Use of Social Media as a Communication Tool

Justin Rossiter, Freemasons Homes of Southern Tasmania



FMH commenced using Facebook as a communication and marketing tool in April 2012. Our present reach is up to 1200 people per post, and we ensure that we post at least weekly. At the same time as our FB page went live we also developed a social media policy and residents were asked to sign a consent form if they would like their picture to appear on FB.  Our social media policy includes mobile phone, tablet, laptop use and posts made on Facebook including acceptable content.

We include a calendar of upcoming events as well as photos of residents and staff participating in activities throughout the home. We also include snippets and links to relevant news items related to aged care. Staff achievements appear prominently on the page and these always generate a very high post reach.

We have a large number of family members now that live on the mainland or overseas and FB has proven popular with as a way of still feeling connected to the home.

We also have 49 ILU’s within Lindisfarne and FB is a great way to disseminate information to our tenants and again helps them feel connected with the home.

Staff members actively participate on the FB page making comments about photos which helps also helps them to feel connected to the home.

The Email distribution groups came about following our annual staff survey that showed both care staff and nursing staff would like to see communication improved between management and frontline staff. Previously we had relied on internal email and memo’s (which we still use) however the distribution groups utilise the personal email address of the employee. Not all staff have a chance to read emails at work and often they are inundated with emails that might not necessarily be relevant to them. With the distribution group email we can target specific groups of staff with the information they need to know. With the majority of staff having access to personal email through phone, computer or tablet device it gives us the best chance of communicating with them and overcoming the communication barrier in a larger facility with 171 beds.

Staff have the opportunity to opt in or out of the distribution group and must sign a form stating that they would like to be part of the group.

RN/EN’s were the first group set up and it was a great way to distribute training opportunities available and to communicate as a group about issues, equipments purchases, seek feedback etc. There is now a separate group for care assistants and although the content may differ slightly from the RN/EN group what it communicated remains the same. At present all RN/EN staff have opted in to the RN/EN distribution group and we have 30 care staff and climbing in the ECA group.

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