I’m so excited to share this post with you guys from the wonderful Maeve, founder of Dietetically Speaking! Maeve is a straight-talking Registered Dietitian who exposes nutritional nonsense + shares evidence-based nutritional posts, recipes + lifestyle pieces. I particularly love her Nutri-bollocks stories over on Instagram.
In this post Maeve shares her tips on striking what can feel like a tricky balance between remaining professional, but sharing personal snippets to stay true to you.
- I think it’s so important that we do our best to make sure our messages are accurate, responsible, and evidence-based – along with Registered Nutritionists, Dietitians should be seen as the ‘go to’ for reliable nutritional information.
- It is also important to protect ourselves and the image of our profession by following relevant guidelines and policies, such as the HCPC and BDA social media and proficiency guidelines. Your employer may have its own social media guidelines as well. Key points from these are usually related to: communicating respectfully, adhering to confidentiality, setting professional boundaries and any advertising needs to be transparent and honest (in line with advertising standards as well).
- Learning about making engaging content is an ongoing process for me, and I think it takes some experimenting. But I have found that using infographics, memes, and succinct social media posts usually works quite well. It is also good to discuss hot topics, and areas that you are truly interested in – as your passion will show!
- Showing your personality is another important part of engaging with your followers, as it adds an element of honesty and ‘realness’. But this can be a fine line to walk when we also have to be professional at all times. For me this involves being honest in my opinions, drawing on my experiences and my sense of humour, while also doing my best to be balanced in my messages and always interacting with my followers in a respectful and professional way. Unfortunately, there is no one answer as to how to achieve this at all times, and there can be disagreement between Dietitians about different approaches and specific details. But if in doubt it’s best to go back to our professional guidelines to make sure our messages adhere to these.
- If blogging is something you’re interested in, then go for it! It can seem daunting in the beginning but you don’t have to release massive amounts of content, you can gradually build this up and experiment with different ways of getting your message out there.
For more info, check out this infographic by Emily Foster, RD which provides a great summary of the HCPC social media guidelines. You can also find out more from Emily, who is a registered dietitian, entrepreneur and marketer on Twitter, Instagram, and her website.