March 27th, 2012 Mike Wilton
Medical social media marketing is a growing trend. With more doctors as well as patients engaging in social media it’s important to understand how it’s being used as well as the risks involved with engaging patients online through social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Below is an infographic that explores how some doctors are using social media for both personal and professional use.
March 7th, 2012 Mike Wilton
At their 2011 f8 meeting, Facebook unveiled a number of new features to the public, one of which was Timline. An overhaul to the profile page, Timeline creates a timeline of information about a user based off of their updates and information they provide through Facebook and third party apps. On March 30, Timeline will also be rolling out to business pages.
Introduced last Wednesday on NBC’s Today Show and coinciding with Facebook’s Marketing Conference inNew York, Facebook Timeline for Pages generates a more consistent experience for the user by matching Pages to Profiles. Additionally, it creates a unique opportunity for businesses to showcase their rich history and create prominent branding elements previously unavailable.
The Cover Photo
One of the most prominent features of Facebook Timeline is the cover photo. The Page cover photo offers businesses a unique opportunity to use bold imagery to tell their story or reinforce their branding. The cover photo is 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall and the image uploaded cannot be less than 399 pixels wide. If the image uploaded is smaller than 851×315, the image will be stretched to fit these dimensions.
Facebook has made a proactive effort to ensure this prime real estate isn’t being abused by putting clear guidelines together about what can and can’t be used in a cover photo.
Cover photos cannot contain:
- Price or purchase information, such as discounts or where to buy
- Contact information, such as website address, email, mailing address or other information available in the About section
- References to elements, such as Like or Share or any other Facebook site features
- Calls to action
One of the more prominent marketing tools for Facebook Pages before Timeline was tabs. While apps and tabs will still be available, tabs will have a significantly reduced visibility with the introduction of Timeline. Previously, Facebook tabs would appear on the left-side panel, offering a long list of links for users to navigate. Now, Facebook is offering only three prominent positions (aside from Photos) for tabs on the right side of the Page below the cover photo. More tabs can be displayed, but users will have to expand the tab panel to see more. This means that as a business, your top three tabs need to be carefully considered as they will be some of the first things people will be interacting with.
Additionally, the content of existing tabs may need to be modified. Currently, the allotted pixel width for tabs is 520 pixels. The new Timeline tabs use an 810-pixel layout. In the new format, the smaller content will be centered in the tab; however, to keep the content relevant, businesses may want to consider redesigning the content to conform to the new layout as a means of creating a better user experience.
The Death of the Landing Page
A feature closely tied with tabs has been custom landing Pages. Many businesses would use Welcome tabs to call attention to the Like button, introduce promotions, or share more about their brand. However, with Facebook Timeline, you will no longer be able to set a default landing Page. This change will make grabbing Like’s much harder for many businesses, meaning that quality content and strong storytelling through the cover photo will be a top priority. Businesses unable to drive Likes this way will seriously want to reconsider the use of Facebook ads as a means of driving more traffic and Likes to their Facebook Page.
Feature Content Via the Pin
No we’re not talking about Pinterest, Facebook’s “pin” feature is a new way for businesses to make specific posts remain at the top of their timeline. Only one post can be pinned at a time, but it is a great to showcase important content such as specials, coupons, contests, or the like. With the removal of the default landing page, this may be an ideal location to showcase content previously featured in landing tabs.
In addition to traditional status, photo, video, and question updates, you can choose to publish Milestone stories for your business. These are ideal for things like founding date, major accomplishments, or important moments related to your business. Milestones display as the full width of the page and can include location, dates, descriptions, and photos to accommodate them. The Today Show, which debuted the Pages Timeline added Milestones such as John Chancellor becoming the host of Today in 1961 and when they began broadcasting in color in 1965.
As a medical practitioner, you can add important milestones in your education, your practice, and your procedures.
New Admin Features
As an added bonus, two new admin features have also been added with the introduction of timeline; Private Messages and an improved admin panel.
Private messages will allow Pages to respond to users privately. These messages will tie in to the notifications feature that is now part of an improved admin panel that will display notifications, much like those seen on profiles, and include snapshots of recent activity and Likes.
Enabling Timeline for Pages
Love it or hate it, Timeline for Pages is here to stay. Businesses that are ready to take the plunge now can preview and setup their Timeline’s via the notification on their Facebook Page. If you’ve dismissed this message or did not receive it, you can visit the status page and click upgrade on the page you’d like to update.
Others who aren’t quite ready only have until March 30th to make the switch. On March 30th, your page will automatically get the new design.
If you’ve published your Facebook Timeline for your medical practice share your page below in the comments or on the Plastic Surgery Studios Facebook Page. You might just be an inspiration for another doctor.
March 6th, 2012 Mike Wilton
Last week, members of the Plastic Surgery Studios internet marketing team were fortunate enough to attend Third Door Media’s SMX West inSan Jose,CA. The three day conference featured speakers from a number of disciplines in internet marketing, covering topics on SEO, Local Search, Social Media, and PPC. Through the various talks and topics there were some common themes that came up time and again. Here are some of our biggest takeaways from SMX 2012.
Get on Google+
Though not everyone was happy with it, the verdict was unanimous. Love it or hate it, you have to be on Google+. Not only does the Google social network influence Search Plus Your World, but it is believed that these social signals are definitely augmenting the over 200 factors used by Google to rank websites.
2012 is the Year of Mobile
It seems that over the last few years this has always been the push, but this year more than one speaker agreed that the year of mobile had finally hit. With the surge in smartphone sales dominating the market, it is more important than ever to have a responsive website or designated mobile content for your website.
Content & User Experience Are King
As always, content was at the core of every session we attended. Fresh, quality content in the form of text, imagery, and video are what will drive traffic and links to your website. But once your content draws them in, it’s even more important to make sure users are having a good experience on your website. Is your site easy to navigate? Is the content you produced relevant to the searcher?
As Eric Enge put it, the goal of your site and its content should be that it’s so good that the search engine results are broken if you’re not in the top four results.
Both Duane Forrester of Bing and Tiffany Oberoi of Google alluded to the fact that both engines are looking at user behavior more and more. Are users hitting your page and then clicking the back button to find another result in the search engines? If so, this may become an indicator that people aren’t finding what they want on your site for that query and ultimately you don’t deserve to rank for that result.
Duane Forrester went a step further and outlined the order of importance when it comes to things you consider for your website:
- User Experience
- Social Media
Our trip to SMX West was great and we brought back a ton of knowledge and insight that not only solidified many of our own beliefs related to medical internet marketing, but also introduced us to a number of new ideas and techniques that we can apply to our own web properties, as well as our clients’.
For a more detailed breakdown of SMX and the various sessions, here are some resources with great live blog coverage: