Social Media Tips for #HIMSS16 – More Than Just Tweets

Posted on February 12, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

The massive HIMSS 2016 Annual Conference is just around the corner and I’ll be participating in it in a big way like usual. I already posted about the 7th Annual New Media Meetup at HIMSS and my session with Shahid Shah on “Marketing to Customers in an Uncertain Healthcare IT Marketplace“. Would love to see any and all of you at those events. I was also blessed to be selected as a HIMSS 2016 Social Media Ambassador (Maybe I should have said #HIMSS16 instead of HIMSS 2016). It’s an amazing group of people and so I feel so thankful to be in such great company.

It’s been fun to watch the evolution of social media at HIMSS. I’m sure one day my kids will look back and say “weren’t you one of the pioneers that use to use that old platform called Twitter which we read about in our history books?” I’ll be happy to say Yes!

Next week Shahid and I are doing a webinar on “Why Don’t People Care About What You’re Selling at HIMSS?” and this is one piece of a slide we’ve been preparing for that webinar:

HIMSS Social Media Growth

That’s incredible growth. In fact, I just did a quick query and there have already been 35k tweets to the #HIMSS16 hashtag and we’re still over 2 weeks away from the event. The explosion of social media sharing that happens during the 5 days of the event hasn’t even started. That’s some extraordinary growth, but that also means there’s a lot more noise.

While Twitter is a fantastic tool, there’s much more to social media than just Twitter. In fact, because Twitter has become so popular (see graphic above), your investment in other social media platforms are likely as important as your investment in Twitter. Let me cover some other social media avenues you might consider using before, during, and after HIMSS.

Side Note: Before I cover the non-Twitter social media options you might consider, I want to mention that Twitter is still extremely powerful. My mention of other social platforms isn’t to diminish the power of Twitter, but instead to expand the scope from one powerful tool to many powerful tools. Plus, I made a bunch of HIMSS Twitter tips and tricks last year and those still apply.

LinkedIn – In many ways, LinkedIn is even more powerful to Twitter. This is particularly true in the business world. I’m still surprised how many people think that LinkedIn is still their online resume. It is that, but it’s so much more. There are hundreds of amazing groups (see the Healthcare Scene group) on LinkedIn that cover every topic imaginable. Join them and participate in the discussions. You’ll be amazed at the connections you make. No doubt many of the people in those groups will also be at HIMSS. Find them. Connect with them and then meetup in person at HIMSS. That’s a powerful use of social media.

Blogging – While a tweet is easy to create, a blog post has a much longer lasting impact. Because of all the activity around HIMSS, a really well done blog post can more easily “go viral” during HIMSS. I’ve seen well done blog posts make the rounds in a fantastically powerful way thanks to the #HIMSS16 hashtag. Those blog posts are often what people are talking about over drinks or in booths at HIMSS. If you don’t have your own blog, try LinkedIn’s blog or medium or even leverage Healthcare Scene’s blogs.

Facebook – People often forget that Facebook can be a powerful tool for yourself or your business. Everyone is on Facebook (give or take a few million), and there’s no better way to connect with someone than doing it both personally and professionally. Plus, there are Facebook groups where like minded people are having work conversations (Here’s the Healthcare Scene Facebook group) or sharing and consuming content. Join those conversations and you’ll be surprised how quickly you can connect to and learn from amazing people.

Periscope – Watch for Periscope to have a break out year at HIMSS this year. I’m not a huge fan of Periscope for a lot of things in healthcare IT, but live events is the perfect place for Periscope. I’ll be searching through Periscope to find who is broadcasting periscopes from HIMSS16 so I can see some of the interesting things I missed. Plus, I’ll likely be doing some periscopes from HIMSS16 myself, so watch for those.

HIMSS Mobile App – I’ll admit that this is a new one for me. I just downloaded the HIMSS Mobile App and I’m excited to see how well it works. While many people think it’s a way to find sessions, maps, etc, the mobile app is much more powerful as a way to connect with people. Unlike Twitter, the mobile app won’t likely have all the noise that exists on Twitter because you can’t automate what’s posted to the mobile app as easily as you can Twitter. Take some time to be active and share insights on the mobile app. I think you’ll be surprised at the impact you can have if you do so.

Those are a few suggestions. Let me know any other thoughts or suggestions you have on how to leverage social media before, during and after HIMSS16.