Get Your Social Media Strategy Ready for 2015

December 19th, 2014 No comments

social media 2014It’s getting late in December as we slide down the fast track to 2015. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day – they all fly by so quickly!

Along with everything else you’re doing to wind down 2014, you should take a few minutes to consider your social marketing strategy for 2015. Even if you have a social media plan in place, it’s a good idea to review and tweak it at least once a year.

Here are some points to consider when reviewing your social media strategy:

  • What are your 2014 analytics telling you? Knowing how many Facebook likes and shares, Twitter retweets and Pinterest pins you garnered this year is nice, but there’s more to the data than these numbers. You should dig deep enough to learn:
    • The type of traffic being referred to your Web site by social media
    • To which pages the social media traffic is referring visitors
    • The conversion rate of referred traffic
    • What your competition is doing.
  • Are your social media objectives stated clearly? If your objectives are not clear and measurable, you’re more likely to flounder in meeting your goals. Also, if you’re considering new social media efforts, like Facebook ads or promoted tweets, you need to be clear about why you’re doing it and have specific goals to meet. All social media tactics should have specific goals and different social media channels have different strengths and potential impact.
  • Is your social media strategy integrated with your owned, earned and paid channels? Your social media plan should be co-dependent on your owned channels and generating earned media. Are you using social media to support all your channels?
  • Have you performed an audit of your social media channels for 2014? Just because everyone else is on Facebook and Twitter doesn’t necessarily mean your organization should be, if the ROI isn’t favorable. If an audit shows that one or more social media channels isn’t bringing in the expected traffic, do you have an alternate strategy to replace it? Maybe you should.
  • Are you keeping up with changes/new players in the social media space? New social media channels are popping up on a regular basis. While many of these new channels are “niche” channels that aren’t necessarily pertinent to your organization, you should at least assess the latest channels to see if they might be appropriate for your particular brand and/or target audience.

Whatever your social media strategy, it’s important to assess and evaluate your strategy to ensure that all parts are working efficiently and effectively together.  We’d love to hear what you’re doing and learn about your results. Let us hear from you.

And in case we don’t talk with you again before 2015, all of us at Greystone.Net wish you a happy and joyful holiday season. We look forward to what 2015 holds for us all.



Categories: Social Media Tags:

#HCIC14: A Great Time Was Had By All!

November 24th, 2014 1 comment

BagpiperSince the 18th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference concluded Wednesday afternoon November 5th, we’ve had time to reflect back on the event in Scottsdale. Including the Insights 2014 Client Conference on Sunday afternoon, it was a truly wonderful 3 ½ days!

Some highlights that come to my mind:

• The keynote speakers this year were spectacular! The diversity and quality of the speakers were great … from Paul Szablowski sharing his view from the fringe (and from the Ebola front) to Scott Stratten’s 75-minute hysterically funny rant on social media to Ross Bernstein’s non-stop talk on building championship teams to Andy Gradel’s practical take on building a digital budget — they were all special, informative and entertaining in their own ways.
• The number and variety of concurrent sessions kept the audiences involved and engaged.
• The Westin Kierland was a wonderful venue and conducive for both learning and informal networking. The evening bagpipers – playing at sunset – added to the fun. They were enchanting.
• Personally, I enjoyed all the interactivity and sharing. And meeting so many of you. Catching up with old friends and making new ones. That’s always the highlight for me.


There have been several blogs written about the conference already (from SiteWire, Avid Design and others) and below I share a few of their thoughts and take-aways:

  • In order to be successful, you must start with your hospital’s “why” and define how it is different than your competitors. [Learning from the Fringe: Uncommon and Innovative Insights Come From Uncommon and Innovative Places. Paul Szablowski, Texas Health Resources.]
  • Healthcare has a Net Promoter Score of 10.8. Lower than all industries except utilities, Internet service providers and cable companies. [Learning from The Fringe: Uncommon and Innovative Insights Come From Uncommon and Innovative Places. Paul Szablowski, Texas Health Resources.]
  • Today, the average hospital spends 9% of its media budget on digital, while the average for other industries is 25%. [Digital “Shift” Happens: Making the Case to Turn Digital Dimes into Dollars. Andy Gradel, Main Line Health.]
  • In a crisis, when “it” hits the fan, it isn’t time to hide behind the fan. Immediacy is key. You have to own it and engage. [UnMarketing. Stop Marketing, Start Engaging. Scott Stratten.] Or to say it another way: “Gotta be in the game with social media … an immediate response to a negative comment is the only way to diffuse the negative impression.”
  • ‘Your brand is only as successful as the last person that influences a patient or consumer’s impression of it.
  • Assess where you are then move in the right direction – review data and make adjustments for smarter ROI.
  • “If you have a lot of employees saying dumb things on Twitter, you don’t have a social media problem, you have a hiring problem.” [Scott Stratten, Unmarketing]
  • Patients, like consumers, have a choice – focus on positive user experiences to develop dynamic relationships.
  • CRM is not just a tool, but a philosophy.
  • “You can’t fake passion” [Ross Bernstein] And boy, was he passionate!
  • Connect your digital footprint … integrate it all for stronger results.
  • Think out of the box – look at non-healthcare industry consumer successes.
  • Look at retail – specifically for convenience, value and giving what consumers want – and apply those principles to healthcare.


Lots of attendees took to Twitter to discuss their thoughts and take-aways. You can check out the entire Twitter stream by searching the #hcic14 hashtag. Here are three we liked a lot:


If you came to #hcic14 – thanks for attending and participating. We hope everyone learned a lot and had a great time. We at Greystone sure did. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the 19th Annual HCIC – next November 9-11, 2015 – in Orlando!

We also want to send best wishes for a very Happy Thanksgiving to all. If you’re traveling during the holiday week, please take care and be safe.




Categories: HCIC, Insights 2014 Tags:

As 2014 Winds Down, 18th Annual HCIC Is Almost Here!

October 27th, 2014 No comments

hcic_logo_2014Wow…2014 sure has flown by! It’s almost Halloween, then comes HCIC, then Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and BAM! It will be 2015.

It’s hard to believe that after all of the months and months of planning and coordinating, the 18th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference will be in progress in just another week. And it’s also hard to believe that once everything from the HCIC is packed up and put away, we’ll be on the final legs of 2014.

On Monday, November 3, hundreds of professionals involved in healthcare marketing, IT and strategy will gather at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, AZ, for 3 days of educational programming, including five keynote sessions, four pre-conference workshops, with 56 concurrent sessions in between it all. In addition, there will be ample opportunities to network with colleagues and attendees with a robust and vibrant exhibit hall with over 80 of the top industry vendors.

Have you registered yet? If not, you still have time! Visit to register for the conference. You may also register for one of the pre-conference events as well.

If you are a client of Greystone.Net or StayWell, you’ll want to join us on Sunday afternoon before the main conference begins for the combined Insights 2014, the Client Conference. Don’t forget – your paid HCIC registration entitles you to attend the Client Conference at no additional charge! But you do need to register for Insights 2014, so please don’t forget to do so.

One reminder: Don’t forget Election Day on November 4th! If you’ll be in Scottsdale, please take advantage of early voting or complete an absentee ballot before you travel. Your vote only counts if it gets in the ballot box!

The final HCIC preparations are almost complete. We look forward to seeing you in Scottsdale!




Categories: HCIC, Insights 2014, Uncategorized Tags:

What’s a CMO to Do?  (Part 3 of a Series)

October 20th, 2014 No comments

Juggling picIn parts 1 & 2 of this blog series, we discussed the potential merging of the roles of the CMO and CIO into a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) role and the factors driving this change. Let’s now look at strategies a CMO can use to accommodate a changing role.

As digital technology continues to advance and improve, it’s imperative for the CMO to stay abreast of tech implications on marketing strategy. While obtaining a degree in IT is neither necessary nor feasible, forging a close relationship with the IT staff is absolutely a must.

A report released by Accenture Interactive in July found that among 1,100 senior marketing and IT executives from around the world, relationships between the two groups have improved over the past year. And 23% of the respondents felt that collaboration between marketing and IT was currently at the right level, up 10% from last year’s survey. So, while things have improved between the two groups, there is more work to be done. Collaboration is mandatory as marketing becomes more enabled by technology.

To reiterate a point made in last month’s article, the marketing technologist is an increasingly essential member of the marketing team. Every marketing organization must become technology‐savvy. More than any time in the past, good marketing management means good technology management – a necessary component that provides differentiation and competitive advantage. A CMO can’t delegate technology decisions to IT or others — it’s just too important to long-term marketing successes.

A CDO needs a broad range of experiences, competencies and qualities such as:

  • Being a free thinker who’s willing to experiment (based on data) and move on from failure
  • Being able to quickly adapt
  • Having the ability to move in an agile manner among all departments in the organization
  • Being able to communicate in the “language” of various departments and disciplines within the organization and interpret complicated technology concepts for all stakeholders
  • Having cross functional expertise (marketing and technology)
  • The ability to be persuasive, adaptable and visionary.


Digital transformation is happening all around us. To be successful, the CDO must make sure that digital is more than an afterthought. And, marketers of the future must be ambidextrous” and able to seamlessly think and act across all realities — digital or not.


Categories: Strategy Tags:

Coming to SHSMD14?

October 11th, 2014 No comments

coffeeIf you are coming to San Diego this weekend for the SHSMD annual conference, stop by booth 421 and say hello to your Greystone friends and colleagues. We’ll be there and would love to see you. And, if you have a few minutes, we’ll buy you a cup of coffee.

Also, don’t miss my presentation with Kelly Faley, VP of Web Strategy & Customer Contact Center at Sharp HealthCare, on the Rise of the Chief Digital Officer. We’ll be debating the need for CDOs, the role they can play in healthcare and the long-term outlook for the role. We speak at 4p Monday, October 13th in Seaport B at the Grand Hyatt Manchester.

The last time we were in San Diego for SHSMD we all endured 9/11 together. What an impact that day had on not just the meeting, but so much of our lives since then. I can’t wait to get back there and make some new memories. See you soon and safe travels to San Diego.



Categories: Best Practices, Strategy Tags: