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Case study 2 - Simon

Engaging with the public about what they do via social media


Simon is a dietitian. He has recently been considering new ways of engaging with his service users and members of the public. He is particularly keen on using social media to improve his outreach and engage with groups he wouldn’t have traditionally reached through his practice.

Simon already uses social media in a personal capacity, but is keen to keep a professional divide between his personal life and his service users. He decides to create a Twitter account, under a user name that reflects his professional title. He uses this account to follow and interact with other nutrition professionals. He posts general information relating to his practice, targeting areas of interest to his service users. This includes facts and ‘myth busters’ relating to nutrition, tools to assist his service users such as recipes and generalised advice, advertising relating to his areas of practice, and sharing articles relating to new research and best practices of interest to him.

Simon includes his Twitter handle in his email signature, so his service users are able to follow him if they want to. His service users can also contact him in informal ‘Twitter chats’. He doesn’t discuss anything to do with his service users’ care and treatment, but encourages service users and members of the public to approach him via social media where they have general questions about his areas of practice.

Simon has found both he and his service users benefit from his use of social media as service users, and wider members of the public, are able to grasp a better understanding of his role as a dietician and the services he can offer, and the interaction can improve his professional relationships. He is also able to build up knowledge of current practice issues and network with his profession globally.