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Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Webwatch: Skills for Health launch social media toolkit for healthcare sector

Written by The Editorial Team

Skills for Health has launched a comprehensive social media toolkit for the UK healthcare sector, providing healthcare organisations and professionals with sector-specific insight, advice and best practice on using social media effectively.

The free toolkit, created with support from Public Health Wales, key industry experts and employers, has been written with healthcare organisations of all sizes and social media capabilities in mind. Whether organisations are new to social media and unsure where to start or want to make sure their existing social presence is fit for purpose.

The toolkit covers everything from strategy to content creation, including guides to the key platforms and leading influencers to follow, examples of best practice, downloadable templates and additional resources, as well as advice on how to encourage organisations to embrace a digital culture.

Dawn Bratcher, Senior Marketing Manager for Skills for Health said: "30% of adults said they would share information about their health on social media and more than 40% said information found via social media affects how they deal with their health.

"Social media plays an ever-growing role in our daily lives, including the way we access and share information. Starting conversations online enables healthcare organisations to raise awareness, share information, engage with existing audiences and reach out to new ones."

Last year, Skills for Health launched the #OurHealthHeroes campaign on social media to raise awareness of the vital role of the healthcare support workforce. The campaign launched with a YouTube video, filmed using real staff members at Southmead Hospital in Bristol and the hashtag encouraged the public to thank support staff online.

The video was viewed more than 100,000 times and supported by more than 30 trusts and healthcare organisations across the UK, with a social reach of over five million. This social success led to the creation of the inaugural Our Health Heroes Awards, which received more than 500 nominations from across the UK.

Dawn Bratcher continued: "The success of the #OurHealthHeroes campaign shows what a powerful tool social media is for building connections with patients, stakeholders and communities both inside and outside the healthcare sector. It is important to be present in these conversations online, but knowing how to do this effectively is not always straightforward.

"As the Sector Skills Council for the UK healthcare sector, we hope this comprehensive guide will give organisations the knowledge and understanding to use social platforms with confidence. We are proud to be helping the healthcare sector to embrace this important shift in the way we communicate and take steps towards a more digital future."

You can download and share the social media toolkit here: skillsforhealth.org.uk/socialtoolkit or join the conversation using the hashtag #healthsocialtools.