Socially savvy, 18 June 2013

Dave MundayBy Dave Munday, professional officer in the Health sector

Did you know that since its creation in 2004, facebook has grown to such an extent that now 15.6% of the world’s population are active users (or 1.11 billion people). For many it’s become engrained as a way of life and for some maybe it’s gone a little bit too far. In a study (sponsored by who else but facebook) 62% of smartphone owners reached for their phone as soon as they woke up and in the 18-24 year old category, this figure was higher at 74%.

In the Unite Health sector we’ve been developing our social media strategy for a while. To be honest it started at a hobby kind of level but over time, we’ve been listening to the feed back from members and refining what we do. Our longest running ‘channel’ has been our Unite/CPHVA facebook page, and although still at just 692 followers, if everyone one of those followers liked a post, we’d have a readership of 152,134 people. For our Unite in Health page we’re still at early stages with 190 followers (less than 0.2% of our UiH membership), what’s great though is the regular feedback that we’re starting to get from people reading our posts, asking questions or making comments.

One of the things that we are conscious of is that although there are lots of positives about our new connected world, there are also some not so great things. For example, members across all sectors can sometimes fall foul of their employer’s perception of activity that they may have got up to online. An example that a speaker gave at a conference we ran last week, was a group of teachers that had posted photos online of a night out that were then printed out and distributed by a disgruntled parent.

To support you, we’ve already carried out a #UiHTT on the subject, which you can listen to again at #UiHTTThinkAgain, but we’ll also have a fact sheet for you soon. It’s also worth remembering if you’re a registrant with a professional regulator, that you have a look at their advice which you can normally download from their website.

If you’re that way inclined, please do join in the conversation on our different social media channels, and let us know what you think! It might be worth having a look at this YouTube video about our online lives, it makes you think, and also can make you laugh!