With social media having become such a dominant method of communication in both the personal and professional realms, many instructors — from elementary school teachers to university professors — have begun using these platforms to enhance their lessons.
You as a childbirth educator can also incorporate social media to add value to your classes. Below are some of the best ways you can use social media to share more information with your patients outside of the classroom.
How to Use Social Media to Connect with Patients
Engage Your Community. Foster active participation by engaging your patients with the content you post. Sharing childbirth and parenting-related articles and blog posts from reputable resources (and crediting these sources) is an excellent way to provide additional information that your patients will appreciate and benefit from. Also post original content now and then, whether that consists of blog posts from your personal website or photos and videos from your classroom.
Be An Active Participant. Once you post something on social media, your job isn’t complete. Your patients will expect a conversation with you and others in the community. Along with your posts, provide comments and insights and ask questions to encourage interaction.
Foster Audience-Based Content. Encouraging your students to provide feedback by asking open-ended questions on relevant topics, taking polls, and asking for suggestions to improve or enhance your classes. These tactics are wonderful ways to spark engagement and make your students feel like an integral part of the community, both in and out of the classroom.
Bring Social Media Conversations Into the Classroom. Pinpoint posts that receive a lot of attention and invite your patients to further discuss these topics within the classroom environment.
Use Images. In addition to sharing text-only posts, share photos and videos your patients will find informational and inspirational. Posts with photos and videos tend to attract more engagement and generate more interaction and sharing.
Quality Over Quantity. Don’t get overwhelmed feeling as though you need to be on every social media network out there. Find out which ones the majority of your patients spend most of their time on and focus your efforts on those. Similarly, don’t feel like you need to make posting a part-time job. Sharing quality content a few times a week is better than posting irrelevant or useless information multiple times a day.
Ready to use social media to reach your patients outside of the classroom? Remember these tips and you’ll be well on your way to creating an engaged and active community online.
Class Facebook Groups
Topical Twitter Feeds
Various Social Media Resources for Educators