In an online world dominated by cat videos, memes and GIFs, it’s easy to lose sight of the beneficial impact social media can have. I used to be fixated on showing off the food on my plate and sharing selfies depicting my every move, but when I started working at everyLIFE, I discovered a much more meaningful purpose for social media in the care industry.
It opened my eyes to how passionate the care community is. There are so many areas of care that I would never have heard of otherwise, and it got me thinking about what tools social media offers to make this information so readily available…
One of my favourites has to be the hashtag (#). Don’t be fooled by this small symbol; it’s an extremely powerful way to get your message out there, and when used in the right way, can really pack a punch and start a whirlwind of discussions. You can follow them, use them in your posts, click on other people’s #s, and if you’re feeling brave, you can even create your own. The world really is your oyster when it comes to the almighty #!
One example is NACAS’ Professional Care Worker’s Day # which took the online care community by storm in support of the amazing things carers do every day. Their success in starting a trend makes them ones to watch for social media in the care industry. It’s also a reflection of the huge amount of exposure your message can gain from a successful #.
Another way to help spread the word is to find key influencers, organisations or companies in the industry who share the same core values and tag them. Tagging is another extremely effective way to get someone’s attention and spark their interest in your campaign. Simply type ‘@’ and the profile handle of whoever you want to tag, and you’re on your way to increased online visibility.
Creating a group on social media platforms can also be a great way of using social media in the care industry. It provides users with a safe, closed space to discuss relevant topics and share information with each other. It’s almost like a safe haven away from the second-by-second updates on your main feed. In these groups, you have the opportunity to share your knowledge or just simply learn a thing or two from someone else.
The use of social media in the care industry has not failed to impress. It’s heart-warming to see the constant effort being made by individuals and organisations such as Neil Eastwood, founder of Sticky People, Big Ian Donaghy, Keynote Speaker, and Vic Rayner, Executive Director of the National Care Forum. These individuals, and the organisations they represent, are making strides in the online world of care, imparting their knowledge and experience to the wider community by using social media techniques to raise awareness.
These key influencers, and others like them, are inspiring in their determination to strive for a better future for care. However, the people who follow them and keep engaging with their content play a part that is just as important. Without the wider care community, this inspiring content wouldn’t be shared as far and wide as it already has, and it can only go further from here.
So, there you have it. If you ever doubted the potential of social media, here’s proof that it can really make a difference in a positive way. Social media gives the care industry a voice and another channel through which to share the incredibly vital and valuable work that is being done.
By Shara Berrio, Digital Marketing Executive