6 Heart Month Contest Ideas For Hospitals


February is National Heart Health Month.  What a great opportunity to engage local communities in contests to promote heart health awareness while increasing the engagement of your social media profiles. For this post, I am assuming that the contests will be facilitated on a social media platform like Facebook, but a contest is also a good way to increase traffic to hospital websites.

Ideas for National Heart Month contests are:

  1. Essay Contest: How Can You Keep Your Heart Healthy? – This is an opportunity to leverage school partnerships by working with local schools for contest submissions. Part of the criteria for submission to the contest should include a Facebook “like”, share, or Twitter retweet for active social media users. This will significantly increase the reach of your contest and improved exposure for your brand.
  2. Heart Month Art Contest – Once again, leverage the school partnerships for participation. Extra incentives can be added like a prize or reward for the most “likes” or shares of an art entry posted to the Facebook page. This gives the students an opportunity to showcase their talents while simultaneously increasing the brand of the hospital.
  3. Photo Contest:  Go Red – Wear Red in the Workplace – This contest will accept photo submissions of coworkers dressed in red that will be added to your hospitals Facebook page. This contest could have other award multipliers like photos with the most number of people wearing red wins a gift card. Or a photo with the most number of “tagged” employees wins a healthy lunch posted to your hospitals Facebook page.
  4. Best Heart Survivor Story – Ask heart disease survivors and family members of those survivors to submit their survival stories and explain what quality healthcare means to them. This would not receive as many submissions as the other contests that would use participation from the schools, but engagement would likely be much higher due to the very personal nature of the submissions. The personal nature is likely to increase comments, likes, and shares, but also demonstrate the quality of care of your hospital and the personal nature of care provided.
  5. Contribute to A Cookbook – Best Heart Healthy Recipe – The goal is for people to submit original heart healthy recipes for a local cookbook or simply that can be shared electronically. This contest is tricky as it could easily be overrun with recipes that are copied and pasted from other sites on the internet which will not be original recipes and that is okay. As with all of these contests, the goal is participation. Just because the recipe is already posted online does not mean that everyone has seen it, so it still adds value. To improve the quality of submissions, the contest rules could require an explanation of what to expect when preparing the recipe. The explanation could also easily copied or fabricated, but it takes more effort.
  6. Sign up for 10,000 Step Challenge – Most hospitals already have some form of 10K step challenge. Sometimes new ideas are not needed if old ideas can be reused and add value. This contest is very simple-  people simply sign up to complete the 10K challenge for 30 days and X number of winners will be drawn at random at the end of heart month. The entrant could receive additional entries by sharing the contest post on social media profiles.

Ideas For Prizes: Gift Cards in the $25-$50 range work extremely well. Increasing the prize award to larger numbers like $1,000 typically do not stimulate much greater participation than smaller amount so if you have the funds, just increase the number of smaller value gifts and increase the number of winers.

How to Administer Contests: After you have selected your contest and worked out implementation details, Woobox is an option that should be considered for contest development and management. Woobox is an inexpensive and feature rich platform that already has templates for most of the social media sites, which and dramatically reduces development and implementation time. Contests can create a lot of attention for a hospital for a relatively small investment, but it is important to establish very tight rules for participant eligibility and work with your legal team for approval. Heart month is arguably the most established and most celebrated months on the healthcare calendar and taking advantage of all of the other organizations that will be promoting different elements of heart month campaigns will prove to be rewarding for proactive hospitals.

Are there any other contest ideas that have been successful or are good ideas that are easily implemented?

How To Respond To Negative Online Reviews

online-reviews-dashboardThe first thing you must do is face the fact that negative reviews happen, whether deserved or not; and your best step is to put in place a professional and intelligent way to respond. There is no question about responding to them, you have to; and here are a few tips for any business manager, client retention manager, or customer service personnel that is involved with handling your online reputation.

First things first, check your attitude at the door

Sure, there are negative reviews that are just so wrong and so inappropriate (not to mention inaccurate) that they make your blood boil, and you want to whip out a few blistering sentences that clearly indicate to the negative reviewer how you feel. That is absolutely he wrong way to respond. That reaction may sound good on a personal level, but if you are representing your company in any way responsibly, you make a terrible mistake by having that kind of an attitude and posting a response the negatively represents your business and your customer service for years to come.

The half-life of an unprofessional response to an online negative review? Years

Search engines have incredibly long memories and an unprofessional response to an online negative review will come back to haunt you for a very long time, likely forever. Not only that, but your responses are there for all of your potential clients to see, so they also get a taste of the lack of professionalism and uncaring attitude you have expressed in your response to a negative online review. Since getting new clients and customers is one half of the business ball game, you must never respond to an online negative review in anger or defensiveness. That is a guaranteed way to drive potential customers away.… Continue Reading …

Healthcare Marketing Weekly Roundup – Volume 1

Weekly roundup of posts related to healthcare marketing that added value or provided quality insight:

Most People are Consumers Not Creators of Social Media Health Content
This post goes into detail about what can be expected from a two-conversation perspective with patients in social media. The findings are that only a small part of patients comments or interact online. The two-way conversation is not quite as big as most believe.

100 healthcare and digital health influencers to follow in 2014
Great list of people across all sectors of healthcare (Pharma, technology, marketing, consultants, etc). Some of the profiles of the 100 are not updated very recently, but worth the add on Twitter for when they may come back. Found some nice updates of people to follow on Twitter and blogs to add to my Feedly account.

Year in Review: The Highs and Lows of Marketing in 2013 Hubspot is arguably the king of content marketing. This led the to have some interesting insights about 2013 that I had not considered. They articulated what I felt last year about social media which is “More Social Updates Than You Can Handle.” Full list is worth the read.

Online Patient Reviews: Power, Influence and Muscle to Grow Even Bigger
“Having a strong presence on online review sites can help you attract new patients, and in some cases even retain existing patients,” concludes, in part, the Software Advice study, How Your Patients Are Using Online Reviews.… Continue Reading …

How Facebook Edgerank Changes Impact Hospital Marketers

How Facebook Edgerank Changes Impact Hospital Marketers

Have you been posting to Facebook on a regular basis, but confused on why your posts are receiving less engagement? The likes, shares, and comments have decreased, but you are posting as often or more than you used to? It is not your content, it’s Facebook.

Facebook recently made a change to their Edgerank algorithm that greatly reduces the number of your existing fans that see you status updates in their newsfeed. In the press release, Facebook uses a slightly confusing statement to explain the change:… Continue Reading …

5 Benefits Of Online Reputation Management For Physicians


Let’s face it, existing and prospective patients use search engines for everything! Almost everyone performs extensive online research before making purchasing decisions. This makes online reputation management absolutely critical to physician practices. Some doctors believe there is a need to be active  on social media to engage patients and respond to patient feedback. While there are some conversations occurring on social media that physicians would benefit from being involved in, my observation is that a majority of physician feedback is on the numerous ratings and review sites- far more than anything happening on social media. Sites like Healthgrades.com, Vitals.com, Ratemds.com, etc. are capturing the sentiments of patients more and more, and new sites are popping up every week. The growing number of rating sites and the strength of those sites in search engine rankings make it imperative to engage in reputation management.

Physicians can reap valuable benefits from managing their online reputation, including having a good understanding how they are perceived when someone searches their name online. Additional benefits include:… Continue Reading …