I had the opportunity to attend the Minnesota Health Strategy and Communications Network (MHSCN) Spring Conference on May 12, 2011. The lineup of speakers was powerful and included Tom Horner, recent Independence Party candidate for Minnesota Governor; Matthew Dillingham of MedTouch; Larry Bussey and Linda Reding of Medica along with Kim Thelen of Level Brand. Stevie Ray of Stevie Ray’s Improv Company gave a hilarious presentation on Capturing Creativity that gave us pointers on innovative thinking.
After reflecting on the conference, it became clear that the theme was: Change is happening today. The big question that follows is: What are we doing to prepare for it? As proof of the rapid pace of change, here are some amazing statistics:
- Currently there are 112 million active blogs.
- Every MINUTE, 35 hours of video posted on YouTube.
- Every DAY, there are more than 140 million tweets.
- It is anticipated that 100% of physicians will be using smart phones by end of 2013.
- Hospitals on average budgeted 5% for mobile marketing in 2011, but by next year that is expected to be 50%.
I don’t know about you, but these statistics blew me away and they really show how quickly social media and smart phones are being adopted. Access is everywhere, whether we like it or not. The key now is for you to turn that into an advantage for your organization and capitalize on it. Do you have a Facebook page? Do you tweet? If not, you should start. All of this will help steer people to your website, which ideally is packed with content and tools that display your organization’s expertise and sets you above your competition.
You may be saying, “But Joel, I don’t have enough time in the day as it is, let alone time to tweet and play on Facebook!” That is fine…start slow, even if you can only post 1 or 2 times per week. On Twitter, post your own tweet or maybe just a retweet (sharing someone else’s tweet or an article you have read). The important thing is to deliver valuable content, and you will be amazed at how many people will start following you. Here are three suggestions for tweets:
- Don’t be promotional
- Clearly convey your expertise
- Be brief, be bright, be gone
I know this personally because I created a Twitter account (@JoelCessna) fewer than 2 months ago, and it has been great. Twitter has allowed me to connect with other experts who are sharing valuable information and articles that expand my knowledge-base. Hopefully they say the same about my tweets!
So don’t fight the winds of change, hop on Facebook and Twitter, follow me @JoelCessna, and demonstrate your organization’s expertise!