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How to Live Tweet a Surgery: Social Media Rockstar, Ashley Dinielli


One of the best parts of writing this blog has been meeting all the amazing and talented marketers who are trying innovative and adventurous approaches to social media healthcare marketing. We’ve even specified a designation for those individuals: Social Media Rockstars.

Welcome Ashley Dinielli to the club. Ashley is in charge of Social Media and Web Strategy at UCLA Health (Disclaimer: UCLA is a client of Aha Media) and works as a part of the larger web team. As part of a major push to bring awareness to deep brain stimulation, a treatment used to treat Parkinson’s disease and essential tremors, the team decided they wanted to live tweet a surgery.
Finding the right patient for these types of events is always challenging, but right away, Ashley and the surgeon, Dr. Nader Pouratian, knew that the perfect patient was a musician who wanted to be able to retain this ability to play the guitar, even after having this surgery to stop his essential tremors. During the surgery, the patient would have to be awake, in order to avoid damaging critical brain tissue that controls his musical talent. Ashley knew this would make for a dramatic surgery and truly illustrate how amazing deep brain stimulation can be.

 

Standing out with a Live Tweet Surgery

Ashley was still faced with a dilemma to which we can all relate: How are we going to make this unique and different from what everyone else is doing? Live tweeting surgeries is not that new. But she had just been to a conference where people had been talking about Vine, and so Ashley thought, “We are going to use Vine to kick this up a notch.”

Ashley made a list of which social media technologies would make this creative and unique: Vine, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. She also worked carefully with Dr. Pourtian to carefully plot the surgery—what moments to capture, what the money shots would be and what information they should include with each post to attract and drive potential patients. She worked with their legal, compliance and risk management teams. They talked about what they were trying to do, what to do if something happened and how they would control it, and “surprisingly they signed off on it,” she says.

#UCLAORLive was a huge success. Consider these stats:

·    More than 20,650,879 million people using Twitter saw the story in their news feeds.

·    The UCLA Health Twitter gained more than 755 new followers from the event.

·    62 mainstream news outlets reported on the story including Yahoo News, CBS, The Huffington Post, Daily UK and the LA Times.

·    3,229 shares to Facebook

·    3,877 Tweets

·    More than 1,709 shares on other social networks and emails

·    The story posted on Storify and has received over 5,297 views

·    More than 252 blogs posted information about the story

·    The #UCLAORLive hashtag has over 863,032 impressions

·    There have been more than 600 comments to various posted stories




This word cloud represents the most used words and phrases:

While all this external success is important to UCLA as a brand, the ROI for the program and patient are measurable as well. Dr. Pouratian has received a major uptick of traffic to his content and is performing even more of these types of treatment surgeries. And, the patient started a Kickstarter campaign and raised $40,000.

Want to Live Tweet a surgery too?

While Ashley was incredibly prepared and experienced major success, she has this advice to other hospital marketers if they are preparing for a social media event:

  1. Build relationships before the event—Ashley recommends spending a ton of time with the physician, fellows and other physicians before the surgery. By planning every step of the surgery, but also developing relationships with others assisting the primary surgeon, she was able to adapt to any changes during the procedure. As Ashley points out, “You can’t stop the lead surgeon in the middle, so you need to have other people you can ask.”
  2. Be overprepared—Create a list of prepared information so when you have moments to edit and select what you were going to send out, you will have everything you need. Ashley herself says she would have created more of that type of information, because of how often she could have sent out that critical content.
  3. Prepare expectations of everyone in the room—“There are so many people in the room and it was crowded—so making sure everyone is very well versed on expectations and what is happening is really important to making sure the day and event run successfully.”

Read more about the UCLA Live OR Story.

Want to be featured as a Social Media Rockstar? Or want to nominate someone? Leave it in the comments below.

About Ahava Leibtag

Ahava Leibtag, MA

Ahava R. Leibtag has more than 15 years of experience in writing, messaging and marketing. She is a well-recognized content expert and writes thought leadership about content strategy and content marketing. Ahava is the President and owner of Aha Media Group, a content strategy and content marketing consultancy founded in October 2005. She... More >