How Nurses Can Use Social Media to Share Expertise
- Nurses can use social media to share their knowledge on public health and nursing news.
- Knowing your audience, using strong visuals, and finding your niche are part of growing engagement on social media.
- Social media can also be used to build community and connections in the healthcare space.
While any social media platform can be tenuous, nurses can use these platforms to build a brand and reputation for themselves. Nurses are excellent at breaking down complex topics and creating digestible pieces of information for their community. McKayla Schulke from Soul Simple by Kayla promotes equal access to healthcare.
"[Nurses] can create posts, videos, and blogs that share their experiences and knowledge in a way that is relatable and easy to understand," she says.
Nurses who are subject matter experts may find social media platforms a good way to engage their audience and build a reputation as a nurse in the community. This reputation can be leveraged to build an email list of followers with whom you can communicate without relying on social media. Consider using these steps to build an audience.
1 | Identify Your Ideal Social Media Platform
Each of the major social media outlets offers unique ways of communicating with your audience. Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter for nurses offer different ways of sharing content.
While LinkedIn is often more business oriented, businesses can still use TikTok to engage a younger audience.
2 | Know Your Audience
One of the biggest mistakes that new businesses make is addressing everyone. Your goal is to motivate your audience to take some type of action. To accomplish this goal, you have to know your audience.
If you haven't identified your target audience or your ideal customer, you won't be able to effectively tailor your message. Another way of saying this is to find your niche.
3 | Encourage Sharing
Social media marketing as a nurse is all about sharing your experience and your information and then encouraging your readers to share that with their network. This can help to build your audience and your reach, whether you are putting on in-person events, speaking over video, or creating books and white papers.
Consider joining other groups on Facebook or TikTok where you can share your message to a wider audience. Prioritize the messages you want your audience to share and consider piggybacking your message onto trending topics.
4 | Use Strong Headlines and Visuals
The stream of information on social media platforms passes by quickly. You need a strong visual element to grab the reader's attention and a headline that will draw them in to engage with the content.
If you need ideas, analyze what other successful groups or entrepreneurs are doing with their headlines and visuals.
5 | Include Video
Whatever platform you are using, you'll likely get the most engagement from video. Short videos increase engagement on social media platforms, which can grow your "tribe" or followers interested in your content.
There are several different types of video formats to choose from. You may not enjoy being on camera, but most people want to see the person who is sharing information. However, you don't have to be on camera throughout the entire video.
Look at the types of video people in your market have success with and consider how you can use the same format.
6 | Listen to Your Audience and Be Responsive
People on social media expect a near-immediate response to their questions and comments. Audiences want an enjoyable experience and a response from the content creator when they ask a question, share your post, or have a concern. Recognizing individuals publicly increases the potential that you'll turn them into one of your biggest fans.
7 | Customize Your Content to the Platform
While there are programs that allow you to automate your social media posts across several platforms, posting the same content across all platforms is not usually the most effective strategy. Be sure you customize the information to match the users who are on that channel.
8 | Measure Success Through Audience Engagement
Although you may post consistently and have a large presence on social media, audience engagement is the test of your online success. When your posts are shared and liked, these indicators tell you that your message resonates with your audience.
9 | Don't Worry About the Number of Followers
Organic growth is best, no matter how long it takes. When your followers grow and stay with you, it's because they want to see you and value your content. Schulke reminds nurses the content they share to build followers must meet certain standards.
"Nurses are bound by a code of ethics, and we can practice these on social media sites by only sharing articles, books, studies, and links to websites/information that uses evidence-based research," she says.
10 | Have Fun and Make Friends
Always remember to have fun and not take it too seriously. Remind yourself often of "why" you are using social media. Keep your goal at the forefront of everything you do. Try connecting with other nurses on the same platforms. Social media is a great way to build community and connections, too.
Meet Our Contributor
McKayla Schulke, LPN
McKayla Schulke first started out as a CNA in 2018 and worked in long-term care facilities until she earned her LPN in May 2021. Her original plan was to become a dietitian, but then she realized her true passion was with the nursing field and the patients she cared for. She now works part time in a clinic with a family practice provider.
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