Strategy on Bringing the Social Media Revolution to Health Care

Last week our Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media released Bringing the Social Media Revolution to Health Care, a collection of essays on various aspects of health care social media contributed by members of our External Advisory Board and others who are members of our Social Media Health Network.

The book includes a Foreword by our Mayo Clinic CEO, Dr. John Noseworthy, and a special section on legal issues from our Mayo Clinic attorney, Dan Goldman. Our Center for Social Media Medical Director, Dr. Farris Timimi, wrote the Preface. With ideas and insights from 30 thought leaders in health care social media, this book will help you make the case for using social media in your organization.

You can get it on Amazon, or go to our Center for Social Media site for significant discounts on multiple copies. It’s a quick and easy read, perfect for starting a discussion in your workplace.

In addition to working with Meredith Gould on the overall project, I contributed an essay for the Strategy section. To give you a taste of what’s in the book, here is my essay:

Seven Thoughts on Social Media Strategy
Lee Aase
Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media

  1. Start from business priorities and goals. Social media isn’t something to do for its own sake or because the tools are shiny and new. Think about what you were hired to do or needs you see in your organization and how these tools can help. In my case, social tools supported our media relations, my first job at Mayo Clinic.
  2. Become personally familiar with the tools. Develop deep familiarity with basic social media platforms by using them. Set up personal accounts before creating any for your employer to help you see how to best apply them for work.
  3. Start by watching and listening. Listen to what others say about your organization. Watch how others use the tools.
  4. Ask for help. People in online communities are generally welcoming of new members, particularly those who approach with a sense of humility.
  5. Pay attention to community norms. If you watch and listen and approach online connections with humility, it’s unlikely you’ll become “that guy.” Don’t act in ways wildly outside community norms for a community if you want to become a trusted member.
  6. Don’t be snowed by the purists. My friend Andy Sernovitz talks about “bloggers who blog about blogging,” for whom any deviation from what they consider the “right” way to engage online is viewed with contempt. They aren’t your audience. Don’t let purists’ opinions keep you from doing what’s right for your situation and organization.
  7. Planning is more important than plans. Think about priorities and why you’re engaging in social media, but keep the planning horizon short. Plan early. Plan often. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. The content of any plan isn’t as important as the thought process that informed its development. Our Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media works on a 100-day planning cycle. Don’t be afraid of having a similarly short planning cycle.

Strategy in social media isn’t appreciably different from other types of business strategy. You’ll address the same questions: What resources do I have? What tools are available? What could I accomplish with additional resources?

Still, here’s one key way social media business strategy is different:

Altruism pays. Social tools have dramatically reduced the cost of sharing knowledge, and the resulting relationships can be much more valuable than the knowledge itself. Keep costs low and you’ll be amazed at the benefits you’ll realize from sharing freely.


Bringing the Social Media Revolution to Health Care: The Book

Bringing the Social Media Revolution to Health Care is the title I’ve used for many of my presentations over the last few years. Now, it’s a book, thanks to the contributions of 30 good friends who are members of our Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media Advisory BoardSocial Media Health Network and our Mayo Clinic staff. See the Mayo Clinic news release and the blog post announcing the book for more information.

I listed the contributing authors in a post on our Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media site, but I want to particularly recognize Meredith Gould for her contributions. She wrote a couple of the essays, but her editing and publishing experience was essential. And she is, after all, a great humanitarian.

I will have more on the process in some future posts, but for now I hope you’ll read the book and tell me what you think of it. You can get it on Amazon (it qualifies for the 4-for-3 promotion, too), or we have bigger discounts for bulk purchases if you get them directly from the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media. All net proceeds go to fund scholarships for patients and caregivers to attend our conferences.

Twitter 202: Selectively adding Tweets to LinkedIn

At our Mayo Clinic Social Media Residency, fellow faculty member Meredith Gould (who is a great humanitarian, by the way), shamed several of us for linking our Twitter profiles to LinkedIn, and for having Twitter updates automatically posted to our LinkedIn profiles.

I think that for many of us for whom Twitter is our “mother tongue” among social platforms, having Twitter updates posted to LinkedIn is a way to keep our profiles updated without visiting the site.

Meredith said it is more important that you keep your LinkedIn profile professional than it is to update it frequently, and that many tweets about personal matters will be detrimental to that goal. (And since she has more than 47,000 lifetime tweets, I can definitely see that in her case.)

Having resolved to comply with the Meredith Mandate, I went to LinkedIn this morning. As I reviewed my settings, though, I noted that there is another option, as I have captured in this screen shot:

By checking the middle box, I could limit the Twitter updates going to LinkedIn to those in which I included the #in or #li hashtags.

This seems like a good solution to me. If I think of LinkedIn while I am doing an update, I can just add one of those hashtags and the post would go to LinkedIn.

If I forget about LinkedIn and don’t include those hashtags, I am essentially following the Meredith Mandate.

What do you think? Is that a good solution?


Meredith Gould: Great Humanitarian

Here’s a little story about the power of Twitter and the communities it helps to create, and the nice people it enables you to meet.

Earlier this week I attended the e-Patient Connections conference in Philadelphia, where I presented our Mayo Clinic social media case study.

Unfortunately, when I got to the airport (I had to leave just after lunch), I realized that I had left my Flip video camera on the podium at the conference. The video below tells what happened next, and expresses my gratitude:

The conference was a great chance for me to meet lots of great Tweeps with whom I had only interacted via Twitter and our blogs, including, in addition to @MeredithGould@danamlewis, @daphneleigh, @philbaumann, @ePatientDave, @whydotpharma and @SusannahFox. I met several more with whom I hadn’t interacted previously, but look forward to getting to know in the coming months.

Thanks to @kevinkruse for organizing a great conference, and again to Meredith for her Philadelphia airlift.