Ever wanted to meet or network with people that share your same interests but don’t know where to start? Make sure to get connected to the following 3 social media networking tools.
LinkedIn, Meetup and Facebook are social networking tools that provide a platform for like-minded professionals to share information, collaborate and build communities of practice allowing discussion of current topics such as industry latest news, trends and market data.
What are communities of practice?? Communities of practice are a group of people who converse about some shared task or topic in order to get better at it. 1
LinkedIn groups provide a place to share content, find answers and improve dissemination of research. You can either join a group or start your own group. Is very easy to create a LinkedIn account and to join a group. I suggest the following tutorials:
Lynda LinkedIn tutorials: http://www.lynda.com/LinkedIn-tutorials/Up-Running-LinkedIn/383249-2.html
How to join LinkedIn groups: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWcmG6XwDvk
For public health professionals I recommend the following groups: Public Health Institute, American Public Health Association, Health Communications, Health Literacy and Social Scientists Group.
You can also follow the LinkedIn speaker series in YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=LinkedIn+speaker+series
The book Social Media for Social Good2 includes a section on how LinkedIn groups are also great tool to promote non-profits. A best practice for non-profits is to think about a group name that will help build interest and avoid narrowing the scope of conversation.
Another platform to share information and learn from other professionals in the field of health is Facebook groups.
In a survey conducted in September 2014, the Pew Research Center finds that Facebook users continue to be very active. Fully 70% of users engage with the site daily. This means is very likely for users to respond to your post, comment or questions in a timely manner.
Looking for ways to be connected with others in your local community? Check out meetup http://www.meetup.com
This networking tool helps you meet people in your local community that share your same interests. I conducted a quick search in my area and found many health related groups. This networking tool is an alternative for those who prefer the face-to-face interaction.
1 Clay Shirky (2008). Here Comes Everybody. Penguin Books, New York.
2 Heather Mansfield (2012). Social Media for Social Good: A How-To Guide for Nonprofits. McGraw-Hill, New York.