Social Media Updates – July

By: Kelly Hutchinson



Groups for Pages Launched

Facebook pages can now create and link existing groups to their pages. This provides page admins the ability to create ‘official’ groups to avoid other, non-official groups from being set up and disconnected from that business page. More >>

Low-Quality Link Visibility Reduced

A recent Facebook algorithm change will reduce the visibility of low-quality links using AI. This policy and technology is meant to weed out links to spam content, for example, linking to a site where the ad to substantive content ratio is too high.

It is important to note, however, that links to sites with a poor user experience will have reduced visibility in News Feeds, so make sure any external articles or links shared are from up-to-date, credible sources with limited ads. More >>

Description Text on Cover Photos

Facebook is testing text on a cover photo, and as a default, it is pulling that text from the business description in the page information. If a page currently has this capability, there is an option to edit the text’s content (up to 100 characters), but not the design. More >>

Facebook Announces User Growth in Q2

Facebook’s community has grown to 2 billion monthly users, with 1.3 billion people using Facebook and 250 million using Instagram Stories every day according to their Q2 2017 Results. More >>

Pop-Up Messenger Chats

Facebook is testing having a chat window pop up when a user accesses a page via desktops when it is ‘active for chat.’ This feature is not being tested on all pages, and currently there is no way to turn this feature off or on if it is rolled out to a page. More >>

Messenger Display Ads Rolling Out


Facebook is rolling out display ads in messenger to all advertisers. These ads will be shown in the Home tab of the Messenger mobile app. According to TechCrunch, the placements depend on how many threads a user has, the size of their phone’s physical screen and the pixel density of the display. More >>

FacebookCustomAudiencesInstagramBusinessProfileCustom Audience Pulled From Instagram Business Profile Engagement

Facebook is testing a new custom audience feature that ties Facebook ad targeting to user engagement with Instagram Business profiles.

When setting up this feature, the advertiser can set ‘rules’ around the type of engagement (i.e. any engagement vs. only direct message engagement) and a timeframe for how far in the past you want to target users who engaged (i.e. past week vs. past three months).

This feature is not available to all advertisers at this time, but if a facility page has this capability, it could be useful for a more cohesive approach to cross-platform targeting for facilities with a strong presence on Instagram. More >>

Updates to Account Overview Tab in Ads Manager

While it is unclear/unconfirmed on whether this update has been rolled out to all advertisers, Adweek reported the ability to customize KPIs on the dashboards in the Account Overview tab in Facebook Ads Manager. More >>




Twitter User Count Stagnate in Q2

Twitter’s Q2 2017 Earnings Report revealed the lack of user growth for this platform, reporting 328 million total users, the same number reported in Q1. However, results showed a 5 percent year-over-year growth in 2017. More >>



New Metrics and Features Rolled Out

Instagram rolled out the ability to view metrics regarding general account performance, content and follower demographics on the app. Along with these metrics, Instagram introduced the ability to hide comments, or toggle them on and off. More >>

New Comment Filters

In a move to reduce comment-spamming, as well as “certain offensive comments,” Instagram added new comment filter features. More >>


Links Now Available to All Users

The ability to incorporate links into snaps is no longer restricted to advertisers and publishers. Using the paper clip icon (this will appear on the right-hand side once a picture or video is taken) a user can now type or paste in a URL that will pull up the website within Snapchat when tapped.

If any facilities are incorporating Snapchat into their social strategy, it is recommended to take advantage of this new feature in order to drive web conversions and provide another touchpoint for audience engagement.

Snapchat has also added a backdrop feature, where icons and designs can be placed behind the subjects of a snap, and a voice-changer filter for all audio. More >>

Introducing Multi-Snap

Snapchat introduced Multi-Snap, a new feature that allows users to record up to six consecutive 10-second snaps at once. The user simply holds down the capture button, and additional snaps will be recorded in 10-second increments with the ability to edit or delete each via thumbnails that appear in the bottom left. More >>

Social Media Updates – March Part 2

By: Kelly Hutchinson

Facebook: Live Via Desktop & Facebook Stories

Facebook announced last week the ability to now go live on a laptop or desktop computer via a webcam for all users. With this new capability, a user can share their screen and share graphics, images and more. This feature can be accessed through the status update and clicking Live Video.  More >>

Facebook also released Facebook Stories, similar to their recently launched Messenger Day capabilities mentioned in our previous update, but accessible at the top of the News Feed for users on mobile devices as opposed to the Facebook Messenger app.

This Snapchat and Instagram Stories clone operates in a similar fashion, allowing for filters, text and drawings on images and video and allows you to post to your Story or send directly to friends.

Facebook Stories is not available to brands yet, and there is no ad integration for businesses at this stage, however, once Facebook Stories develops a strong user-base, integrating functionality for businesses will probably follow.  More >>

Twitter Updates the 140-Character Reply

Twitter announced yesterday that @usernames in a Tweet reply will not count toward that Tweet’s 140 characters. With these new replies, the user(s) being replied to will appear above the text as opposed to within the Tweet’s text.

This update to Twitter’s “Reply” function allows you to see the conversation better and eliminates having usernames listed at the beginning of a Tweet. This feature also allows you to easily select who you want to reply to within a Tweet conversation.  More >>


undefinedSnapchat Incorporates Stories in Search

Snapchat recently announced that it is expanding the search function to include Stories, not just users. When a user types in a search query, Stories are pulled from “Our Stories,” the localized, crowd-sourced stories portal users can submit their snaps to.

This feature allows Snapchat to join the world of search, better aligning their platform to compete with Google and YouTube, a social video platform that is considered the second-largest search engine.

Snapchat’s Stories in Search feature will be rolling out in select cities, and for now, does not include ads (but stay tuned, I am sure). If this feature is rolled out in your city, and once it is rolled out globally, it is recommended to type your facility’s name into the search to see if there are any related snaps. More >>

Social Media Updates – March Part 1

By: Kelly Hutchinson

In an effort to share timely updates on social media announcements, changes and new features, our team will begin providing a summary of these updates twice a month. For our first installation, we are excited to share some news regarding Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube:

FacebookMessengerDayFacebook Rolls Out Messenger Day Globally

Facebook is now joining in on the 24-hour disappearing media phenomenon. Just like Snapchat and Instagram Stories, Facebook’s Messenger Day feature provides a messaging outlet for users to share customized videos and photos that expires.

This feature was tested in several countries the past couple of months and is now available through the Facebook Messenger app on both Android and iOS devices. However, as there is no Messenger app for Facebook Pages at this time (messages are shared and viewed through the Facebook Pages app) this feature is not available for business pages yet.

Stay tuned to see if and when Facebook adds this functionality to business Pages in 2017 in order to continue competing with Snapchat!  More >>

Twitter Ramping Up Live Video Capabilities

In order to compete with YouTube and Facebook’s recent, and vocal, shift to being a video-first platform, Twitter is opening up its API to include live streaming video capabilities. Twitter has had live video capabilities in the past through Vine and Periscope, but had to redirect users to a separate app to use those capabilities.

If you are interested in utilizing live video capabilities on Twitter, check your profiles next week to see if the live video rollout goes into effect.  More >>

Instagram Launches Ads in Stories

According to Instagram, more than 150 million Instagrammers use Instagram Stories every day, and recent research suggests 70% of Stories are actually viewed with sound on. Due to this strong adoption, Instagram has made moves to monetize that audience by providing businesses with an ad solution.

These new ads are full-screen, one card/media story format with targeting capabilities. Airbnb, one of the companies that partnered with Instagram to test these ads, saw a double digit point increase in total ad recall. These early success metrics show us that Instagram Ads in Stories could be a potential outlet for impactful awareness, perhaps tied to a women’s and children’s services campaign.

However, there are two major negatives to utilizing these ads at this early stage – the ad platform only allows for optimization of reach and currently does not allow you to build in a CTA that directs to a website. However, Instagram has confirmed that these functionalities are coming down the pipeline later this year.  More >>

YouTube is Discontinuing AnnotationsAnnotations

Yesterday, YouTube announced it is discontinuing Annotations on videos due to the capabilities not being available on mobile devices. Overall, annotation interactions have fallen by 70 percent, so YouTube is shifting its focus to Cards and End Screens to provide CTAs and encourage interaction with viewers.

This change will officially take effect on May 2nd, so if your video CTAs are through annotations remember to replace those with Cards and End Screens by that date!  More >>

Three Major Social Media Trends for 2017

By: Kelly Hutchinson

1. More Mobile Video

On average, people in the U.S. spend three hours a day on mobile devices, with 87 percent of that time spent in apps like Facebook and Instagram. According to Facebook’s Q3 Results from 2016, mobile-only monthly active users rose over a billion, meaning that 59 percent of Facebook users access the platform via mobile device. videostat

So what content is being consumed on mobile? Video. One in three consumers watched video on their mobile devices in 2015, and that is projected to rise to two out of three consumers by 2018.

Mobile video viewership will continue to rise across social media platforms, which have already been adapting to accommodate this shift. On the second and third-quarter earnings calls in 2016, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg discussed their company-wide push to become “video first,” shifting focus from text and imagery to video.

With mobile viewership at a steady increase and social media outlets pushing for more video, plan on incorporating mobile-friendly video content into social media outlets in 2017. Not only does video align with online content trends, but recent research from BuzzSumo’s review of 800 million Facebook posts suggests video content was more likely to be shared than any other post types.

>> Live Video

live-reactions-android.pngLive video started building momentum across several social networking sites in 2016. From May-October, Facebook Live usage increased up to 4x, and to further expand live video, Facebook announced in October that users are able to connect live video to their TV via Apple TV or Chromecast.

Facebook is also piloting a Snapchat-like camera feature (that will roll out globally this year) that will allow users to post quick status updates via video, while incorporating additional visual features.

In late November, Instagram added live video with a twist – live video that disappears. This video feature appeals to Instagram’s younger audience, competes with Snapchat and provides a different experience from live video capabilities on other platforms.

On December 14th, Twitter announced the ability to ‘go live’ within the Twitter app, as opposed to redirecting to Periscope, to post real-time video content. While this should boost live-video usage on Twitter, data from January-August 2016 suggests Facebook Live has a higher usage base compared to Twitter’s Periscope usage.

Regardless of which live video platform is most popular, live video will continue gaining ground in the social landscape, presenting an opportunity for brands. According to TechCrunch, Live Video encourages more comments and are watched 3x longer than non-live content.

>> 360 Video

360vidsampoSocial platforms are moving toward Virtual Reality (VR), starting with 360 degree video. Facebook aims to increase use of 360 video, while potentially offering a reach boost to 360 content within News Feeds. Additionally, Twitter announced their 360-live capabilities via Periscope at the end of 2016. Currently, this feature is only rolled out to certain partners and requires a 360 camera.

The popularity and use of 360 video is projected to grow on both platforms throughout 2017 and the coming years, as Virtual and Augmented Reality become more popular and accessible.

Video in any format can be a major asset to a facility’s presence on social media, however, HIPAA regulations have to be factored into all video production. Learn how to keep videos HIPAA compliant from a previous MarketShare post.

2. Social Ad Utilization

Social networks are adapting algorithms to reduce clutter – pushing businesses toward spending ad dollars for visibility as opposed to relying on organic traffic and reach. Each platform has its own native ad capabilities and have proven ROI for brands.

Here are three benefits to advertising on social networking sites in 2017:

  • Targeting: Social networks provide audience-targeting capabilities that permit advertisers to pay only for those likely to be interested in, or engage with, an ad based on the targeting parameters. Whether targeting by behaviors, demographics, geography, interests or all the above, each platform has audience targeting and segmentation that allows you to get as broad and/or niche as needed.
  • Optimized Bidding: Most social media platforms allow you to adjust your bid based upon your business objectives. For example, if the main goal of a Facebook ad campaign is awareness, you have the ability to optimize for reach. On Twitter, video advertising is based on a price-per-view model, optimizing the ad for video views.
  • Affordability: Advertising on most social platforms (Snapchat not included) is affordable and easy to begin, and you can pause and end as needed. For example, on Facebook, you can potentially boost a post to 250 users for $5.00/day.

Many Divisions and facilities have already delved into the world of advertising on social media, and with algorithms limiting business’ organic social reach, there is no better time to test it out if your social strategy needs a boost.

3. Embracing Social Media Direct Messaging

Social networking sites have continually been updating and improving their direct messaging platforms and capabilities. While messenger capabilities are typically used for user-to-user communication, social sites are pushing for brands to utilize this feature to engage directly with their consumers, and vice versa.

However, this is difficult for healthcare facilities to utilize and still align with HIPAA regulations, since conversations with patients need to be taken out of the social setting and into the doctor’s office. Despite this setback, it is crucial to monitor a social profile’s direct messages and be prepared to respond quickly, effectively and within HIPAA’s guidelines (i.e. not revealing any patient’s condition or coverage data online).

If you would like to discuss how to best respond to direct messages on social media, please reach out to the Reputation Management Team here.

Promoting Healthcare Videos on Social Media: 101

By: Kelly Hutchinson

According to a U.S. Digital Future in Focus Report, 7 out of 8 Americans watch online video with more than half consuming video on a daily basis. Looking forward, Google estimates that video consumption will account for 70% of all consumer internet traffic by the end of 2017.

This presents a significant opportunity for marketers to reach consumers with timely, entertaining, relevant videos through the platforms and apps they are viewing these videos – social networking sites.

With users spending more than 43 minutes daily on social networking sites like Facebook, social networks provide a fitting platform for promoting videos.

To guide video promotion on social networking platforms, check out our recommendations, tips and ad opportunities for four of the main social sites below.


> Upload Video File Directly to Facebook

When promoting videos on Facebook, always remember to upload the video file directly to Facebook rather than posting a YouTube link. This allows the video to appear up to 11x larger in a user’s News Feed and enables the auto-play feature.

Posting a YouTube video link, as opposed to directly uploading the video, will share a smaller thumbnail image of the video and creates an extra step for the user.

> Utilize Facebook Advertising to Boost Video Views

Explore Facebook ad options to boost video views if appropriate and beneficial for your video. This social media platform is a good promotion outlet for videos that are more emotional, personal or humorous in nature, but would not be as beneficial for a procedure focused, clinical video. Videos can be used in three different ad formats on Facebook:


  • Single Video ads are the standard video layout. This format is optimal when promoting only one specific video.
  • Carousel ads showcase up to five clickable images or videos for the user to scroll through within a single ad unit. This format is best for showcasing a series of short videos, or alongside other imagery creative from a marketing campaign.
  • Canvas ads use a combination of media types, like videos, still images and call-to-action buttons, to convey a sponsor message as an interactive, seamless experience on mobile devices. Similar to the Carousel ads, this format would be most beneficial for a marketing campaign that tells a story through creative assets.

Tip: When looking at Facebook metrics, a video view is counted each time a user views a video for at least three seconds.

Click here to learn more about video advertising on Facebook.



> Share Short Videos

Since Twitter focuses on providing an outlet to share information in a clear and concise way, it is only recommended to promote short, 10-30 second videos on the platform, even though Twitter permits videos up to 140 seconds in length.

> Upload Video File Directly to Twitter

As with Facebook, it is recommended to directly upload videos as opposed to linking to them off-site. It is important to note that a video upload does not count toward the 140-character tweet limit. Uploaded videos will automatically play in Twitter feeds and timelines without sound, but will expand and unmute when a user taps on the video.

> Utilize Twitter Advertising to Boost Video Views

Twitter video ads can help boost video views and benefit marketing campaigns and initiatives. Here are a few things to note about Twitter video ads:

  • According to Twitter, nearly 90 percent of all Promoted Videos are viewed on mobile devices, so it is key to optimize videos for mobile.
  • Communicate a video’s message in the first 15 seconds of a promoted video.
  • An advertiser has 116 characters of tweet copy, 70 characters for the video title and 200 characters for a video’s description. Incorporate crucial keywords and compelling tweet copy to encourage users to tap into a video.
  • Advertisers can add a call to action to a video – “Visit site” and “Watch Now”.

Tip: When looking at Twitter metrics, a video view is counted each time a user views a video for at least three seconds.

Click here to learn more about Twitter video ads.



  • This Facebook-owned platform should not be disregarded by healthcare marketers when promoting highly visual, compelling and emotional video content.
  • This social platform is not recommended for clinical or procedural videos.
  • The maximum video length permitted is 60 seconds, and uploaded videos will automatically play without sound in an Instagram feed until tapped.

> Utilize Instagram Advertising to Boost Video Views

Here are three considerations when promoting a video on Instagram via video ads:

  • Instagram ads will not appear to people viewing Instagram on a desktop computer  (this is a low number of users).
  • There are two formats for video ads on Instagram – Video (single videos) and Carousel (multiple videos and/or images).
  • By default, Instagram automatically optimizes ads and shows them to people who are more likely to view a video.

Click here to learn more about Instagram video ads.



This Millennial-centered social platform is a trendy channel to promote video content. According to Snapchat, its content reaches 41 percent of all 18-34-year-olds in the U.S. in a given day, compared to only 6 percent on average reached through TV networks. So how do brands use it?

For healthcare facilities, Snapchat provides a way to connect with young consumers and build brand awareness.

  • This video platform is ideal for Q&A’s with providers, fast health tips and showcasing the personality of a facility and its staff.
  • Posts to Snapchat, called snaps, come in 10-second maximum increments, but up to as many increments as uploaded. For example, if more time is needed, a user can post a series of snap videos that vary from 1-10 seconds, but flow from one snap to the other, appearing as one longer video with micro pauses.
  • Snapchat does not allow videos to be uploaded without the “from Camera-roll” format and designation. Regular video uploads are only available to advertisers. Instead, brands have to record video that posts directly to the brand account’s Story. This means videos cannot be edits, so are more casual in nature .

> Utilize Snapchat Advertising to Boost Awareness

If existing video assets would be a good fit for the Snapchat audience, Snapchat has advertising opportunities to promote video content and engagement. Snap Ads combine a full-screen video ad with direct response, as it is intended for a user to swipe up on an ad to reveal additional content, like a longer video, an informative article or a website. Snapchat has seen a 5x higher swipe-rate over average click-through rates on other advertising platforms.

Click here to learn more about Snapchat video ads.

For more information and resources about promoting your facility’s videos online, contact the Marketing and Digital Services Team.

The New PMP: 5 Things You Need to Know

By: Kelly Bodell


We’ve heard you, and we’re making a change!

Promote My Practice has an exciting update – the Marketing and Digital Services team will now be centrally managing all online profiles, which includes updates for existing profiles and claiming requests for new practices, providers or locations. While Promote My Practice is our Physician Services Group online marketing brand and encompasses many services – including resources on online marketing and social media Best Practices, toolkits, newsletters, blog posts, etc. – our Online Marketing Training Program was a significant offering within that brand.

With the announcement of our listings management implementation, we have received a lot of questions about the Promote My Practice program and where it stands. The program itself is still active, and our team will continue to assist with questions and best practices in regard to online listing and social media sites. The biggest change to the program is the retirement of the Course 100, 200 and 300 offerings.

5 Things You Need to Know:

  1. Practices will no longer enroll in a five-week course to learn how to claim listings – all basic online profiles will now be centrally claimed and managed.
  2. New practices or new Practice Managers will no longer participate in a structured Promote My Practice course to receive training on claiming/updating listings, since all listings will be managed centrally.
    • We will be launching a new 1-hour Healthstream Training Session this summer specifically for new practices/new managers to learn how our team is managing online profiles and the new process for submitting updates. Stay tuned for more updates on this online course.
  3. All passwords to existing online profiles have been updated with new credentials and will be maintained by one source, eliminating any Practice Manager transition or login issues.
  4. Yext – a listings management vendor – will also continuously monitor and update any additional profiles that are created on online listing websites (including other 3rd party websites, such as Yahoo, not covered in PMP).
  5. Course 200 – our Facebook course – has been paused this year due to leadership prioritization of centralized listings management. If you are interested in managing a Facebook page for your practice or taking action on an unclaimed page that exists for your practice, we will assist with page setup and share training materials, Best Practices and resources to those administering the page.

 How Do I Make Updates to My Listings?

  • All Claiming Requests: If there is a Google My Business, Yelp, Vitals, Healthgrades, Foursquare or Angie’s List profile that needs to be claimed, contact Kelly Bodell.
  • All Profile Update Requests: If any of the above listings need to be updated, please contact Hannah Brown. These two account managers will help with any of your online listing needs and questions.

Our team will continue to update this blog with helpful news, tips and recommendations for promoting your practice’s online presence. The helpful articles in this blog will be summarized in our PSG Social Media and Online Marketing Updates email, which will now be sent quarterly. If you would like to be added to the email list, please contact Emily Williams.

If you have any additional questions about Promote My Practice and how we support PSG, please reach out to Amanda Short.

Best Times for Businesses to Post Content Online

By: Carla Rivera

In our fast-paced world where content is being posted and shared at rapid-fire speed, how do you capture your audience’s attention?  The truth is that every company is continuously trying to figure this out, some faster than others.  What sets them apart?  Not only having the perfect “sharable” content and the right tools, but also having the right knowledge.  When it comes to social media, this means knowing when to post on each outlet.

You hear it all the time, “timing is everything.”  Posting content at just the right time on social media means reaching a broader audience.  The more people that see your content, the bigger the audience you engage and the more likely they are to share that content, giving you an even wider reach than you initially anticipated.  Did I mention posting on social media doesn’t cost a thing?  You have a free marketing tool right at your hands, so why not use it correctly?!

You may remember a similar post on our blog from May 2014. Remember that statistics on social media are always changing.  Make sure you do your research every year to keep up with the latest trends.

Nora Flint of TruConversion recently released the latest analytics on the best times for businesses to share content on each social media platform.

Here is the breakdown:


Best Time:  1 p.m. – 3 p.m., with Friday being the best day for user engagement.  People tend to be in a better mood on Fridays, too.  Use this day to your advantage!  Facebook also allows you to schedule posts ahead of time so don’t forget use this feature.  And remember that videos are more engaging than any other content, followed closely by status updates, links and photos.

Worst Time:  8 p.m. – 8 a.m.  If your practice is closed outside of normal daytime business hours, then you may not be posting then anyways!

Quick Tip!  Need content?  Share a video you recently posted on your YouTube channel.



Best Time:  12 p.m. and 6 p.m. for a higher CTR, with Wednesdays and weekends being the best days for user engagement.  If you’re looking for more retweets, then 5 p.m. is the right time for this.  Also, weekdays are always a good time to tweet being that most people check their Twitter during office hours.  And even though you can’t schedule tweets, the 140 character limit makes it easy to tweet at any time.

Worst Time:  8 p.m. or later any day, particularly on Fridays after 3 p.m.   Think of nighttime as a “Twitter Break.”

Quick Tip!  Try posting small facts and bits of information related to the most searched medical terms.  You never know who might be thinking of booking an appointment that pertains to something that you just posted.



Best Time:  12 p.m. – 3 p.m.  You will be able to engage more users in the evening, with peak time being from Thursday – Sunday.  If you have content that you’d like to share, make sure you post it towards the end of the work week.

Worst Time:  5 a.m. – 6 a.m., especially Monday – Wednesday.

Quick Tip!  What makes content viewable and sharable?  Just think, what am I expecting to see in this YouTube channel?  More than likely the answer will be: provider bios, practice overviews, educational videos, testimonials, facility tours, provider Q&A’s, etc. Anything informative.

google plus capture


Best Time:  9 a.m. – 10 a.m., with user engagement being higher on Wednesdays.  If you’re going to make a social media post when you first come into work, this should be it.

Worst Time:  3 a.m. – 7 a.m.  Conveniently, this is snooze time for most.

Quick Tip!  Since this platform is perfect for targeting people between the ages of 45–54, this makes a great outlet to share information about your practice, videos, health-related articles, etc.

Check out TruConversion’s infographic for stats on additional social media platforms!