Historically, healthcare professionals may have been wary of engaging in social media for fear of breaching codes or quite frankly, saying the wrong thing!
The default position of some healthcare organisations, has historically been to discourage social media use within their own healthcare networks. Yet the tide is turning, and more and more people within the healthcare communities are joining in conversations on social media, and indeed, seeing the benefits of doing so.
As you will remember, we have been learning Lessons From The #NHS Change Story at the #SHCR. This ability to learn and connect via social media (twitter in particular) has been invaluable to the healthcare community. Hashtags such as #FindYourFlock have urged the healthcare community o come together, learn, share and celebrate positive change within the #NHS.
Also, where else can you get a direct response from a busy healthcare leader? Twitter enables you to connect with anyone from the government right down to the patient community. We especially like to see social movements on twitter, driving forward positive change through shared visions, such as #FabCYPStuff by the @FabNHSStuff Academy. Through sharing great projects and innovations in healthcare, we can clearly see others learning from the best examples. What an opportunity!
Similarly, Twitter™ offers potential new ways for communicating research findings, accessing diverse and traditionally hard-to-reach audiences, knowledge exchange at an exponential rate, and enabling new means of capturing and demonstrating research impact.
As our students look to progress their careers, we encourage them to use LinkedIn to document their own achievements and share their successes as they look to engage with new and exciting projects as leaders for health and social care.
7 Tips for using social media effectively include:
1. Keep the conversation professional (you can always show some personality when doing this!)
2. Coin your bio, profile picture and twitter handle to represent yourself professionally.
3. Follow those in your field, those you admire and those you want to engage with.
4. Adhere to your organisations guidelines, and do not identify any confidential people, places or information. Social media is not the appropriate place to 'whistle-blow'
5. Tweet regularly - Give as much as you receive or more! (share)
6.Take responsibility for everything you post. Remember that everything is easily shared.
7. Remember not to take, use or share pictures of patients (or others without permission) online.
Tweets Twitter™ enables users to send messages known as ‘tweets’, which can comprise of a maximum of 140 characters.
Blogshots -‘Blogshots’ allow for more in depth messages to be shared than regular tweets because more text can be included within them.
Follower - If users ‘follow’ an account, they subscribe to their tweets.
Retweet -The ‘retweet’ feature on Twitter permits users to share information from an original source to their own followers; receiving a retweet can be quite affirming.
‘Favorite’ - If users ‘favorite’ a tweet, this will be saved onto their ‘favorites’ list.
Twitter Handle and‘mentions’ - To ensure that a particular user receives a tweet, the message can be prefaced with the person's Twitter™ handle (their unique Twitter username ).
Profile picture - A profile picture can be uploaded to the Twitter profile in order for users to visually represent themselves.
Bio - Twitter™ offers users the chance to provide a short ‘bio’ at the beginning of their profile. This can be a maximum of 160 characters.