TB Nurses Harnessing the Power of Social Media

Posted by: NHS Horizons - Posted on:

Originally published by Leigh Kendall – 8th March 2019

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of presenting to tuberculosis (TB) nurse leaders about the harnessing the potential of social media for boosting your influence and impact.

Many of the nurses present didn’t have a Twitter account at the beginning of my presentation; I loved seeing their enthusiasm for getting started, and they’d all set up an account by the end of the session. 

I’m delighted to see the passion and enthusiasm building amongst the TB nurses on Twitter. They’re also planning activity for the upcoming world TB Day on 24 March. If you’d like to find out more, follow #TBNurseLeaders2019.

To summarise my points from my session:

  • Twitter offers many opportunities to learn and share with people from around the world.
  • Success on Twitter is about engagement, it’s not about the number of followers you have.
  • Be authentic, be human, be curious, have conversations with people.
  • Focus on stories – the human element. Think “so what, and who cares.”
  • Be a generous partner – share things that you think people will be able to benefit from (don’t just ‘lurk’ – take but never give, or just talk about yourself!).
  • Follow diverse people – build a spectrum of allies – to avoid creating an echo chamber.
  • Amplify your messages through creating blogs or vlogs.
  • Follow your professional guidelines – if you’re ever in doubt about tweeting something, don’t!

You can see my slides, which are full of hints and tips for optimising your influence and impact on Twitter, here. There’s also more ideas in this post.

Another pointer that arose from participants’ questions is thinking that no one will be interested in what you’ve got to say on Twitter. Try not to worry about that – I promise they will be interested. In fact, people are fascinated about nursing in general – and they’ll be interested in TB in particular. For example, I’ve worked in public health comms in the past but I didn’t know that TB is still an issue (I like many others had my BCG jab while at school). Twitter offers a brilliant opportunity to talk about what TB nurses do, raising awareness of a really important issue. 

In addition, remember that imposter syndrome is a common fear! Be proud about your profession, and your knowledge. Don’t be afraid to share your knowledge and expertise, and with confidence.

Share tweets with genuine enthusiasm and people can’t help but be interested, and to get involved in your calls to action. The same is true of any specialty or issue. You never know who you’re inspiring.

I’m looking forward to seeing what the TB nurses achieve through Twitter!

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