Taking the first days of 2017 to reflect upon what we did in 2016, we discovered more reflection in needed. As a journalist who offers their expertise online for others to benefit more of social media and web content, I chose to analyse two different types of businesses and their needs of using this environment efficiently.
We stopped at your local family butcher’s shop versus a Health and Social Care Company, offering services to either elderly, or adults with learning disabilities.
What would the difference between the two be in regards to their online presence?
What does each of them need to do in order to make the best of being online?
The butcher’s: known and supported locally
Let us analyse step by step. First, the local family butcher’s shop:
- they might have been opened for many years, even before having a website became evidently necessary;
- local people know them, they are an already established business, usually not looking to expand to other areas;
- the businesses is run more or less in the same way for years, and it relies on their relation with good suppliers and loyal customers;
- their employment needs do not tend to vary much;
- the news they send out to the community can be handled by use of their own website.
The local butcher’s shop we used as an example updated their Facebook page only 3 times in the second half of 2016, with a lot more activity on the first half. Their Facebook page has been liked by 494 people.
Social care depends on wide spread reputation
Then let us take a look at your Health and Social Care company, offering services for either elderly, or people with learning disabilities:
- their contact with prospective service users and their families, employees and local authorities is not always a direct one (compared to locals visiting their village/town shopping area);
- their business prospers on great reputation, which can be easily lost or forgotten when positive news and updates are missing (see the prevalence of negative media stories on the Health and Social Care sector);
- the internet today is one of the most accessible search and research tools.
When looking for a place you or a family member would like to live, when choosing what services they would receive, the internet can prove extremely efficient. Just think of the last time you needed a garage or a shop and you searched for it online.
- social media provides a means for regular updates.
Such updates could benefit the Care company in finding prospective employees to cover the needs of the service. But it can also provide a positive overview on how support is being provided by their services (to prospective service users, local authority, members of the public).
A national provider of social care services for people with learning disabilities, Swanton Care has
52 followers and people who like their Facebook page.
In the UK, charities also provide care services. In their case, excellent reputation is vital. So is the need for their name to be out there, accesible and standing out. These two needs prove even more stringent for a charity, which does not primarily target profit.
Study cases on social media use prove necessary
The lists we have presented above do not aim at being comprehensive, but rather to underline a few important points. These points highlight how I decided to focus my media enterprising skills on the Health and Social Sector: where there is great need, there is great potential.
Further, I will present a few findings gathered while analysing the websites and social media pages of different companies or charities in the Health and Social Care sector.