GreyMatters 2015


If You’re Not On the Social Media Bus, It Is Leaving Without You

social_busThere are all kinds of measures of quality healthcare available, but if your organization is not using social media to connect with actual and potential patients, you are missing out on a valuable opportunity.

Many patients desire to maintain some sort of digital connection with their healthcare providers. Not providing such a connection can be a barrier to engaging and retaining patients. Millennials, in particular, are very interested in digital communication methods.

A 2014 report on Best Practices for Hospitals on Facebook by Aha Media Group found that of the top hospitals listed in the 2013 U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals list, the Cleveland Clinic (ranked #4 in the list) had far and away the most Facebook fans of the top-ranked hospitals, with almost 811,000 fans compared to Mayo Clinic (ranked #3 on the list) with just under 496,000 Facebook fans. The #1 ranked hospital on the list, Johns Hopkins, had 132,911 Facebook fans, while the second-ranked hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, had 17,371.

Cleveland Clinic wasn’t the largest hospital on the list, nor had it been on Facebook the longest. Its secret to acquiring so many Facebook fans was adhering to best practices with its social media strategy. Best practices include:

  • It’s about more than promotion – share the content that your audience wants to see. Being a top-ranked provider is great and important, but people want information that will help better their lives. Health and wellness tips, disease prevention information and healthy recipes not only can engage your audience, but can also have them participate in the process by commenting and sharing, thus doing some of the promotion work for you.
  • Images bring impact and interest. Let’s face it – having a health problem can be a scary proposition. Using photos and videos that portray joy and hope can help to ease the fears and concerns of someone facing a health struggle. One of the best healthcare examples of this type of image (and also a great example of agile marketing) was posted by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in 2014 just after the announcement that NBA superstar Lebron James was returning home to Cleveland. You simply cannot view that Tweet without a little moisture welling up in your eyes!
  • Promote your community. Everyone loves to feel pride in his or her community. Posting about positive events in your community – team championships, record-setting fundraisers, accomplishments by people in the community – engage the audience and promote a sense of pride. Also, promoting community events – especially those that are family friendly – can be particularly engaging.
  • Remember: “Headlines are pick-up lines.” If you lose the readers at the headline, they won’t stick around for more. Make your post headlines intriguing to pique your readers’ interest. Instead of a headline reading “Tips to Combat Insomnia,” try “Why can’t I sleep?”
  • Consistency counts. Regular posts help keep your audience engaged. People today tend to have short attention spans, so if you disappear for a while – even just a few days – well, just remember the old saying: “Out of sight, out of mind.”

How is your organization’s social media strategy faring? If you need a social media strategy or you just need to update your current strategy, let Greystone help with your planning. 


How’s Your Mobile Experience?

mobileMobile. Is it really all that and a bag of chips? Yes, and you had better be working on improving the mobile experience of your customers.

According to Gartner, a little over 20% of digital commerce transactions currently are mobile transactions, but by 2017, the percentage is expected to increase to 50% of digital commerce transactions. In addition, the Altimeter Group reports that mobile is poised to become “the standard for hosting the customer journey.” As mobile becomes more pervasive, people are becoming more attuned to 24/7, on-demand, personalized interaction with the companies and organizations they do business with. If they can’t find this type of interaction with your organization, they’ll look elsewhere.

A sound mobile strategy has to include not only design and functionality, but also content. Once you’ve determined what your customers want, you’ll need quality content that encompasses content that educates and instructs and utilizes various media formats in order to attract and engage your customers.

An important part of a mobile strategy is the use of apps. In the healthcare space, the use of apps is becoming an accepted method to help improve patient care. One report from earlier this year found that 93% of physicians believe that mobile apps can improve patient health and outcomes and 89% of physicians would recommend an app to a patient in the future.

The importance of a mobile strategy lies not only with attracting customers, but also with engaging and maintaining them. Once a person has become your customer by using your product or service, the trick is to keep that person as a customer by building brand loyalty. Improving the user experience will help to drive brand loyalty.


Millennials and Physician Choice

millenialsA recent survey of 3,000 respondents found that Millennials use “crowdsourcing” tactics – either online or in person – to choose physicians. The survey, conducted by Nuance, reported that 54% of Millennials use online search to obtain health information and use online physician ratings before choosing a physician.

Additional survey findings include:

  • 70% of Millennials age 18-24 depend on family/friend recommendations to choose a primary care physician compared to 41% of patients age 65 and older.
  • Millennials are more than 2 times more likely to trust personal recommendations of others when choosing a physician than those who are age 55 and older.
  • When they are dissatisfied with their care, 51% of patients age 65 and older tell their physicians directly about their concerns, while 60% of Millennials tell their friends rather than their physician.

Basing physician choice on online ratings should be a concern to providers. Physician practices and healthcare provider organizations need to help protect the online reputations of providers by ensuring that time spent with patients is optimized, and also find ways to make sure that review methodology accurately reflects provider quality of care.

With Millennials depending on word of mouth for provider recommendations, yet more often turning to social media and online forums to verbalize displeasure with a provider’s care, are we headed for a health-care version of “Rotten Tomatoes”? Millennials will soon overtake Baby Boomers in number, so providers must come up with ways to better communicate with their younger patients and solicit their input.

Has your organization developed a strategy to manage the Millennial population?


HCIC Is Next Month!

HCIC_LogoIt's hard to believe that the 19th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference in Orlando is just five weeks away. If you haven’t made your plans yet, you still have time to join your industry colleagues November 9-11 at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate for three days of educational programming, networking and other exciting activities.

In addition, an exclusive, “by invitation only” Let's Talk Digital Pre-Conference Event, sponsored by Greystone.Net and Healthgrades, will be held on Sunday afternoon, November 8th, before the main conference starts.

The block of reserved rooms for the conference is nearly sold out. The last day to reserve a room at the Omni Orlando Resort at the discounted rate is Friday, October 16th. Be sure to book your room online or call for reservations soon! The phone number is 1-800-THE-OMNI (1-800-843-6664). Don’t forget to reference the "19th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference" when you call for reservations.

SPECIAL SCAM ALERT: Several organizations such as Exhibitors Housing Management, Global Housing Services Corp, Convention Housing Services, Expo Housing, and have been contacting HCIC exhibitors and attendees to offer them a special rate at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate for HCIC this November. Please be advised that these groups are NOT affiliated with the conference and do not have a block of rooms - it a SCAM. Please do not respond to these companies, although you may want to ask them to stop bothering you.

Visit for more details about the upcoming conference, including information about the keynote speakers, conference brochure, exhibitors and more. We look forward to seeing you in Orlando!


HCIC: Coming Attractions

coming-soonWe hope you're planning to attend the 19th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference in Orlando next month! The agenda is jam-packed with dozens of informative sessions sure to whet your appetite for information about Digital Marketing, Strategy, Patient Experience, Web Solutions and Tools, SoLoMo (Social/Local/Mobile), Big Data and Analytics and Advanced/Emerging Technologies.

If your organization is working on its social and mobile strategy, you'll be interested in attending the sessions in the SoLoMo (a.k.a. Social, Local Mobile) track. This track focuses on how SoLoMo is bringing social media, geo-location targeting and mobile communications together to allow marketers to target and communicate with their audiences in new ways. Sessions in this track include:

Be sure to check the conference brochure for information on educational sessions in the other six tracks, as well as other conference-related events.


19th Annual HCIC Mobile App Is Now Available

HCIC Mobile App
It’s finally here! The mobile app we created for HCIC is now live. Download it for free to your iPhone, iPad, or Android.

If you have already registered for HCIC, you should have received an email with instructions on how to access the app information by now. If you have not yet registered for the conference (What are you waiting for? It's only a few weeks away!), you will receive an email about the app after you register.

Once you've installed the app, you’ll have access to awesome features, like:

  • The full event schedule
  • Contact info for other attendees
  • Social sharing
  • Detailed info about speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors
  • Notifications of important updates, special offers, and more

Ready to get started? Click from your device. If you use Apple or Android, you can also search for the app in the iTunes store or Play store.

If you do not receive an email after you register for the conference, or if you have any questions about the app, please contact Laura Clemons at

Follow Let’s Talk Digital, HCIC on Twitter

twitterIf you’re attending the 19th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference and/or Let's Talk Digital pre-conference event, don’t forget to participate via social media! Share your thoughts, promote your presentation if you’re a speaker and network with your peers using the hashtags #hcic15 for the Internet Conference and #LetsTalk15 for Let's Talk Digital.

The Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame inductees for the Class of 2015 and the winner of the John A. Eudes Vision & Excellence Award will be tweeted out during the ceremony on Tuesday morning, November 12th.

If you can’t join us in Orlando, follow along on Twitter for a virtual conference experience!


Don’t Miss Induction of HIHOF Class of 2015 in Orlando

hihofSince 2011, one of the highlights of the Annual Healthcare Internet Conference has been the announcement of the new inductees into the Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame (HIHOF) and the winner of the John A. Eudes Vision & Excellence Award. This year, the induction ceremony will take place on Tuesday morning, November 10th, at 7:30 AM. If you are planning to attend the HCIC, we hope you will join us as we honor some of the top people in our industry.

Upcoming openings on the HIHOF panel of judges: HIHOF is an independent organization whose annual inductees are selected by a Board of Judges composed of experienced industry providers and vendors. One or more opportunities to serve as a judge will be available next year as judges on the current HIHOF panel of judges complete their commitment at the end of this year and rotate off the panel. Early next year, we will begin to solicit applicants to fill the vacant judge positions. If you have been looking for an opportunity to serve in an industry-wide capacity, consider applying to be a judge for the Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame (HIHOF).

More information will be available after the first of the year. Stay tuned!


2016 Backstage Pass Web Clinic Series: Call for Speakers

backstage_passBackstage Pass is a Webinar series that extends the education from the annual Healthcare Internet Conference (HCIC). It provides a monthly health check throughout the year for those who may have missed a topic of interest or who weren't able to attend HCIC at all. This series of virtual Web Clinics allows you to participate in quality educational sessions without have to leave the comfort of your home or office.

The 2015 Backstage Pass series has concluded for this year, but we are in the process of planning next year's Web Clinic series. If you are interested in presenting a case study in 2016, please contact Laura Clemons at or 770-407-7683.


On The Road with Greystone

roadIf you plan to attend SHSMD in Washington, DC October 12-14, Greystone will be in the Exhibit Hall in Booth #311 – please plan to stop by and say hello! It will be worth your while, we promise, by giving you the opportunity to win a Yeti cooler.

Also at SHSMD, Mike Schneider from Greystone will join Rob Klein of Klein & Partners and Lee Gwaltney of Sentara Healthcare to present “Improving the Digital Brand Dialogue” on Tuesday morning, October 13. 


Did You Know?

If you use Google’s Chrome browser, be aware that as of early September, Chrome now blocks Flash-based ads. The preferred platform for Chrome is now HTML5.

This is a big deal for Web advertisers because:

  • The majority of rich media ads are powered by Flash
  • More than half of Web users run the Chrome browser

The change was made due to performance issues and increased page load time, according to Google.


Greystone Product Spotlight – gSight

gSightgSight is Greystone.Net's Website experience survey product. This tool provides hospitals and healthcare systems with an easy way to collect real time user feedback measuring the impact of the organization’s Web site on its brand.

gSight is incredibly easy to install. Once active, it launches a Java popup giving your visitors the option to take a brief survey and evaluate their experience with your site. The code can be loaded on multiple pages based on the key entry points to your Web site. If the visitor opts in, gSight launches a pop-under window with the survey and users can complete the survey after they are finished using the site.

The 3-minute survey collects a wide variety of feedback including ease of functionality, memorability of content, areas that need improvement, quadrant analysis for high priority issues, brand impact moments, brand contact points, web site loyalty, comparative evaluations and much more. The survey also captures an overall Web site rating on a 5-star scale.

Because gSight is focused exclusively on hospitals and healthcare systems, clients have the ability to see how they stack up against others in the industry. Client reports are provided through a client dashboard portal. As the database grows, Greystone will be adding peer groups for specific categories of hospitals and healthcare systems.

We designed gSight based on collective input from our clients and we’ve made it easy to use and very affordable so it has little impact on our clients’ limited Web resources. So far, clients have been thrilled with the feedback they are getting from gSight, and some are using it as a tool to measure the before and after impact of redesign.

If you’ll be at SHSMD October 12014, please stop by the Greystone booth, #311, for more information about gSight. Otherwise, please contact us for a demonstration and more information about how gSight can work for you.


App Review - Messenger

messengerIf you use Facebook’s app, then you know about Messenger. You must use the Messenger app to send direct messages via the Facebook mobile app. But Messenger also has several other features in addition to messaging:

  • Voice and video calls
  • Voice messages
  • A built-in camera for photos and video
  • Geo-location
  • Stickers
  • Mobile payments

Messenger is the second most downloaded app, with the Facebook app being the most downloaded app overall. Of the top 10 most-downloaded apps, Facebook apps account for 40%, along with Instagram and WhatsApp, which are now owned by Facebook.