Social Media Campaign (The Patient Experience)

Screen shot 2014-11-24 at 2.08.06 PMAs our online “front door”, the Patient Experience microsite is the key portal for new and prospective patients at the Cancer Center. It was developed to be a crucial element of our patient accessibility features, and, as a means to communicate an approachable message about the Center’s mission, it is closely aligned with our social media activities.

Over the last 18 month, employing both traditional posts and a campaign of promoted posts, I have grown the Mass General Cancer Center’s Facebook page more than five fold. I also launched our Twitter channel to match the kick-off of our wider national awareness campaign, and it has gained a significant and accelerating following within the cancer care social media community.

This growth has been led by campaign and community blog posts and tweets, which are timed to match high traffic periods, with calls for follower engagement in response to prompts like “Tell us what’s everyday amazing in your life”. A post like this always runs with YouTube channel responses embedded on a dedicated the blog channel devoted to our Everyday Amazing national awareness marketing campaign.

To avoid fatigue from saturating our social media community with these postings, they have been interspersed with a wide variety of other content, which I have created to fit a schedule which covers multiple internal teams’ promotional needs. These include fundraising events, staff awards and achievements, and cancer related news from around the center and beyond.

By diversifying our social media offerings, I have been able to allow the Center to break down the barrier between its traditional website and its inbound marketing channels.

SEM Adwords campaign (Center for Cancer Research)

Managing our established SEM portfolio is already a core part of my role at the Cancer Center, including several thousand terms. As the overhaul of the Center for Cancer Research’s (CfCR) site progressed, it was crucial to support it with a targeted SEM Adwords campaign.

I began by creating keyword groups drawn from phrases used in the CfCR annual report because it includes numerous technical terms with low competition in Adwords, and high value in attracting our audience of specialist researchers to the center. I also redirected spend to follow the results of an analytics analysis of high traffic periods of the day and week. The increase in newly developed and cutting edge content on the site contributed to an improvement of the domain’s quality score, as did the addition of embedded youtube videos. I also increased the spend around the names of our Principal Investigators, to ensure we would own this traffic, as their numerous publications and conference presentations meant their reputations often preceded them.

As a result of these tactics, we were able to much more clearly tie this new online development to measurable traffic increases over the course of months around launch.

Promotion (What we talk about)

This new “What we talk about (when we talk about cancer)” community site is positioned at the intersection between the Cancer Center’s main website and our traditional social media channels. As such, we approached the promotion of the new site from a number of different perspectives. We developed a promotional strategy that linked “What we talk about” from our Everyday Amazing Campaign microsite, drawing credibility by underlining this integration with the center.

WWTA fb ad


I developed a dedicated SM campaign of promoted posts, and paid tweets, with timed release of bursts of these ads encouraging engagement. I used images of several different types of community members (e.g. physician, patient, administrator) to support the central proposition that in this online space everyone has an equal voice.


WWTA email blastA third ongoing tactic involved email blasts      from a subscriber mailing list, as the site’s traffic grew.

There were several forms of internal communications too, including flyers in treatment clinics, and large format signage. Physician mailers encouraged them to mention the site as part of their initial conversations with new patients, as an aspect of our supportive care services. The patient on-boarding print materials also included information about the community.

Interest in the site from other bloggers, writers and publishing companies has led to cross-posting and linking from other sites, which has also increased the site’s quality scoring.


This promotion has succeeded in bringing over 60,000 unique visitors to the site since launch.