Remember the days before social media? When the term “content marketing” wasn’t the topic of countless webinars (and, in fact, the term “webinar” would’ve elicited looks of confusion)? The internet may have not been anything new in the year 2000, but our use of (and reliance on) it have heavily evolved in the past 14 years. Check out how the emergence of technology has revolutionized the way we see marketing in this handy infographic:

[image via:]

[image via:]

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In the constantly-evolving world of social media, sometimes it can be hard to keep up with changing features and updated platforms. Check out our list of new ways to use your favorite networks.



  • Twitter has launched a whole new layout, which many have likened to Facebook’s look. It includes customizable headers, bigger profile pictures and a three-column layout.
  • Another new feature is the ability to receive “real-time” notifications that are sent when you’re on Twitter and someone is tweeting you.


  • At the end of April, Pinterested launched a Guided Search that helps lead you through the site to find items to pin. Based on what you want to find, Pinterest will now aid you in sifting through others’ pins to collect the best ideas.
  • Pinterest also announced new custom categories and an improvement to its related pins feature.


  • Instagram has expanded its Explore tab to add some personalization features to it.
  • Additionally, the network plans to add top photos and videos that are most “liked” by people you follow.

Which of these features do you use? How do you think these social networks could improve?

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Often, creative thinking can be a lot like finding love: The more you try, the more it can evade you. Creativity is an elusive attribute that can’t be forced, but when inspiration strikes, it can unlock a flood of innovation and ideas. So how can you tap into your creative resources without smothering their natural, uninhibited state? Try these tips out and let the ideas flow.

  • Step out of your comfort zone. Creativity is fueled by new experiences, so sitting on your couch probably won’t help get the juices going. Take a nice long walk, try your hand at dancing lessons, or just doodle on a page. Anything to get your brain working differently will help give you a new perspective.
  • Document your ideas. A lot of our best thoughts may never make it farther than the recesses of our minds if they aren’t fleshed out and recorded for use later. Have an unusual, interesting dream? Write it down in a journal. Think of a wonderful design in the shower? Sketch it out on paper. You never know when you might be able to use your thoughts later.
  • Let your mind wander. At work, this may be an unproductive method, but at the end of the day or in the morning before the rat race begins, allow yourself some time to go where your mind takes you. We spend the vast majority of our time training our brains to focus on various tasks, while the creative process often begins when we loosen structure and let our minds organically move through the natural thought process.
  • Embrace solitude. Throughout the day, we’re bombarded with situations, people and bright screens full of information. Giving ourselves time alone in this day and age is often rare, but some of our best thoughts are likely to occur without the distraction of words, text and sound. Try sitting quietly in a comfortable spot and see what comes to you.
  • Frequent the places you love most. Everyone has that spot–whether it’s reclining poolside, relaxing in the cozy corner of a cafe or hiking a scenic trail. You hear the crisp splash of a dive, smell a shot of espresso or look out over snow capped peaks and your mind clears. Relaxed, energized and inspired by the scene around you, you embrace the thoughts surfacing uninhibited in your mind. You’d be surprised at how efficiently your mind can work when it’s unobstructed by stress and away from uncomfortable environments.
  • Use MeetUp. If you have a creative hobby or are looking to start one, MeetUp can be a great place to meet likeminded individuals who can encourage and help you. In addition to honing your skills, you’ll get to spend time in a creative environment where free thinking and discussion are encouraged.
  • Take the pressure off. High pressure situations are the antithesis to creativity. What relaxes you? Whether it’s lifting weights, meditation or just taking your dog on a walk, engage in an activity that frees your mind of its daily worries. Once you allow yourself to breathe more easily, your mind clear and you’ll be able to focus on more innovative ideas.
  • Work out your mind. It’s a cliche you’ve heard time and again for a reason: Exercises like crossword puzzles and memory games are a great way to keep your brain sharp. Not only will this keep your mind in good working order as you age, it will help train your memory, cognition and ability to innovate. Apps are another effective way to work out your brain. Try Luminosity or Fit Brains Trainer.

When do you feel most creative? Let us know!

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Medical marketing services have been undergoing some major changes lately. As social media claims an increasingly larger percentage of marketing spend, healthcare providers are seeking ways to expand their presence in this important new sector. Social media marketing is based on providing content that is appealing enough to attract the attention of website visitors, and valuable enough that these users will want to share it with others.

Taking that goal as the basis for their new ventures into medical internet advertising, healthcare providers are beginning to post videos of medical procedures online.

A video heart-surgery tutorial 

Memorial Health Care System in Chattanooga, Tennessee has posted a free webcast on their site, which allows visitors virtual access to the operating room. This webcast contained two compelling elements: An edited, narrated video of a patient’s open-heart surgery, and an opportunity for live chat with the lead surgeon who performed the operation. The practice of medicine has traditionally held a certain mystique, where no one but the service providers themselves really have the full story on what’s happening. Opening the doors and giving a full view and discussion of such a major procedure results in physician practice marketing content that’s terrifically appealing. The thousands of viewers who signed up for this webcast and told all their friends about it are a great demonstration of this appeal.

Live streaming surgery and the hospital tweeting team 

In Orlando, Florida, Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children took virtual access to their operating room one step further as they provided 46 live updates (via Instagram, Twitter and Facebook) of a dramatic surgical procedure in which a 3-year-old received a Goretex graft on her heart. The hospital’s social media team included commentary on these images, which were released about once every 10 minutes.

Future possibilities 

According to the Chattanooga Times, Memorial Health Care plans to live stream a surgical procedure in the near future. While live footage of surgeries is commonly used for physician training, it’s a new idea to use this video material to engage interested website visitors. Furthermore, surgeons are beginning to use Google Glass as a non-intrusive method of capturing and sharing live video of procedures, and it is only a matter of time before these videos make the leap from physician training material to hospital marketing content.


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In the past few years, technology has transformed the way we communicate, interact and consume both products and services, affecting markets from travel to fashion. The healthcare industry is no exception, and as the average consumer expects more convenience, increased online communication and technical apps and gadgets, innovators are working to streamline and improve the customer experience through creative online means.

Here, we’ve compiled just a few of the ways that companies are integrating digital communications and online tools into healthcare to improve communication with patients and to create a more transparent, customer-friendly experience.

1. Online Communities and e-Patients

While pharmaceutical companies, startups, patient communities and providers began joining the social media world around 2010, many have now matured and broadened their scope. PatientsLikeMe, for instance, has expanded to over 1,000 conditions, CureTogether has gained the attention of major press outlets and 23andMe is defining personal genomics.

Additionally, both PatientsLikeMe and 23andMe have published results in medical journals, bringing further validation to social networks and social media as legitimate avenues for medicine.

2. Online Services Aimed at Easy Patient Experience

Many complaints about healthcare experiences involve long wait times and issues with finding the perfect fit in a doctor. Companies like ZocDoc are helping users take control of their own care by providing easy access to specialists in the area with information on insurance accepted and languages spoken. Meanwhile, innovator InQuicker seeks to put an end to excessive emergency room waits by providing the ability to “check in” online. After certifying that injuries aren’t life-threatening, patients are texted as their “appointment” approaches.

3. Mobile Apps

As smartphones have become pervasive, so have health apps that often have a social media component, whether that is the ability for a scale to post your weight to Twitter or the ability to transmit a diabetic blood sugar reading to a community. By and large, many people have taken their health quests online, and apps help monitor the body, motivate health and keep disease treatment under control. The Quantified Self movement, which is focused on this app-based monitoring, has expanded to 60 groups around the world and 400 tools.


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