Month: November 2013

Best Practices for blogging….in non-profit organizations

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When you think of non-profit organizations what exactly is the first thing that comes to mind, a Salvation Army or perhaps or maybe a food bank? There are a lot of non-profit organizations in your city, especially if you live in a metroplex like Dallas/Fort Worth.It is very hard for a non-profit organization to start-up and run a business but it can be done and if these organizations use social media it greatly enhances their company and awareness in the community or even people who don’t live in their community. Working in this type of healthcare industry that I work in, we want to see all what non-profit organizations do for their community, how they help people and most of all if we were to give them some foundation money, how would they use the money to help others? A great way to help get their recognition across is to create blogs and get very familiar with Twitter. As Mark W. Schaefer, the author of The Tao of Twitter, he mentioned in his book how he had a follower mention to him on why he never recommended him. In response Mark asked who he was and got to know the gentlemen through Twitter. It turned out he worked for United Way and he told Mr. Schaefer that many non-profits were struggling in his tough economy. As the case unfolded in the book it talked about how he held an informative session and people who worked at United Way attended to learn tools and tactics to start using Twitter. Can any of you think of a non-profit organization that has helped so many in your community? I never really knew many before I started to work for my company but after these past few years I coordinate with these organizations when they have events in the community and all I want to do is try to ensure that someone from our company is there to help those in need who may need help with finding services that they were unaware about.

Some good practices for these non-profits to use for blogging are to have all of these on their page:

  • Superior content
  • Non-intrusive yet effective calls to action
  • Good use of multi-media such as photography and video
  • Superb use of story-telling to align with objectives
  • Attractive and functional design
  • Convenient social sharing
  • Features that involve key stakeholder

I found these examples on Business Grow’s website when they were listing the best Non-Profit blogs http://www.businessesgrow.com/2011/05/08/the-worlds-best-non-profit-blogs/

I completely agree on those examples for the same reason we look for some of the same things and I try to incorporate these when I submit the information for our Foundation Board to review.  I tried doing a simple search to get an idea of how many non-profit organizations were in the metroplex but in return I just got numerous pages of different organizations and charities so easily there has to be over 100 in the metroplex on where I live. If you think of how many food banks there are or how many churches provide services to their members and community than it can easily add up. Blogging alone is great for these organizations but they also need to utilize micro blogging such as Twitter. In the Tao of Twitter the book mentions on how Mark Schaefer was preparing his materials for his seminar for local non-profits and the information was picked up by a Twitter friend and an anchor for the local TV Station. The anchor invited the gentlemen who worked for United Way to come onto the morning show to promote the event. He got to talk about his organization and what they do. That is the power of Twitter, media wants to do coverage or stories that help their community so what better way than to invite a non-profit to talk about their organization and in return they can capture an audience who wants to help and possibly donate or get involved. Non-profits have more power than they think and since all of this is free to use then its best if they utilize it because you never know who you can reach. One organization out in Tyler, TX which is about two hours east of Dallas has a Twitter page and my marketing representative who works in this area found their page. Next thing you know she contacted them and learned what they do and eventually they were nominated to receive a Foundation Grant from our company. I learned this when I called to let them know there were receiving an award and they couldn’t have more grateful to learn about the grant as they would be happy with any amount of money.

Healthcare and Social Media….what are the risks and perks?

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When you think about Healthcare and marketing, do you mainly think of ads in magazines while waiting at the doctor’s office? Or when you may be watching television during the day you see those commercials about Medicare or home programs where you can receive your diabetes medicine? I know before I started to work in the healthcare industry that is mainly what I thought of. I mean if you work full time and receive benefits then you really don’t need to choose a healthcare company, right? Now with the Affordable Healthcare Act and will be active in 2014, healthcare companies really need to start using all their channels for marketing, especially social media. There are a lot of guidelines to follow and the risks such as with the FDA and HIPPA as you can’t reveal any current or previous member information. I am sure lately you have been hearing more ads on the radio for some major hospitals that provide their own network or other major commercial healthcare companies such as Aetna or Cigna. I did some research and I read an article talking about social media and healthcare and how some companies really prefer using You Tube over Twitter or maybe Face book. Twitter you can only post 140 characters and can’t really post videos but you can tweet a link to a video.

Working on the Medicaid side of the healthcare industry my company really wants to brand that they do care about the community and really do care and want to help people who truly need help on providing some things for their families. We partner with local non-profit organizations and sponsor large community events. A big thing for us is back to school, being out in the community almost every day, working long hours helping pass out backpacks and school supplies to families who need it for their children. I know watching a video on how a company is helping and seeing these reactions that would market to me easily. So I can see why You Tube is the most preferred social media channel to use, Twitter and Facebook is just as good as you can use those to tweet the You Tube video or share the video on Facebook. The challenges I can see if on how to get people aware of some of these videos and how to design those to catch someone’s attention as there are so many videos on You Tube, either produced from the company or just by anyone. But with creating ads for social media use, healthcare companies must not use any specific cases or member information so that can be a little tricky but a video like this is a great video for social media on You Tube

Now can you see maybe some risks associated with this video? This video was not made by the company and we don’t know if there were any releases signed for them to post this video as it does have images of the public and people who may of not wanted to be on the video or be on You Tube. Now this is not a negative video by all means but the company couldn’t use it unless knowing all these facts and having the video release forms. It can be used internally but not marketed by the company to use for social media. This following video from You Tube is a TV ad.

The video talks about the rebranding but everything about the company is still there, it doesn’t use any specifics but I feel it can still connect to a viewer who is watching it. If you go to You Tube and look up AmerigroupCorp they have several videos that have made for You Tube and talks about real life stories of members and their disabilities and with the help of Amerigroup they are able to live at home….truly a great video to watch!

Mobile Apps making it easier to get to your information

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A great mobile application is something you can open on your smart phone or even your tablet and be able to access some information you may need right away. People are always on the go, running out the door and forgetting something they may need especially for an appointment. There are so many times when I show up for my doctor visit or even my eye appointment and I don’t have the simplest information that I need to fill out my paper. If you’re a new patient it is even worse when you don’t have your member ID for your insurance and you’re struggling to remember what your numbers are or even for your children. That itself is a headache, to carry a folder around with all the correct information and then you realize it is sitting on your kitchen counter at  home. A great thing about technology, there are mobile apps even ones that can provide your insurance information for you with a simple click to open your app and what you need is right there. The app is so easy to use, you enter your member ID just once and you have an option to save it so next time you open the app you just enter your password and GO! This app you are able to look up providers in your area, check your systems and also a helpful A to Z for healthcare so while you are waiting on your doctor then you can scroll  through the information.amerigroup-mobile-1-1-s-156x156

It’s a great app to have as a member, half the time when I really need to call my insurance company I spend some time browsing through the internet site on my phone just trying to find the right number! This app already has a quick option to give them a call which is great when you want a quick answer.

Other companies have apps out there to help their consumers but for a health insurance company this is definitely a great mobile application to have to their members. People want things to be easy especially when it comes to finding a doctor in their area. If this type of app existed for my healthcare insurance company, it would make it so much easier for me! This time last year I woke up feeling sick but managed to get ready for work and headed off into the traffic, while sitting in my car in rush hour traffic I really started to regret my decision on coming into work so while driving I am trying to use my phone on the browser for the phone number to my doctor’s office. A lone that’s a bad idea but with this app you can see it is easy to search for a doctor and there you go!

If current members start using this app they can easily mention it to their family and friends who may be interested in becoming a member with our healthcare company then it can be a great tool to drive more members. Of course we market this application as well while out in the community but only if people inquire about it first. A great way to spread the word is through our social media outposts such as Facebook and Twitter, those application are highly used on a daily basis and just a simple tweet or post about this app or if new features are added will raise interest in downloading this easy to use application. Definitely a great way to make any business succesful.