I was in Leeds this week, meeting NHS staff who want to find out more about how to start, or develop, their use of social media.
You can read about all the different talks and learning sessions on the hashtag: #nhsgetsocial
The stand-out theme for me was about the importance of empowering staff to use social media. Not just so that they can say nice things about their organisation and spread corporate messages. Rather, that they can learn and network with peers, share ideas and information, and even help to recruit colleagues.
Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge use LinkedIn to target their recruitment efforts towards recent graduates and local healthcare workers. Staff on Facebook spread the word about vacancies among their friends.
This sort of activity helps to set the tone for an organisation too. An organisation that uses social media for recruitment in a considered way (rather than simply buying lots of advertising) is likely to be a place with a more mature understanding of staff and their online networks, I reckon.
There’s quite a lot of people at #nhsgetsocial ‘Your best staff are already using social media’. @timolloyd speaking pic.twitter.com/EAo494TT0i
— Markoneinfour (@MarkOneinFour) May 16, 2016
Everyone I spoke to at the conference was there because they’d heard about it through their social networks, or because they had been identified as someone within their organisation who is interested in digital. When you gather a room full of curious, enthusiastic volunteers, energy levels are high.
Staff who use social media are generally the most curious, well read and networked individuals. This shows when you bring together a conference covering a big topic, for people who work for the world’s fifth largest employer.