Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category
Before, small businesses could only offer deals to users once they actually checked-in to their business, but now they will have the capability to offer deals when the app notices the user is nearby their business. Businesses will only pay when someone claims a deal.
Foursquare is planning to roll out the feature this summer after a select few businesses give it a test run.
Foursquare is a great social media platform for your small business to be on and this new feature has the potential to drive more traffic to your business by encouraging users to try new things in their area.
To learn more about Foursquare’s new feature, click here.
Want to see what Twitter has been doing recently for small business? LinkedIn Lead Generation Card
Will your small business be using this feature when it becomes available?
Has your small business created social media accounts but failed in making consistent posts? Watch our Tip of the Week video to learn the importance of consistency on social media and for tips on how to stay on track with your postings!
Hi, I’m Leandra with VISION Marketing & Consulting and welcome to the Tip of the Week.
This week I’ll be talking about the importance of consistency on social media.
A lot of businesses create social media accounts and then neglect them by not posting on a regular basis. It is really important to stay consistent on social media so that when people do come to your page for information, they see that you are ready to engage with them.
One of the ways that you can stay on track with social media posting is by assigning roles to people in your company so they are held accountable and know who should be posting at certain times.
Another way that you can stay on track is to create a social media calendar which allows you to see what will be posting and when.
It is important to remember though that you can’t just be posting anything you want just to be on there, and that you should be posting quality content that is valuable to your target audience and to your business.
For more information how to stay consistent on social media, please follow our blog or connect with us on Facebook!
Did you miss our last Tip of the Week on Value Proposition? Click here!
LinkedIn Navigation Changes
Recently, LinkedIn made changes to the site design and navigation layout for easier access to tools and features for its users. However, there has been some backlash for the overhaul as these changes may be making navigation a bit more confusing and complicated to some users.
Since we understand change can be hard, we wanted to list out the updates to site design and navigation so you know what to expect and what you should be looking for.
1. One of the biggest changes is that the search bar. Previously located on the right side of the screen, it is now located in the center.
2. To choose the search category you would like to search in such as people, updates, jobs, companies, inbox, and groups, you must now click the icon to the left of the search bar for the drop-down menu.
3. Your inbox and notifications are now in the form of icons, located in the top right hand corner. In this same corner you will find your profile picture, which you can hover over for additional options (including LinkedIn Ads).
4. Companies, groups, and influencers are now located under the interests tab.
For more help on navigating your way around the new LinkedIn, click here!
Follow our business page on LinkedIn for company updates, and connect with our Small Healthcare Business Group for discussions to help you with small business marketing!
Are there any features you are sad to see go or any new changes you like better?
Twitter’s Lead Generation Card
Over the past few months, Twitter has been making big moves to cater to businesses – as we’ve discussed in some previous blog posts. This week, Twitter’s latest development for business was providing a new way business marketers can collect user’s personal information from their tweets.
A new feature called the “Lead Generation Card” allows Twitter users to provide additional information such as their name, email address, and twitter handle in exchange for a deal or further communication from a select group of businesses.
These select businesses on Twitter can now collect information from qualified users who are interested in the information the business has to offer.
The “Lead Generation Card” makes collecting lead information easier than ever before, instead of requiring a user to leave Twitter to a separate landing page.
“We are bringing the landing page into the Tweet and it’s essentially pre-filled,” said Twitter Senior Director of Revenue Products, Kevin Weil.
This service is only available to a limited number of businesses at this time, but will be available to small businesses in the near future.
For more information on the Twitter “Lead Generation Card” click here!
Will your small business be trying the “Lead Generation Card” to collect leads once it becomes available?
Local Business shows us how to NOT use social media
Want to know how to NOT use social media? Check out Amy’s Baking Company’s recent social media meltdown. A Scottsdale-based business, Amy’s Baking Company, showed us this past week a perfect example of what you should never do on social media.
The restaurant was featured on Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares, a show that attempts to fix failing restaurants. Amy’s Baking Company asked for help because they had been receiving negative online reviews for years. Just a few minutes into the show and the reason behind the bad reviews became clear.
On top of being extremely rude to their staff, it was discovered that the owners weren’t giving the wait staff the tips they had earned. Instead, the owner would take the tips home every night.
To make things worse, they were out of control when it came to dealing with customers and complaints. They didn’t trust anything customers had to say due to bad reviews on Yelp (which Amy and Samy believed to be all lies). If a customer was unhappy, they would shout profanities and kick them out of the restaurant. In one scene, a customer asks about their food after an hour wait, only to be harassed and kicked out in front of the entire restaurant.
After this episode aired, viewers took to Facebook and other sites like Reddit to voice their disgust of the restaurant owners.
What unfolded from this was one of the worst displays of social media behavior. On The ABC Facebook page, owners Amy and Samy went on a tirade, using all caps and profanities, calling out customers, and sites like Reddit and Yelp. According to their outbursts, they planned on taking legal action against these bloggers and sites.
Days later, they claimed their sites were “hacked” and now have the FBI involved.
Lessons to Be Learned
- Don’t fight back: The customer is always right and it is your job to make sure they are satisfied. If they aren’t satisfied, as the business owner you are obligated to fix the situation, not lash out against them, especially on social media where there is a chance it can be taken completely out of context.
- Own up to your mistakes: Whether or not their Facebook was hacked, instead of owning up to their actions, they have been playing the blame game throughout this ordeal. It is ok to make mistakes, but your business must be honest and own up to them – customers appreciate that.
- Always maintain respectful customer service: Your business must respond to all comments made on social media, good or bad, and it is your business’ job to do so in a respectful manner. Try to not take complaints personally, you can’t make everyone happy all the time.
- Watch how you say it: Do not use all caps or profanities when communicating with your customers – IT MAKES YOU LOOK CRAZY!
To read more about the Amy’s Baking Company social media fiasco, click here!
To watch the full episode of Kitchen Nightmares, click here.
Did you watch Amy’s Baking Company on Kitchen Nightmares? What did you think?
Do you want to increase engagement on Twitter? Are you lacking in Twitter followers? Watch our Tip of the Week video for an easy way to increase engagement by using the Twitter Advanced Search tool!
Hi I’m Leandra with VISION Marketing & Consulting and welcome to the Tip of the Week.
This week I’ll be talking about an easy way that your business can increase Twitter engagement.
Every day, many people use Twitter and ask questions or start conversations, and this presents a great opportunity for your business to get involved by answering these questions and joining in on the conversations.
To get started, you can use the Twitter advanced search tool which allows you to enter in specific search criteria such as industry related keywords or trending topics in your area, and by using the information that this tool pulls, you can then start engaging, joining in on the conversations, and even seeing what people are saying about your business in your area.
This is a great way for your business to be seen by a new Twitter audience and to showcase the knowledge that you have of your industry.
Did you miss our last Tip of the Week? Check it out here!
VISION Marketing & Consulting had the pleasure of interviewing Zach Giammarco, partner of Giammarco Law Office. Some of the main points he discussed were HIPAA changes, the HITECH Act, and legal issues that healthcare practices can avoid. He also gave advice to healthcare providers who are thinking about starting social marketing! We want to thank Zach for giving us the opportunity to ask him these questions!
ANSWER: Due to the increase of healthcare providers utilizing social media as a form of marketing, the American Medical Association (“AMA”) issued a press release in November 2010 addressing this very issue. While some of the AMA’s recommendations are blatantly obvious (such as do not post identifiable patient information on Facebook), others are not so clear, including the following:
- When using the Internet for social marketing, providers should use privacy settings to safeguard personal information and content to the extent possible. However, providers must realize that privacy settings are not absolute and, once information is on the Internet, it will most likely remain there permanently.
- Providers should routinely monitor their own Internet presence to ensure that the personal and professional information on their own sites and, to the extent possible, content posted about them by others, is accurate and appropriate.
- If providers interact with patients on the Internet, they must maintain appropriate boundaries of their relationship in accordance with their professional ethical guidelines just as they would in any other context.
While these AMA guidelines are written with physicians in mind, they can be universally applied to all healthcare fields. The best advice I have for my clients is to use common sense and do not post anything that they would not want their overseeing Board to see.
VISION Marketing & Consulting - When using social media in a medical practice, it is good to use common sense, however certain safeguards should not be overlooked such as understanding all information on the internet is most likely permanent, monitor your sites and maintain professional and ethical behavior when interacting online.
Did you miss questions 1-4? Check them out below!
QUESTION ONE: What is the most common mistake healthcare providers make when dealing with HIPAA regulations? What can they do to improve this?
ANSWER: Aside from misspelling HIPAA with two “P’s” instead of one, the most common mistake I come across is the failure to have proper safeguards in place when dealing with third party contractors, otherwise referred to as Business Associates by our good friend HIPAA. Some healthcare providers are not aware that each Business Associate that may come into contact with confidential patient information must sign a Business Associate Agreement prior to performing any work for the provider. For example, if an IT person comes in to fix even the most minor problem, it is extremely likely that he or she will come across or, at the very least, have access to confidential patient information. Thus, this individual must execute a proper Business Associate Agreement so that all parties are on the same page when it comes to how that IT person should handle and/or disclose (if absolutely necessary) such patient information. It is a good idea to have such an agreement on hand in the event the provider requires immediate services where a third party might come into contact with confidential patient information. If this third party refuses to sign the Business Associate Agreement, hire someone that will because this is necessary to protect the provider. Otherwise, this could end up in a huge mess down the road. To obtain a current and comprehensive Business Associate Agreement, I recommend contacting a knowledgeable attorney rather than pulling just any form from the Internet. This is especially true when considering the recent changes to HIPAA and HITECH.
VISION Marketing & Consulting – The information Mr. Giammarco has provided regarding HIPAA is very valuable to all our clients. We make certain that all information is protected and we also recommend to our clients to look at their current agreements to ensure the are updated according to laws and changes.
QUESTION TWO: On January 17, 2013, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the new HIPAA Final Omnibus Rule. What is most important to know as a healthcare provider regarding these new regulations?
ANSWER: The Final Omnibus Rule makes significant changes to HIPAA by greatly enhancing patients’ privacy protections, providing individuals new rights to their health information and strengthening the government’s ability to enforce the law. Because some of the largest breaches reported to the Department of Health and Humans Services derive from Business Associates, the Final Omnibus Rule expands many of the privacy safeguards and penalties to apply to covered entities’ Business Associates. For example, penalties for noncompliance have been increased based on the level of negligence with a maximum penalty of $1.5 million per violation.
Although the Final Omnibus Rule became effective on March 26, 2013, covered entities and Business Associates will have until September 23, 2013 to comply with these changes, which includes updating their respective Business Associate Agreements. I strongly encourage all healthcare providers to get in contact with their attorney to begin drafting a new Business Associate Agreement that works for that particular provider. It is also important to have current Business Associates execute the updated agreement even if they already signed an old version.
Healthcare providers should also be aware that the Final Omnibus Rule expands individual rights in important ways. Patients can now ask for a copy of their electronic medical record in an electronic form. When individuals pay by cash, they can instruct their provider not to share information about their treatment with their health plan. And, the rule sets new limits on how information is used and disclosed for marketing and fundraising purposes, while prohibiting the sale of individuals’ health information without their permission.
A full copy of the rule can be found at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-01-25/pdf/2013-01073.pdf.
VISION Marketing & Consulting – As electronic health records becomes more prevalent in all medical offices, providers should make sure their policies are in line with these new regulations.
QUESTION THREE: What is HITECH and how does it impact healthcare practices?
ANSWER: HITECH is the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, which first became effective February 18, 2010 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The objectives of HITECH are to:
- Develop standards for the electronic exchange of healthcare information;
- Establish incentives to encourage doctors and hospitals to digitize their medical records;
- Save the government approximately $10 billion, presumably as the product of the digitization efforts; and
- Strengthen privacy and security to guard protected health information.
Specifically, Subtitle D of HITECH addresses the privacy and security concerns associated with the electronic transmission of health information. I typically explain it to my healthcare clients as an “offshoot” of HIPAA that addresses the electronic transmission of health information.
It is extremely important for all healthcare providers to be aware of the requirements set forth in HITECH, especially considering the majority of patient information is now electronically transmitted at one point or another. Prior to HITECH, all responsibility for data breaches originating from a Business Associate fell on the covered entity. HITECH changed this to make Business Associates liable for their breaches – provided a proper Business Associate Agreement was in place. Interestingly, a 2009 survey sponsored by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society found that more than thirty percent (30%) of Business Associates surveyed were not aware that HIPAA privacy and security requirements had been extended to cover their organizations pursuant to HITECH. Hopefully, that figure has decreased in the past four years, but it is important to verify that your Business Associates are knowledgeable about HITECH.
In addition, HITECH expanded the scope of HIPAA to (i) mandate public notification of data breaches containing protected health information; (ii) require stricter compliance and accounting for electronic protected health information requests; and (iii) add responsibility for managing protected health information handled by Business Associates, as previously mentioned.
Because it is impossible to explain all the “ins” and “outs” of HITECH, I encourage providers to either contact their attorney or, if they really have a lot of time on their hands, review the full text of HITECH at the following site:
VISION Marketing & Consulting – HIPAA was in effect with paper medical records, and now we are finding that the HITECH act pays closer attention to ensuring privacy with electronic transferring of information.
QUESTION FOUR: What would be three legal issues you would caution healthcare practices about to avoid any risk?
Legal Issue 1. Healthcare providers should be extremely cautious when communicating with patients via mobile devices, including phones or tablets. A 2011 survey performed by QuantiaMD estimates that one in four physicians are “super mobile” users who leverage both smartphones and tablets in their practices. If you are one of these providers, it is important to know that the use of mobile devices to exchange protected health information automatically triggers the HIPAA security rule. This poses a unique risk to providers because mobile devices may not restrict user access to data through the use of encryption software or authentication features. Also, mobile devices store such information either within the computer’s onboard memory or within a SIM card or another memory chip. Because mobile devices are extremely vulnerably to loss or theft, it is important for providers to enact technical safeguards, including the following: installing and regularly updating malware, installing firewalls where appropriate, applying encryption to electronic protected health information and ensuring mobile devices use secure, encrypted Hypertext Transfer Protocol (“HTTP”) similar to that used by banking and financial institutions. If such safeguards are in place, the chances of breaching the HIPAA security rule are greatly reduced in the event the mobile device is lost or stolen.
Legal Issue 2. If there is any doubt whether a third party contractor is considered a Business Associate pursuant to HIPAA or HITECH, contact your attorney. If you cannot get a hold of your attorney, have the individual or entity sign a Business Associate Agreement just to be safe. Generally speaking, a Business Associate is a person or entity that performs certain functions or activities that involve the use or disclosure of personal health information. Business Associates typically work on behalf of, or provide services to, a HIPAA covered entity. Keep in mind that a covered entity’s workforce is not considered a Business Associate. Common Business Associates include accountants, consultants, pharmacies, payers (i.e., health insurance providers), laboratories, e-health record software vendors, RHIOs (Regional Health Information Organizations and HIEs (Health Information Exchanges).
Legal Issue 3. This sounds like a no-brainer, but providers must be informed about and follow all regulations contained in HIPAA, HITECH and the recent Final Omnibus Rule. I say this because enforcement of HIPAA violations has increased in the past couple years and will continue increasing in 2013 according to Leon Rodriguez, the Director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office for Civil Rights, which is the department responsible for enforcing HIPAA and HITECH regulations. Otherwise, breaches could easily result in substantial monetary and criminal penalties.
VISION Marketing & Consulting – The three basic recommendations, although simple, are very important in your medical practice. In summary, be cautious when using mobile devices, error on the side of caution when dealing with Business Associate Agreements, and make sure your HIPAA and HITECH policies are up to date.
The answers provided in this article were provided by:
Zachary D. Giammarco
GIAMMARCO LAW OFFICE PLLC
3910 S. Alma School Road, Suite 5
Chandler, Arizona 85248
(480) 722-0103 – Phone
(480) 722-0106 – Fax
Legal Disclaimer: All information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and, therefore, does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Due to the complexity of HIPAA, HITECH and any amendments thereto, you should consult a competent attorney for individual advice before acting upon any of the information provided in this article.
Trending Topic of the Week
Will Google Map’s New Interface Impact your Business?
Google is planning on releasing a new interface in the near future for its Google Maps App, making it more user friendly.
Instead of displaying information about a business location in the sidebar, the information will be shown in a popup above the actual location on a full map. The full map is designed to allow for easier map reading and navigation, providing users a better view of the map and where businesses are located relative to one another.
Users will also be able to filter search results to view the businesses with the highest reviews or ones recommended by people in their Google+ Circles. Making customer reviews and social connections carry even more weight than ever before.
In order to get your business on Google Maps, you must first claim your business on Google Places for Business. Having your small business on Google Places and Google Maps is an important opportunity for you to be seen by the high number of people that use this app on a daily basis.
To learn more about Google Map’s new interface, click here.
Do you want to claim more online listings in addition to Google Places? Click here to watch our Tip of the Week video on claiming business listings!
For more information on the latest trending topics, follow us on Facebook!
Have you claimed your business on Google Places?
Twitter Ads: Now Open for Business
This week, Twitter announced their advertising services will now be available to all US businesses. Before, advertising on Twitter was set up on an ‘invite only’ system.
Not only does this change give an equal opportunity for all businesses to advertise, it gives Twitter the opportunity to compete with Facebook and LinkedIn in terms of advertising revenue.
Twitter’s Senior Director of Product for Revenue Kevin Weil stated, “As most of you guys know, the Twitter advertising platform has until today has been invite only. We’ve had brands and agencies, thousands of small businesses using the platform but all on an invite-only basis. Today we’re taking the next step and opening up Twitter ads to everyone in the US. Every brand, every business, every account, every individual.”
Just recently Twitter unveiled new ad targeting tools for businesses, as well as more comprehensive analytics, and just last week they announced ads could be targeted based on keywords tweeted. These ad targeting changes, in addition to advertising being available to all businesses, is a huge advantage for businesses. Tools like these will help small businesses gain more exposure to their targeted audiences than ever before.
For more information on Twitter opening its ad services to all US businesses, click here.
Will your business take advantage of Twitter advertising?
Google has always done a great job of integrating their different services to become one cohesive system, improving ease of use for businesses using these platforms.
Starting this week, the Google+ social network is now integrating with Google AdWords in a new way. Advertisers can now display the number of followers they have on Google+ right in their AdWords ads through enhanced campaigns.
According to Google, ads that show the number of followers have a 5-10% higher click-through-rate than ads without follower information. Showing the number of followers a business has in their ads increases credibility and consumers might now be more inclined to click on an ad coming from a business with a decent following.
However, not every business can use this feature. In order to be able to use this feature, your business must have a verified Google+ URL and recent posts that are of quality. The business page must also have at least 100 followers.
This new feature is automatic if your business is eligible and it will be free of charge to implement.
For more information on Google+ and Google AdWords coming together, click here!
Is your business on Google+?
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