Platform 5: This week’s most important social media changes (edition 108)

Platform 5: This week’s most important social media changes (edition 108)

This week’s 5 most important social media changes

What’s changed in the last seven days? What does it mean?

Facebook’s new Local app, updated ad optimisation and more Stories distribution. There’s extra visual search on Pinterest and following Instagram hashtags.

Let’s take a look at these changes in more detail.

Facebook unveils new and improved Local app

This latest offering from Facebook is an updated version of its Events app, which will connect users with places and events areound them based on categories (e.g. sport,food,shopping). With users able to filter results by categories such as relevance, distance and rating, it’s never been more important to have your ratings in top shape on Facebook and your profile complete and up-to-date.

Read more here.

Instagram testing hashtag follow feature

If this test works out, people / profiles won’t be the only thing you can follow on Twitter. Instead, like using Twitter on platforms like Tweetdeck, you’ll be able to follow hashtags to stay up-to-date with specific topics and interests. If your brand’s hashtag game isn’t on-point on the platform, now’s the time to review and update to ensure your content’s included in these hashtag feeds (assuming, of course, the feature rolls out globally in the months ahead).

Read more about the test here.

Facebook’s new ad option

Advertisers just got a new Facebook tool. Aptly named Campaign Budget Optimisation, the tool will automatically allocate budget to the highest performing ad set once the campaign budget is set, meaning total campaign spend is optimised and not spent unnecessarily on under-performing ad sets within a campaign.

More about Campaign Budget Optimisation here.

Pinterest now has 3,000 visually searchable categories

The platform this week announced updates to its Lens and Visual Search capabilities, including a QR code style tool called Pincodes which will allow users scan direct from a code through to a board. It’s a timely reminder of the importance of visual search for brands in their content marketing strategy.

More on updates to Pinterest Lens and Visual Search here.

Facebook expands Stories

Brace yourself, Facebook Stories are coming to your newsfeed. The updated version of Stories launched this week and it’ll allow Stories to be linked to Events, Pages and Groups. It’ll also start delivering these Stories (including those from Instagram and Messenger) to the top of your Facebook feed – another opportunity to get timely, daily snapshots out to your community.

Read more here.

Follow us on Twitter for news of these social media and content marketing changes as they happen.

Platform 5: This week’s most important social media changes (edition 105)

Platform 5: This week’s most important social media changes (edition 105)

This week’s 5 most important social media changes

What’s changed in the last seven days? What does it mean?

Facebook’s Explore Feed and new group admin features, LinkedIn unveils smart replies, Twitter’s ad transparency centre and Instagram announces Live Guests.

Let’s take a look at these changes in more detail.

Twitter increases ad transparency

In the wake of the ongoing investigation into how social media advertising impacted the 2016 US Presidential Election, Twitter has announced it will launch a new transparency centre in coming weeks to provide greater transparency over all ads on the platform. It will cover how long ads have been running, overview of advertising creative, ads targeted to you and the personalised information available from your profile which impacts ads you’re eligible to be targeted for.

Read more about the new transparency centre here.

Facebook expands new Explore Feed

Is this the end of organic reach? As part of its new Explore Feed, Facebook is exploring whether to make this the place to receive posts from all pages – not just those you aren’t connected to. While organic reach has been dwindling for years and the ‘pay to play’ mantra for brand content has increased, any permanent switch to this Explore Feed set-up could spell the end of organic reach for good and shake up paid strategies even further.

Read more about the trial of Explore Feed here.

LinkedIn smart replies

LinkedIn wants to help you keep the conversation going, unveiling its smart reply feature which will suggest phrases to keep you chatting. These predictive phrases will help improve the messaging function on mobile and tablet, ultimately aiming to help LinkedIn built its market of professionals using its messaging service. It also signals the platform’s commitment to trialing Artificial Intelligence technology and how it can improve user experience.

Check out more about smart replies in LinkedIn Messaging here.

Facebook group admins get new features

LinkedIn isn’t the only platform looking to improve dialogue this week. Facebook has launched new group admin features this week to help admins communicate with and build their communities. A new welcome post feature will help admins welcome new members, admins will be more readily identifiable, and group-specific profiles based on publicly available information will help group members learn more about each other in the hope that this will foster more and greater connections.

Read more about the features and how they’ll impact your in-group experience here.

Instagram extends Live Guests access

Instagram has rolled out its Live Guests feature to all users. Aimed at young users and the increasing popularity of Instagram Live, the function will allow users to invite anyone who’s watching to join the chat. For now, you’ll only be able to go live with one other person at a time – though you can change who that person is mid-stream.

View the full announcement and additional features from Instagram here.

Follow us on Twitter for news of these social media and content marketing changes as they happen.

The top 5 takeaways from #MayoInOz Summit: Day Two

The top 5 takeaways from #MayoInOz Summit: Day Two

Following the number of great insights from day one of #MayoInOz Healthcare and Social Media Summit 2015 yesterday, I was delighted to learn just as much on day two.

A summary of the top 5 takeaways from the second day of #MayoInOz:

1. Social Media is too important to leave to one person

It’s impossible to expect somebody who fulfills a full time job to carry out the additional roles of a social media manager. Simon Trilsbach from Hootsuite highlighted the importance of social media responsibilities being too important to leave to an intern. Today, social media is imperative to an organisations sales department, human resources, marketing, customer care and even an organisation’s CEO. It’s about creating meaningful relationships. You want someone you truly trust who understands your company values and ethics who can uphold them across a range of social platforms. Give someone the responsibility to actively listen and understand the sentiment of what people are saying about your organisation. Social media should sit alongside your other marketing tools and complement them. It is too important to leave to one person, let alone the intern.

2. Find your brand voice through storytelling

The key for getting social media to work for your brand is knowing your brand voice. Marketing and Digital Strategy Manager, Epworth HealthCare, Kristina Garla, suggested that organisations should identify their character archetype to help find and balance their brand voice. Each archetype will differ depending on the social media platform you occupy. Your brand shouldn’t talk at people. A great way to get around seeming patronising as a brand is to adopt the storyteller approach. Be brave with your brand voice and take on different voices, as the archetype approach allows.


3. Don’t underestimate the power of Social Media communities

The afternoon sessions by Jen Morris, Russell McGowan, and Deborah Warrington-Love, demonstrated the strength of emotive online communities. The influence of like-minded people sharing their patient journeys, questions, and concerns can hold immense force. A big part of intersecting patient-doctor life lies in reciprocal didactic communication. There needs to be open dialogue between the patients and practitioners, with a willingness to improve consumer control. Heathcare organisations have the responsibility to look and find these communities where patients are sharing their journeys on various platforms including crowd sourcing research forums and online groups. The strength of social media campaigns was highlighted through the story of Deborah Warrington-Love’s son James. Rare Cancers Australia syndicated the story of James Warrington-Love on social media, resulting in national news coverage and fundraising for the family. Whether healthcare organisations like it or not, patient conversations and campaigns are happening in online spaces. They should not be ignored, and where possible, encouraged to collaborate.

4. In order to regulate, we must educate

It’s important for healthcare organisations and clinicians to realise that medical advertising guidelines extend to social media. How and why AHPRA regulate social media for practitioners in the digital space in Australia must be understood. Healthcare organisations need to be aware of the possible breaches they could be making by leaving a positive review up or possibly even a LinkedIn endorsement. A large part of AHPRA policies and guidelines, including the Codes of conduct for each national board, Social media policy, and Guidelines for advertising regulated health services, mean nothing without a thorough understanding. Education must always be a part of policy regulation. A policy is redundant without the knowledge that a) it exists and b) an understanding of its ins and outs. The use of video and other forms of content to communicate these policies to staff can be pivotal (see the Ramsay Health Care Social Media Policy below). Organisations need to familiarise themselves with their relevant guides.

5. Old truths still ring true

Human connection is just as important today as it was centuries ago, particularly when thinking about growing an audience online. Yes, technology changes. But the timeless principles of communication do not. Digital Media Strategist, Stanford Medicine X ePatient scholar, Marie Ennis-O’Connor, used the principles of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, and applied them to social media community management today:

  • give honest and sincere appreciation (acknowledge every user who reaches out to you online)
  • arouse in the other person an eager want (ask why people would want to read your content and use the power of storytelling)
  • become genuinely interested in other people
  • smile
  • use a person’s name
  • be a good listener (use monitoring tools such as Google Trends and Buzzsumo to listen to patients and influencers)
  • talk in terms of the other person’s interests
  • sincerely make the other person feel important (share quotes, create lists using Listly, and @ mention people)
  • the only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it
  • if you’re wrong, admit it quickly
  • always begin in a friendly way
  • dramatise your ideas (go beyond infographics with gifographics or engaging video)


Thank-you to all who spoke, participated, and helped with the #MayoInOz Healthcare and Social Media Summit 2015.

Be sure to follow @KamberCo on Twitter for more updates on our latest projects, muses, and #PlatformFive updates.

The top 8 takeaways from #MayoInOz Summit: Day One

The top 8 takeaways from #MayoInOz Summit: Day One

Having been the first time in a long time the Mayo Clinic have visited Down Under, it was evident the #MayoInOz Healthcare and Social Media Summit 2015 was going to bring great learning’s, ideas, opinions, and discussions about the digital healthcare space.

With a vast breadth of experience in the room(s) from both the digital and healthcare realms, here are my top 8 takeaways from day one:

1. Social networking is the same as it was 150 years ago, today we just add digital

Director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, Lee Aase, begun the day’s events with a run-down of the history of the Mayo Clinic and its ties to Australia. He explained that in 2015, the Mayo Clinic has received 1.3 million patient visits from 143 countries. Then Aase asked one very profound question – “why do people come to a small corn-field town in Rochester Minnesota?” The answer, simple. It all comes down to social networking. Whether 150 years ago or today, the basic principles of networking haven’t changed. The technology has. Organisations should be adapting to it as professionals in the healthcare space. It’s where conversations are happening and information is being exchanged. The power of social media to healthcare providers and patients alike should not be ignored.

2. Listen, listen, listen

A common theme of day one was listening. Dr Wendy Sue Swanson aka @SeattleMamaDoc spoke about how 140 characters has changed healthcare. She pointed out that yes, today is the age patients are self-diagnosing. Yes, even Google provides differential diagnosis. But this is a great thing – it’s engagement. Patients have more tools and power to go online and research. “The most untapped resource in the health space, is the patient. And now they’re so profoundly connected,” Swanson explained. This behaviour jeopardises the concept of an expert, which leads to the importance of listening to our audience. There is no patient who won’t benefit from sharing knowledge. By honing our listening skills we can better the health space.

3. Don’t ignore the power of video in the healthcare space

The way we consume media has changed, particularly the way young people learn about a subject matter. These young people are the future, and are setting the tone for digital behaviour. Often healthcare videos can be dry using stagnant talking heads and medical jargon. This may be rich in information, but it’s not always the most effective way to communicate. Director of The GroundSwell Project, Kerrie Noonan, shared the 2013 winner of the FilmLife project, demonstrating creative ways for engaging video content aimed at a young audience. Be creative in this space to speak volumes to your audience.


4. Curating content is powerful

The importance of curating content was touched upon by a number of speakers on day one. Dr Wendy Sue Swanson pointed out that “the great art of curation is our [healthcare professionals] job. We need to lend expertise and advice and amplify our experts.” It’s okay to share links and direct traffic elsewhere if it truly is the most accurate and helpful information. By learning from what we listen to online, we can educate by curating information and resources. This is especially important for video. Create relationships with local video producers and communities, and you will double your audience by having them share content with their communities as well as yours.

5. Don’t be intimidated by the possibility of your online reputation being tarnishing

Yes, trolls and negative reviews exist. But the majority of healthcare organisations on social media are surprised that majority of conversations happening about them online are positive, or completely neutral. Having said that, there is still a risk of negative sentiment. Organisations need to be prepared to manage their online reputation. Director of Web & Communications Technology, University of Maryland Medical System, Ed Bennet, explained that you need to be three things:

    1. Reactive: listen and have a good plan in place
    2. Proactive: use the right tools to build trust and authority with your audience
    3. No-active: let your advocates speak for yourself.

Google search yourselves, set up Google alerts, and have a plan for if it does go bad. But don’t let it hinder the online presence of an organisation.


6. Patients aren’t looking for advice, they want information

There’s a lot of information out there, making it vital your content is patient orientated. Consider their decision making process and journey in a particular disease state. Produce, create and distribute content that provides information that supplements particular turning points in the patient decision or disease state journey. This should include SEO and review sites, as well as social media.


7. Social media does not = Facebook

Yes, Facebook is a dominating platform where organisations should be to listen and connect, but it’s not the only one. Know the platforms beyond Facebook where your audience is active, and be creative with the content you publish across each. This includes blogging as an organisation or a professional personality. Seize the opportunity to listen and syndicate your message in these spaces, whether that be a video, a blog post, or an important media release that otherwise would have got lost in a busy news day. And don’t be afraid to add a human element to these. Think that if you had to ask why or how, there’s a possibility others might be asking too.

8. Medical data is changing, we need to change with it

One day, possibly very soon, patients will own their own medical data. With sites like Open Notes, Patients Like Me, and Smart Patients growing, healthcare professionals and communicators need to start thinking of ways to consult into this. Like it or not, this is the future. Dr Wendy Sue Swanson provided a great example with the Seattle Children’s Hospital Digital HealthVirtual Handshake. The Virtual Handshake communicates before, during and after medical visits with curated health information for parents and caregivers. Heathcare professionals and communicators need to be innovative about ways to adapt.

Follow @KamberCo for live updates of #MayoInOz Day Two tomorrow.

How do you define a ‘digital agency’ in 2015?

How do you define a ‘digital agency’ in 2015?

Defining a digital agency in 2015 can be (very) confusing

A couple of years ago I searched far and wide for a (good) definition of the role played by digital strategists.

On the surface you’d think this would be pretty easy, but given the breadth of the digital space it wasn’t at all.

As a result I decided to create my own definition of a digital strategist based on the best explanations I could find (if you’d like to read the post, click here).

Recently, I started asking myself a similar question about the modern-day digital agency – is it something that can be defined?

Again, you’d think it’d be a walk in the park, but you’d be surprised.


Digital, from a marketing and communication perspective can mean a million things, literally.

Below is my attempt to narrow down the ‘million’, or at the very least, provide more context as to why the digital agency definition in not a universal thing.

Digital – a chronological perspective

Where did digital start?

For arguments sake, let’s begin in the mid-90’s when the internet began to surface.

Websites, emails, blogs, online news, search engines – they all entered our lives in one movement.

This led to the first generation of digital agencies, especially ones who recognised very early on that there was money to be made from building websites.

Then, at the turn of the century, the dot-com bubble burst, taking a bunch of agencies with it.

Slowly, digital returned to the fore, with a less manic disposition, and began to create a role for itself alongside traditional communications.

A very significant event took place in 2001 and it changed the direction of digital (and our general lives) forever.

The sad events of September 11 2001 have been cited by one of digital’s most important players, Google, as a turning point in the way we sought our information online.

A 2011 article from Poynter explained that Google recognised that it failed its users by not making information about the 9/11 attacks available in real-time.

This led to the creation of a sub-product that facilitated real-time searches, capturing and serving up content as it was published.

Media outlets also identified the thirst for news on demand and began to invest more in online portals.

Even in the years that immediately followed 9/11, internet access was still a luxury for many which meant it was still not the first port of call.

Consequently, newspapers, magazine, television and radio continued to be the best way to reach people on mass.

Fast forward to 2015 and SO MUCH has changed.

Smartphones, tablets, social media and wearable technology (just to name a few) have been added to the digital basket, widening the need for digital expertise.

The digital agency service list in 2015

The following is by no means exhaustive, but it gives a good idea of some of the services digital agencies offer clients in 2015:

  • Website development
  • Mobile app development
  • Social media marketing
  • Content marketing
  • SEO and SEM
  • Digital advertising, social media advertising, content promotion
  • Digital design
  • Data analsyis
  • Digital PR
  • Blogger outreach
  • Email marketing
  • Digital strategy
  • Online video
  • User experience

It is important to remember, that not every agency offers every service. Not every agency specialises in every area. Not every agency places emphasis on each area equally. Not every agency can afford to be a one-stop shop.

Not every agency began as a digital agency but these outfits now recognise that these services and skills are important to their clients but integrating them can be challenging.

In the majority of cases, the slant of most digital agencies has been determined by the time they were established.

Obviously, the aim for any digital agency is to evolve as the needs of clients evolve, but that isn’t an easy task.

Is it possible to define a ‘digital agency’ in 2015?

In my opinion, it is virtually impossible because there are hundreds of sub-types.

An increasingly popular argument is that every agency IS digital in 2015 and there shouldn’t be any delineation.

The problem with that argument is that the skills involved are not exactly in limitless supply (nor is the experience).

This is not a dig at people who don’t have years of experience in the digital arena, it is just a statement of fact.

Perhaps one day, the term ‘digital agency’ will become obsolete.

All I know, is that it’s a challenging time for businesses as they assess the ways they operate, and the support they have in place, and ‘digital’ is a big reason why.


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