Social media for professional enhancement


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I spoke on social media to the New England chapter of the American Medical Writers Association meeting in Burlington, MA on 6/19/12

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  • Website – Very simple. Place to introduce who I am and present my work; links to my twitter account and blog.Thought hard about business name – wanted it to IDmyself and state what I do, but also work well in an internet search. If you Google ‘health media’ (don’t need the quotes) I come up twice in the first page of results. I use Yahoo! Small Business as my webhost. It’s not free, but it’s inexpensive, and I like the visitor analysis/web tracking tools they offer. I use Dreamweaver to build my sites, but Yahoo! also has easy building tools for those who don’t.
  • Blog – Place to showcase my writing and also my critical eye as it relates to health communication challenges. The posts give a flavor for who I am and how I might approach problems for a client. It also shows some of the other blogs I follow (which do not have to be on Blogger, btw). I used to use Wordpress for my blog during school, mainly because it was the platform for a job I had and I wanted to get to know it. But I switched to Blogger for my business. It’s well-established in the world of bloggers and has a recognized icon (used on my website). I find the editing tools more user-friendly, and it also has nice tools for keeping up with blogs I follow. A plus – It’s connected to Google, so I can sign in through my Gmail account. (Speaking of Google, still deciding how/in what way/if at all to use Google+. But I have used Google’s other tools professionally before – calendar and documents can be very interactive and public to anyone with a Google account.)
  • Twitter – Place where I keep up with current health trends and news on health comm and other health topics of interest to me. I don’t follow anyone that doesn’t tweet about things directly related to my professional interests (and I’ve told my close friends that so they think I’m being rude!). This was a strategic choice, and one I made primarily based on lessons learned from ‘friending’ too many Facebook. Right now, I don’t need a lot of people following me, so I don’t follow a lot of people. I use it more to keep up with relevent news/events and to interact with my primary client’s partners than as a business-promotion tool.
  • LinkedIn – I keep up with Connection updates, and keep my profile updated, but don’t use it daily as it’s not necessary. I’ve connected people together in the past, and been introduced to people. And I was recently approached for consulting work by former MDPH colleague currently starting his own business; We weren’t connected on LinkedIn but he found me in a search; he saw I am also now my own business and was able to check out my work through the link to my website.The ‘who’s viewed your profile’ feature is also nice. Even if you can’t get all the details without upgrading your account, you still get the #s.
  • Social media has helped me better serve my main client. I consult with a group in MDPH, and the state health department has a lot of barriers regarding what individual programs can do with social media; as a consultant, I don’t have to adhere to those rules, so I can promote my MDPH program and interact with their partners on Twitter and Blogs through my professional accounts; I also hear about what their partners and funders are doing, to help them better shape initiatives and meet stakeholder needs.Personally, the use of multiple, connected social media helps me to maintain a clear and consistent message about my business and services, and highlight the different colors of what I have to offer based on the what a given medium has to offer. It’s also a good motivator to keep active in ‘work’ outside of work. I enjoy what I do, but life often takes over. Especially now being self-employed, it helps to have that extra pressure of keeping my accounts up to date. You never know when someone’s going to ‘stop by.’
  • Why start? Because it’s the way things are moving (and it’s fun!). You interact with a lot more people and ideas than without it. Strategy? You don’t have to be on everything to have a strategy that works for you. Know your goal, and what you want to get out of it professionally. Then take time to see how things work, and how they can help you meet that goal – you won’t . There are recommended ways to use a blog, Twitter, etc. but it has to be tailored to your needs. Evolution? Website was a given, but had to revamp; Blog was a given, but had to revamp; Resisted Twitter at first, but the medium has evolved since its beginning and I’ve found how it fits for me; learned Facebook was a “no” through trial; have always been on LinkedIn, and not just tailoring needed there. Time? You do have to put in the time, but how much goes back again to your goal. E.g. probably use Twitter less than most others, but it still satisfies my professional needs for the moment. I find that when everything’s tied to my personal interests, it feels more natural to the time in – like it’s serving two purposes, and not just a chore.I continue to tailor the way I use things as my needs change – design tweaks; type of people I follow/interact with on Twitter; etc. But my strategy serves as a skeleton and keeps my overall professional presence consistent when I do.
  • Appropriatelyfor the nature of the social media technology and the health messaging
  • Social media for professional enhancement

    1. 1. Social Media for Professional Enhancement Lisa Gualtieri, PhD, ScMDepartment of Public Health and Community Medicine Tufts University School of Medicine @lisagualtieri
    2. 2. You Need to Know about Social Media • Professionally to… – Develop a brand – Promote your work – Develop skills that you can use in your job – Find your next job • Personally to… – Connect with others – Make sure your personal presence isn’t embarrassing professionally – Stay current
    3. 3. Healthy People 2020• Healthy People provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans –• Emerging Issues in Health Communication and Health Information Technology explicitly mentions social media and emerging technologies• Beneficial personally and professionally 3
    4. 4. Develop a Social Media Strategy Select goals Evaluate social media Decide which social media effectiveness technologies to use •What are meaningful metrics? •Who are you trying to reach? •How can they be measured? •What do they use? •What do your competitors use? Use social media •How to use appropriately? •How to integrate? •What content? •Who manages/participates? •How much time? 5
    5. 5. How to Start Using Social Media• Select personal or professional goals• Decide which social media technologies to use based on – Who are you trying to reach? What do they use? – What do your competitors use?• Select and use social media – How to use appropriately? – How to develop messages and content? – How to integrate different social media technologies and a website? – Who manages/participates? How much time?• Evaluate social media effectiveness – What are meaningful metrics? How can they be measured?• Iterate – There are always upgrades, evolving risks, changing popularity and use 6 – Your skills evolve!
    6. 6. There Are Many Metrics• Number (or quality) of followers, friends, etc.• Number (or quality) of tweets, posts, comments, recommendations, etc.• Extent to which retweeted, linked to, etc.• Number of views• Important to have clear goals to determine which metrics matter 7
    7. 7. How to Learn about Social Media?• Need current information since technologies change – – – CDC Health Communicator’s Social Media Toolkit cialMediaToolkit_BM.pdf• Learn from successes – Popular non-health • Old Spice • Wendy’s – Well-funded health – Colleagues• Low risk to try
    8. 8. Start with a Name 9
    9. 9. Observe How Others Use Social Media To• Listen – find out what people are saying• Speak – connect with people in new ways• Energize – get people to evangelize for you• Support – help people solve their own and each other’s problems• Embrace – working with your community to improve your offerings• Don’t use it as a vehicle to push information 10
    10. 10. 3 Case Studies from Tufts Graduates
    11. 11. Case Study 1: Sara Rattigan, MS-Health Communication ‘09• First attempt – No strategy: Website and blog (Wordpress) – Took time to assess & “get to know” social media tools• Sole-proprietorship: Rattigan Health Media – Website – Blog (Blogger) – Twitter (very selective following) – LinkedIn• Other social media – Facebook account (Personal only) – Google tools: chat, documents, calendars (mostly personal) 12
    12. 12. Website: Rattigan Health Media 13
    13. 13. Blog: Health Media Musings 14
    14. 14. Twitter: s_rattigan 15
    15. 15. LinkedIn: Sara Rattigan 16
    16. 16. Professional Impact• Social media has allowed Sara to help her client – Necessary layer of outreach/messaging, unavailable through State system – Eyes and ears for client on partner news (local - global) to help direct federal grant initiatives• Social media helps Sara professionally – Brand business name and offerings across multiple channels – Stay on top of health & media trends – “I continue to stand by old fashioned word of mouth and in-person networking for primary business promotion. But social media definitely helps, and most important it keeps me active in thinking about new ideas.” 18
    17. 17. Lessons Learned• Learned from personal history , and active trial and error with different media• Don’t have to use everything; type of use can be tailored to your needs• Allocating time doesn’t feel as burdensome with a good strategy• Never stop learning 19
    18. 18. Case Study 2: Pamela Ressler, RN, MS, HN-BC, MS PREP ‘11• History – Started website in 2002 ( – Started blog in 2006 ( – Monthly e-newsletter started in 2005• Other social media – Twitter @pamressler and @stressresources – LinkedIn (Pamela Katz Ressler) – Professional Facebook page: – Google + (Pam Ressler) 20
    19. 19. Monthly Newsletter from StressResources
    20. 20. Professional Impact• Social media has allowed Pam to: – Increase her speaking engagements – Increase her consulting business revenue – Author online course on social media for nurse leaders – Increase her visibility as a thought leader – Increase the SEO of her website – Be interviewed for a number of articles because the reporters found Pam on social media sites – Be highly searchable on Google 27
    21. 21. Lessons Learned• Why start? – Social media allows your reach as an entrepreneur to be extended exponentially without financial cost and can help establish your expertise in your field• What is the strategy? – Pam uses Twitter, Facebook (professional page), LinkedIn and Google+ to reach a wide range of individuals and organizations • Some cross-posting – She understands where her market is on social media • Nurses tend to use Facebook and are just starting to use Twitter • The medical profession is not well represented on LinkedIn, however business leaders are well represented in this forum 28
    22. 22. More Lessons Learned• How did strategy/social media use evolve? • Evolved out of necessity – low marketing budget • “I found social media a wonderful way to reach a larger audience than was previously possible and add value via offering information that my audience may not have seen in other forums”• Allocating time? • Social media is labor intensive to do right • Social media must be kept current and this is always a challenge • Pam posts daily to Twitter, multiple times a week to Facebook and less frequently to Google + LinkedIn and blog • Pam uses some cross posting applications for posts that may be interesting to multiple audiences, but is selective • For her audience, an e-newsletter has continued to be successful ; she sends monthly since 2005• “Remember that social media is a conversation -- make sure you are listening as well as posting. Involving yourself in a Tweetchat is a wonderful way to join a conversation.” 29
    23. 23. Case Study 3: Corinne Dobbas, MS, RD, MS Friedman ’10• First attempt – “Nutrition with Corinne” wasnt working because the site wasnt professional enough and the name is too generic – Had a following online with Green Grapes• Developed a brand: Green Grapes Nutrition – Facebook, blog, and website• Other social media – Twitter branded as @RDCorinne – LinkedIn but doesn’t use it much – Personal Facebook account 30
    24. 24. Professional Impact• Social media has allowed Corinne to – write for other blogs and nutrition sites – get in a cookbook (to be published) – blog for Dr.Ozs Food for Your Whole Life conference in NYC• Social media helped her get her job at a high-end health club, Bay Club Marin – “The members there always google me. Thus, the fact that I have a large social media presence makes them feel good in seeing me and like theyve made the right choice.”• “Clients love my blog and site, which helps me get more clients… It’s a cycle.” 39
    25. 25. One More Case Study: Lisa Gualtieri• Why start?• What is the strategy?• How did strategy/social media use evolve?• Allocating time? 40
    26. 26. What do I tweet about?• Classes• Papers• Conferences• People• Dancing!
    27. 27. Pinterest: Wedding gowns+
    28. 28. Always Select goalsIterateEvaluate social media Decide which social mediaeffectiveness technologies to use• What are meaningful metrics? • Who are you trying to reach?• How can they be measured? • What do they use? • What do your competitors use? Use social media • How to use appropriately? • How to integrate? • What content? • Who manages/participates? • How much time? 47
    29. 29. Next Steps to Using Social Media1) Set goals for your online presence2) Conduct an inventory a) Where do you currently have a presence b) Set up Google Alerts to monitor your presence3) Determine what works and doesn’t work about each a) Effectiveness at reaching people b) Effort to set up, update, and monitor4) Prioritize technologies to use: current and new ones5) Plan and execute a) Different messages or the same b) Different metrics or the same6) Assess the impact after a month and iterate 48