Sometimes the chaos of our social media frenzy can become a bit, well, tiring. Our business days and personal nights are now tied to the web. Very little correspondence is actually transmitted in paper form anymore. And yet, through the din, continues the classic calm of Crane & Co., the American stationer who dates back to eight generations of good taste and decorum.
Today, for a few brief minutes, I visited their timeless website and selected our Christmas card for 2010. Their website is beautifully arranged and offers more content and education than you’d expect. It is supremely easy to navigate and you sign off promising yourself that you’ll write personal notes to your clients, parents and kids’ teachers. Their brand messaging is successful–after viewing the site, you vow your charming notes will only come from Crane & Co.
Now, more than ever, there needs to be time to pause and appreciate good old-fashioned written expression–a personal message, a handwritten kind word. Thank you, Crane and Co., for holding true to a fine tradition.
We’re looking for a few good doctors. Actually, we’re in search of a few good doctor clients. We have the time and manpower (now) to add to our client list. Making direct contact with a doctor (unless you are in cardiac arrest or the late stages of labor) may be one of life’s bigger challenges–you politely push your way through several layers of gatekeepers and then learn he’s just left the building (for the next three weeks) .
So, yesterday, I looked at our target list of physicians and surgeons who seem to be building/growing their practices and sent them a letter. A personalized letter. Written on paper.
- Opened with a personal reference/observation about their ads/website/Twitter posts.
- Outlined how MPW can help develop their patient base/practice.
- Closed with a thank you.
- Wrote a personal note at the end of the letter.
- Hand-addressed the envelope.
And off went the letters with a good old-fashioned US Postal Service stamp.
Next week, we’ll start calling again and reconnect with our new pals, the doctors’ gatekeepers. Perhaps, just maybe, one or two of the doctors or their assistants opened the turquoise envelope and looked at our letter. Hey, anything can happen. We’ll let you know how we fare.
So you’ve created or recently updated your concise, easy-to navigate medical practice website. The next step in strengthening your message is actually enjoyable—it is your opportunity to express yourself and talk about what is important to you, your practice and your industry. It’s time to blog.
Why? Because you are a doctor or dentist and patients care about what you think. Patients respect and trust your expertise and therefore welcome an opportunity to peer into your insight. Blogs help you establish a rapport with (new) patients even before they meet you.
Here are some cold hard facts about blogging―
*79% of internet users have gone online in search of healthcare information (2009).
*75% of bloggers have college degrees and 40% have graduate degrees.
*72% say they blog in order to obtain or share their expertise.
*59% of bloggers say their blog has helped their practice be viewed as an industry leader.
“I’d love to blog, but I don’t have the time.”
Problem solved. At MPW, we specialize in taking any topic (our most recent physician directive was “sebaceous cysts”) researching it, writing a commentary and sending it to you for review prior to upload. The post will include relevant links and images, of course. Once approved, we’ll also add it to your Twitter feed and post it for your Facebook followers. Your ideas will be executed; we’ll do the legwork for you.
As an example, here is the social media program we run for one of our surgeon clients:
Overseeing your social media outreach is just one avenue where we can help grow your practice to the level that you have always dreamed of. We will make it happen.
Great price, fabulous service, happy customer.
We had just lugged our huge green velvet sofa out the curb for our town’s annual Spring Clean-up (or someone driving by who needed a beat-up couch). We needed a replacement right now. We have kids who will quickly destroy this new sofa (and the one after that, probably) so we were not searching for an investment piece of furniture. The only local resource that came to mind was R & F (TV, print ads, flyers). We vowed not to leave the store without a sofa. No matter what.
Our sales person, Tim, left us alone (after giving each of us cold bottles of “R & F” water). Tim disappeared until we needed him (note to all retail salespeople). We found this sofa (shown) on sale, beautifully merchandised amidst a football field of artfully arranged furniture vignettes. We filled out some forms and cheered when they could deliver two days later.
On a bright Tuesday, two nice men brought the sofa in, unwrapped it and placed it exactly where the old one had been. Lovely and perfect. A few days later, we received a call from R & F making sure everything went ok with the delivery and we were happy with the couch. We were. A week later, they sent a thank you card and a coupon for 10% off our next purchase. Yes, there will most certainly be– a next purchase.
Ogilvy PR reported a few days ago that Google statistics confirm 79% of health consumers have watched videos about their specific health condition on YouTube http://tinyurl.com/29owzgl.
Do you call the doctor every time you have a pain, get hurt or have some type of health issue? Us either. Consumers, even those dealing with their own health and well-being, don’t want to wade through paragraphs of content. JUST SHOW ME WHAT I NEED TO KNOW.
I manage the social media platform for an up-and-coming surgicenter specializing in bariatric and laparoscopic procedures. While live on their Twitter account late one evening, a follower suddenly asked me why (our) surgeons were best suited to perform his hernia operation.
In most other scenarios, a response would be easy–but being held to 140 characters required a direct, confident response. I suddenly realized that a brand’s Twitter pitch may soon supercede the classic 30-second elevator pitch.
It was off the cuff, but I shot back (134 characters)–
Board-certified, fellowship-trained surgeons specialize in minimally invasive solutions. Positive & patient http://tinyurl.com/24q9sdo
Our website tracking data shows he clicked on the link and went to the website and quickly found the Nissen Fundoplication for GERD & Hiatal Hernia page, where he stayed for two minutes, twelve seconds.
For every one of your brands or services, create your own Twitter pitches–you never know when they will be called to duty.
We had the pleasure of attending an event at Frogbridge’s Windows on the Water. This 86-acre resort (Millstone Township, Monmouth County, NJ) is also a client. They offer corporate picnics, gazillions of activities (rockwall bungee jumping anyone?), fancy events at Windows on the Water catering facility, and smaller affairs at their on-site shops, like Frogarita’s or Ribbits Ice Cream Parlor.
We’ve been honored to help them revamp their website http://www.windowsonthewaternj.com/index.html which needs to house a tremendous amount of content for their wide and diverse customer base. We also copyright all their printed marketing, advertising and public relations materials.
If you need a beautiful site for a special occasion, outdoor affair, professional or private, this could be just the place for you.
The American Express OPEN Forum originally published Mashable’s “10 brilliant tips for corporate blogging” http://mashable.com/2010/07/20/corporate-blogging-tips/ They report that small businesses with corporate blogs receive 55 percent more traffic than small businesses that don’t blog. They tips are easy and can be accomplished quickly and easily. Enough said.
While Optimum is already unpopular with customers for a myriad of reasons, their email server has shut thousands of customers out of their business and personal email accounts for more than 24 hours (like MPW).
While we usually chill and resort to another resource (thank you, gmail) here’s why we’re not-at-all satisfied with Optimum:
- There is no published notice/apology/time-stamped update from them on http://optimum.com/online/index.jsp
- No pre-recorded message or acknowledgement is offered when you call (actually they just tell you right off the bat that they don’t have time to take your call–at all).
- Optimum live tech support never even sent us a templated response, after waiting three hours for them to read our IM plea for information (before we knew this was an interstate problem for them).
- More than 24 hours have passed and you can’t ‘fix it”. What are you doing with our $147.50 every month?
Believe us, we get it–we have managed crisis situations before. And the very worst response? No response.
We have a wonderful client who markets an upscale senior living community for retirees. The sales director keenly understands that her market still reads the newspaper and probably does not tweet during their morning coffee. This group also does not put much stock in advertisements. So, we share the community’s news–and they expend a big effort in creating it–in news releases. Community plays, exhibits, trips, events–it’s all explained in a one-page news release. The best part is–the media outlets publish it–all the time. The children of these retirees also see this content when it’s replayed on the publication’s website, or even occasionally featured on their Facebook page or even tweeted.
But we’re not done with those releases. They are combined and easily reworked into (quarterly) newsletter content (print and electronic) for a second, third or even fourth bang for your buck. And everything is posted on the brand’s website, of course.