Tag Archives: nutrition social media

The rise of nutrition social media.

Since I qualified as a dietitian in 2005, the way nutrition information is communicated has changed at quite a pace. The basics of nutrition are still the same but we have moved from….

  • Books, journals and written journals to ebooks and blogs.
  • Face to Face meetings have become online meetings, virtual hangouts and video calls.
  • TV chefs have been challenged by food bloggers and YouTube cookery channels.

With social media being a huge knowledge driver it is clear that how we communicate affects language. So nutritional professionals with the RIGHT message need to be actively on social media, shouting about it.

Shoutnutritionmessages

The History:

1999 : Rise of Blogs.

2004 : Facebook begin and is now worth hundreds of billions.

2005 : YouTube started up.

2006 : Twitter, rising to more than 100 million users in 2012.

2012: : Health Bloggers emerge.

Rise nut social media

53% of consumers check their smart phones within 5 minutes of waking. Health bloggers are now prolific and widely followed, some are fast becoming household names with their own recipe books and published in the media. However many of these bloggers are giving out their own nutrition advice but with no real qualifications.

What do people now want?

  • Evidenced based nutrition knowledge presented online, in an easy to access format. Bite sizes snippets that is scientifically correct. 
  • Ethical products.
  • Natural foods.
  • Homemade, fast recipes.
  • Artisan ideas.
  • A unique story on food.
  • Smaller independent brands in a move away from the mass produced products.

As dietitian’s/registered nutritionists  we have a huge role here. 

My thoughts:

  1. How we communicate counts. Be present, be a part of the conversation.
  2. Be authentic. Dietitian’s eat cake! Model healthy eating, balance, moderations and all the things we preach about.
  3. Working with brands is ok as long as you are one about it using the hangtags #ad #spon and a disclosure in any blog posts.
  4. Share your tips, what you eat, your recipes, your work, your stories, new foods, your meals, the research you read, live tweet study days. Show your passion, shout about it.
  5. Keep abreast of the food trends. We can’t get left behind. Be current, be topical, be present.

Why dietitians need to be on Social Media.

This week I gave a talk on social media to a group of dietitians as part of the South East Branch Meeting of the British Dietetic Association. Rather nerve wracking but they were a lovely crowd and it went down really well 🙂 

Here is a photo someone took of me and posted on Instagram. Thankyou to Tash Guildford (@NGuildford82 on Instagram).

Thanks to Tash Guildford for the photo (@NGuildford82 on Instagram).
Thanks to Tash Guildford for the photo (@NGuildford82 on Instagram).

What it really highlighted to me was the lack of expertise we have in the profession in this area. Which is understandable as it’s not exactly what we were trained in! However in this world of technology when everyone has a smart phone and listens to the info on the internet we need to be have a presence. A good presence. A loud presence. A big presence. 

If as dietitians and trained nutritionists we think we are the people that the public should be seeking out for their nutritional knowledge then we need to be visible and easy to find. Otherwise there are plenty of others out there giving nutrition advice. Not all good, evidenced based, sensible advice either. 

Top tips:
1. Find a platform you like best. Set up an account and watch what others post/do. I like twitter the best. I get business through Twitter, I learn through it, I network with other professionals on it. That’s just my preference however.
2. Follow other nutrition professionals and follow who they follow! Start asking questions and interacting. 
3. Post interesting content. Things your patients ask you. Research papers you have read. Websites you like. Good fact sheets. 
4. Share other people’s good content. It makes them feel that what they are doing is worthwhile and it stops you reinventing the wheel. 
5. Find out your departments social media policy and look at starting a department account that several people can post and run. 
6. Don’t get drawn into arguments. It is quite easy to do! Either step back and ignore those types of comments or take it off line. 
7. If you are unsure about anything then ask! There are lots of more experienced dietitians on social media who will help. I chatted to some of the U.S. Dietitians in the early days to get tips on how they do
things and they were delighted to help me. 
8. Join in Twitter chats and network with others. Don’t sit there silently, just watching. Come and “join the conversation” (twitters tag line).
9. Be yourself. I share some personal info on my social media. It helps people see a bit about who I am and how I work. But don’t over share and be careful what you share. In our house we have some rules about what we post about the children for example.
10. Check out the BDA and HCPC’s social media policy and your local departments too. 

If you aren’t following me on social media then go and do it!! Then get chatting to me 🙂