The Benefits of Patient-Centered Social Networking

In this day and age of social networks and high speed internet, it’s hard to believe there was an era when this didn’t exist. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn etc. have been embraced by businesses worldwide to connect with their employees, potential customers as well as partners. Similarly, the Healthcare industry has also been impacted by the power of social media and the internet as a whole. In 2014, the Journal of Medical Internet Research revealed that approximately 95 percent of hospitals had an official Facebook page and 50 percent were active on Twitter.

A tweet regarding the Zika virus, from a credible source like Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, spreads more rapidly than the virus itself. People now seek information regarding an existing or potential health condition, through blogs, forums, personal experiences of others and reviews of physicians. Even when facing some initial troubling symptoms, the first reaction generally is to Google symptoms and find out the intensity of the illness, its kind, and remedy even before contacting a local physician. These sources of information are used actively by patients for psychological comfort, education on the disease and care advice. For instance, patients suffering from chronic diseases such as cancer may use the social network for advice on self-care, expectations when undergoing treatment, comparing experiences with others, precautions, psychological support, exercise and diet. This helps them mentally prepare to deal with the ailment, as well as evaluate and analyze the care received from their doctor.

The rising trend of a more patient-centered and value-based care has also increased the importance of patient reviews and personal stories, to providers themselves, primarily because of the insight it gives into the experience of the patients. Taking these reviews into account, practices can improve their service provision and attract more patients. This data is also being used for research to analyze patient thinking patterns. California based researchers studied the Afghanistan and Iraq veterans through their activities on social media and text messages communication. This helped customize care provision according to the patient’s mental state in order to make it more successful and derive better results. In fact platforms such as ‘PatientsLikeMe’ monetize by selling information to clinicians and researches that patients share online. This aids in developing new medicines, equipment, services, understanding the illness in more depth as well as approaching treatments from a new perspective. Boston Children’s Hospital believes Twitter is a potential source of quality measurement and is currently researching the extent to which patient data could be used in real time.

There are also a few challenges the healthcare industry faces due to social media. The most critical one being quality control. The information that is being shared may be inaccurate and potentially misleading, which can have dire consequences if spread amongst the masses. A disease affects individuals differently; diagnosis and prescriptions differ from patient to patient. Even though some forums and communities now site references of the shared content, lack of factual data that doesn’t come from medical professionals can have adverse effects if misinterpreted.

Moreover, discrimination in terms of potential employment and insurance coverage may also occur. The same social media networks, e.g. Facebook and Twitter are also used for entertainment, posting pictures and daily interactions with friends and family. Updates by patients, doctors and clinics that can potentially reveal a patient’s identity along with their medical condition, will have an impact on the decisions made by the patient’s current or potential employer. Irrespective of these challenges, one cannot deny the positive effect social media has had on communication between patients, support groups, care providers and researchers.

How To Boost Your LinkedIn Profile In Search Results

Making sure your profile can be found on LinkedIn® is super important because you are one of 249 MILLION people vying for profile attention. Today, when we think of finding something, we think of Google or any search engine where we know our needle in the haystack item is just a search button-click away. You, essentially, are an online product on LinkedIn® (just like items you search for on Amazon). You are a professional brand. A professional brand is no good to you unless you are positioned in a way that allows you to be searched (and found). On LinkedIn® (and any search engine), this requires basic knowledge of SEO.

What is SEO, you ask?

SEO stands for “search engine optimization” or simply: the art of being found amongst all the internet clutter. It’s what determines where you appear or rank in the search results. Are you on page one of the results, toward the top? (YAY)! OR are you on page 35 (you know it as the page you never get to when you’re trying to find the best online results).

Why is SEO important for LinkedIn®?

SEO is super important for LinkedIn® because if you think about it – the only purpose for being on LinkedIn® is to find or be found. And quite honestly, when it comes to the job search, the only thing better than having to apply for a new job (increasing sales, becoming an industry influencer, insert your goal here) is being found by a hiring manager, startup, client, key contact, or recruiter.

How does SEO work on LinkedIn®?

Where you rank in LinkedIn® search results is based on your relevancy to the searcher. (Take a moment to digest). This means even if you and I performed the exact same keyword search, our results would be entirely different. So being relevant to many searchers on LinkedIn® is important.

What can you do to boost your LinkedIn® relevance?

Knowing how to be relevant on LinkedIn® is important for SEO and is also fairly simple to apply. Even if you don’t understand SEO in full, there are 4 simple steps to becoming more relevant in your LinkedIn® profile SEO.

1. Complete Profile

Your profile must be 100% complete. A complete profile is indicated in the status bar on the top right side of your profile page.

2. Add Skills

Skills can be added towards the bottom of your LinkedIn® profile and are important because many people search for LinkedIn® members using skills keywords. While you can add as many skills as you want it’s important to have a minimum of 3 (for profile completeness). It’s also important to keep your most valued skills towards the top of the list as these will be the skills that are pushed out to your contacts for endorsements. The skills with the greatest number of endorsements will make you more relevant when searched by the particular skill keyword.

3. Connect to People (2nd and 3rd Degree Connections Count)

When searching for contacts based on keywords, part of the way results are ranked is associated with the degree of connectivity to the searcher. Therefore if you are a first degree connection with someone, you will likely appear higher up in the results. The same goes for 2nd and 3rd degree connections. The larger your network, the more relevant you become so the best strategy is to to connect and keep on connecting so you can grow your network as large as possible.

4. Use Standard Job Titles

Last but not least you should use standard job titles when creating the “Experience” section of your profile. Similar to skills keywords, title keywords are also a popular way to search for LinkedIn® members. For example, if you have a standard title like “Accountant” it’s likely you will do well when another member searches keyword: “Accountant.” However if you have a more creative or less standard title like some of the titles used at startups, it’s unlikely that the average LinkedIn® member will think or even know to search for your specific title. For example I just came across someone at a newer company, with the title, “Customer Coach.” Now it’s likely they are serving the role of Customer Service or Support. If I were to try and find someone to recruit for my Customer Service team, and this Customer Coach was the absolute perfect fit, I might never find her profile given the creative title.

So take a moment to brush up your relevance factor and rest assured that you’ll be on your way to a more optimized profile.

Why It Is Important to Do Social Networking for Your Business

Social networking seems to be the most unnoticed part when marketing your business and a lot of people don’t fully understand why it is important. To clarify why it is vital here are some reasons.

In this century people dedicate most of their time to their phones. Although it isn’t recommended to use light emitting objects for a long period of time, people still tend to glare at their phones often. However, this is the reality that we live in, so we have to roll with the punches. This time that people spend on their phones is valuable and marketing specialists can use it to their advantage. Be sure that you know who your target market is so that you can post specifically for them. They may feel that you are directly speaking to them.

A business needs to keep its customers involved when it comes to its products and services. One would not want to spend most of their time on the phone with multiple people sharing the same advert or post. You can post something on a social network that is informative regarding a service you provide.

It is cheaper and easier to post adverts on the internet instead of paying a lot of money for a billboard on the side of the road. With a social network post, people can easily see what your business is all about and can ask questions directly.

Social networking also gives customers and clients more interaction with your business page and you. People will believe that you care about your clients more and are willing to answer their enquiries.

The recent generations are difficult people to satisfy. They are expectant of so many crazy and new ideas and refuse to do things “old school”. This may seem hard to conquer but you know well that the majority of this generation will only want to view products on a phone or computer. As long as it is displayed on a screen, they are happy.

A New Information Market

It is always great to buy something! Who doesn’t appreciate this specific state of fulfillment, just after a closed deal? It’s not so much the item itself that generates it, rather than the facet of ownership which pleasures us in some fascinating way. Unfortunately, in my particular case, that feeling used to be quickly overwritten by a state of devastating disappointment. There was always someone who felt the need to let me know that he or she found exactly the same thing to a better price. For that reason I learned to look the other way when I sense the chance to receive information which I really should have had the day before yesterday. This method allows me to balance my mood stages inside acceptable parameters.

Avoiding exposure to information may be a suitable technique for one or the other when it comes to arrangements circling around the private life. With regards to entrepreneurship, it really isn’t. Being able to obtain relevant information, and to use it earlier than others, is key to success. Therefore it’s one of the main challenges every startup and even established enterprises deal with every day. The conditions for this kind of race, however, are very different to an athletic competition. Some are always more privileged than others when it comes to receiving the right answers.

Throughout the years of analyzing small and large business development, I came to find out that running a successful company is rarely associated to great and innovative ideas, or exceptional drive for achievement. In most cases the path one chooses in life is mainly a consequence of circumstances which are heavily influenced by the given environment one finds himself encapsulated in. This transfers also into the professional world.

If you think of restaurants in large cities, – real restaurants, not franchise fast food places – you’d probably agree that certain establishments appear to exist since your childhood, while multiple others open and close, never to be heard of again. Admittedly this can be associated to a diversity of causes and effects. Nevertheless, if we leave out the variables and stick to constant conditions, one characteristic always stands out. That one apparently makes the difference. Successful gastronomes’ usually maneuver inside a sophisticated network. They either constructed it over years themselves or simply took it over from a family member. This structure usually consist of: wholesales experts, suppliers, transport and logistics individuals… you name it. They spend a significant portion of their time communicating inside that network. Consequently they stay informed about what quality products are currently available to what price. How quickly they can get those, and what’s the outlook for the next days or weeks with regards to the availability of transportation, personal, storage and so on.

If you came that far through the text, you may or may not remember what I initially suggested to be the ‘key to success’ factor for any entrepreneur. Correct! It’s the ability ‘to obtain relevant information, and to use it earlier than others’.

Now, while the little restaurant example is meant to illustrate the first part of the statement, let’s focus on the second; -the using it earlier than others portion.

It shouldn’t come to anyone’s surprise that also here communication is the fundamental enabler. Once we identified what we can get, where, and from whom for the best price, it’s essential to let those peers know that we want it. Right? After this has been achieved, the next step would be to advertise the availability of our products or services to a potential customer target group. The restaurant owner with his great network of friends is again in a very convenient position. He already knows who he is going to address. Hungry people in the area. He puts out a sign or two and lists his current offers in the menu. In general Startups are hardly as lucky. During launch or reinvention stages it’s more frequently the case that businesses need to feel out to their main customer base. Even with a great concept in place, that’s not easy. Often it actually takes more time than little companies can afford.

The internet helps with that. Search engines, social networks, open source market studies… , all of these things make it a bit easier. However, everybody who ever tried to come to the ground of specific information that would drive the revenue upwards, knows how hard it is to get a hold of such info. A Facebook friend doesn’t always react as friendly anymore ones you start asking questions that relate to his or her internal business procedures. The LinkedIn CV expose of a product manager or engineer doesn’t help you much further with most of your questions either.
To summarize it: Valuable information is tough to obtain, because it is not different from any other precious item. People don’t want to give it away for free.

It appears as if currently available social networks don’t address this just yet. We are missing a platform that allows to target specific information needs. Entrepreneurs want to build networks which allow them to either get valuable information or to provide it. The reliability of sources should be tracked by rankings or references. No one likes to be flooded with useless data. The most loyal business partner is that one who benefits from a relationship. We refer to it as mutual benefits realization. Both, the providing and the receiving party should realize whether they are the right individuals for a partnership quickly.

It is to be expected though, that there will be some kind of digital information market on the web. Just like any other marketplace, users will find what they are looking for, validate quality, discuss prices and eventually agree on a transaction method in order to finally close their deals.

Eventually there will be no need to look the other way anymore. No reason to be second or third in line.

What Is The Meaning Of The Internet To Internet Users?

The internet has given us many favours and it has also connected us with the worldwide audience. We can do many things on the internet today. We can search information on any topic on the internet with the help of search engines. We can see and share thousands of pictures on the World Wide Web. We can watch popular videos on cyberspace. We can buy & sell a variety of things online and we can also start a small-scale business by making the most of the internet.

Today, the most popular resources on the internet for internet users are: search engines, web portals, social media, online stores, and personal websites.

Search Engines: Search engines help online users to find relevant information from the web. Users on the internet can find in-depth information on any topic, search images, see videos, and also find answers to questions they seek with the help of search engines. The most popular search engines are: Google, Baidu, and Bing.

Web Portals: Web portals help internet users to read information from diverse sources compiled in the same place. Users online like to read news on web portals and often log in to their mails through internet portals. Yahoo! and Bing are famous web portals.

Social Media: Internet users like to do many things on social media. Social media aid the internet users to chat with people worldwide, encourage them to post and share social posts, and also provide tons of resources to them for creating an extraordinary profile. Many business owners are taking full advantage of social media today and promoting their businesses. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn are very famous social websites.

Online Stores: Online stores allow online users to buy and sell almost anything online. Many online users like to do shopping online. Internet users can buy a wide variety of things that may interest them from online stores, hence prefer to shop online. Online stores also offer people the opportunity to sell things they like and help them earn a good sum of money. Amazon and eBay are the most famous online stores today.

Personal Websites: Personal websites open doors for internet users to make a huge sum of money online. Many internet users are doing an online business today through their personal websites and earning a huge return from their online investments. Affiliate marketing, online retailing, web designing, logo designing, application development, and online writing are very lucrative online businesses today.