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Social Media: How, Why and What?

Lately I’ve had numerous discussions with people about Social Media, why I use it, how I use it and which tools I use.  So I figured it may make sense to write about it!

I use Social Media because it’s an incredible tool to seek & find information and thought leaders. In addition Social Media can serve as a conduit to both develop and deepen relationships.  I’ve learned so much from people I’d never have the opportunity to encounter in daily life and discovered depth to many I do know, in addition to finding common interests that likely wouldn’t come up in normal conversation. I use a limited set of Social Media platforms & tools. Social Media facilitates the other things that I do in my day to day personal & professional life.

The tools I use…

I love Twitter’s simplicity, the ability to jump on & see what’s happening at that moment in time across my Tweetstream. I like how TweetDeck can organize my lists and key words and show me a snapshot of what’s happening around a specific topic or area of interest. Twitter is an amazing tool to give you a pulse on what’s going on in addition to breaking news & event updates. It can also serve as a public conversation & real-time connection tool at conferences, providing updated information, additional insight & links. Not to mention widening the audience to those not participating in person.  I’ve learned from shared information at several conferences I did not attend in person last year and the information can be found later – the Library of Congress is even archiving our Tweets! I’ve found so many people to learn from on Twitter and developed professional relationships & made friends which is why I’m in awe of this powerful tool.

LinkedIn for me is like a self-updating rolodex. A modern version of exchanging business cards, but the business card never goes out of date.  In today’s world where people may only be associated with a particular organization for a few years at a time, it’s the perfect tool to keep track of who is doing what & where. In this world of transparency, it can also give you a pulse on what is happening at a particular company, their employee demographics etc. If your competition says they have a strong local presence in a particular market or skill-set & their LinkedIn employees suggest a different story, it begs some question… Not to mention the ability to get some insight into the people you will be meeting with & a snapshot of their social presence as it’s likely linked to their LinkedIn profile.

Facebook came later for me. I initially saw it as a tool for keeping in touch with friends & family & as such would decline invites from business colleagues. I then started to look at it differently and started to see Facebook like my office. If someone were to visit me, we’d initially talk about our respective week-ends for a while & they would see the photos of my family, my son’s artwork & other random artifacts from my personal life. Once I started to look at it like that & interact with professional colleagues there, it changed the relationship dynamic. It’s amazing how a glimpse into someone’s personal life can help to forge additional connections as you find areas of commonality that may never be uncovered in occasional small talk.  Perhaps you visit the same places from time to time, see humor in similar things, find inspiration in similar things – or your kids/grandkids are the same age, it all drives towards deeper relationships both personal & professional.

My final key tool is my phone – formerly an iPhone, now a Samsung Focus Windows Phone 7. Microsoft has done a really good job with the People Hub & seamless Facebook integration. Although I would really like to see them build on it & add Twitter integration to the People Hub. This is truly the beginnings of a really ‘social’ phone. Looking forward to when TweetDeck get their Windows Phone 7 application ready too!

I like to think of myself as a connector – always looking to connect people & information to each other to drive more meaningful relationships. Social Media works for me because it facilitates all of this.

I’m looking forward to the HIMSS11 Conference in February & to seeing what goodies the HIMSS team has in store for us this year. Last year there were several very interesting Social Media focused sessions.  Not to mention the promise of reconnecting with many of those that I have learned from & been inspired by during the year – the wonderful members of the HCSM & HealthIT communities!

See you at HIMSS11?

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7 thoughts on “Social Media: How, Why and What?

  1. Pingback: iphone 5

  2. Liza Sisler Post author

    Thanks everyone for your comments!

    Nice post Jennifer thanks for the link! – I’m a big Abba fan so loved the Swedish flash mob video! I has the opportunity to finally meet @Swedish’s @danamlewis when I was last in Seattle. It was such a treat as I participate in the HCSM ( http://twitter.com/healthsocmed )Twitter chat on Sunday nights at 9pm EST whenever I can, so to finally meet the moderator & a driving force behind them was wonderful.

    I’m really looking forward to HIMSS11 – the @HIMSS team did a great job with the Social Media sessions last year and judging from Cari’s post it looks like there are some treats in store for us again. Thanks so much for sharing Cari :-)

  3. Jennifer Dennard

    It seems we are on the same wave length this week. I just published a blog (http://bit.ly/gKDhNT) on how medical vendors should get to know social media networks as a potential marketing tool. This is quite complementary to that, and a great roundup of how you are using social media tools. I find that when explaining social media to those who aren’t yet using it, it always put people more at ease to get personal. I think social media can be used as a great networking tool personally, and a great marketing tool professionally. It’s nice to hear what other folks are getting out of these networks.

  4. Erin

    Cari,

    I just chatted with Liza. We both thank you for your comment on the blog!

    Wow, HIMSS11 is coming up soon, isn’t it? You can be sure that Liza and I will be heavily engaged with all of the social media opportunities at HIMSS11. In addition to blogging and Twitter, we got some great video interviews at HIMSS last year, including this one of Jimmy Weeks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9Sq439PK_o talking about social media in practice.

    Looking forward to the conference in February. Please reach out to us @Perficient_HC when the details are posted to the site so we can share the information with our followers.

    Erin Eschen
    Online & Social Media Marketing Manager
    Perficient, Inc.

  5. Cari McLean

    Liza, thanks for the great post. HIMSS11 is embracing social media in healthcare more than ever. During the Social Media Center’s educational sessions, leading industry bloggers and enthusiastic users of social media will discuss social media policy, social media as a collaborative tool, blogging as a career, developing an integrated social media strategy and more. These sessions will be posted in the coming weeks at http://www.himssconference.org/socialmediacenter. Additionally, attendees can further explore social media in healthcare through the conference’s general education program: Meet the Bloggers; Bringing the Social Media Revolution to Healthcare with Mayo Clinic’s Lee Aase; and Creating a Collective IQ of Health and Wellness to Drive Innovation session with WebMD Founder Jeff Arnold.

    Please do stop by the Social Media Center and say hello.

  6. shona

    Great article- Thanks for your thoughts on social media. I too enjoy the building of connections through all the tools used above.

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