A few weeks ago I reviewed Sharecare, a healthcare social media platform that I felt really didn’t deliver any true benefit to its users, let alone serve as a good example of a successful healthcare social media example. But while I was researching, I came across Patientslikeme, which was extremely interesting and unique, and from my introduction, seemed like a much better and successful example of how a healthcare social media platform can really change the world of healthcare. In fact, Forbes notes that the site is "producing some of the most compelling clinical data the healthcare industry has ever seen."
The idea of PatientsLikeMe.com came from three MIT engineers, who had a family member/friend diagnosed with a rare disease. They were having trouble finding research, data or even a network of people that shared a common diagnosis. With that, they developed a platform that has now grown and into the site PatientsLikeMe. Within the platform people can connect with others that share a similar diagnosis and track/share their own experience. While this may not sound very interesting, the greatest part is the data mining that happens simultaneously with the sharing. Throughout the whole process, the company is very openly gathering the stories and data to help with the future of these specific diseases – sharing it with researchers, pharma companies, providers, non-profits, etc.
My initial reaction to the idea is that of brilliance, but I wanted to test the platform. It was during this test and review that I continued to be Wowed. Below, I have highlighted some of the key areas of the platform for an in-depth review:
Create a profile:
I started with creating a profile, which took less than 5 minutes and instantly gave me a snapshot on my condition, how many within the network had the condition and a breakdown of other age/gender/diagnosis information.
Part of building your profile included questions about your history with the condition:
Connecting with Patients:
And then after that, I was quickly able to start using the site to my advantage. One of the greatest areas was the "find patients" tab, where you are able to search for patients like you to connect with and to read their stories.
Another area that I found extremely beneficial was the “your treatments” tab that allowed me to enter in my personal treatment information and to read about other treatments reported by other patients of my condition. This area is complete with information from patients on how the medicines made them feel, benefits, drawbacks, etc. In addition to being clear and easy to understand, the network is actually large enough to make the data useful.
Not only did I find the site and the information relevant, useful and beneficial, it also made me want to share my story, which in the social media world, is the ultimate goal. The more that share their story, the greater the chance of making medical progress and advancements. I am truly impressed with PatientsLikeMe.com and believe that the site is one of only a select few of healthcare social media sites that understand how to leverage social media, ultimately making a direct change in the healthcare world.
Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes.
Vine hopes to make exploring content easier with the launch of trending hashtags. The new feature allows users to easily see what the community is Vining about.
Twitter and The Weather Channel announced an agreement centered on a new weather-based ad-targeting product. Twitter says that 60% of its audience derives from smartphones—where users will be seeing Promoted Tweets thanks to the TWC deal.
“Home” lets consumers enable an ever-changing rotation of visual content from their Facebook friends called "cover feed" on their home and lock screens -- where ads will eventually also go.
With regard to wielding their social networks, almost half (45%) of respondents said they share bad customer service experiences via Facebook, Twitter, and other popular platforms, while 30% reported sharing good customer service experiences via social media.
Over the past year Facebook has been expanding the data that can be used for ad targeting to include non-Facebook information like the sites someone visits outside of Facebook, loyalty program memberships and, more recently, the types of products they buy in a brick-and-mortar store.
Justin Timberlake is back, but not just with a new album. He is the biggest supporter and face of a new networking site – the New Myspace. The fresh site is putting itself on the level of Pandora and Spotify and backing away from social networking giants Facebook and Twitter. The New Myspace won’t compete with Facebook anymore; instead it will provide content that can be shared via social media.
The new site is all about music and making connections. Users can connect to and get updates from all their favorite artists. You can even become a number one fan of an artist if you interact with them more than any other user. When connecting to friends, the New Myspace shows your “affinity” or commonalities in music with that person. You can also connect to mixes (playlists other users create), music videos and radios (artist based radios – similar to Pandora.)
It’s also all about being visual. The profile pages allow you to put a very large, high quality cover photo and then as you sideways scroll across, you can see smaller pictures of music, comments and connections. The homepage is also very photo based – giving you the latest news on your connections and the music world.
Other cool features include a large search toolbar that appears no matter where you are on the site and a music player that remains on the bottom of the screen always.
There is no advertising on the site right now, but it will be added over time. What does this mean for marketers in the future? It means connecting to a targeted demographic in a new way. When advertising does come to the site, it won’t be in the same cluttered way as the old site. Options could include pre-roll videos before music videos and branded content (articles, photos, etc.) The advertising would be more integrated in the site and not just a mess of banner ads.
Marketers could target a specific age group with specific interests easily. At first, the New Myspace will definitely skew to a younger demographic, but also might attract the original Myspace users who are a little older. As time goes on, more and more people of all ages will become users. You can narrow down who to target by what music they listen to and what they list as their interests – similar to Facebook.
Pandora advertising is taking off and the New Myspace could follow suit. Do you see yourself joining the New Myspace? Or more importantly, can you see yourself advertising on it?
Well, the Olympics have come to an end (sigh). The closing ceremonies are over and have successfully spiced up my life. But the completion of the games have left a void in my nightly television routine I have gotten quite accustomed to over the past two weeks. I’ve now had some time to reflect on the proud moments, the incredible athletes, and, of course, the tear jerking Olympic commercials that oftentimes deserve gold metals.
What struck me the most was the huge role social media played in this year’s games. The New York Times even referred to it as the “Socialympics”. There have been some highlights (following the athletes as on their road to Olympic stardom was inspiring), but there have also been some social media mishaps.
Here are some of the lessons we have learned that can be applied to your business or brand’s social media so that you don’t accidentally commit “social suicide”:
Greek Olympic triple jumper, Voula Papachristou, was ousted from the games and was ineligible to compete after tweeting racially hurtful comments about fellow African athletes. Not only did she get the boot, but she put a rather large dent in her personal brand.
Dick Raman, CEO of BrandReact, says, “the lesson here is think before you tweet. Because social media is instant, people sometimes don’t realize that things written in the heat of the moment have a lasting effect even in the Twitterverse.” Remember: social media is instant and permanent. This also validates that age old adage: If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
Photographs by Stanley Chou/Getty Images; Michael Buckner/Getty Images.
Here’s another example: Olympic Soccer player Hope Solo and Brandi Chastain got in a twitter cat fight over Brandi’s guest commentating during a match. Their back and forth was more painful to watch than the final seconds of swimming.
The lesson here may be obvious, but it’s vital: don’t talk smack about your competition. You’re better off letting your brand, products or services speak for themselves than bashing your competitors. Keep it classy.
I’m already looking forward to the next round of Olympic Games and all of the glory and controversy it is sure to bring. Until then, I’ll be keeping an eye on my social media and carefully monitoring my twitter posts.
As one of the digital thought leaders at Brogan & Partners, I was excited to attend this year's SXSW conference and see where the future of digital design was heading. Often, I feel like the "usability police" and for years I have been making sure our web sites, rich media and social media designs where intuitive so the user knows where to click and what they'll get. But with Touch UI gaining momentum, it begs the question: Is Touch UI the Click UI killer? After all, video killed the radio star...
During my week of Interactive sessions at SXSW, I realized that the focus of conventional Click UI was pretty much obsolete. If anything, it was only mentioned in passing. And I also didn't hear the word "usability" mentioned at all. It was all about the touch or gesture experience.
I joke that my kids don't know what a mouse is, but it's true. Their first experience and exposure to computers were a laptop, iPhone, and iPad. None of these devices uses a mouse or has to be clicked. We do have desktop computers around, but it's avoided because there's a feeling of entrapment compare to our mobile devices. Our expectations of how we experience the web has gone way beyond just the conventional and intuitive navigations.
Whether we believe conventional Click UI is a passing phase or not, it is paramount to consider the visual interface as part of the brand. As designers, we'll need to build an easy and memorable experience for our users. And to stay on top of our competitors, those experiences will need to be unique. This is what Nike Myers described in his "The Visual Interface Is Now Your Brand" session at SXSW. Where do you think the user interface is heading?
Here's a little taste of things to come when the visual is the interface.
South by Southwest or better known as SXSW, is an interactive, music and film festival. A few of us, Broganites, set off on our travels to take part in the interactive portion of the festival. In particular, I was a SXSW virgin. However, I was excited to lose my v-card and participate in networking events, panel discussions and other social activities surrounding tech innovations.
My first thought was that it all was extremely overwhelming. There were probably over 50 events or sessions you could choose from per day. And there were always going to be 1 or 2 that you could tell would be a waste of time once you sat in them for the first 10 minutes. But overall, the tech leaders that made up the panel discussions and sessions were really insightful. They made you think. After a session you would feel more empowered, more knowledgeable and maybe even invincible. There was also the feeling of: When I get home I am going to be the first one in my office to know about the next great tech idea!
I had a few favorite sessions and here’s what I learned from them:
I Used Data Analytics to Game Online Dating – I was under the assumption that this solo speaker, Amy Webb, was using the title as a metaphor. I thought I was going to a session about social media analytics. Boy was I wrong! It really was about her dating life. This woman created an algorithm to find her husband on an online dating platform. It was even considered rated “R” according to the SXSW organizers – only because she used colorful, raunchy-ish language. Even though it wasn’t what I expected, I really found it very entertaining and humorous. And I may even buy Webb’s book, Data: A Love Story, once it is released in 2013.
What’s So [Bleeping] Hard About Social ROI? – There isn’t one! Or at least there isn’t a universal social media ROI. The panel from this session discussed that you shouldn’t use sales as a goal for social media. Social media is about building relationships directly with the consumer. For those folks who have created their own ROI for social – your formula should be used as a benchmark. However, it’s not an absolute science or equation. My favorite quote from this panel was “What’s the ROI in not doing social?” from Craig Daitch a Social Media Manager for Ford Motor Company.
Social Media Is a Bubble and SXSW Is a Fad – This panel of 5 had lots to say. It was a combination of humor and opinions. All but one of the panelists agreed that social media was a bubble. They were preaching that the social community should figure out how to manage the bubble once it bursts. How do we create value from the burst? I think the creative talent that comes out of this burst will need to be placed in new companies. However, this could be good because they will bring new and fresh ideas to wherever they land. This was by far my favorite, because these people who are looked at as social leaders were being realistic and having a real conversation about the social phenomenon. It is here to stay; the question is when will it become just another medium? After the bubble bursts?
So there you have it, those were my favorite sessions from SXSW. And I can now say…I am no longer a virgin, and it was mind blowing! If you were in Austin last week, what would you say was your favorite session? If you weren’t in Austin last week, does this sound like something you would want to be a part of next year?
Yesterday was Leap Day, but it will always be remembered as a revolutionary day in the world of social media. Facebook took a huge leap forward with the inaugural Facebook Marketing Conference. The six-hour, invitation-only event packed the American Museum of Natural History in New York, marking a day in history of its own. If you didn’t happen to make the conference, or your invitation somehow got lost in the mail, never fear. Here’s a recap of what you missed:
Applications – These will now appear as rich applications just below and to the right of the cover photo. These applications will engage customers and encourage them to click more often. Starbucks has also been in beta for Timeline and has made great use of the new apps feature.
Pinned Posts, Starred Posts, Backdated Posts – You can “pin” posts (like Red Bull) that you’d like to feature as a “post of the week”. These will stay at the top of your timeline, appearing as the most recent post.
New Ads for Brand Pages:
As we all know, Facebook is going public. Even though Mark Zuckerberg is the social media giant’s founder and figurehead, it seems like Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, is the one everyone’s talking about.
I’ve admired Sandberg for a long time. Not only is she a brilliant leader at Facebook (who will soon be worth an estimated $1.6 billion) she’s also a champion of other female leaders. And she puts her money where her mouth is.
According to this New York Times piece, Sandberg insists on hiring, promoting, and mentoring women within Facebook, and giving lectures on the importance of female ambition around the world.
Of course, Sandberg is an uncommon visionary. On the other hand, a woman being one of the most powerful people in social media makes perfect sense. Women are the most powerful forces behind social media. Take these statistics from emarketer.com:
- 69% of females use social networking sites.
- People are 49% more likely to recommend a company after they like them on Facebook.
- 79% of women will refer family and friends to a brand page.
- 40% of internet users like a brand to receive discounts/promotions.
If Sandberg alone doesn’t inspire more women to climb for the C-suite in internet tech and social media businesses, then statistics like those above should seal the deal. The numbers translate into tremendous female influence in the marketplace. That’s why it’s essential that social media be shaped by those who understand its primary users most—women.
I hope to see more and more social media-oriented companies like Facebook (and for that matter, Brogan & Partners with women at the helm. It’s a simple equation that will only add to their success.
And once she’s a billionaire, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sandberg start a foundation that promotes women’s professional development in social media and beyond. At least, that’s what I hope she’ll do.
What about you? Who are your role models within the world of social media?
There are many reasons to love Facebook. I think I’ve just found another.
Here’s what I mean. Check out the Olay website. It’s a thing of beauty, isn’t it? All glamorous black shadowing, glossy red accents, dramatic splash effects and seasonal sparkles.
Now take a look at Olay’s Facebook page, specifically its “Defuzz in Defember” campaign.
Here you have a fresh-faced model wearing a phantom mustache. She’s advertising the company’s charitable campaign for December: buy Olay Smooth Finish Facial Hair Removal Duo, and Olay will donate a dollar to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (and give you a $3 discount, to boot).
To spread the word about defuzzing for a cause, you can add a pink mustache to your Facebook picture. And you know me, I can’t resist any opportunity to advocate for breast cancer research. Check out my cute ’stache here.
A glamour shot it’s not. What it is is a cute, lighthearted way to raise money for a great cause.
A fun stunt like this might not make it into an expensive ad campaign, but on Facebook, a company can be creative and cheeky. It’s the perfect counterpart to an every-pixel-perfect TV spot or print ad.
In other words, with the dual platform of advertising and Facebook pages, a company can have its glamour and its goofiness, too. And since we know women are a complicated target audience, that multi-prong approach can only be a good thing.
What do you think of the Defuzz in Defember campaign? Have you seen any other creative campaigns lately on Facebook or other social networks?
A week ago, we all sat down to groaning Thanksgiving feasts. Then it was on to Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. I even found a site, moderntribe.com that invented Shop Jewish Sunday. It all culminated in the Visine-inducing Cyber Monday.
Now many of us, awash in beribboned packages, have a consumer hangover. That’s why the newspaper ad I spotted the other day came at the perfect time.
The ad urges us to “redefine Christmas” by giving to charities instead of giving stuff. I think that’s a great message. While sometimes a material gift is just the thing for a holiday or occasion, whenever I see a “no gifts” note on an invitation, I happily make a donation to my favorite charity—the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure--instead.
But what if you don’t have an automatic go-to charity.
That’s where social media comes in.
With a quick Google, I found some excellent charity clearinghouses, including:
- Just Give, which created the Redefine Christmas ad.
- Charity Navigator with lots of great functions including a complete rating on charities.
- Network for Good offers charity gift cards.
- Charity Watch helps you check out organizations and insure that your online donation is safe.
Crowdrise, one of my personal favorites, just offered a 48 hour promotion where 1 out of every 3 donations were free. This allowed users of crowdrise an opportunity to give their favority charity a donation and get the money right back.
And if these sprawling databases are too much for you? Check out your friend's Facebook pages for their favorite charities. That’s how I found out about Kiva through which one can make microloans to business owners in need, as well as Heifer International which gives families in developing nations livestock and training to improve their health and finances.
Or go to a favorite business’s website. Subaru, for instance, is “Sharing the Love” through the holiday season by donating $250 to one of five charities for every new car sold.
Online networks are a great way to find cool stuff to buy. But they’re also the perfect medium for giving back. To me, that’s the essence of what social media is all about.