Happy New Year! Welcome to 2016. I’m really happy we’ve reached 2016 for a number of reasons. 2015 was a year of a lot of work for me. I decided at about this time last year that I wanted to take the information I had been learning from the Get Social Health podcast and figure out a way to share that knowledge with the wider community. Introducing the Get Social Health Academy.

In particular, I was very interested in applying the lessons I learned from my podcast guests to helping the small healthcare practice. In speaking with my guests, one of the things I learned was how hard it was to get up to speed on social media once they decided to engage. I began to ask questions of other healthcare professionals, including my own physicians and asked them what they thought of social media. Many were still very focused on the day-to-day operations of their practices. However, they also recognized that social media was a force to be reckoned with.

As a career marketer, I have always been very engaged with local business owners. Through my work with Get Social Health, it became clear that physicians, health care professionals, allied health fields, and other professionals were really small businesses. The problem is they don’t have traditional business training and very little marketing expertise. If marketing were the same as it was 20 or even 10 years ago that might not be such a big problem because any number of people could help the healthcare practice market their businesses.

Unfortunately, with the rise of digital marketing, there’s a new set of skills and knowledge that are needed to successfully present any business, let alone a healthcare business, online. Just as I would never dream of giving medical advice, I recommend the same to healthcare providers when it comes to the nuances of digital and social media. Indeed, there’s so much to learn and to know that I don’t even try to know it all. What I do try to know is who to ask when I have a question.

social media for healthcareThe Get Social Health podcast has been an immeasurably valuable tool for me and I hope my listeners to learn new concepts in digital marketing, social media trends, and tactical ways to take advantage of all of this knowledge for the local practice or hospital.

To prepare for this podcast, I updated my spreadsheet of guests and categorized them because I assumed that I had an imbalance in the variety of content that I was presenting or at least not enough information in some of the areas I would really like to focus on in 2016. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the podcast topics and guests were extremely well-balanced. If you’ve been a listener from the beginning or went back and listened to all of the previous episodes (and I only recommend you do so if you have a long plane ride so you can get some rest), you would hear a nice balance of subject matter.

When I started the podcast in June 2014 through the end of 2015 my guests fell into about six categories; physicians or nurses who are active in social media, entrepreneurs, digital strategists or medical futurists, agencies that specialize in healthcare clients, and very tactical programs on how to use specific social media platforms. That’s very similar to what I would like to present in 2016.

My goal for this year is to provide content in for subject areas. First, “The Big Picture”. These podcasts would feature guests who have their eye on the 20,000-foot level perspective of healthcare and/or social media. I’ll be inviting guests who are looking farther down the road than we might be. They could be innovators, entrepreneurs, digital strategists, physicians, or medical futurists. I’ll be asking them what they see in the future of healthcare and how social media may play a part. Now, in healthcare long-term might be the end of the year, or it could be farther down the road. We’re looking for new ideas, innovation, and disruption. It’s always good to take a look up from the grindstone every now and then and get a sense of where we’re headed.

The biggest objection I hear most frequently for healthcare providers entering social media is either lack of time or concern about violating HIPAA. The first is something that can be managed and I’ll be talking about that in just a moment. With regard to HIPAA compliance, it has more to do with education, training, and providing the tools necessary so the mystery of HIPAA is abated. Yes, we may be talking about some negative news regarding HIPAA compliance. And there are unfortunate things that happen every day that impact privacy laws and patient confidentiality. But when you consider the millions of patients who are seeking care every day, the actual HIPAA violations are relatively rare, therefore, we’ll be facing those discussions straight on and providing information so you can be forewarned and forearmed.

The next subject we’re going to cover is very tactical. I’ll make sure that we have a series of podcast guests who know and understand how to use social media in everyday use. Strategy is all well and good, and essential, however once the strategy is set the real challenge of social media is keeping up with the changes and making sure that the content you spend the time and to create or buy is effective. Our guests may represent ad agencies that work in the healthcare space, practicing physicians, nurses, or other health professionals or social media strategists managing current healthcare social media accounts.

Since I’m the podcast host I reserve the right to change my mind adding anything else I feel like and otherwise present content I think you’d be as interested in as much as I am. (I wouldn’t be a marketer if I didn’t have a disclaimer.) While I’m very honest about using the podcast to find guests to educate me I also want to provide you with great discussions and interesting educational opportunities. Therefore, I need to hear from you. Please reach out to me at Janet@getsocialhealth.com or visit my website getsocialhealth.com where you can send me a contact form or even leave an audio message via the speakpipe app on the right side of the home page.

To give you a flavor of what’s coming up in 2016 I’ve gone back to some previous podcast interviews and pulled out a few selections. In addition, I’ve been taking social media tips from conferences podcast guests and social media get-togethers and will also present some of those in this episode.

I also encourage you to visit the website to review the show notes for every episode. My guests would be happy if you would follow them in their social media profiles or connect via LinkedIn. Just tell them I sent you. So without any further ado let’s get some great healthcare social media advice from the guests on Get Social Health.

My guests on this podcast are:

So, there you have it. A little sample of what 2016 has in store for you. We’re going to focus on the big picture, marketing and social media strategy, content for your social media sites, blogging, and the tactical execution of social media. Plus a few treats thrown in.

Get Social Health Academy
At the beginning of the podcast, I mentioned that 2015 was a year of hard work. And I’ll admit it, it wasn’t easy. But I will admit it actually was fun. What I created in 2015 was a new platform called the Get Social Health Academy. During 2015, I learned a lot of new things myself. I learned about website development, online learning programs, how to develop online courses, photography, videography, editing, and much more in order to create an online learning platform. The Get Social Health Academy is a series of online courses in social media for healthcare specifically designed to help the small healthcare practice or healthcare professional who wants to get up to speed in social media. I’ve been delivering webinars and workshops for a number of years and through that experience created five courses of core content for social media in healthcare.

In addition, I’ll be launching a new course every month in 2016 that will go deeper into some of these general topics. I could talk all day about these subjects, however, that’s not what you’re here for so I just invite you to visit getsocialhealthacademy.com and take a look around. I also invite you to contact me if you have any questions or have specific subjects that you’d like me to cover in future courses.

I would also like to mention that the courses have been designed for individuals or for Healthcare Associations or advertising agencies to use as member or client education. If you’d like information on how to become an affiliate of Get Social Health Academy or to purchase the courses in bulk I’d love to hear from you.

I can’t thank you enough for listening to the podcast, tweeting out the episode information, commenting or sharing in LinkedIn and all the other ways that you have shown support for the podcast. I look forward to bringing you a lot more interesting and informative and engaging conversations in 2016.

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