Moving the HME Industry Forward

General Healthcare

Use of Social Media – Part 1 of 2

November 24, 2014

AMARILLO, TX – “Social media” is a way for people to communicate and interact online. Social media has been around since the dawn of the Internet, but in the last ten (10) years or so we’ve seen a surge in both the number and popularity of social media sites. It’s called social media because users engage with (and around) it in a social context, which can include conversations, commentary, and other user-generated annotations and engagement interactions.

Publishing content has become exponentially simpler over the last several years, which has helped skyrocket the use of social media. Non-technical web users are now able to easily create content on a rapidly growing number of platforms, including those that are owned (hosted communities, blogs, etc.), rented (social networks or third-party communities), and occupied (commenting, contributing, etc.).

The future of the DME industry is the servicing of the 78 million “Baby Boomers” who are retiring at the rate of 10,000 per day. Unlike their parents (the “Greatest Generation”) Boomers are comfortable using social media. The forward-thinking DME supplier will utilize social media to (i) advertise to prospective customers, (ii) stay in touch with existing customers, and (iii) monitor patient outcomes.

In this Part 1, we will examine the multiple social media platforms. In Part 2, we will discuss how the law is “trying to catch up to” social media.

Social Media Facts and Statistics
• Women 18-29 are the power users of the web – no other category of women or men outcompete this group of women on the Internet;
• 92% of consumers trust peer recommendations;
• 72% of online adults utilize social media sites;
• 89% of 18-29 year olds are on a social network;
• 74% of smartphone owners use their phone for real-time location-specific information;
• One third of survey respondents stated that they had a social media profile that proved they had lied about their qualifications on their resume;
• 92% of companies use social media for recruitment; and
• 86% of employers research potential job candidates on social networks.

Facebook
Facebook is an online social networking service headquartered in Menlo Park, California. Its name comes from a colloquialism for the directory given to students at some American universities. Facebook was founded on February 4, 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates and fellow Harvard University students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes.

The founders had initially limited the website’s membership to Harvard students, but later expanded it to colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. It gradually added support for students at various other universities and later to high-school students. Facebook now allows anyone who claims to be at least 13 years old worldwide to become a registered user of the website, although proof is not required.

After registering to use the site, users may create a personal profile, add other users as friends, exchange messages, post status updates and photos, share videos and receive notifications when others update their profiles. Additionally, users may join common-interest user groups, organized by workplace, school or college, or other characteristics, and categorize their friends into lists such as “People From Work” or “Close Friends”. Facebook had over 1.3 billion active users as of June 2014. Due to the large volume of data collected about users, the service’s privacy policies have faced scrutiny, among other criticisms. Facebook, Inc. held its initial public offering in February 2012 and began selling stock to the public three months later, reaching a peak market capitalization of $104 billion.

• 1.32 Billion Active Users Monthly
• 75% of brand Likes come from advertisements
• 9 billion photos are uploaded to Facebook each month

YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California. The service was created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005 and has been owned by Google since late 2006. The site allows users to upload, view, and share videos, and it makes use of Adobe Flash Video and HTML5 technology to display a wide variety of user-generated and corporate media video. Available content includes video clips, TV clips, music videos, and other content such as video blogging, short original videos, and educational videos.

Most of the content on YouTube has been uploaded by individuals, but media corporations including CBS, the BBC, Vevo, Hulu, and other organizations offer some of their material via YouTube, as part of the YouTube partnership program. Unregistered users can watch videos, and registered users can upload videos to their channels. Videos considered to contain potentially offensive content are available only to registered users affirming themselves to be at least 18 years old. YouTube, LLC was bought by Google for US$1.65 billion in November 2006 and now operates as a Google subsidiary.
• 1 Billion Active Monthly Users
• 6 Billion hours of YouTube are watched each month
• YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any cable network

Twitter
Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”. Registered users can read and post tweets, but unregistered users can only read them. Users access Twitter through the website interface, SMS, or mobile device app. Twitter Inc. is based in San Francisco and has more than 25 offices around the world.

Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass and by July 2006 the site was launched. The service rapidly gained worldwide popularity, with more than 100 million users who in 2012 posted 340 million tweets per day. The service also handled 1.6 billion search queries per day. In 2013 Twitter was one of the ten most-visited websites, and has been described as “the SMS of the Internet.”
• 310 Million Active Monthly Users
• 1 in 5 young adults utilize Twitter daily
• Twitter is adding, on average, 300,000 users daily

LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking service. Founded in December 2002 and launched on May 5, 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. The site is available in 20 languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Romanian, Russian, Turkish, Japanese, Czech, Polish, Korean, Indonesian, Malay, and Tagalog. LinkedIn filed for an initial public offering in January 2011 and traded its first shares on May 19, 2011, under the NYSE symbol “LNKD”.
• 300 Million Active Monthly Users
• Experienced 105% growth between 2011 and 2013

Pinterest
Pinterest is a web and mobile application company that offers a visual discovery, collection, sharing, and storage tool. Users create and share the collections of visual bookmarks (a.k.a. “boards”). Boards are created through a user selecting an item, page, website, etc. and pinning it to an existing or newly created board. Users save and share pins from multiple resources onto boards based on a plethora of criteria, e.g., similar characteristics, a theme, birthday parties, planning a vacation, writing a book, interior decorating, holidays. Boards can develop projects, organize events, or save pictures and data together. The site was founded by Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra and Evan Sharp. It is managed by Cold Brew Labs and funded by a small group of entrepreneurs and investors.
• 250 Million Active Monthly Users

Instagram
Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them on a variety of social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr. A distinctive feature is that it confines photos to a square shape, similar to Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid images, in contrast to the 4:3 aspect ratio typically used by mobile device cameras. Users can also apply digital filters to their images. The maximum duration for Instagram videos is 15 seconds.

Instagram was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and launched in October 2010. The service rapidly gained popularity, with over 100 million active users as of April 2012. Instagram is distributed through the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Windows Phone Store. Support for the app is available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Android handsets, while third-party Instagram apps are available for Blackberry 10 and Nokia-Symbian Devices.

The service was acquired by Facebook in April 2012 for approximately US$1 billion in cash and stock. In 2013, Instagram grew by 23%, while Facebook, as the parent company, only grew by 3%.
• 200 Million Active Monthly Users

Google Plus
Google+ (pronounced and sometimes written as Google Plus) is a social networking and identity service that is owned and operated by Google Inc. Google has described Google+ as a “social layer” that enhances many of its online properties, and that it is not simply a social networking website, but also an authorship tool that associates web-content directly with its owner/author. It is the second-largest social networking site in the world after Facebook. 540 million monthly active users are part of the Identity service site, by interacting socially with Google+’s enhanced properties, like Gmail, +1 button, and YouTube comments. In October 2013, Google counted 540 million active users who used at least one Google+ service, of which 300 million users are active in “the stream”. In a 2013 survey, 30% of surveyed smartphone users used the Google Plus app at least once a month.
• 120 Million Active Monthly Users

Reddit
Reddit (pronounced red-it) stylized as reddit, is an entertainment, social networking service and news website where registered community members can submit content, such as text posts or direct links. Only registered users can then vote submissions “up” or “down” to organize the posts and determine their position on the site’s pages. Content entries are organized by areas of interest called “subreddits”.

Reddit was founded by University of Virginia roommates Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian. Condé Nast Publications acquired the site in October 2006. Reddit became a direct subsidiary of Condé Nast’s parent company, Advance Publications, in September 2011. As of August 2012, Reddit operates as an independent entity, although Advance is still its largest shareholder. Reddit is based in San Francisco, California. In October 2014 Reddit received $50 million in funding from Snoop Lion and other investors.
• 114.5 Million Active Monthly Users

Tumblr
Tumblr (stylized in its logo as tumblr.) is a microblogging platform and social networking website founded by David Karp and owned by Yahoo! Inc. The service allows users to post multimedia and other content to a short-form blog. Users can follow other users’ blogs, as well as make their blogs private. Much of the website’s features are accessed from the “dashboard” interface, where the option to post content and posts of followed blogs appear.

As of November 1, 2014, Tumblr hosts over 209.3 million blogs. The company’s headquarters is in New York City. Yahoo! announced its intention to acquire Tumblr on May 20, 2013, for approximately $1.1 billion. The deal closed on June 20, 2013.
• 110 Million Active Monthly Users

Snapchat
Snapchat is a photo messaging application developed by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown, then Stanford University students. Using the application, users can take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, and send them to a controlled list of recipients. These sent photographs and videos are known as “Snaps”. Users set a time limit for how long recipients can view their Snaps (as of April 2014, the range is from 1 to 10 seconds), after which they will be hidden from the recipient’s device and deleted from Snapchat’s servers.

According to Snapchat in May 2014, the app’s users were sending 700 million photos and videos per day, while Snapchat Stories content was being viewed 500 million times per day. In late August 2014, the company was valued at US$10 billion. Snapchat is notorious for teenagers taking inappropriate pictures, sending it to an intended recipient, but expecting it to go away in 10 seconds. Due to security flaws, this does not always occur and results in teenagers’ inappropriate pictures being disseminated by text and those who send the text being charged with distribution of child pornography.

• 100 Million Active Monthly Users

Blogs
A blog (a truncation of the expression weblog) is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first). Until 2009 blogs were usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often covered a single subject. More recently “multi-author blogs” (MABs) have developed, with posts written by large numbers of authors and professionally edited. MABs from newspapers, other media outlets, universities, think tanks, advocacy groups and similar institutions account for an increasing quantity of blog traffic. The rise of Twitter and other “microblogging” systems helps integrate MABs and single-author blogs into societal newstreams. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

Many blogs provide commentary on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries; others function more as online brand advertising of a particular individual or company. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important contribution to the popularity of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (art blogs), photographs (photoblogs), videos (video blogs or “vlogs”), music (MP3 blogs), and audio (podcasts). Microblogging is another type of blogging, featuring very short posts. In education, blogs can be used as instructional resources. These blogs are referred to as edublogs.

• 57% of bloggers operate more than a single blog

Growth of Social Media
According to the Nielson Survey, in 2010:
• Social networking and blogging are more popular than email;
• Almost 23% of online time is for social networking; and
• Older Americans are as active as teenagers with social media.

in 2012:
• People spend more time on social networks than any other sites:
– 20% of their time spent on PCs
– 30% of their time spent on mobile devices;
• 51% of people aged 25-34 use social networking in the office, more than any other age group; and
• Mobile devices are driving social network consumption: 63% of the year-over-year growth in overall time spent using social media.

Jeff Baird will be presenting the following webinars in the month of December.

AAHOMECARE’S EDUCATIONAL WEBINAR
Aggressively Moving Into the Retail Market While Avoiding Legal Pitfalls
Presented by: Jeffrey S. Baird, Esq., Brown & Fortunato, P.C.
Thursday, December 4, 2014
2:30-4:00 p.m. EASTERN TIME
Sign up now for “Aggressively Moving Into the Retail Market While Avoiding Legal Pitfalls” on Thursday, December 4, 2014, 2:30-4:00 pm ET, with Jeffrey S. Baird, Esq., of Brown & Fortunato, PC.
Contact Ika Sukh at ikas@aahomecare.org if you experience any difficulties registering.
FEES: Member: $99.00    
Non-Member: $129.00

Oxygen: Restarting the 36 Months, Pre-Screens, Use of Concentrators and Other Hot Button Issues
Presented by: Jeffrey S. Baird, Esq., Brown & Fortunato, P.C.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
2:30-4:00 p.m. EASTERN TIME
Sign up now for “Oxygen: Restarting the 36 Months, Pre-Screens, Use of Concentrators and Other Hot Button Issues” on Thursday, December 18, 2014, 2:30-4:00 pm ET, with Jeffrey S. Baird, Esq., of Brown & Fortunato, PC.
Contact Ika Sukh at ikas@aahomecare.org if you experience any difficulties registering.
FEES: Member: $99.00    
Non-Member: $129.00

Jeffrey S. Baird, JD, is chairman of the Health Care Group at Brown & Fortunato PC, a law firm based in Amarillo, Tex. He represents pharmacies, HME companies, and other health care providers throughout the United States. Baird is Board Certified in Health Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He can be reached at (806) 345-6320 or jbaird@bf-law.com.