How to Create a Facebook Patient Community
Episode 369

Dan Hinmon, Community Director at Mayo Clinic Social Media Network

How to Create a Facebook Patient Community

Tools We Use and Recommend

Save time, Make a Bigger Impact

Check them out

Get The Latest In Your Inbox

SUBSCRIBE

How to Create a Facebook Patient Community

Episode 369

Recommended Books:

Good to Great by James Collins

The Platform Revolution

Best Way to Contact Dan:

dan@hivestrategies.com

Mentioned Links:

Company Website

How to Create a Facebook Patient Community with Dan Hinmon, Community Director at Mayo Clinic Social Media Network | Convert audio-to-text with Sonix

Saul Marquez:
Hey Outcomes Rocket listeners thanks for tuning into the podcast again. Tired of your businesses healthcare costs unpredictably increasing every year? Healthcare costs are typically a business’s second or third line item expense. And if you’re like most employers it’s an expense that’s growing faster than your revenue. Luckily for employers Noveta Health has the solution. Noveta Health is a full service healthcare consulting firm with proven strategies to lower your healthcare costs by up to 30% or more. They operate on a fee for service model and never mark up any of their medical or pharmaceutical claims. None of your employees have to leave their doctor or pharmacist either. Their health captive and pharmacy benefit manager are the most cost effective and transparent solutions in the whole country. What they do is not magic. It’s just honest. So if you’re tired of over spending on health insurance and want to learn more visit outcomesrocket.health/save for a free spend analysis to see how you too could save by switching to Noveta Health. That’s outcomesrocket.health/save for your free spend analysis outcomesrocket.health/save.

Saul Marquez:
Welcome back to the podcast. Today I have the pleasure of re welcoming Dan Hinmon. He’s a member of the Mayo Clinic Social and Digital Innovation team. He’s a Community Director there and he also is principal of Hive Strategies, a consulting firm that provides expert advice for Facebook patient communities. Dan’s a popular speaker and presenter at healthcare marketing conferences and today we are gonna spend some time diving into his work at Hive Strategies better understanding Facebook patient communities, things of concern, the opportunity behind them as well as a lot of his thoughts and experience around this topic. So it’s a true pleasure to have Dan back on the podcast and with that I want to give you a warm welcome. Thanks for joining us again.

Dan Hinmon:
Yeah thank you Saul, I really appreciate the invitation to come back. It’s great to talk to you today.

Saul Marquez:
Absolutely. So Dan I think you know last time you gave us a little bit about what got you into the health sector but if for the folks that haven’t listened what got you into healthcare?

Dan Hinmon:
Yeah actually I’ve been involved in advertising marketing public relations and design for all my career pretty much for the last 30 years here in Oregon. And from the very beginning I had a real interest in healthcare. I guess the reasons for that are first of all that I think the healthcare industry does a tremendous amount of good. And I’ve always liked to align myself with people doing good things and then also the opportunity to build awareness and educate through this work has really been a powerful motivation for me.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah that’s really powerful and and there is a lot of ways that people could make an impact in healthcare regardless of their skillset. You know the thing that I always tell people Dan is doesn’t matter what you’re great at. There’s an opportunity within healthcare it’s not just a vertical, it’s a three point four trillion dollar industry where we get to do good. And so you’re highly focused on patient communities I’d love to hear from you. What is a hot topic within these communities, are these communities for the people I haven’t heard about them or know about them. So take us down that path.

Dan Hinmon:
Yeah. Let me just share with you kind of a personal story Saul about what brought me to this because over these years there’s 30 years in healthcare focused mainly on the traditional kinds of things advertising, public relations, news releases brochures websites etc. About 10 years ago I got really interested in social media and healthcare and then I particularly pivoted to this idea of helping hospitals and clinics develop successful support groups for patients and this has become very personal for me because my first daughter was born in the 70’s. She seemed perfect when she was born but within a couple of weeks we discovered that she had actually a birth defect. She… we went to the hospital for a consult about it wondering what was going on with her life. And one day found ourselves sitting in a room with the doctor saying “your daughter has no bile duct, she’s going to die. She’s going to die. We can do a surgery that will extend her life for maybe 18 months or so but that’s the best we can offer you and so what you need to do today is make a decision about whether you want to take her home and take care of her whether you want to have the surgery to prolong the life put it through some difficulties” and so then my wife and I are sitting in a room alone in a hospital with a doctor in the most painful and difficult decision of our lives without anybody to ask. No you know internet to go out and say well what are all the details about this. No parents who have been through this before to check in with. And so there we were we made the decision to take her home and take care of her and she lived just for months. And so that was you know really of course it was painful time in my life. And when I realized about five, six years ago that I could be engaged in a way to help people going through similar situations. Today the advent of the Internet and the opportunity to connect with other parents who were going through the very same things that just really drove me to get involved with this and so the heart of these communities is just exactly this. It’s the opportunity to set up a group where people who are going through similar health challenges whether it be know some of the most popular for cancer patients whether they have a rare disease where they have children with rare diseases whether they’re caregivers or Alzheimer’s spouses or parents whether they’re new moms wherever people are going through challenging and difficult and sometimes extremely painful healthcare experiences, hospitals and clinics and organizations have an opportunity to bring them together into a community where they can give each other the support, the care, the insights, the empathy that can help them get through these tough times. And so there are hundreds and hundreds of these that have been created on a whole bunch of different platforms. And you know in order to bring people together to provide that support and caring and I just selected Facebook because it’s where lots and lots of people are already. And so Facebook groups can help them to connect in a way that they’re very comfortable and aware of in the first place.

Saul Marquez:
Well Dan thanks for sharing that. That very personal story and the big why behind why you’re doing what you’re doing is definitely a strong reason and a valuable reason to do this. I mean just the other day I was having a conversation with a friend’s mom who is about to have back surgery and it’s hard even with an elective procedure like that to know what to expect you’re told by your doctor “hey you got to decide right now do you want me to do this or not?” And when these decisions are introduced to people it’s hard to decide and then you feel lost and you don’t know what to do. And so I think these communities that that you’re alluding to them are providing a big help. So what are some examples of communities you’ve been involved with and then also tell us about some of the things that are opportunities but also watch outs.

Dan Hinmon:
Yeah. So my main role with Mayo Clinic is managing a community there that actually is healthcare marketers and communicators and and learning more about social media. And so that’s where I picked up most of my community management skills. And then the other kinds of communities that we’ve been engaged in have to do with new moms, that rare disease, and cancer and et cetera. And so the thing that I want to emphasize a lot Saul here is there really is there really is a right way and a wrong way to develop patient support community. And it’s not extremely complicated to learn the difference but some people think oh we have to do is go onto Facebook, set up a group and then buy bunch of people to join and then we’ll have a great support group. But actually there are some very specific skill sets that are essential and a process to go through to make to help those communities really really be successful. And so I wonder if I could share just some of those with you.

Saul Marquez:
Please, that would be great.

Dan Hinmon:
So it’s really important that you start the community right and by say start that community right I refer to the idea that every successful patient support group really does solve a problem. It needs to solve a problem for your patients and it needs to solve a problem for your clinic or hospital. So there’s some research that really is involved. First of all you might think your patients would really gravitate towards the group that you create but it could also be that they’re already getting those support needs met someplace else. So the first step really is to pull some of your patients that you think would really benefit probably let’s take for instance maybe you run a surgical weight loss practice where patients… this is really a perfect example of where a support group can come in really valuable because typically before surgery patients spend several months learning more about it and going through a process to lose weight already and do various things then they have the surgery. They have these lifestyle changes they need support through a long process. And you might say wow our patients really could benefit from this but maybe they’re already involved in another surgical weight loss community that might be a national one or someone else some place else where they’re already getting those needs met. So it’s important to find out from the patients. Is this something that you would really want to be involved with and engaged with and then you want to pick a service that matches with your objectives as a clinic or hospital in terms of what service lines do you want to build. So that gets your internal support. If you don’t have the internal stakeholders aligned with your community you’ll find sooner or later that the support goes away and you don’t have the opportunity to do the very best you can with that community. So those two things are really important to patients really care about it enough to want to participate. And secondly is it going to support objectives within your organization.

Saul Marquez:
Some great call outs there Dan and to the folks listening and looking to provide these types of community I think these are some great tips. Dan you also had an informational PDF that you wanted to share with folks right.

Dan Hinmon:
Yeah. And really that’s the next big step in this is deciding really learning about how to manage and grow your community in the right way. So one of the really essential things is to pick a community manager somebody who really has the right mindset for management. So let me just kind of point out that there is a big difference between hosting a Facebook page and in most cases Facebook pages are just used to kind of educate people about what’s going on in your organization with various announcements and photos but a community is a whole different mindset. You don’t want to give them information, you want them to share information with each other. And so it’s really essential that you pick the right person to manage that community that they have the right mindset and try to put together a little PDF called Five Essential Mindsets for a Successful Community Manager. It’s a guide that helps you select maybe the right person to manage and this doesn’t need to be a full time person most clinics or hospitals somebody spends maybe an hour a day managing the community but you can get that if you’d like by emailing me dan@hivestrategies.com and then I’d be happy to send that out to you.

Saul Marquez:
Outstanding folks if you go to outcomesrocket.health and you look up Dan Hinmon, you’ll be able to just click on his e-mail there and request that PDF if it’s a really great one or just email him directly at dan@hivestrategies.com. Thanks so much for offering that up to the community Dan really appreciate that.

Dan Hinmon:
Yeah. You know there are a couple of other tips about managing a community I might share here. And what is avoid the temptation to want to do a big splash to start your community up inviting hundreds of people to participate from the beginning. Instead you want to start small you want to select 10 or 15 or 20 people that you invite into the community, you want to get the conversation started and going. And again there’s a specific strategy for that that people can find out more about on my website that we don’t really have time today to go into. But the idea of starting small and start those conversations going so that when you invite more people in they see there’s already an active community. The thing that turns people off mostly is that they come to the community and nothing’s happening and then they never come back.

Saul Marquez:
Right.

Dan Hinmon:
They don’t mind you a chance. But if you seed it with those initial 10 or 15 people get conversations going. Make sure that interesting things are happening then you invite people in in sets of 20 or 30 or 50 more and grow it over time and then when they come in that activity is there and they can really see the value.

Saul Marquez:
Love it. Some great tips there Dan. And different from what you would do if you’re starting a business group for sure so great distinctions made here. Give us an example Dan of a community you’ve been involved with and some of the positive outcomes that have resulted from it.

Dan Hinmon:
Yeah well this is really satisfying because first of all people are so grateful to find someone else going through the same thing they’re going through. And so their reaction is “wow I’m so grateful I found this group, this is so helpful for me to know what to expect and the next step of my journey. This is where I come to get the emotional support that I need when I’m the most discouraged and frustrated and worried”, they love that this is a 24/7 opportunity if you have a sizable group and they can go out at two in the morning when they’re most worried and alone and find other people who are out there listening and willing to participate. So that’s the patient satisfaction is really remarkable. But the other thing that happens is because they find the community so incredibly useful to them in their lives is they gain enormous and loyalty to the organization that sponsoring the hospital or the clinic that’s sponsoring this. They feel such a connection and so grateful for it. But actually this develops into a return on investment for the organization. Sometimes people say oh we don’t want to put our resources there because how does it really benefit our bottom line.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah.

Dan Hinmon:
The world benefits the bottom line is and this includes an incredible loyalty where then they want to come. And as you’ve built this relationship you have an opportunity to offer and then buy additional services to the group and then they may be interested but then also they refer. And so that’s the other thing that continues to happen is is that people become more loyal to your organization. They’re more likely to refer others to the work that you do because they’re so grateful for the experience they’ve had.

Saul Marquez:
Such a great great example there Dan and as we think about how we can better prepare ourselves whether it be hospital systems or clinics for this consumerism that is happening in health care. We could address it. We could ignore it but it’s happening. And so there’s a lot of strategies to go after it. And I think the way that Dan is offering up here is one of those strategies you could do to help any our allies is there as well for those folks that need to see that. So what I want to do now Dan is go through the mini syllabus that we construct here with all of our guests and it’s going to be a lightning round. I’m going to ask you four questions related to Facebook patient communities and then we’ll finish up with a couple fun questions and book you recommend to the listeners. Ready?

Dan Hinmon:
Ready.

Saul Marquez:
All right. Here we go. What’s the best way to build a Facebook patient community?

Dan Hinmon:
Well right. So first of all make sure your patients want it, start small, be genuine, manage the community in a way that generates conversation not you telling them what to do all the time.

Saul Marquez:
And I would also add and visit hivestrategies.com.

Dan Hinmon:
Thank you for that. Right.

Saul Marquez:
Absolutely as there’s your cheat sheet there Dan. What’s the biggest mistake or pitfall to avoid?

Dan Hinmon:
Don’t be a know at all. The worst thing you can do in a community of your manager is to feel like you have to answer every question. But no, you don’t answer the questions unless you have to. What you want to get is the patients to talk to each other and answer each other’s questions.

Saul Marquez:
How do you stay relevant despite all the change?

Dan Hinmon:
Listen listen listen to what your patients are telling you and what they need and their support groups.

Saul Marquez:
What’s one area of focus that should drive every Facebook patient community?

Dan Hinmon:
A genuine care about the patient’s, emotional and physical journey through their healthcare crisis.

Saul Marquez:
Outstanding Dan, some great tips there. These next two are more about you. What is your number one health habit?

Dan Hinmon:
Oh trying to eat better. Well sugar it’s unbelievable but I’m trying to cut back on any better.

Saul Marquez:
Love it and what is your number one success habit?

Dan Hinmon:
Daily planning except…

Saul Marquez:
Yeah if you don’t have a plan you become part of someone else’s right.

Dan Hinmon:
Well exactly.

Saul Marquez:
What book would you recommend to the listeners?

Dan Hinmon:
Well so my all time favorite really is James Collins book Good to Great. But I think it’s really amazing for anybody who’s you know involved in building a practice or a business or even a thought leadership position. Right now I’m reading a book called The Platform Revolution by Parker,Van Alstyne, and Chowdhury and this just is all about how the really be disruptive industries are all built around platforms that connect developers with users. If you look at Amazon, you look at Apple and their iPhone platform and et cetera et cetera. That’s one that many many of us within Mayo Clinic are reading right now because of to help prepare really for the future of healthcare.

Saul Marquez:
I think that’s such an interesting recommendation Dan thank you for that. Listeners you can get all of the resources we’ve discussed today you know where to go it’s outcomesrocket.health, in the search bar type in Dan Hinmon and you’ll find the entire transcript for today’s episode, his email as well as his website to further dive into the Facebook patient communities and how they could benefit the patients you serve in your organization. Dan before I conclude I’d love if you could just leave us with the closing thought and then the best place where the listeners could stay in touch.

Dan Hinmon:
Yeah well thank you Saul it’s been a pleasure to be on your podcast today. I very much appreciated and the work that you’re doing. Closing thought really would be when you do what’s best for your patients especially in this world of developing a safe place for them to share with others the challenges on their health journeys, then it also ends up being the best for you. It’s a win win. It really is. And I’m afraid hospitals from time to time don’t realize the value of that. So just encourage people to think deeply about you know the good that can come from benefiting patients in this way as well as the health systems. And then what was your other question? Oh how to contact me.

Saul Marquez:
Yep.

Dan Hinmon:
Was that it? Oh hivestrategies.com it’s the website. And there’s more information there and offer a free initial consultation so if people have questions I’m happy to give answer some of those directly as well.

Saul Marquez:
Outstanding Dan thanks again for your time folks. Take Dan up on his and his offer there to to connect and help you with your Facebook patient communities. It’s definitely a resource that will help and again one of the brightest minds working in this space. So Dan really appreciate you spending time with us again.

Dan Hinmon:
Thank you Saul. My pleasure.

Thanks for listening to the Outcomes Rocket podcast. Be sure to visit us on the web at www.outcomesrocket.com for the show notes, resources, inspiration, and so much more.

Convert audio to text with Sonix. Sonix is the best online audio transcription software

Sonix accurately transcribed the audio file, “How to Create a Facebook Patient Community with Dan Hinmon, Community Director at Mayo Clinic Social Media Network” , using cutting-edge AI. Get a near-perfect transcript in minutes, not hours or days when you use Sonix. Sonix is the industry-leading audio-to-text converter. Signing up for a free trial is easy.

Convert mp3 to text with Sonix

For audio files (such as “How to Create a Facebook Patient Community with Dan Hinmon, Community Director at Mayo Clinic Social Media Network”), thousands of researchers and podcasters use Sonix to automatically transcribe mp3 their audio files. Easily convert your mp3 file to text or docx to make your media content more accessible to listeners.

Best audio transcription software: Sonix

Researching what is “the best audio transcription software” can be a little overwhelming. There are a lot of different solutions. If you are looking for a great way to convert mp3 to text , we think that you should try Sonix. They use the latest AI technology to transcribe your audio and are one my favorite pieces of online software.