In my experience social media evokes strong reactions in people whose primary reference point is their teenager posting Facebook status updates at the dinner table, in preference to polite conversation with their parents.
So when I give presentations about social media to colleagues (particularly senior managers who are dealing day-in-day out with limited resources, meeting targets, responding to incidents, managing disciplinaries and so on) I always try to start where they are, what is important to them, and how social media might be able to help them. We often come back to the fundamental point – like it or not, social media is here, so we need to understand and engage. If I am overly zealous in my promotion of social media, I know I run the risk of further alienating people whose starting point is already fairly sceptical.
But sometimes I do just have a strong desire to say ‘this is what I absolutely love about Twitter!’ and I had one of those moments last night when I crowdsourced information about mental health mood monitoring apps after an email request from a clinician.
What I love is that within moments I had some information and links to apps; a colleague had been in touch to say they were looking at developing one in their service and could we discuss; it was re-tweeted, and others got in touch to see if I could send any information to them (which I did); and a few lovely people even offered to road-test a few of the apps to see how well they worked. And I had some enjoyable conversations along the way.