Social media often gets a bad rap. It can be a massive time waster, from viral stories to trending hashtags, cat memes and more. But there’s no question: social media can deliver many positives when used by nutrition leaders for professional purposes.

So if you’ve been sitting on the side lines when it comes to using social media for business, it’s time to get serious — and get involved.

Here are our top tips for maximising its potential….

Pick the most relevant platforms

Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter have the most active users, and Instagram is the fastest growing platform. But within these platforms, certain niche audiences dominate (e.g. Instagram and snapchat are predominantly millennials). So, choose the platforms that will help you reach the key audiences you care about the most. Visit: https:// www.socialmediatoday.com/ social-networks/top-social-networkdemographics-2017-infographic  for an infographic on the various platforms and who’s hanging out where.

Keep your profile on point

When you set up your profiles on social media, ensure your image/ branding, name, credentials and a description of your business and brand is clear. It’s an extension of your professional self.

Benefits to using social media for business purposes
  1. You can join existing conversations, where people are already “hanging out”, and provide credible nutrition information;
  2.  Showcase your talents;
  3. Promote your business;
  4. Stay on top of current news and trends;
  5. Form relationships with likeminded professionals, clients and potential clients;
  6. Ask questions; and
  7. Have productive and constructive discussion with other professionals.

Prioritise what you see first

Don’t just follow and like pages that you want to keep an eye on. Go one step further: Facebook gives you the option to prioritise pages, groups, etc. that you want to see first. This is a great way to make sure you don’t miss important updates.

Join groups

On Facebook, there’s a myriad of topic- specific groups – including specific dietitian groups. These forums – often private, and with selective membership – create more intimate, focused communities, build support networks and enable informed discussions with like-minded colleagues. Also, be sure you check the ‘rules of engagement’ for each group, so you don’t offend. Facebook group rules have become the “social norms” of the virtual world.

Share

When it comes to sharing content on social media, here are some pro tips: · Share / repost / retweet content from other pages. This helps you build a community, introduces you to people who may not already know you and saves you time! Just make sure this content aligns with your brand and your values. Of course, don’t forget to credit the original author.

Plan your posts, either on a weekly or monthly basis (and leave some free days for sharing). Hootsuite and coschedule are amazing planning tools.

Interact with people by liking, commenting and sharing. After all, it is social media.

 

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