Whether your company was introduced to the world of social media via your tech savvy IT rep or you were strong-armed into joining the conversation by the ever growing influence of young employees, the result is the same: You have opened the can of time sucking worms that social media is. If it is your role to keep up with health and safety best practices, networking with other safety professionals or staying on top of professional development opportunities, then you need to focus on how to use your social media time wisely.
Here are some social media tips for health and safety folks to keep current and still keep up with your workload:
1. Create measurable objectives for your social media program. For example:
"To keep customers and employees up to date with company health and safety initiatives, industry news, and engage potential employees and customers in discussions relevant to the health and safety of our employees by posting educational web resources and intelligent perspectives on trending topics, using built-in social media analytics to track followers, impressions, comments and clicks."
2. Establish rules for who posts to these sites and what gets posted.
3. Create a schedule for your social media tasks broken down into daily, weekly and monthly tasks including searching for relevant web resources and news, updating status, and engaging in discussions.
4. Use social media management applications like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to see at a glance what others are posting, who is mentioning your company and to schedule posts to more than one site by saving your drafted status to post at a later time.
5. Concentrate your time to complete your tasks instead of "surfing" the web and social media sites throughout your day. Use the timer on your computer to limit the time you spend searching for information to post and reading posts. If you are short on time there is no harm in reposting someone else's posts as long as you work in original thoughts regularly.
6. On Twitter use keywords to search for relevant information like #ergonomics, #safety, #health, #wellness, etc.
7. Follow news and journal publications relevant to Health and Safety to keep current with industry news.
8 Use blog readers like RRS, Blogger and others to narrow down Health and Safety blogs to follow.
9. Don't hesitate to "unfollow" or "unlike" anyone who is posting information not relevant to Health and Safety so you are not bombarded by information you need to weed through.
10. Be transparent in your posts. If the post is provocative then expect negative comments and always respond to negative comments, even if you need to recant a statement or admit you did not represent your company's opinion.
Please share here any other tips Health and Safety professions would benefit from so we can be more mindful of how we spend our social media time.
Marnie Courage, OT Reg (MB)
Owner/ Managing Director