Social media is a leading form of communication today, yet the workers’ compensation industry has been a slow adopter. In this session at the 2015 California Workers’ Compensation & Risk Conference, leading industry social media experts discussed how industry stakeholders can utilize and benefit from these tools.
- Tom Kerr, Senior Product Marketing Manager at GENEX Services
- Jonathan Mast, Director of Social Media at Sedgwick
- Dana Wolfe, Senior Director at Paradigm Outcomes
With so many options, where do you start?
You don’t have to become a super user overnight. It is best to start with one or two outlets that you can concentrate on and learn how to use correctly. In the workers’ compensation industry, there is great content on Twitter and LinkedIn so these two sites are a great place to start.
Once you’ve chosen the site(s), join and observe. This is a great way to learn the norms and patterns on how people converse on these outlets. Once you get comfortable, start engaging. Your tone and personality is going to shine through and set you apart from others.
Sharing existing posts is also a great way to start. Once you are comfortable, though, start adding a comment to these shared posts so that you are part of the conversation. Often it’s as easy as highlighting a relevant point from the article or offering your opinion in response to it.
Remember, posts are flowing by quickly on your connections’ dashboards. If you are not adding something of value with your posts, your connections are going to scroll right past them.
How do you find people to follow that match your interests?
A great place to start is to look for people who are already in your existing professional and social networks and begin following them. These platforms were designed to carry your personal relationships into the internet space, so see who is out there and engage with them.
Next, find the publications and journalists that you like and follow them. These outlets and individuals provide great resources. Also, you can follow organizations and associations that you belong to, which provides access great information, and follow industry conferences to keep up with what is happening there and what is being discussed.
Finally, explore to see who your connections are following. As a connection, you have access to this information and it is a great way to find information within your circle of relevance. Most platforms have a search feature that will help find your e-mail contacts on social media, then allow you to pick and choose which contacts you would like to follow.
What guidelines should you follow when posting?
You can take the more conservative approach, where you only engage when you see the opportunity that best fits you. In general, avoid arguing. You need to be careful about how you are perceived and, unfortunately, tone and emotion are both hard to convey in this medium.
You can also take a more progressive approach. It’s pretty simple. If you have something to say and contribute, post it. If you have to consider if something is appropriate or not before you post it, it’s usually a bad idea to proceed.
Whatever your style, making sure that you commit to maintaining a consistent presence on social media is key. If you aren’t there, things will begin to look stale and your connections will turn away from you for other sources. This is how you become irrelevant. Remember, if you are not part of the conversation, it is happening without you.