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Jul 2, 2019 · Awesome Instagram Tips from Sue B. Zimmerman Insta Expert & Keynote at #MCSMN Annual Conference

We asked Sue B. Zimmerman, an Instagram expert who teaches small business owners how to create powerful marketing strategies, to share who she’s following, common mistakes businesses make, and top hacks.

Learn more from Sue B. and other experts at the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network 2019 Annual Conference, October 22-23 in Rochester, MN.

Why Instagram?

Instagram is consistently staying ahead of the curve to remain one of the most effective forms of social media for businesses. Instagram has come a long way from its beginnings as a simple photo-sharing app. Many of the app’s changes in the last decade make it easier for brands to create conversations with their fans.

Some features make it easier to engage. We love the ability to like comments, reply to specific comments, ask questions, take polls in Stories, and send direct messages. Others help businesses manage their brands’ image on the platform. These include archiving posts, adding usernames and hashtags into the bio, and saving other users’ posts into organized private collections. The latest features on Instagram are helping businesses sell products with shoppable posts and product stickers within Stories.

Why did you pick this platform to channel your expertise?

I am a visual thinker and love that Instagram is a place where I can get daily inspiration, learn something new or shop from my favorite brands.
I started teaching Instagram seven years ago because I saw an opportunity to teach other business owners how to authentically share their products and services, create community, and make money.

Which brands do you love on Instagram and why?

Thedrybar — they know what their audience wants to see, not just pictures of hair and hair products but pictures of things that relate to the lifestyle of their clientele and followers. It looks cohesive in the feed.

Teilart — she shows a lot of creativity behind the scenes, and her feed is like her gallery. She has a monthly release date for her collections which helps create a sense of urgency to purchase.

Allbirds — have a cohesive color scheme and theme. They demonstrate how their product is both fashionable and functional so it appears popular among people with very many different lifestyles.

Bombas socks — often showcasing collaborations with other brands and tagging them, limited-edition designs create a sense of urgency to buy.

Detail Therapy — good use of relevant quotes, consistent graphic style and color scheme throughout.

What are some of the top mistakes you see brands make on Instagram?

  • No cohesive feed
  • Not using the same filter
  • Putting personal content on a business page
  • Random quotes that aren’t related to their brand

Can you share one of your top hacks for saving time and energy on your Instagram strategy?

A huge time-saver is to save your commonly used hashtags in the notes app on your phone. That way you can copy and paste the group of hashtags onto the post instead of having to remember and type out each one you want to use. PLUS it avoids spelling a word wrong.

Any final recommendations?

Comment Threads — Growing a business on Instagram has a lot to do with engaging. Showing up by leaving genuine, thoughtful comments on comment threads where your target audience hangs out is a great way to gain a genuine following that’s actually interested in what you have to offer.

Jun 7, 2019 · How Facebook Ad Transparency Could Affect Your Boosted Posts

Hi @DanHinmon good question. I visited Facebook's support page (linked at the bottom of the blog). The Chat feature was not available at the time but there was an email option so I selected that and sent an email. They responded fairly quickly.

Jun 7, 2019 · How Facebook Ad Transparency Could Affect Your Boosted Posts

Hi @MeganRowe we shared your same hesitation. Thankfully, in our case, it wasn't necessary. But we were prepared to drop that boosted post if it wasn't approved.

Jun 6, 2019 · How Facebook Ad Transparency Could Affect Your Boosted Posts

Several weeks ago I attempted to boost this post on Mayo Clinic’s Facebook page:

It was denied. For this reason:

I attempted to appeal the decision twice through the online appeal process. Twice it was denied. We’re flattered Facebook deemed Mayo Clinic’s medical supply donation process “an issue of national importance,” but were fairly confident the content was incorrectly classified. Digging into the issue, this is what I learned— and what you should know—about Facebook’s new ad transparency process and how it might affect your boosted posts.

According to Facebook: Advertisers running ads related to politics or issues of national importance may be required to complete the ad authorization process. Requirements for running ads related to politics or issues of national importance vary by country. The information below is for U.S.-based users.

Why is Facebook requiring ad authorization?

We’re making these changes to increase ad transparency and as part of our election integrity on Facebook and Instagram.

We hope that the ad authorization process will help candidates, political parties and other organizations provide people with more information about who’s behind the ads they’re seeing.

Definition of ads related to politics or issues of national importance

  • Is made by, on behalf of, or about a current or former candidate for public office, a political party, a political action committee, or advocates for the outcome of an election to public office; or
  • Relates to any election, referendum, or ballot initiative, including “get out the vote” or election information campaigns; or
  • Relates to any national legislative issue of public importance in any place where the ad is being run; or
  • Is regulated as political advertising.

What will authorization change?

Advertisers will need to disclose who is paying for the political ads. Besides this disclosure, it does not appear that the user’s page or posting functionality will be impacted.

How do I become authorized?

In short, to become authorized, advertisers will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Page admins and ad account admins will submit their government-issued ID and provide a residential mailing address for verification.
  2. We’ll confirm each address by mailing a letter with a unique access code that only the admin’s Facebook account can use.
  3. Advertisers will have to disclose who is paying for the ads.

However, the full process is a bit more complex. Facebook offers a 20-minute Blueprint training course to guide advertisers through the steps required.

Options if I don’t want to become authorized?

It depends.

If your content does not meet the definition of ads related to politics or issues of national importance and was inaccurately classified, follow the formal appeal process. If your appeal is denied, contact Facebook through the Chat or e-mail function on their support page.

If your content does meet the definition of ads related to politics or issues, of national importance, you will not be able to run the ad until you complete the authorization process.

So, how did our story end? In victory! A real, live person (yes, Facebook has those) reviewed the boosted post, approved without authorization needed, and it became active almost immediately.

Best of luck to you!

May 9, 2019 · Understanding Online Reviews

Hi Eileen: I would love a way to access Doximity but, for now, it is only open to physicians.

May 8, 2019 · Understanding Online Reviews

Online reviews. Google. Vitals. Healthgrades. Oh, how we have a love-hate relationship with these review sites. Good reviews help our physicians shine and provide valuable patient insight, but poor reviews can tarnish their online reputation and may not accurately reflect broad patient consensus.

And, frankly, they can distract and discourage. We welcome, even encourage, patient feedback and deeply value that input. Yet, health care is deeply personal. It can be difficult to discern if that one review by that one patient is reflective of one singular, extraordinary experience or an emerging trend.

The question is: how seriously should we take reviews and what can we do about them. Here is the approach we recommend to Mayo Clinic physicians.

This blog is intended to start a discussion on a topic many of us face so please feel free to comment on your approach below.

Understanding Defamation and Libel

Defamation is a lie or misrepresentation that is intended to harm another person and is communicated to a third party. Such statements commonly appear on social media websites.

There are two types of defamation:
1. Libel (defamation through written statements or conduct)
2. Slander (defamation through spoken statements)

Defamatory statements posted to the Internet are considered libel. The requirements differ by state, but generally a victim of negative speech must prove four elements in order to successfully assert a legal cause of action for defamation:
1. The statements were false,
2. The person who made the statements knew or should have known they were false,
3. The statements were made to a third party, and
4. The victim’s reputation was damaged because of the statements.

Defamation cases are hard to win. A lawsuit will likely fail if the objectionable statement is true (or substantially true).

Additional barriers:
Statements of opinion, no matter how offensive, are always protected. Opinion statements are those that 1. Cannot be proven either true or false, 2. Are subjective, and 3. Would not be accepted as true by a reasonable person.

Defamatory internet posts are often made anonymously. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the right to anonymity in speech, and courts will rarely order a website to reveal the identity of an anonymous poster.

Review Forum Immunity
Hosts or sponsors of online review sites are immune from claims of defamation prohibiting defamed parties from suing the website directly.

What Can I Do?

First, review your patient satisfaction results. Do you see any areas for improvement? Are there modifications you could make based on the data that might help? Do not respond to the solicitations from vendors such as Review Concierge for comment and/or pay for their reputation management services.

Second, drive review sites down in search rankings by adding content that Google will see as relevant to a search for information about you. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Participate in your organization’s social media platforms, particularly YouTube. Through appropriate linking and tagging, these posts will be optimized for search and will likely help displace the existing problematic postings.

  • Claim and complete (or create) your public profile on certain physician network or review sites. Mayo Clinic has prioritized Doximity as having the most relevance and impact. MCSMN has online modules to help you manage this profile.

  • Create your own social networking accounts, particularly on LinkedIn and Twitter. These provide opportunities for you to link to preferred content. MCSMN has online training materials to guide you in the process.

May 2, 2019 · Summer Holidays and Awareness Events For Your Content Calendar

As your summer vacation plans inch closer, get ahead of your content calendar by planning for the following holidays, events, and awareness months.

Please note: the items listed below are a select sampling of events, not a comprehensive guide. We encourage you to consider the holidays and awareness months that are significant to your audience when planning your content calendar (and share in the comment section for fellow MCSMN members!). For a more complete listing of health awareness months, please see this handy calendar from healthline.


5 – Beginning of Ramadan
6-12 – National Nurses Week
12 – Mother’s Day
20-26 – National Hurricane Preparedness Week
27 – Memorial Day
31 – World No Tobacco Day

American Stroke Awareness Month
Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month
Mental Health Month
National Physical Fitness and Sports Month
National Neuropathy Awareness Month
Arthritis Awareness Month
Food Allergy Action Month


2 – National Cancer Survivors Day
3 – Beginning of Eid al-Fitr
16 – Father’s Day
21 – First Day of Summer

Scoliosis Awareness Month
Men’s Health Month
Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month


4 – Independence Day
28 – World Hepatitis Day

Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month
National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month


10 – Beginning of Eid al-Adha
1-8 – World Breastfeeding Week (National Breastfeeding Month)
4-10 – National Health Center Week

National Immunization Awareness Month
Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month
Back to School & Fall Sports

May 1, 2019 · How to Host an Instagram Q&A Story

500 million people use Stories every day and
a third of the most viewed Stories are created by businesses.

Last month, we hosted an Instagram Story Q&A live from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons annual meeting. Each year, dozens of Mayo Clinic neurosurgery experts convene for this annual conference–making it a prime opportunity to produce quality content, with a range of experts from different campuses, in just a few days. Traditionally, we hosted Facebook Live and Periscope broadcasts at this event. As with all live streaming, that option came with limitations:

  • Relies on uninterrupted wi-fi connection for the duration of the broadcast
  • No start/stop option, requiring one take (which can be very challenging in the middle of a loud, busy convention center)

This year we opted for an Instagram Story Q&A. Here’s how it worked:

  • First, we used the “question” sticker to pose a question on our Instagram Stories approximately 12 hours before we intended to answer questions. This allowed time for users to post questions, but not enough time that the story dropped off the page after 24 hours. If you aren’t familiar with how to use the question sticker, AdWeek breaks it down.

Pro Tip: Let your audience know when to expect your response.

  • Next, we recorded video responses to as many questions as possible. To view the questions, click on your story, select “Seen by ###” in the bottom left screen. The next screen that appears will show you all of the questions from your audience. Tap on the question you wish to answer and a new story post will open. Answers can be text or video replies. Video replies are limited to 15 seconds but you can reply to the same question multiple times. The question text will appear on the screen in your reply but the user’s name will not.

We want to know, how are you using Instagram Stories to interact with your audience?