Finding needles in haystacks
One of the most serious challenges facing organisations seeking to develop and maximise their social media presences is the need to identify the social media accounts of only those key individuals and organisations that are most directly and most distinctly relevant to them, and then identifying amongst the tens of thousands of followers of these accounts only those that are also relevant to them.
There are an estimated 15 million active Twitter users in the UK alone. The UK total for Facebook is 24 million and for LinkedIn it is 10 million. Amongst the newer arrivals, UK Pinterest users have increased 10-fold from 200,000 to over 2 million between 2012 and 2013.
This challenge can often seem unsurmountable. Many organisations can find themselves communicating and engaging with hundreds if not thousands of people who have no interest in them, whilst missing many people and organisations who are most important to them.
It can feel like trying to find needles in haystacks.
“Find SoMeOne in Health” is a revolutionary product we have developed that addresses this key need. It contains a UNIQUE data store of over 300,000 UK Twitter accounts interested in health and healthcare. It is now available for YOU to use to find your own organisation’s needles
A traditional approach to the problem is simply to establish a Twitter or other social media account, follow a small number of important related national organisations and hope they follow back to begin to build a social media profile. Often this fails because the main accounts of many of these large national organisations tend not to follow as many people as follow them. The national organisations also, by their very nature, will be followed by thousands of people and organisations who have no connection or interest with your specific organisation.
This is often combined with a generic publicity drive through traditional communications channels to make people aware that the organisation has created new social media channels, in the hope and expectation that they will follow or subscribe. This is also sub-optimal, simply because by their very nature, many social media users increasingly tend not to use traditional communications channels to receive information and updates. It is a classic Catch-22 situation.
A one-off exercise might involve an individual in the organisation doing a laborious manual exercise to find out one-by-one all the names of the followers of a selected number of Twitter accounts, rank them by their own followers and then manually follow each of them. Even where the results of this laborious exercise yield initial valuable results, they are out of date before they are even completed.
There are scores of online solutions that will provide generic social media statistics and metrics that will purport to aid social media development and assessment. But these statistics and metrics can be unfocussed in nature and unintelligent about the particular needs and dynamics of particular organisations, their specific local stakeholders and specific local context. Often they can simply end up being measurement for measurement’s sake, for example “We can compare you with Barack Obama”
In the absence of anything better, there is little wrong with adopting any of these approaches either in isolation or as a whole. This remains the case even given that these approaches are blunt, relatively unfocussed and time consuming. Until now, they have been the most adopted simply because there hasn’t been a better way. It’s just that they’re not very good at the job.
So how does “Find SoMeOne in Health” solve the problem?
The solution is built on an unprecedented and unique ‘big public sector social media data’ repository and analyser that enables us to conduct searches, reports and comparative analyses of specific key NHS and healthcare targets’ social media presences, followers, activities and subscribers.
It solves the problem of finding the needles in haystacks by deploying a series of layered algorithms, intelligent filters and pattern analyses to focus relentlessly on those social media accounts of individuals and organisations with the greatest interest and influence in the NHS and health and care sectors.
The algorithms, filters and pattern analyses continually interact with each other and intelligently inform each other to go beyond the limitations of one-off, one-search results. For example, rather than simply finding the direct followers of one isolated NHS social media account, they cross-reference across multiple accounts, across followers of followers of followers, and including key phrase searching in a continual refining and deep-mining process.
The underlying data warehouse underpinning this product currently holds hundreds of thousands Twitter accounts of those with the most direct interest in healthcare and healthcare-related topics and organisations, with Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn coming on-stream during 2015.
And the good news is that we can produce tightly tailored reports and analyses that focusses on the specific accounts and/or specific organisations that YOU specify or we believe are most tightly relevant to you.
For national bodies, this could be those following and/or followed on Twitter by the most influential national accounts;
For professional bodies, it could be those following and/or followed by a combination of accounts from main NHS organisations or selected providers, combined with royal colleges, regulators and/or relevant professional publications;
For individual NHS providers or suppliers, it could be the accounts of organisations and/or individuals following and/or followed by the most directly relevant national NHS organisations and regulators, combined with their regional or local equivalents plus specific local campaigns, media outlets and decision-making bodies (e.g. ‘Save the local hospital’ + local radio and TV stations + local Healthwatch + local councils and MPs)
For campaigns or charities, it could be those following and/or followed by a combination of specialist publications, relevant charities or national representatives, healthcare providers or suppliers, regulators, influencers and decision-making bodies.
Reports and analyses on the data held within it can be provided to you through a series of means – Excel spreadsheets, Powerpoint presentations, Word or PDF documents or even read-only CD-ROM. In the near future, we propose to deploy web and mobile interfaces to enable organisations to access and interrogate the underlying data warehouse directly and in real time.
If you would like to find out more about the Find SoMe in Health solution, including the web and mobile interface, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form below. [contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]