It’s hard out there in social media for regulated industries like healthcare. UnitedHealth Group for example, has to carefully craft their responses to customers in social media to comply with legal requirements.

According to Rachel Medina, their senior communications specialist, they’re making progress with reaching customers despite these strict rules. In her presentation at SocialMedia.org‘s BlogWell conference, she explains it’s all a part of following HIPAA regulations while trying to do more for their customers in social media.

Here are three key points from her presentation:

  • Members come first, and social comes second. Rachel admits that healthcare in social media isn’t sexy. But to UnitedHealth Group, it’s not about having the most innovative campaign or making a viral video. It’s about meeting their customers where they want to interact with the company.
  • Create a pilot program to help with executive buy-in. Rachel explains that by reallocating a few employees from the call center and keeping costs low, they were able to make the case for social media while leaving room to make mistakes.
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Since the FTC updated their social media guidelines last year, a lot of social marketers have a lot of questions about staying legal. The bottom line: It all comes down to proper disclosure.

In his presentation at SocialMedia.org‘s BlogWell conference, Andy Sernovitz explains why paying for social media coverage makes a sticky situation that requires the right kind of disclosure. But he also shares why doing disclosure right is easy.

Here are three ways you can make a habit of staying ethical in social media:

  • Use these 10 magic words: “I work for (company) and this is my personal opinion.” When you’re open and honest about who you are, it not only keeps you out of legal trouble, but can also help your credibility.
  • Make it clear and conspicuous: The FTC doesn’t give social media marketers a script to follow. Instead, they require marketers to just be upfront about disclosure in a way that’s easy to understand and easy to see.
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If you’re like 92 percent of people on Twitter, you don’t follow the handles of the places where your friends and family work. It’s a statistic that meant a lot to AT&T’s Senior Manager of Emerging Communications, Lee Diaz. That’s why they rolled out their internal content hub, the Social Circle, for employees to begin sharing more from AT&T in their social networks.

In his presentation at SocialMedia.org‘s BlogWell conference in Dallas, Lee explains why they encouraged over 80,000 employees to become advocates in social media. Here are three key takeaways:

  • Your employees are already social. Lee says to earn buy-in from some leadership to getting employees involved, they had to help management see how much their employees already did in social media.
  • Disclosure is key. One of the main components of AT&T’s social advocate program was a simple hashtag, #ATTemployee. This let their employees share content from AT&T while being transparent and staying legal.
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Retirement, college, marriage, and other important life changes are a big deal already. Add diabetes and you’ve got even more challenges most people don’t see coming. Laura Kolodjeski, director of patient insight for Sanofi U.S., says these surprises leave diabetes patients needing help in the moment. That’s where their project, The DX, comes to the rescue.

In her presentation at SocialMedia.org’s BlogWell conference in Boston, Laura explains how they’ve created a social hub for content related to lifestyle and diabetes. She talks about their listening strategies, how they work within strict social media regulations, and what makes The DX an authentic diabetes resource.

Here are some interesting findings from her presentation:

  • What they don’t hear, they ask: For Sanofi U.S.’ social team, finding topics that matter to their patients means proactively listening to multiple sources. They watch for unmet search queries, work with influential diabetes bloggers, and talk to patient advocates to find their next story.
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When you’re looking for your brand’s social media influencers, it’s easy to get caught up in the numbers. You might think more followers means more influence, but in reality, it’s about much more than that.

According to Ben Cobb, global content and community manager for Reebok, there are lots of ways to create an influencer program, but to find the right influencers, you have to focus on what and who you’re trying to influence. In his presentation at SocialMedia.org’s BlogWell conference, Ben shares some lessons learned from Reebok’s search for the right influencers for their Classic Leather brand.

Some key points from his presentation:

  • Fame doesn’t equal influence: Reebok learned that even though one celebrity advocate had lots of followers and the right audience, he was only influential in music, not fashion. His social media followers were put off by mentions of Reebok’s shoes where they expected to hear about hip hop.
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