Welcome to viewers of the April 2, 2013 Applied Clinical Trials webcast, titled “The Why and How of Social Media for Clinical Trial Professionals.”
This blog post is a companion to my portion of the webinar, which was “Getting Beyond the Barriers to Entry: Social Media 101 for Clinical Trial Professionals.”
The purpose of this blog post is to provide additional social media resources, which you can explore depending on what is most relevant, interesting, and useful to you. Some of the 40+ items in the following blog post were mentioned on the webinar, but some were not.
Because this blog post was created for viewers of the webinar, it assumes that you have seen the webinar. If you did not view the live webinar, I’d recommend watching the recording here.
Suggestions on how to improve this post are welcome. By all means, provide your thoughts in the comments below or email me at [email protected]
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Now let’s get to the listing of resources, which will help you better use social media for professional purposes.
For your convenience and to enable quick scanning, resources are categorized and a brief description is provided for each.
General Social Media Information
Strength of Weak Ties (Original Paper, 1973) – This sociology paper, which has over 23,000 citations, was described during the webinar
Mark Granovetter on Wikipedia – Background on Sociologist Mark Granovetter, PhD, who authored “The Strength of Weak Ties”
The Unexpected Way to Use Your Social Network Strategically (Fast Company) – Article referencing “The Strength of Weak Ties,” including a discussion on how this research can be applied in a business and networking context
Rethinking Information Diversity in Networks (Facebook Data Team) – Study by the Facebook Data team, which discusses “weak ties” and how information flows on online social networks
Permission Marketing on Wikipedia – Definition and description of permission marketing
Seth Godin on Permission Marketing (Fast Company Interview, 1998) – In depth interview and discussion of permission marketing with Seth Godin
Rebar Interactive Blogs on Social Media
I could be a tad biased, but the Rebar Interactive website remains the most in-depth online repository of information and commentary on social media and clinical trials.
In this section, I’ll highlight a selection of blog posts to get you started. But it’s worth digging for other past Rebar Interactive blog posts that may be of interest.
The Applied Clinical Trials webinar focused on personal (as opposed to organizational) use of social media for clinical trial professionals. As a result, this companion blog post has that focus as well. However, for those interested in organizational use of social media, a few posts with that focus are highlighted in this section.
Please note that some of these blog posts are a couple of years old. Social media, as well as my views on it in a clinical trial context, has evolved in the last couple of years. But these older posts should still be of use.
One Detail Clinical Researchers Must Know About Social Media – Clinical researchers commonly use the term “social media” to describe a variety of digital or online activities that are not actually social media. This blog clarifies those concepts.
Twitter for Clinical Research Professionals – A Comprehensive Intro (Part 1) – The first part of a thorough introduction to Twitter
Twitter for Clinical Research Professionals – A Comprehensive Intro (Part 2) – The second part of the introductory Twitter series
Social Media 101 for Clinical Trial Professionals – This post has some overlap with what was covered in the webinar, but there is new content as well
Is The Clinical Trial Industry Ready To Embrace Social Media? – Discussion of Quintiles’ social media guidelines, which they publicly released in 2011
How A Mid-Sized CRO is Using Social Media – Guest blog post from Cato Research, a mid-sized CRO using social media
Patient Recruitment (Blog Category) – All patient recruitment posts on the Rebar Interactive blog, many of which discuss social media in a patient recruitment context
Some of the following Linkedin resources were described in the webinar, but you’ll also find new information and links as well.
Linkedin has lots of structured data on professionals who use their network, which they provide access to with powerful search functionality.
Linkedin Standard Advanced Search – Explore Linkedin’s standard Search, which is easily available from the navigation menu. Search people, jobs, companies, groups, updates, and more. Narrow your search using a variety of filters.
Linkedin Skill Search – See a variety of data about people who have listed particular skills on their profile. This feature is available in the Linkedin navigation, but it’s somewhat hidden in the “more” section.
Linkedin Alumni Search – Search for information about the alumni of various schools. Filter by years attended and drill down into the data. This feature is not easily available from the Linkedin main navigation, which is why most users don’t know about it.
Other Linkedin Resources
Below are an assortment of Linkedin resources that may be of interest.
The How To Guide for Linkedin (CIO Magazine) – This article contains a list of brief articles about different ways to use Linkedin. Scan it to find various Linkedin tips that are most relevant to your needs.
Linkedin Today – Today is a tailored news source, which Linkedin creates based on information it knows about you and what your network is reading.
Linkedin InMaps – Generate a vizualization of your personal Linkedin network. Linkedin also allows you to tag aspects of that network.
Linkedin Premium Tutorial – Linkedin Premium gives you access to more advanced search filters, as well as other features. This link introduces you to Linkedin Premium.
Linkedin Premium Comparison Chart – If you are considering Linkedin Premium, you might want to compare the various types of accounts here.
Linkedin Help – Linkedin has an extensive help center, which is a great place to get answers to questions about the network.
Linkedin Books – If you want to learn a lot about Linkedin quickly, books are a good option. Because social media platforms change rapidly, you’ll probably want to give preference to the newer books when making a selection.
Rahlyn on Linkedin – Connect with me on Linkedin! (and let me know if you listened to the webinar)
Update: There was a question on the webinar about connecting with people on Linkedin that you don’t know. That’s a good (and tricky) question. Everyone views this a bit differently, and you have to find what’s right for you.
Here’s my take.
Generally, if someone is providing their Linkedin profile and inviting people to connect (as I’m doing here), you can assume they are OK with an invitation to connect with someone they don’t know.
I will accept invitations from people that I don’t know if they have overlapping professional interests and do not appear to want to spam me with info about their product/service. In a couple of instances where I misjudged and was bombarded by pitches, I “unconnected” with those people.
If your “real life” connection is weak and you want to connect on Linkedin, I do recommend personalizing your connection message. Tell the other person (briefly) how you know of their work, note a commonality between you, or explain why you want to connect.
I do not view Linkedin connections as endorsements of someone or their work. Linkedin provides functionality for that purpose (endorsements and recommendations).
Some of the following Twitter resources were described in the webinar, but you’ll also find new information and links as well.
Built in Search and Discovery Features
These features are all accessible from Twitter’s navigation, but due to their usefulness for search and discovery of clinical trial professionals, I’m highlighting them here.
Twitter Discover – Navigating to this area will bring you to a few valuable discovery features. Discover is available from the main navigation at the top of the Twitter website.
Twitter Find Friends – Find friends in your address book on Twitter, and search for clinical trial professionals you already know. This feature is available from the Discover tab.
Twitter Suggestions on Who To Follow – Get Twitter’s suggestions on who to follow. You can also search for particular names or usernames. This feature is available from the Discover tab.
Twitter Search Who To Follow By Topic – Type a topic in the search box, and Twitter will return a list of Twitter users who are relevant to that topic. This feature is available from the Discover tab.
Twitter Advanced Search – Twitter’s advanced search has some interesting and useful search features that are not available with simple search. For instance, you can use the “near this place” box to find Tweets from your area or other geographies. Advanced search is a bit more hidden in the Twitter navigation. Use this link for easy access.
Rebar Interactive Lists
I’ve created several Twitter lists around various topics, including clinical trial topics. To browse all of my Twitter lists, go here:
Twitter lists that may be of particular interest to clinical trial professionals are linked to below:
Other Twitter Resources
Thoughts on Twitter – This article is one of the most articulate I’ve found to describe the power and experience of using Twitter. It was written by a journalist, but the discussion is applicable to most professionals, including clinical trial professionals.
Twitter Help – Twitter’s help search is a great place to find answers to particular questions about Twitter.
Twitter Books – If you want to learn a lot about Twitter quickly, a book can help you do that. Since social media platforms change rapidly, it’s probably a good idea to give preference to newer books when making a selection.
Rebar Interactive on Twitter – Follow Rebar Interactive here! (and let me know if you listened to the webinar)
Other Social Media Platforms for Clinical Trial Professionals
Clinical Trial Google Plus Community – If you are new to social media, Google Plus is probably not where you should start. However, Google Plus is a great social media platform. I’ve created a clinical trial community in Google Plus, which has already generated some interesting discussions.
Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) Forums – The ACRP forums are very active and a great place for discussion among clinical trial professionals. Please note that use of these forums does require a paid ACRP membership. Personally, I’ve found these forums, as well as other benefits of ACRP membership, to be well worth the price.
(Many people do not immediately think of forums as social media because they aren’t as sophisticated as “web 2.0” platforms. But forums are one of the earlier forms of social media, predating the coining of “social media” terminology. And many forums continue to thrive, the ACRP forum being just one example.
If you want to go even further back, bulletin board systems (BBS) were also early precursors of social media. I regularly dialed in to these early social networks in the late 80s and early 90s. But unlike with forums, the BBS is a relic of the past.)
Wrapping It Up
If you have recommendations or general comments regarding this post, please provide them below or email me directly at [email protected]
Now that you learned the why and how of social media, give it a try. And say hello!