Dietitians and Social Media
In the 21st century the internet has skyrocketed creating social media, a cyberspace output for communication, which has now become the foundation in American society providing real-time communication for people across the globe at a convenience to its users. Popular social media sites such as Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and others has quickly changed the way people communicate with each other, receive news, promote brands, and debate issues and has seemingly outdating conventional styles of communication in the process (ie. Telephone, fax, and face-to-face communication).
This trendy marketplace provides a great deal of opportunity for dietitians in the field to promote and share science-based nutrition information, address and correct food and nutrition related misinformation, convey practical food and nutrition advice, and market their own or their affiliated organization’s business. In addition, social media provides a unique output for dietitians that can help to gain visibility, recognition, keep up with trends, and connect and expand professional connections. For example, an individual dietitian or dietitian affiliated with a larger organization may decide to market their brand or organization through a professional Facebook page, or a twitter account. These online networking site provide its services for free to consumers and is a great marketing tool for businesses that has the potential to reach millions of people around the world in a short period of time.
Although social media can provide boundless opportunity for dietitians, aspects of credibility, integrity, and positive influence in the dietetics profession should be kept maintained through effective social media communication. Tips for effective social media communication is outlined in an article by Barth, & Seher (2012) in Today’s Dietitian and include 1) showing integrity 2) remaining authentic 3) staying civil 4) taking precautions 5) showing professionalism 6) keeping information confidential 7) valuing originality and 8) scrutinizing your online presence. In addition, for an effective social media presence individual dietitians or dietitians working for a larger organization need to be aware of the benefits of copyright their own original work , ways to protect themselves from copyright infringement, and should abide by the Code of Ethics for the Profession of Dietetics in every aspect.
Cochran, N., & King, D. (2015). Dietitians on social media: Promoting and protecting your work. Today’s Dietitian, 17(10), 50. Retrieved from http://www.todaysdietitian.com/
Barth, C. M., & Seher, C. L. (2012). The power of social networking: Here’s how you can use it to market your brand. Today’s Dietitian, 14(5), 36. Retrieved from http://www.todaysdietitian.com/