As you engage happily on social media, you might finally feel like you’re taking control of your brand, until you receive a Facebook friend request from your client. The ethical dilemmas are immediate, and hopefully you’re prepared when and if this happens. Here are four steps for managing your brand on social media while in clinical practice.
- First, develop your brand to clarify your best attributes, understand what to say to the right audience, and set goals for your purpose on social media. Once you have a handle on these aspects of your brand, it will make creating your online presence easier. Remember, there’s a difference between using social media as a communications tool and the strategy behind why you are on social media in the first place. Learn the difference.
- Next, rely on a social media policy, either one for a private practice or for an agency, to guide your online interaction with clients. This policy should detail best practices for ethical social media use, protect client confidentiality, and address a host of other issues. If you don’t have access to a policy, see the resources below on how to create and how to use one.
- With Steps #1 and #2 providing a good foundation, move forward in honing a strong brand presence and interacting online to meet your professional goals. Your use of social media is key to establishing your expertise, networking, and possibly gaining the trust of your future/current clients.
- Lastly, realize managing a balanced presence on social media, where you are supporting your career goals and protecting your clients and your own privacy, will be ongoing. If questions arise, rely on the NASW Code of Ethics, colleagues, and supervisors about how to address problems.
Read the full article on The New Social Worker Magazine.