planning your social media strategy

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Your professional practice

Individual professional use of social media: planning your strategy

Kirsten Thompson@_KirstenT |

Plan your use of social media

Review your existing presence delete unused accounts

What are you aiming to achieve? Dont create accounts unnecessarily and think before you integrate accounts

Identify platforms used by your peers and/or target audience

Consider boundaries between personal and professional identities OK to have multiple identities (e.g. use professional/work e-mail address for professional accounts)

Research policies from any relevant professional bodies to which you belong e.g. GMC has guidance for student and practising doctors

Make yourself aware of related policies and the platforms terms of use

Brand your professional identity

Be consistent e.g. with profile picture, profile information (adapting as appropriate to each platform)

Use vanity URLs where possible e.g.

Use your professional title

Include own views in your profile

Be clear what your professional interests are why should others connect with you?

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


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?

Most employers now screen prospective candidates on social media they are going to research your personal use too (if they can find it)

Connect with professional peers, relevant organisations, institutions, governing bodies, discipline-specific news and similar

No rules about duration of social media relationships/connections


Level of engagement and frequency = your choice although depends upon what you want to achieve

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.

Keep it relevant

Re-read before you post and think before you share, like, re-tweet

Acknowledge those who communicate with you but ignore, block and report spammers

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

Engagement continued

Timing is critical if you want to have impact global audiences are not online simultaneously

Critical messages should be duplicated to reach different segments of your target audience. Research the best times to reach your audience

Integrated social media accounts can increase efficiencies BUT if the same people connect with you on each platform, they wont appreciate the same message on each platform at the same time

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

Plan ahead if you want to engage regularly e.g. to coincide with project activity, identify times and critical content in advance


Continue to review your digital identity and online presence schedule it

Evaluate your social media activity various tools available to evaluate you could always survey your network too

Keep updated with developments to platforms, understand how new features work

Monitor your privacy settings

Keep apps updated bug and security fixes (check privacy settings have been retained after update)

Keep updated with legal developments

Have an exit strategy

What impact would leaving your institution/employer have on your professional social media presence?

Update the professional/work e-mail address associated with your social media accounts do not risk losing access to your own digital presenceKeep your professional network updated about your career

What is your digital strategy?


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