Social media is an integral part of our lives these days (I mean, hello you’re reading a blog post). It’s hard to refute the evidence.
We spend a great deal of our days utilizing social media in some way, shape, or form. And don’t even get me started on the amount of time we all waste (including myself) on various Social Networks (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, etc.)
Interestingly enough, we recognize the presence of Social Media, yet we treat the online world like it’s taboo when it involves our job.
Is it OK to ‘friend’ your coworkers online?
How about your boss?
Why or why not? What does your online identity say about you?
UPDATE: Before you read this post, you should know I no longer use Snapchat. It lost its luster in favor of the more engaging Instagram Stories
I’m a Nurse, Educator, Leader, and Speaker. I want to connect with and provide value to everyone who can benefit from my skills and knowledge.
I’m also an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Freelance Blogger, Vlogger, Podcaster, Social Media Maven, and Nurse Entrepreneur. I’ve been a Nurse and nurse blogger for over a decade, and in that time I’ve acquired a broad range of life expertise and professional wisdom.
I want to share my experiences with other Nurses, healthcare professionals and the like so they may benefit from the lessons I’ve learned with less effort and in a fraction of the time.
I’m a storyteller. The reason for my success (both professional & personal) lies solely in the relationships I’ve developed. Which is a concept I’ve also heard over and over from the most successful.
The stories I tell with my blog writing, video producing and podcast broadcasting are the foundation of my communication. But I’ve discovered how Snapchat can springboard my relationship with my audience.
Snapchat is gaininghas had gained guru-level attention because it provides a unique platform for one-on-one communication like no other [Update: thanks to Instagram stories, Snapchat’s interface is no longer unique and not the most popular].
Quick snippets of multimedia communication in the form of an editable picture (or video) called a “snap” that has a *24-hr shelf life. It can be posted to your personal “story” (similar to your Facebook/Twitter timeline) or sent via private message to your friends on Snapchat. (It disappears from your timeline 24 hours after it is posted and private messages disappear 10 seconds after opening)
[*Side note: There are (multiple) ways to save your snaps]
It’s a great medium for fielding questions from fans as well as provide small slices of information-sharing gold with anyone who is your friend on the platform.
You see, unless you make an effort to share it on other platforms, the information on Snapchat is exclusive and (mostly) private on Snapchat’s platform. [Which at the time of this writing was mobile-only.]
I’ve communicated and shared information with fellow professionals, students, bloggers, vloggers, podcasters and others who were seeking direction and advice on a personal level that would not be possible on other platforms.
Here’s how I initially started using Snapchat (and now use Instagram):
sharing snippets of my daily personal life (including my journey through knee surgery)
real-time private professional communication and networking
offering educational and career advice
sharing behind the scenes information on upcoming projects
The “convenience factor” is something I failed to understand until I started using Snapchat more. Instead of spending 5 minutes or longer on a 140-character limit update to Twitter (yes I know Twitter updated their limits) or a pseudo-long-formed post update on Facebook or Instagram (which also has character limits), I can just “snap’ a 10-second video snippet of whatever subject is on my mind. If I need to share more info, I just pick up where I left off with the next “snap.” Instead of spending 10-30 minutes on a thought through worded text, I just take sequential “snaps” to tell a story.
This type of communication dialogue can be used when chatting one-on-one, or you can opt for the more traditional worded text message (in a private Snap). If you’re interested in bells & whistles, yep the app has them too. [Check out the articles on filters]
I initially started to use the app to share my personal journey through my right knee surgery, but it’s molded into a wonderful way to make deep connections with my audience.
Here’s how I’m now using Snapchat:
Created multiple Snapchat story “series” (content) to spark the conversation and build engagement with my Nursing community.
Created “Snapchat Classroom for Nurses” a “virtual” classroom in lecture form on various topics related to Nursing and the Nursing field.
Share “The Daily Sean Vlog” & “Facebook Live Vlog” episodes with behind-the-scenes content, topic discussions, and various vlog updates.
Created “#nurseprotip #nurselife #showandtell” a medium (prompt) for sharing snapshots and snippets of interesting content, media, and educational related Nursing information. For example sharing teaching points on viewing chest x-rays.
Intermittently re-introduce myself to my Snapchat friends, as my friend’s list keeps growing, and I want everyone to know who they just met.
Created “Question of the Day” a query of random Nursing-related questions to help garner feedback and create engagement around a hot topic in Nursing.
Created “Coffee Talk” a random personalized conversation between me and my friend list about (Nursing-related) topics that move me, saturate my computer or are popular in the world.
The conversation on Snapchat is much more enriched because you have this air of security with the disappearing Snap (yes, beware it is not fool-proof), but you find more personal connections where you make the effort.
Earlier this month I had the pleasure of discussing the role of Nurses and the Nursing profession with Janet Kennedy, the host of Get Social Health Podcast.
I met Janet through the Blab video chat platform this past fall when my podcast was born. If you remember, my podcast was completely ran through the Blab platform for the first couple months. Janet and I met through mutual friends as well as both of us sharing the same social space on a number of social media platforms. I really love the passion Janet has for marrying social media with all things Health Care.
From the Get Social Health Podcast website:
Get Social Health is a podcast about social media and how it’s being used to help hospitals, medical practices, healthcare practitioners and patients connect and engage via social media. Get Social Health presents conversations with professionals actively working in the field and provides real-life examples of healthcare social media in action.
Janet invited me as a guest to talk about Nurses’ social media online presence (or lack there of). How our online presence is not completely complimentary and extremely under-represented.
I also got to share some of my social media history of the past decade. I talked about my 6 years with Scrubs Magazine, blogging & vlogging. Then (of course) my new podcast and the launch of my website SeanDent.com, a social media vault for nurses across their career spectrum seeking guidance on how to succeed.
Janet was a great host and such a wonderful conversationalist. I can’t thank Janet enough for the opportunity to let me share my story.
Sean Dent is an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and the host of the Change of Shift podcast giving a voice to Nurses and the nursing profession.