Planning your social media strategy


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A few key points from a recent social media workshop focusing upon the individual professional use of social media.

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Planning your social media strategy

  1. 1. Individual professional use of social media: planning your strategy Kirsten Thompson @_KirstenT |
  2. 2. Plan your use of social media 1. Review your existing presence – delete unused accounts 2. What are you aiming to achieve? Don’t create accounts unnecessarily and think before you integrate accounts 3. Identify platforms used by your peers and/or target audience 4. Consider boundaries between personal and professional identities – OK to have multiple identities (e.g. use professional/work e-mail address for professional accounts) 5. Research policies from any relevant professional bodies to which you belong e.g. GMC has guidance for student and practising doctors 6. Make yourself aware of related policies and the platform’s terms of use
  3. 3. Brand your professional identity 1. Be consistent e.g. with profile picture, profile information (adapting as appropriate to each platform) 2. Use vanity URLs where possible e.g. 3. Use your professional title 4. Include “own views” in your profile 5. Be clear what your professional interests are – why should others connect with you? 6. Identify appropriate #tags to follow topics or to share your research – ALWAYS, ALWAYS CHECK/TEST – be cautious of misinterpretation (e.g. accidental bad language or innuendo) or existing use
  4. 4. Connect 1. Be selective regarding who you connect with publicly online – what will a professional peer think (or prospective employer) if they not only look at your social content but also who you are social with? 2. Most employers now screen prospective candidates on social media – they are going to research your personal use too (if they can find it) 3. Connect with professional peers, relevant organisations, institutions, governing bodies, discipline-specific news and similar 4. No rules about duration of social media relationships/connections
  5. 5. Engagement 1. Level of engagement and frequency = your choice although depends upon what you want to achieve 2. Consider mode of address/language – be yourself just be mindful of public and permanent nature of content and audience. You are human, representing the professional you, not a service or department. 3. Keep it relevant 4. Re-read before you post and think before you share, like, re-tweet 5. Acknowledge those who communicate with you but ignore, block and report spammers 6. If you have a very large network, consider developing a communication policy and share via your profile e.g. your use of direct messaging features/how best to reach you
  6. 6. Engagement continued… 1. Timing is critical if you want to have impact – global audiences are not online simultaneously 2. Critical messages should be duplicated to reach different segments of your target audience. Research the best times to reach your audience 3. Integrated social media accounts can increase efficiencies BUT if the same people connect with you on each platform, they won’t appreciate the same message on each platform at the same time 4. Share critical information in different ways on each platform of choice and at different times of day e.g. use different “hooks” to encourage audience to view same content 5. Plan ahead – if you want to engage regularly e.g. to coincide with project activity, identify times and critical content in advance
  7. 7. Evaluate 1. Continue to review your digital identity and online presence – schedule it 2. Evaluate your social media activity – various tools available to evaluate – you could always survey your network too 3. Keep updated with developments to platforms, understand how new features work 4. Monitor your privacy settings 5. Keep apps updated – bug and security fixes (check privacy settings have been retained after update) 6. Keep updated with legal developments
  8. 8. Have an exit strategy What impact would leaving your institution/employer have on your professional social media presence? 1. Update the professional/work e-mail address associated with your social media accounts – do not risk losing access to your own digital presence 2. Keep your professional network updated about your career
  9. 9. What is your digital strategy?