a plan to review the rules before the restrictions are lifted, otherwise you’ll make a mess and the nay-sayers could send you back to blocksville.

October 26, 2012 / achanguris

ConvergeSouth 2012

Here I am, speaking at ConvergeSouth 2012!

Wait.. you weren’t able to travel to Greensboro, South Carolina to hear me speak? No problem!

I’ll be sharing some of the lessons I’ve learned as a social media professional in the healthcare field, and how I’ve learned to prepare for and deal with uncomfortable situations that can arise in social media in a webinar through the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media and Ragan Communications.

So there you go. I’m coming (virtually) to you on November 8th!

October 26, 2012 / achanguris

Mayo Clinic Healthcare Social Media Summit – Day One Brain Dump

Originally composed the evening of October 17, 2012.

For the sake of my sanity, I’ve started sifting through my notes from day one of the 4th Annual Healthcare Social Media Summit. Here’s a brief run-down of the highlights.

I’ve decided there are two large bundles of information to consider (and digest): things I already knew I wanted to do (“in my spare time”) and will make a concerted effort to accomplish and brand-spanking new ideas.

In the first category, I have notes like:

  • Add “Pin it” option to the hospital blog
    (Even if I’m still not sure Pinterest users will really want to see items related to healthcare mixed in with recipes and crafts, it isn’t a bad option to offer.)
  • “Claim” our place on the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media Hospital List
    (I want to add a pretty picture and make sure all of our links are up to date. This is a great resource for tracking down hospital social media accounts.)
  • Establish Facebook groups for patients in similar situations
    (Some will be open, others closed, depending on the subject matter. People who are going through a health issue want to know they’re not alone and groups like these meet them where they already are – Facebook.)
    One sage word of caution: hosting groups on Facebook means you have to play by their ever-changing rules. If the groups grow or at least catch on, it may be worth considering moving the hosting to our own website.
  • Add a notification to Foursquare so people who check in are reminded to get a flu shot.

In the second, I’ve jotted these notes:

  • Look at WELLAHO, a closed group where – with a patient’s permission – physicians can upload patient chart information and the patient can track treatments, when they’ve taken medication, etc. The physician has access to this data and patients can invite loved ones to view the information as well.
  • Look at FeverBee for tips on community management.
  • Check out how Mayo Clinic is accepting and posting patient stories right through their Facebook page (complete with a HIPAA waiver).
  • Find out if any images from your website have been pinned on Pinterest by using this link:

Not a bad to-do list. Now it’s time to get to work.

One of the most fascinating sessions of the day was a panel discussion on crisis management and the inclusion of social media. At work, we have plenty of plans for a wide range of crises. I have the game plan down pat; I know where to report and my primary responsibilities. I’m also ready to tweet my little fingers off in an emergency situation (I’ve done it before, letting people know about flooded roads in the area or confirming everyone was okay and the hospital was structurally sound after the East Coast earthquake of 2011). If I need to reach key leaders in the hospital (legal, administration, security, etc.) I have a contact card in my wallet with at least two or three ways to contact each one.

Indiana University Health Web and Social Media Analyst Joanna Woerner made an excellent point while discussing her hospital’s response in the wake of a deadly stage collapse at the state fair. A staff psychologist volunteered his time to reach out to members of the community wrestling with survivor’s guilt or other varieties of mental trauma after the incident. Many of those community members were posting to the hospital’s social media sites about their experiences, and this physician coached members of the social media team on when they should engage and when they should hand the comment off to a crisis counselor.

But what if it isn’t a natural disaster?

Brycie Jones, Social Media Manager for Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), shared a story about a male pediatric nurse who was arrested on suspicion of trafficking in child pornography. The nurse was placed on unpaid leave immediately, and then the hospital got a team together to start working through the communication process.

One major challenge: Homeland Security needed to be the first to release news of the arrest. The hospital didn’t want employees finding out through the media, so they sent an email to all employees to fill them in – before the Homeland Security release went out. Of course, it took one employee forwarding that email to the media and it was public. Jones’ team had to regroup and get Homeland Security’s permission to discuss the matter through social media and their own press release ahead of the agreed-upon schedule – I can only imagine how tense that phone call was.

Jones said the hospital fared well through a challenging time in part because they focused on getting accurate information out as quickly as possible. They set up a web page for frequently asked questions, updating it as questions came in and referring the public and the media there for definitive answers. After the fact, Jones was able to go back and track the internet traffic and noted that social media was the biggest driver to the site.

My take away from this discussion? We practice fire drills, helicopter landings and mass inoculations; it’s probably a good idea to practice gathering the right people to respond quickly to a crisis (of any variety) and using social media as the first communication channel.