So it’s been a busy couple of chats on the #nhssm hashtag recently. Here’s some thoughts on two chats that happened at the end of January.
First up: what can the NHS learn from other sectors using social media?
This one was of real interest to me. Having worked in third sector for two years I can definitely see some areas in which charities are using social media much more creatively than those in the public sector, and likewise where those in the private sector are using social media in ways that the NHS could benefit from.
For me, there were two main areas that the NHS could learn from:
1. Talking to the people that matter most to the organisation
Customers, patients, supporters, fundraisers, donors. People. We are all talking to people. That’s something I feel charities are thinking about and doing really well when using social media, because they rely on their supporters to make their campaigns and ideas work and to continue receiving support through online channels. Both third sector and private sector organisations talk to their customers/consumers/supporters on a daily basis and rely on their feedback and engagement, they don’t always do it well, but it’s happening. Currently, the majority of conversations in the NHS on social media are happening between passionate members of staff and colleagues, using social media to share knowledge and best practice. This is important and brilliant, but there is so much potential to speak to the public and patients more than is currently happening.
2. Creativity and experimenting online
Again, with the budgets that private sector organisations have, experimenting can seem a lot easier to do, but social media doesn’t need a huge budget – hence why charities are able to do some incredibly creative things, on little or often no budget and see huge rewards – either through donations, wider fundraising or huge awareness campaigns enabled by the viral nature of social media. This is something the NHS could do more, it doesn’t have to be completely new to be creative – just experiment with things that are new to you: don’t use pictures on your Twitter feed? Why not get creative, start using some and see your engagement levels rise.
You can see the full Storify round up here:
— Will Barker (@willdotbarker) January 8, 2015
Second: What makes a great social media campaign?
Lots discussed on this chat, from social campaigns and social movements right the way through to measuring the success of a campaign – what does success look like and it is the same for every campaign in every organisation?
If you’re looking for inspiration for bunch of great social media healthcare campaigns, you’re in luck: the chat started off by naming which campaigns people liked the most and why.
I thought the idea of distinguishing between a social media campaign and a social movement was an interesting one – what comes first, and does it always follow the same suit? Is a movement from a campaign a measure of success or do you need something more tangible to show that your campaign has been success and returned on your investment?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of the questions I’ve raised in this blog, hear your favourite examples of campaigns inside and outside of the NHS, why they are so great and see what you think the NHS can learn from other sectors.
Leave your comments in the box below, or tweet me @willdotbarker.