Social Media Tip Sheet for Labor Unions & Associations
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Social Media Tip Sheet for Labor Unions & Associations

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This is a PDF that includes online links to real-life examples of how Labor Unions and Associations can use Social Media effectively, along with what to watch out for. Enjoy and share widely!

This is a PDF that includes online links to real-life examples of how Labor Unions and Associations can use Social Media effectively, along with what to watch out for. Enjoy and share widely!

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Social Media Tip Sheet for Labor Unions & Associations Social Media Tip Sheet for Labor Unions & Associations Document Transcript

  •    General  Social  Media  Tips   • Social  Media  is  about  LISTENING,  RESPONDING  and  ENGAGING.   • Social  Media  is  NOT  about  using  the  platform  as  a  bullhorn  to  shout  your   messages  to  the  masses.   • At  the  Minnesota  Nurses  Association  (MNA),  Social  Media  allows  our  members   to  easily  and  quickly  share  important  information,  flyers,  videos,  breaking  news   and  more  online.   • One  downside  to  Social  Media  is  the  leaking  of  information.  For  instance,  some   nurses  in  a  nurse  leadership  meeting  ignored  orders  to  not  share  the  strike  date   with  anyone  outside  the  room.  One  texted  the  date  to  a  fellow  nurse  in  the   bargaining  unit,  and  minutes  later  someone  had  posted  the  strike  date  on  their   Facebook  page.  From  there  it  spread  like  wildfire  online.  (Note:  This  type  of  thing   is  going  to  happen  whether  your  union  has  a  Social  Media  presence  or  not.   Members  will  take  discussions  about  the  union  and  related  issues  online  and   share  them,  so  you  might  as  well  be  doing  your  best  to  host  the  discussion  and   respond  to  concerns  quickly.)   • It  goes  without  saying  that  you  should  never  post  anything  on  your  Social  Media   channels  that  you  don’t  want  being  widely  known.  Employers,  reporters  and   others  will  monitor  your  Social  Media  channels  for  breaking  news  and  to  take   the  temperature  of  what  your  nurses  are  saying/feeling.   • The  MNA  Blog  enables  us  to  share  multimedia  content/updates  in  a  controlled   space  and  also  allows  comments/discussions  to  happen  as  a  result.  We  use  lots   of  photos  of  REAL  nurses  who  are  at  the  bargaining  table  and  put  the  Blog’s   content  into  their  own  words/voices.  We  have  LOTS  of  critics  on  our  Blog  in  the   comments,  and  while  we  do  delete  anyone  obscene  or  over-­‐the-­‐top,  we  do  post   and  respond  to  a  lot  of  the  critical  comments  as  a  way  of  demonstrating   transparency  and  allowing  an  open,  honest  discussion.    Facebook  Tips   • If  you  only  use  Facebook  and  Twitter  to  rebroadcast  and  recycle  your  press   releases  and  news  items  (think  of  the  bullhorn  concept),  you’ll  get  almost  ZERO   engagement.   • However  if  you  use  Facebook  to  ask  your  members  questions  (“How  is  staffing  at   your  hospital  this  month?”  or  “What  can  MNA  do  better  for  you  as  a  Union?”)   you’ll  get  people  engaged  and  talking.  You  then  need  to  respond  –  quickly  –   when  people  do  start  “talking”  to  you  online.  
  • • Facebook  is  a  place  where  you  need  a  good  mix  of  funny/silly  postings  (“What   are  you  drinking  this  morning?”)  and  serious  items  (“We  need  you  to  show  up  at   the  Capitol  today  for  an  important  hearing.  Here’s  what’s  at  stake!”)   • MNA’s  Facebook  page  is  a  place  where  ALL  members  can  gather  to  feel   connected,  share  information  and  opinions  and  self-­‐organize.   • Even  when  we  have  critics  of  the  union  on  Facebook,  our  nurses  and  MNA   leaders  engage  them  and  communicate  why  MNA  is  doing  what  it  is  doing.  We   try  and  resolve  a  concern,  offer  more  information,  etc.  These  conversations  are   critical  because  the  rest  of  the  online  “peanut  gallery”  is  watching  to  see  how   the  union  reacts  to  criticism.  Even  if  you  don’t  win  over  a  specific  critic,  you  can   satisfy  concerns  of  those  in  the  “peanut  gallery”  who  might  have  been  harboring   the  same  thoughts  but  were  afraid  to  speak  out  publicly.   • You  will  get  negative  comments  and  criticism  from  your  own  members  on  your   Facebook  page,  and  the  media  can  and  will  point  to  these  criticisms  to  try  and   show  nurses  are  not  all  on  the  same  page  with  a  particular  issue  or  dispute.  The   best  thing  you  can  do  is  heed  the  advice  from  the  previous  point  about  engaging   your  critics  in  a  respectful  way  and  trying  to  win  them  over.   • Nurses  do  NOT  want  to  feel  censored  or  controlled,  and  will  get  resentful  if  you   censor  their  Facebook  and/or  Blog  comments.  During  2010  metro  contract   negations,  some  MNA  nurses  started  their  own  “No  Strike  For  Nurses”  Blog  by   themselves.  They  began  posting  anti-­‐MNA  and  anti-­‐NNU  rhetoric  regularly.  The   media  picked  up  on  the  Blog  and  reported  on  it.  We  did  our  best  to  paint  the   group  for  what  it  truly  was  –  a  fringe  group  of  unhappy  nurses  who  hated  having   to  be  part  of  a  union  in  the  first  place.  Expect  to  see  more  of  this  from  employers   wanting  to  prop  up  and  give  voice  to  anti-­‐union  members.   • Use  Facebook  to  gather  and  post  community  support  from  patients,  professional   athletes,  politicians  and  the  public.  You  members  will  eat  it  up!   • Use  Facebook  to  connect  with  patients  and  families  wanting  to  share  specific   unsafe  staffing  horror  stories.  Turn  around  and  pitch  those  stories  to  the   mainstream  media.   • Facebook  Ads  are  very  cost-­‐efficient  and  effective  way  to  target  a  very  specific   audience/demographic  and  get  real  action  out  of  those  people  as  a  result.    Twitter  Tips   • Twitter  is  a  place  to  show  solidarity  and  support  by  “Mentioning”  and/or   “Retweeting”  messages  from  other  unions,  members,  journalists,  politicians  and   others.  People  LOVE  when  someone  “Mentions”  or  “Retweets”  them  on  Twitter.   • Use  www.Search.Twitter.com  to  “listen”  and  look  for  people  talking  about  you.   Search  for  your  organization’s  name  or  things  like  “unsafe  staffing.”  When  you   find  people  talking  about  it,  engage  them  –  respond  to  their  Tweets,  offer   advice,  solutions,  etc.   • Most  people  “follow”  an  individual  or  an  organization  on  Twitter  because  they   get  something  out  of  it.  What  value  do  your  Tweets  provide?  Great  links  to   content  your  audience  cares  about  and  can  use?  Discounts  or  deals  to  
  • association  events  by  using  a  certain  code  only  found  on  Twitter  when  you  sign   up  for  the  next  convention?   • If  you  only  talk  about  yourself  and  use  Twitter  like  a  bullhorn,  people  will  quickly   un-­‐follow  and  tune  you  out.  Grow  bigger  ears  –  listen  first,  then  engage,  and   ALWAYS  provide  something  helpful  or  supportive.   • Use  Twitter  to  follow  and  engage  with  the  journalists,  politicians  and  others  you   want  talking  about  your  organization.    YouTube  Tips   • YouTube  is  very  popular  with  our  union  members  because  we  can  do  “face  to   face”  video  messages  from  real  RNs.  This  helps  humanize  MNA  for  rank  and  file   members;  they  realize  it  is  their  peers  –  not  “union  bosses”  –  running  things.   • You  can  also  use  YouTube  videos  to  poke  the  employer  in  the  eye.  MNA  made  a   YouTube  video  that  pointed  out  how  one  hospital  proudly  used  Toyota’s  “Lean”   methods  to  do  more  with  less  RN  staff.   • YouTube  videos  can  be  a  great  way  to  share  celebrity  and  other  endorsements  of   your  members.   • Professional  video  production  is  nice,  but  not  always  necessary.  In  fact,  MNA’s   most  popular  and  widely  discussed  YouTube  video  was  one  shot  on  an  iPhone   that  captured  the  chaos  and  drama  of  employers  forcibly  locking  our  nurses  that   wanted  to  return  to  work  after  a  one-­‐day  strike.  This  footage  was  used  over  and   over  in  the  mainstream  media  and  galvanized  our  nurses  in  their  anger  toward   the  employers.    Questions?  Feedback?   • E-­‐mail  MNA’s  John  Nemo  at  john.nemo@mnnurses.org