Friday, December 17, 2010

The Twitter Police

There's actually such a thing now.  Check out this article from the Seattle Times Newspaper:


Seattle police say their new effort to publish stolen car information on Twitter has helped recover a car.
Police say a woman called 911 on Tuesday night to tell them the location of a previously tweeted stolen Honda Civic. An officer recovered the car and notified the owner.
Earlier this month, Seattle police announced they would begin publishing the color, year, make, model, body style and license plate of stolen cars on a Twitter account dubbed "Get your car back."
Police say the average number of cars stolen per day in the city has risen from 8.46 last year to 9.9 this year. The department reports that 3,011 cars were stolen through October.
The department encourages Twitter followers who spot stolen cars to call police.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

LinkedIn No-Nos

In every field there is jargon that everyone says, but seems so unnatural outside that realm. Corporate America is full of them. I hate when things are "socialized," "run up the flag pole," or "gone through the approval process."  And whever uses "drink the Kool-aid," just stop.  LinkedIn has just released the "Top 10 overused buzzwords" used in profiles.
Among the 85 million profiles on LinkedIn in the U.S., the most overused buzzwords are:
Extensive experience (But it's so alliterative!)

Innovative (Jonas Salk was innovative, not you)

Motivated (If you have to tell someone you're motivated...)

Results-oriented (i.e., you consider the means to those ends...ahem..."flexible".)

Dynamic (Let me be the judge of that.)

Proven track record (Use this AND "extensive experience" in the same profile, and I will hunt you down.)

Team player (Which means you're not.)

Fast-paced (If that includes talking fast, pass.)

Problem solver (Are you suggesting my company has a problem that needs solving?)

Entrepreneurial (Rube Goldberg was also entrepreneurial...)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

To Understand Small Healthcare Marketing I Look At Big Healthcare Marketing

When a doctor has only 10 minutes per patient, how many minutes do you suppose he has for his blog.  So, to look for case studies I had to forgo the small business and look to the bigger ones--the insurance companies. The one that first came on my radar is Anthem Blue Cross / Blue Shield.

So what is the company doing in the social media arena? The health insurer is piloting a program to use Twitter to identify members with possible questions or concerns about health benefits. Twitter lets Anthem communicate and stay connected through quick, real-time conversation, and respond to each tweet about Anthem. The AnthemHealth account on Twitter has 225 followers, and includes messages to members complaining about long hold times, customer service complaints, and complaints about cancelled coverage.
Also, ever wonder why so many celebrities are pushing their Twitter account. It's because they get paid. Anthem is also working with reality show celebrity Bob Harper of the TV program, The Biggest Loser to provide information on healthy lifestyle through Twitter at Harper's account, BobHarperAnthem, which has 12,191 followers. That's quite an extended reach.

"Tools such as Twitter and Facebook provide an additional means of communicating with our members and all consumers in the communities we serve in a way that's convenient and of interest for them," said Anthem president Larry Schreiber in a statement.

The company also is using Facebook as a forum for it's members.  On YouTube they are showing Bob Harper videos and
On the Anthem Facebook page, the company is looking to provide a forum where members can interact with Anthem and each other. Though, neither of these seem to be getting many visitors.  The facebook page isn't integrated with the company page and only has a few hundred visitors and the You Tube videos don't have many views.

Any company can do this type of program on a smaller scale. Look for someone local in your field with a lot of followers on twitter.  They don't even have to be that popular.  Someone on facebook with 500 friends, that you partner with, still has 500 people that you wouldn't ordinarily be reaching.  Perhaps a small partnership where you pay a few hundred for say a dozen posts over a year, could reap you more reach and views than most listings on a traditional source.

The other case studies I looked at an may report on in the future are the University of California San Francisco Medical Center and Mayo Clinic. Both organizations are using social media to connect with patients. 


Friday, December 3, 2010

The FDA At Work With Boring Podcasts

ER, Grey's Anatomy and MASH definitely make medicine seem flashy, exciting and funny. Then you get the information produced by the AMA and FDA and you realize how really boring it is. Why do a podcast if your goint to make it sound like the one titled: FDA Drug Safety Podcast for Healthcare Professionals: FDA recommends against the continued use of propoxyphene.

I think it's great that professional and science groups use social media to express themselves. But being a science based organization doesn't mean you have to be a boring organization. Add some production and personality to your blog, podcast or videocast.

For a good example listen to this podcast on autism at:  I admit it's not Howard Stern, but at least it's got some interest to it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Social Networking Map

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this illustration is worth more.  Here's a great visual that I found on the Creative Circus' blog.