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I was asked recently to stop by the local Fox affiliate in Phoenix, Fox 10, to talk about upcoming tech trends for 2016. Predictions include tech tattoos, driverless cars, developments in artificial intelligence and virtual reality. And, one new item since the broadcast, we’re hearing rumors of needing to optimize for digital assistants (think Siri and Cortona) on the horizon. 2016 is going to be a fun year full of surprises for marketers! Enjoy. – Jenn

There are always changes taking place in the social media world, the past couple months have been no different. Check out this quick roundup of some of those changes on popular platforms Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. This article first appeared in our monthly newsletter – sign up here and never miss an update, and you’ll also receive our complimentary illustrated “Social Media for Executives at a Glance” guide by red balloon founder Jennifer Maggiore.

social media roundupFacebook When it comes to making changes Facebook is the front-runner. Users of personal profiles can now upload a short video avatar instead of static images… Doesn’t seem to be taking off yet… Marketers weren’t left out in the last round of updates. Facebook has introduced dynamic Local Awareness Ads for businesses with more than 5 locations. For example, if you have 5 restaurant locations and each has their own page, you can now run one set of ads which dynamically update text and contact info depending on where the consumer is. Related to this product, Facebook is also now offering insights on foot traffic around your business, learn more here.

Instagram Back in August, the site announced it would “think outside the box” by allowing users to post landscape and portrait images. Now you don’t have to choose which of your friends to crop out of your group shot! In all seriousness though, shape can drastically change the context of an image, so we think it’s a pretty cool move. The site also released an app update on Nov 10, which now supports iOS9, iPhone 6s and 6s+.

Twitter From the start, Twitter has encourage brevity by limiting the expression of our deepest thoughts to 140 characters. However, the Wall Street Journal says that may soon change, since the character limitation is actually based on 30 year old technology. Check that article out here.

London Clinic Reveals Identities of 700 Patients

Recently a clinic in London mistakenly revealed the identities of more than 700 patients with AIDS who’d signed up for an email-based appointment reminder service that included a monthly newsletter. The newsletter “To:” addresses were from an Outlook list, and were visible by anyone who received the email. As a result, there are two pending investigations into the incident and the clinic has suspended group email services.

Privacy issues should be a top concern for all marketers in this day and age, especially those working in digital marketing. And, obviously we’d be talking about a major HIPAA violation if this had happened here in the U.S. – it underscores the importance of not only training healthcare marketers in HIPAA laws, but requiring a high level of technical proficiency. While the article doesn’t say exactly how the email was sent, it’s easy to deduce that a secure third party email marketing service wasn’t used (like Constant Contact or MailChimp for example) which would’ve hidden recipients’ email addresses.

If you have questions about your organization’s marketing activities or social media compliance contact us today.

I recently had the privilege of writing a guest post over at the Compliance & Ethics Blog for the Healthcare Compliance Association. Read below for the introduction or head over to their blog for the full post. – Jenn

Social Media is Big Business for Compliant Organizations
Social Media is paving the way for consumer consideration and education, but only a third of organizations have documented guidelines, fewer provide training to avoid violations

The Internet is only a few years older than HIPAA (enacted in 1996), but as social media has grown in popularity with healthcare professionals in recent years, HIPAA has begun cracking down on privacy concerns that have come up on social platforms.

Healthcare organizations in many cases are scrambling to demonstrate proactive due diligence by documenting social media guidelines and providing training to prevent employees from posting protected health information.

Penalties can be stiff, according to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, civil penalties result in fines of $100 to $50,000 (with a maximum of $1.5 million for identical provisions during a calendar year), and criminal penalties may result in up to 10 years jail time.

It’s important not to fear social media though, prevention and education are key. And it isn’t going away – it’s an increasingly important part of our personal and professional lives. For context, 85% of the world’s 7 billion+ people will have high-speed Internet access by 2017 says a new study by tech company Ericsson, and three quarters of those people are expected to participate in at least one form of social media.

It’s time to embrace social media as a positive tool for becoming providers of choice in consumers’ minds, and to encourage employees to share their valuable voices in an appropriate and positive way. Read More




Photo credit: Emma Kim/Getty Images

My husband and I have had a running discussion, and it’s expanded to family and friends with kids around the same age as ours. Being the social media professional in our circle, I’m often asked at what age our kids should be using social media. How young is too young for social media?

Most member-based sites require kids to be at least 13 years old due to COPPA regulations, but is that still too young? Surprisingly many kids are often even younger than that and lying about their ages to set up profiles on sites like Facebook.

Check out my latest article for SheKnows for tips on when kids should start using social media, and some great advice from Common Sense Media.