Progress – Week 10

Just as I thought, the social media pages have suffered while I have been working on the e-book. But, as it is coming up to the deadline I want a draft of the book to be completed by the end of this week.

While doing further research for the e-book, I have found some very interesting articles. One in particular is an easy WordPress blog set-up guide. I plan to use this guide in the e-book, with the author’s permission, as they are more knowledgeable in this subject than myself.  Using some snippets from experts will give the book more credibility.

Plan for the Upcoming Week

  • Finish the e-book content
  • Send it out to some dietitians/nutritionists to review
  • Starting creating the e-book as a PDF
  • Find out where I will publish the e-book
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Progress – Week 9

After a good week on Facebook last week, this week isn’t great. The Facebook struggle seems to have little return on investment. Whereas I have found new contacts potential collaborators on Twitter, this has not been the case on Facebook. Once I get to the end of this project, and reevaluate my social media strategy, I think I’m going to look at setting up a new profile on another platform and just keeping the Facebook page for minimal updates.

My options are:

A Facebook group – It will be difficult to build, just as the Facebook page has been. But communities are doing well on Facebook at the moment, so this may still be an option.

Instagram – As this platform doesn’t allow links in posts I have avoided it so far. I think I would find it hard to link back to other platforms and the blog. But many dietitians are choosing this platform because imagery is very important to them, e.g. health charts, images of food and photos of their work.

YouTube – Videos are very popular all over social media at the moment, I think mainly because a lot of people would prefer to watch a video than read. But, so far, my success with videos has been minimal. I’m not comfortable in front of the camera. So much more practice is needed before I set up a dedicated YouTube account.

The Twitter account is growing just as I hoped, and it allowed me to find my first guest poster. This has also boosted my blog views. I will continue as I am doing on Twitter. But I expect to see my growth slow in the coming week as I concentrate on the e-book. Though, I am trying to schedule the majority of my posts ahead to prevent this from happening.

Progress Week 8

Facebook

Finally, I’m making progress with Facebook. My likes have increased in line with the predictions (based on previous weeks). The only area that has decreased is the video views. So, this week I’m going to take the time to plan a video.

I followed the 80/20 rule and it has worked very well. My engagement and reach has grown more than 6 times. I have received comments, and not just likes, which is very important. Also, my most popular post of the week was the one that had a link to my weekly blog post. This was reflected in my blog analytics. 126 out of 128 click-throughs were from Facebook. I’m very happy with this.

Blog

My blog views have increased vastly this week, and it is completely due to Facebook. As I already mentioned, most of my click-throughs are from Facebook. The majority of viewers were new, but their time spent on the page is only 46 seconds. This means that now I’ve found how to get people onto my blog, I need to encourage them to stay there.

This week I have received my first guest post to publish on the blog. So, I am hoping that this will keep viewers on the page longer. I also need to encourage viewers to browse other pages on the blog. I will do this by adding links to other areas of the blog within the blog post. I also need to do more research into reducing bounce rates.

Twitter

My followers are growing in line with predictions. I have also taken the time to unfollow some people who aren’t following me, which seemingly makes a page look more professional. It also gives me the room to follow new people.

I will continue what I am doing with Twitter, as it is working well. But I need to choose specific days or times to look at Twitter throughout the week so I am not constantly checking messages and tweets.

Coming Week

I need to focus on putting the ebook together, so I have a ‘sneak preview’ to show my followers by the end of the week. Also, I’m going to keep to the 80/20 rule and make sure I link to other bloggers and dietitians, to keep engagement up.

Progress

My project has been running just over a week and things are going well. The Facebook and Twitter pages have been set up, and I also created the blog late last week. I’ve chosen Monday as the day to look at analytics and take note of my successes and failures of the week.

Facebook

As I already had a page set up on Facebook from a past project, it was just a case of rebranding it. The few followers I had aren’t exactly a part of my new target audience, healthcare professionals. But they are mainly small businesses who are looking for social media advice, so hopefully I won’t lose too many of them. I have also gained 10 followers this week.

My most popular posts have been links to my blog and a graphic I created using a quote from the BDA (British Dietetic Association). So my plans to fill the Facebook page with informative image seems to be working so far. I also asked a dietitian to make a short video for my page – it was very well received, probably because she also shared the post on her page.

I have also noticed that the times my likers are on Facebook varies more than I would have thought day to day. So this week, when scheduling posts, I will be referring back to the analytics for peak audience times.

Twitter

I had to start from scratch with Twitter, and have found that using Tweetdeck has helped a lot. As I need to post more frequently it is useful for scheduling posts and seeing what others have posted in a more organised way. I now have 46 followers, which has taken just under two weeks. It seems to be easier to grow a following on Twitter than Facebook. But, as I have been working on the blog the past few days, the growth has slowed.

I have found that my most popular tweets are ones where I have quoted other Twitter users. When I post my own tweets or just retweet without adding a comment I don’t get as much interaction. So in future I will on retweet as a quote. My graphics are also quite popular so I will be creating more over the next week so I have a bank of graphics and pictures to work with.

Blog

I am very happy with the look of the blog  so far, and the logo I created. My original plan was to create a blog post once a week and post on a Saturday. But I have noticed that many other social media brands share their blog posts daily. So, I think it is better for me to create as many as possible. Then, once I have a good number of posts to share I will start posting new blog posts once or twice a week.

So that’s progress…

New Project – New Reason to Blog

My blogging always seems to taper off when I’m not working on a specific project. But here we are. It’s project time!

Health Matters, Social Media Matters

For my final Ma project I am setting myself up as a social media consultant. More specifically, I am creating a space where health professionals can learn how to promote themselves on social media. I’m calling this project Health Matters, Social Media Matters. I’m toying with the idea, Carneika Washbrook – Social Media Strategist, mainly because I just like how it sounds.

Most of this project will be centred around a blog, Facebook page and Twitter profile, where I will be giving tips on building a social media presence as well as showing the importance of getting health professionals on social media.

This has become an important subject for myself as my mom has just qualified as a dietitian, and I have been helping a friend of her’s (Nishti’s Choice) to grow her social media presence. I’m not going to go into the importance today – that’s for another blog post.

Research

At first my research didn’t turn up much on dietitians on social media for the UK. Australia and the US are ahead of us on this one. But after a little digging I found a social media guide created by the Royal College of General Practitioners, called The Social Media Highway Code. This will be very helpful when looking at what health professionals need from social media. There are a lot of restrictions and risks to consider, especially when it comes to giving health advice online. I’ll also be referring to the BDA (the British Dietetic Association) and HCPC (Heath and Care Professionals Council) to make sure I encourage the right values in dietitians online.

In short, I have found that dietitians specifically in the UK are being taught what they should and shouldn’t post online, as well as being given guidelines to follow. The next step is to give them a strategy and guide on the specifics of posting, promotion and day-to-day use of social media as a professional. This is where I come in.

Banner Facebook

I’m very excited to get started on this new project, and expecting a few twists and turns along the way. Three months and counting…

Differing Social Media Strategies

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been looking at the social media strategies of different organisations. It has been very interesting to see how in-house social media teams work.

Last week I went on a little field trip to the headquarters of Virgin Trains, and this week we had a guest speaker, Guy Evans,  the Social Media and Communications Officer for Birmingham Council.

A Quick Comparison

The most interesting things to observe were the similarities between two completely different organisations. Both Virgin Trains and Birmingham Council want to make sure they have a ‘human voice’ on social media. They answer enquiries personally and keep scheduling posts to a minimum.

Also, I was surprised to see (more with Virgin Trains) that they were not completely up to date and on all social media platforms. Unlike when people just sign up to a new social media platform to try it out, they have to justify using them.

Then again, when I was originally taught about putting myself on social media, when I was studying journalism, I was told to keep my accounts up to date, or to not have them at all. I guess it’s better to completely avoid a platform than use it poorly – especially when you are a big organisation.

Instagram stands out as the platform that people don’t know what to do with. It can be seen more as a ‘vanity account’ that doesn’t add anything to the business. When you have a limited resources and funds I can see why it can be more trouble than it’s worth.

Social Media on a Budget

Companies have turned to social media as a cheaper, easier way to interact with their customers. Although automation tools and paid advertising can be used when needed, it is becoming clear that knowledge of how to use social media effectively is a lot more valuable to build a foundation.

From listening to Guy Evans, it is clear that even with a tiny team (he works alone on the main social media accounts) and a minimal budget you can be successful on social media.

Fine Tuning Your Social Media Strategy

There were some significant differences between how Birmingham Council and Virgin Trains work on social media. I think it’s important for companies to establish these fine details before they get started.

For example, if a customer gets too offensive or rude Virgin Trains are happy to block them. They are a business who don’t tolerate that behaviour towards their staff. Whereas, Birmingham Council think it is important to see what everyone is saying.

If you are working alone, it’s easier to choose your brand identity, do’s and don’ts, and your voice. But working in a team can mean that your social media voice can vary. Social media fans want consistency, without feeling like they are talking to a robot. it’s a fine balance.

Virgin Trains do this very well, with each social media user using their initials at the end of their Twitter posts so followers know who’s online. Because of the ‘Virgin brand identity‘, they can get away with this, along with their chatty, casual attitude online.

On that Note…

Working on social media is a steep learning curve. It can take some experimentation to learn what works for you, and perseverance will work better than just throwing money at it.

But, most importantly, you must have a clear idea of what you want from your social media pages.