Housing and care staff are finding Twitter a very useful tool, but the lack of guidelines for staff usage is leaving employees feeling vulnerable about what they can say. This is what I’ve learned recently from speaking to various people from different organisations. They told me about what they use Twitter for, the risks, the rewards and why all organisations need a policy and guidelines for social media use.
During BBC Panorama 8.30pm-9pm on 23rd May 2012, Elderly Care and #panorama were trending highly on Twitter in the UK, which means more people were using Twitter to talk about this one TV programme than anything else. Panorama is a popular programme so when I heard that last night’s episode was on a hot topic (the failing care system in the UK) I suspected this might happen.
Since they would have been watching it anyway, we agreed that JRHT‘s Director of Care Services John Kennedy, JRF‘s Deputy Director of Policy & Research Nancy Kelley and JRF/JRHT Head of Media Abigail Scott Paul would tweet a bit of commentary/analysis/professional-opinion at the same time. I was also watching and retweeting some of their tweets from the corporate JRF account.
The purpose of this is to ensure that the expertise of JRF and JRHT is represented in the conversations taking place on topics we have experience/expertise in. Tweeting during TV programmes is one of the easiest ways to assert JRF and JRHT as leaders in our fields because we know that thousands of other people will also be watching those TV programmes and following the hashtag. I see this as part of JRHT’s commitment to influencing by demonstrating best practice.
Enthusiastic staff who embrace Twitter are often not supported by their employers and left unsure of what they can share