Cancergeek, How Do You Use Social Media (#SoMe) In Your Daily Life?

This weekend I had the privilege of having a few conversations via social media, specifically on twitter. One of the conversations specifically was with @BrettSnodgrass1 who is a physician and was asking what tools, tip and tricks, and ways that others use social media.

I have to first and foremost acknowledge a few people that I believe have been my social media mentors. The first is Lisa Fields (@PracticalWisdom) Her ability to see connections between people, networks, and topics and being able to share broadly is really what social media in the healthcare space is all about in my opinion.

On a broader scale, there is Callie Schweitzer (@cschweitz) who is the Director of Digital Innovation for Time Magazine. Time named her twitter feed as one of the most important in 2013. She has been named to several lists as one of the top women under 30 in media and technology. Most importantly, in my opinion Callie gets that social media is exactly that, its social. It is about finding interesting things that mean something to you, simplifying the message/topics, broadcasting to others, connecting dots, and being a part of the storytelling and dialogue. If you are not cultivating it, you simply will not grow personally or professionally. She has several great reads on Medium, check them out here:

For me personally I have condensed almost all of my social media interactions to twitter. This is not to say that is the best thing, but for me personally, I am able to leverage twitter to get most of my needs met.

I awake in the morning about 5:30 am. I check my twitter feed to see if there have been any interactions during the evening. If so, I respond appropriately with either RT’s, thank you’s, or commenting in conversations. I usually do this on my phone.

Once I am prepped for the day I log onto my computer and use NetNewsWire to check out the majority of my news feeds for the day. I will then read the articles that are meaningful to me and as I find items of importance, I will then share via twitter. 9 time out of 10 I can do this directly via NetNewWisre. Other times I do have to copy and paste into so I can shorten a link and disperse it with the correct headline that I think is most meaningful. I always try to include the via “whom originated the article” so others have the option to follow the specific content if they find it meaningful.

What is on my news feed? Well I have several rules for Google such as patient experience, oncology, cancer, design, art, women, global issues, and technology. I have specific feeds for HIT Consultant (@hitconsultant), The Healthcare Blog (@THCBstaff), Forbes (@Forbes), New York Times (@nytimes), Reuters (@Reuters), Rock Health (@Rock_Health), and others.

I will then login to my personal email and check emails quickly. If I have an email newletter from either James Victore (@JamesVictore), Austin Kleon (@austinkleon), Seth Godin (@thisissethsblog), or from Hugh MscLeod (@gapingvoid) I will spend the time to read through those to begin my day. I usually will share broadly as well since they are the people that I also look up to and give me the energy to be bold, different, and do what I am passionate about the most, Cancer.

Then I begin my day. I login to my corporate email, check my calendar, and do my daily routines. They typically are routine since I am managing a global team beginning with India in the morning and ending late in the evening with Japan, Australia, and China.

I will usually take a break and go for a walk in the early afternoon. At that time I will again check my twitter feed using either my phone or Tweetdeck. I look to those that follow, have begun and continued a dialogue, and other things that are in my feed that are of interest to me.

What interests me? I look for healthcare topics and news. I look for items about cancer research, studies, funding, awareness, new programs, or changes going on for providers and patients to be aware of specific to cancer. It can be local to the US or it can global. I feel that we can learn from any place. So it is important to share, especially best practices. I also hashtag with #cancer, #bcsm, #lcsm, or one of the many other cancer tag ontology’s via @symplur (click here for list).

I also look for topics about time, science, technology, design, art, and my biggest obsession: user interface and user experience. One of my newest obsessions is Jennifer Aldrich (@jma245 ) She also has an amazing blog that you can read and follow here: User Experience Rocks Her thoughts and insights have been amazing. I have been able to use them to help in describing visually what I have been discussing verbally with healthcare executives for years. Hospitals are the user interface #UI for patients, families, and consumers. Again, amazing.

I go back to my work after my walk. I will continue with my day.

In the evening if I do not have calls with team members in other parts of the world, I will partake in several Tweet Chats. Again, specific to healthcare, you can find an amazing list of times, dates, and topics of chats via @symplur at the following site: Healthcare Tweet Chats.

The ones that I do my  very best to join due to the content, mentors, insight, and value that I get as well as I can add are the following: Sundays is healthcare social media- #hcsm. Mondays is Bioethics- #bioethx followed by Breast Cancer Social Media- #bcsm (although I will admit I usually lurk in this chat more than active participation). There is also healthcare price transparency- #hcpt that occurs 1st and 3rd Mondays. Tuesdays is Healthcare Leaders- #hcldr (moderated by @PracticalWisdon and @Colin_Hung) Wednesdays I try to join Hospice and Palliative Medicine- #hpm. Thursdays is always lung cancer social media- #LCSM and the fourth Thursday of every month is #JACR which is a radiologist led chat.

In the mix there may be other chats that come up or based on content, if I have time, that I will try to join.

I typically will use for the tweet chats. It is an easy tool to use, you can see the people as they tweet and add to the dialogue. It is rather easy to RT, MT, quote, favorite, or respond. Depending on the pace of the chat, I can have a dialogue in real time, or I may have to follow up after the chat in order to keep the dialogue moving and keep up with the topics and discussion.

What do I get out of social media?

I get the opportunity to listen, read, and participate in a lot of stories. I get to access new trials, studies, and research. I get to connect with other healthcare professionals, leaders, physicians, executives, and most importantly, patients.

I can keep up on the news that is meaningful to me. It can be global news, things for fun, or those topics that extend my thinking and help me to become more comfortable with uncomfortable situations. This is the art, technology, design, user interface, user experience communities.

I get to connect with other marketers in healthcare as well as in other industries. Since this is my daily work, it helps me to find new methods, thoughts, ways to extend myself, and how to think of measuring success in new ways.

I get to be mentored either directly or indirectly. I have been able to have several conversations with people such as Rob Szczerba (@RJSczcerba), Lisa Fields, and others. In addition, it allows me to connect with other people virtually. I had a goal that I shared with Callie Schweitzer about becoming significant enough that she would follow me. After several months, meeting a few of my other social media goals & tweeting them broadly, she obliged/rewarded me with a follow.

Recently, Mandi Bishop (@MandiBPro) and I have decided to workout virtually to keep both of us motivated with the #30daychallenge. I have been doing #burpee #pull-ups #push-ups and #squats and posting it daily. Mandi has done the same. It has been a great way to stay motivated, to be kept honest, and to be inspired to compete and keep up.

I do not use any self promoting sites. I do not schedule tweets. I do not use Facebook, LinkedIn, or other sites. I am busy, I travel all over the globe, and I try to meet with as many healthcare providers, staff, cancer patients, and visit as many hospitals and healthcare systems as possible. Twitter allows me to accomplish the majority of my needs.

Most importantly, I feel life is all about stories. We all have a story to tell. There are stories that mean different things to different people. Twitter allows me to connect to those whose stories resonate the most with me. It allows me to connect to other people. It provides me the insight I am looking for as a marketer. It allows me a forum to share my bold, audacious, sometimes challenging, and other times simplified ideas and stories.

Most importantly Twitter allows me to tell and share my story with with the world. It provides me the ability to learn about other peoples stories all over the world as I meet, travel, and learn about new people and cultures.

What story do you want to share with the world? What story matters to you? How do you use social media to share, connect, and broadcast stories?

As always, you can feel free to contact me at: CANCERGEEK@GMAIL.COM or follow me on twitter @cancergeek


#PtExp #PX #cancer #hcldr #hccosts #hcsm #stories #storytelling #lcsm #bcsm #hcmktg #mktg #storyteller #hcpt #consumerism #hcbiz #CX #UX #UI #Bioethx #storyline #ContentMarketing

7 responses to “Cancergeek, How Do You Use Social Media (#SoMe) In Your Daily Life?

  1. Really interesting to read this comprehensive overview of how you use social media in your work. I agree with you that Twitter gives me the most return for my time in terms of the valuable conversations I have and the connections I make. I am so glad to have you met you there too – I am learning a lot from you.

    • Marie, thank you for your comments. I appreciate all you do and the ability that I have been able to connect and learn from you as well. I probably could have discussed each person that I connect with and give highlights as to why, which now as I write I may do that in future posts.

      You continue to inspire me, teach me wonderful things, and point me in directions of further connections and resources.

      I am glad you enjoyed the post.

      Thank you


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  3. Right here is the perfect blog for everyone who wants
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    • Thank you so much for your kind comments. I am happy to know that my post was able to lend some value to you and that I offer a fresh perspective on the social media topic. I am deeply humbled and grateful for you taking the time to read, comment, and share my post. Thank you!


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    • Thank you for taking the time to read and to leave feedback. I am glad to know that you enjoy my writing style and that more importantly, my stories have some real impact and value. That is the best compliment. Thanks and have a great day!! Andy

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