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									                                     BAOT/COT Social Media Strategy September 2, 2010

BAOT/COT Social Media Strategy
This strategy identifies the ways in which the use of social media can support the strategic aims of the
organisation: member engagement, leadership and sustainability. The developing social media channels
can extend the internal and external communications of the organisation and provide online platforms
for the organisation to engage with its members and non-members and for members to engage with
each other.

This strategy is for COT staff and BAOT members in elected positions (e.g. Council members, Board and
committee members, Specialist Sections, and Regional Groups) that use social media to carry out their
professional roles. This strategy aims to establish the organisation as a leader among other Allied Health
Professions and not for profits in terms of social media activity. The use of social media channels can
actively demonstrate the dynamism of the profession to the general public, promoting demand for
occupational therapy services and interest in occupational therapy as a career.

This is an interim document, which will be reviewed on appointment of the Senior Communications
Manager. If you have questions or would like to arrange a training session about social media, please

Social Media Officer
020 7450 2350

Join us on Facebook:
Follow us on Twitter:
Annual Conference photo gallery:
Watch our OT videos on Youtube:
Join our professional networking group on LinkedIn:

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                                    BAOT/COT Social Media Strategy September 2, 2010


   1.    BAOT/COT social media objectives
   2.    Why BAOT/COT is engaging with social media
   3.    BAOT/COT on Facebook (including achievements and objectives)
   4.    BAOT/COT on Twitter (including achievements and objectives)
   5.    BAOT/COT on Linked in (including achievements and objectives)
   6.    BAOT/COT on Flickr (including achievements and objectives)
   7.    BAOT/COT on Youtube (including achievements and objectives)
   8.    Appropriate tone/ language
   9.    Proposed strategic recommendations
   10.   Recommendations for COT staff and members
   11.   Social media reading list

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                                    BAOT/COT Social Media Strategy September 2, 2010

    1. BAOT/COT social media objectives

This BAOT/COT draft social media strategy supports the development of a thriving online OT
community. BAOT/COT encourages OTs and COT staff to explore the use of social media tools as a
means of promoting the profession and the organisation and building new professional networks.

Social media can support membership recruitment and retention by providing new channels for
promoting membership and ensuring that BAOT/COT is visible on social media sites where OT staff are
already present.

Other key objectives include:

       Encouraging members and non-members to discuss OT on BAOT/COT social media channels,
        thereby expanding the public presence of the profession and the organisation
       Establishing BAOT/COT as a contributing and leading community member of the health and
        social care and public sectors
       Facilitating member-to-member and member-to-non- member communication
       Improving communication between COT staff, members and non-members
       Increasing traffic to the BAOT/COT website
       Optimising Google search ranking of the BAOT/COT website
       Providing best practice guidance on the use of social media to other AHP organisations
       Employing proactive engagement – seeking out activity in related sectors not directly linked to
        the organisation and engaging with that information
       Employing reactive engagement – responding to direct dialogue about occupational therapy and
        the organisation on these sites

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                                    BAOT/COT Social Media Strategy September 2, 2010

   2. Why BAOT/COT is using social media

It is important for BAOT/COT to be outward looking in its overall web communication strategy. By using
social media sites the organisation can expand the online presence of the profession by encouraging OTs
to discuss occupational therapy online and develop their professional and social networks. This in turn
will drive traffic to the BAOT/COT website and help raise the profile of the profession and the

      Social media allows BAOT/COT and its members and non-members to raise awareness of work
       and ask questions and receive answers from each other
      BAOT/COT can communicate using targeted updates (e.g. Links, calls to action, and news with
       existing networks and potential members)
      Staff participation in the social media strategy has already increased cross- departmental
       communication and understanding, thereby improving the cohesiveness of the organisation
      BAOT/COT can promote new consumer videos, uploaded on a planned BAOT/COT branded
       channel on YouTube where they can be streamed and shared by people around the world who
       might search for ‘occupational therapy’
      Social media enables OT staff to create online content about occupational therapy
      Social media facilitates connections between those of similar professional and personal interests
      Social media allows us to understand what stakeholders are saying about the organisation and
       our related issues and use this information to support our marketing goals
      BAOT/COT social media presence in particular meets the expectations of students and new
      Social media allows us to conduct qualitative member research
      As a charity the organisation has an obligation to address public benefit: one of the main aims
       of the BAOT/COT website and is also a main priority in its use of social media
      Social media complements BAOT/COT’s web presence and has increased our visibility and
       prominence in internet search engines
      Social media allows BAOT/COT to respond directly and openly to queries. Anyone who witnesses
       this exchange can benefit from transparent Q&A
      COT Discussion forums provide a valuable membership benefit but exclude the public. The
       discussion forums have little impact on improving the organisation’s search results
      Social media is a cost-effective communication tool

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                                      BAOT/COT Social Media Strategy September 2, 2010

    3. BAOT/COT fan page on Facebook

Facebook has over 300+ million active users and is experiencing significant growth1. Users can add
friends and send messages, and update their personal profiles to notify friends about their activities and
insights, and share links and multimedia. Additionally, users can join networks organised by city,
workplace, school, and region. Facebook is no longer just for students as its fastest growing
demographic is between 35-55 year olds and is doubling in size roughly every 2 months2. Many charities
have been developing ‘fan pages’ to communicate with supporters and members.

BAOT/COT on Facebook was launched in September 2009 and is consistently thriving. After ten months
the fan page has grown to 3580 fans, meaning members and OT staff internationally are receiving our
updates and viewing conversations taking place on the page. This page has become a place where fans
ask questions and receive answers from other fans and COT staff. The organisation and the fans can all
learn from these conversations.

Our updates include:

       Calls to action to members e.g. ‘Participate in The Big Care Debate’
       Highlighted website content, based upon suggestions from Communications group and staff
       Highlighted content produced by COT staff (e.g. videos taken by Membership Development,
        Marketing films, pictures taken by Practice)
       Press about occupational therapy staff in the UK
       Relevant membership benefits
       Encouragement for fans to answer fan questions e.g. ‘New wall questions need answers. Can
        you answer them?
       Questions to fans on agreed topics
       Highlighted activities of other not for profits

All updates are intended to be a springboard for discussions. All Links posted on BAOT/COT’s Facebook


       3,900 by August 2010
       3,580 fans by June 2010
       2,500 fans by February 2010
       OT staff and members use the Facebook page as a resource and a way to update and keep in
        contact with COT’s activities

 Facebook blog – 300 Million and on
 iStrategylabs – Facebook 2009 Demographics and Stats report: 276% Growth in 35-54 Year Old Users
                                                                                                    Page 5
                                    BAOT/COT Social Media Strategy September 2, 2010

      OT staff and members use the Facebook page to give and get feedback from COT
      BAOT/ COT receives fast and easily shared feedback

Objectives for 2010:

      Further development of multimedia content – videos, podcasts, images, wikis to share e.g.
       formulation of responses to consultation documents
      Further promotion of BAOT membership, working with Senior Communications Manager, and
       Membership Development and Marketing teams
      Promotion of Annual Conference 2010 and 2011 via updates, Facebook events, video content.
      Facebook groups/fan pages for Specialist Sections and regional groups
      Encouraging COT staff to create profiles as agreed with their line manager and contribute to


All activity is carefully monitored and controlled by the Website Communications Officer. Advertising
posts are deleted with a notification email, referring the advertiser to the Advertising Manager.
Referrals are directed to professional enquiries and membership departments when appropriate. Staff
members are trained and supported.

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                                 BAOT/COT Social Media Strategy September 2, 2010

A conversation on BAOT/COT’s Facebook fan page

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                               BAOT/COT Social Media Strategy September 2, 2010

BAOT/COT’s Facebook fan page

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                                        BAOT/COT Social Media Strategy September 2, 2010

    4. BAOT/COT on Twitter

Twitter is the fastest growing online community site for consumers and corporations. With its largest
user age group between 35-493, Twitter represents a golden opportunity to communicate and connect
with members, potential members, journalists, related organisations and publications. Twitter is a social
networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read messages known as
tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author's profile page and
delivered to the author's subscribers who are known as followers. Once registered with Twitter, you can
search for organisations and individuals to follow. You can also search terms found in tweets at any
given moment. For example, search ‘vocational rehabilitation’.

Growing numbers of occupational therapy staff are becoming active on Twitter. Allied health and social
care groups, local government, and policy makers participate on Twitter, linking to upcoming events,
new publications and announcements.

BAOT/COT on Twitter was launched in June 2009 at Annual Conference. It now has over 655 followers
and has been included in 39 user-created ‘lists’ created by Twitter users, which list
valuable/authoritative profiles. The following grows steadily. Growth of the Twitter presence has been
complemented and encouraged by active staff participation on Twitter of appropriate officers.

COT staff already using Twitter. Live updates can be seen here:

       Beriah Chandoo, Membership Development Officer
       Fiona Fraser, Education Manager, Student Services
       Vandita Chisholm, Marketing Manager
       Louise Cusack, Specialist Sections Manager louisecusack
       Zoe Parker, Education Manager – Lifelong learning and CPD
       Lee Roach, Membership Development Manager
       Anna Kapitanec, Membership Development Officer
       Tracy Samuels, OTN editor
       Genevieve Smyth, Professional Affairs Officer
       Greg Stafford, Public Affairs Officer
       Stephen Little, Website Manager

Developing BAOT/COT’s Twitter presence involves daily tweeting by the Website Communications
Officer in collaboration with the staff listed above. Developing the Twitter presence also involves
following non-profits, allied health and social care groups and linking (known as ‘tagging) individuals and
charities who have posted relevant tweets.

Bit Briefs – Largest age group on Twitter is 35-49 year olds
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                                    BAOT/COT Social Media Strategy September 2, 2010

Participating in Twitter activities known as Follow Friday and Charity Tuesday can help maximize
exposure of the company profile. On Tuesdays, charities tweet suggestions for other charities to follow
and on Fridays users are encouraged to suggest useful profiles for its users to follow. Tweets include
hashtags to be included in relevant feeds - #FollowFriday #CharityTuesdays.

Our tweets include:

       Calls to action to members e.g. ‘Contribute to the latest consultations’
       Links to external articles e.g. ‘Wanted: Men for Occupational Therapy. OT is one of the many
        health related jobs growing!’
       Links to COT’s latest news, events, jobs board and public publications
       Suggestions for Twitter profiles to follow
       Suggestions for charities to follow
       Highlighted content on the BAOT/COT website
       Deadlines e.g. for nominations for COT awards, consultation responses, voting in elections
       Press stories about occupational therapy staff in the UK
       Social and health care press key items
       Re-tweets of COT staff
       Social media guidance
       Open ended questions e.g. ‘OT perspectives and opinions? @nprnews: Mental Health Disaster
        Relief Not Always Clear Cut ’
       Highlighting activities of other not for profits

Similarly to Facebook updates, tweets are intended to be a springboard for discussions and give our
followers useful information. The ultimate goal is for updates to inspire conversations.


       750 followers, 49 user-created lists by August 2010
       655 followers, 39 user-created lists by June 2010
       450 followers, 23 user-created lists by February 2010
       Followers regularly ‘Retweet’ our tweets, meaning our messages are being re-shared with their
        followers, increasing our influence
       Prominent charities and publications suggest for their followers to follow us e.g. NHS Choices,
        National Rehab Information Center, Guardian Weekly
       We are being followed by members, non-members, students, OTs from the international
        community, social media experts, public figures, policy experts etc
       The organisation is networking daily with not for profits and health related charities e.g.
        Disability Now, Autism Today
       COT receives easily shared feedback that informs our customer service and engagement with

                                                                                                 Page 10
                                   BAOT/COT Social Media Strategy September 2, 2010

Objectives for 2010:

      Incorporating a Twitter strategy for Annual Conference 2010 and 2011
      Learning how to effectively measure success and evaluate how we compare in influence to
       other not for profits
      Further promotion of BAOT membership, working with Membership Development and
       Marketing teams
      Encouraging COT staff to create profiles as agreed with their manager, nurture their Twitter
       presence and contribute to discussions


All activity on BAOT/COT’s corporate Twitter page is managed and edited by the Website
Communications Officer to ensure consistency of communication. COT staff on Twitter are advised to
use Tweetdeck, a downloadable application that helps organise tweets. Staff are regularly reminded
and encouraged to update their Twitter profiles, schedule one-on-one sessions with the Website
Communications Officer and respond to member queries.

BAOT/COT’s Twitter page

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                                     BAOT/COT Social Media Strategy September 2, 2010

    5. BAOT/COT members only group on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site mainly used for professional networking. LinkedIn
enables users to maintain a list of contact details of people they know and trust professionally. LinkedIn
allows you to build a professional online presence, connect in a professional way with colleagues, alumni
and other contacts, research companies and career opportunities, and learn lifelong learning networking
skills. Joining Linkedin is a useful way of expanding your professional network, receiving feedback for
professional queries, and keeping abreast of job opportunities. LinkedIn also provides a way for its users
to give, receive and archive references and testimonials from colleagues and managers.

BAOT/COT Linkedin group started in November 2009 with the help of Lee Roach, Membership
Development Manager. Of our social networks it is the only member-only group and requires users to
submit their BAOT membership number for verification. The LinkedIn group also has the capability of
adding subgroups, which would be ideal for Specialist Sections and regional groups. Membership to the
subgroup is done via membership to the general BAOT/COT LinkedIn group.

This group enables us to communicate with members using targeted updates (e.g. Links, calls to actions,
announcements). Joining the group is a great way to develop good working relationships with COT staff
and BAOT/COT members.

While the Facebook and Twitter pages use updates/tweets to inform their networks, the LinkedIn group
encourages online discussion around professional issues and career progression. In future we will also
use the group to suggest related groups for the members to join as well as highlight popular
content/news from the COT website and its social networks. LinkedIn profiles are in a CV format
including current professional interests and employment history.


       51 members by August 2010
       43 members by June 2010
       26 members by February 2010
       Launching the group and connecting it with other professional networks
       Growing network of business and member contacts
       COT staff contribution.


       Expand the size of this group
       Market this group at Annual Conference
       Encourage member-to-member professional linking
       Promote the colleague testimonials feature
       Promote the COT jobs board

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                                   BAOT/COT Social Media Strategy September 2, 2010

      Pursue with Specialist Section – Independent Practice how they could benefit from Linkedin
       referral and recruiting capabilities
      Promote consultancy service with client testimonials


All activity is overseen by the Website Communications Officer with support from the Membership
Development Manager. COT Staff members in the BAOT/COT LinkedIn group are encouraged to help
promote the members only group as well as take part in discussions.

BAOT/COT’s LinkedIn group page (members only)

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                                     BAOT/COT Social Media Strategy September 2, 2010

    6. BAOT/COT on Flickr

Flickr is an image-sharing website, web services suite, and online community. In addition to being a
popular website for users to share and embed personal photographs, the service is widely used by
bloggers to host images that they embed in blogs and social media.

BAOT/COT on Flickr was launched to publish professional photographs from COT’s Annual Conferences.
These images have been used for promotional materials and are also used on the COT website. Photo
albums created can be viewed in slideshow format and can be embedded on the COT website easily.
Plans are in place to feature the slideshows in the Annual Conference pages on the COT website.
If these images were hosted on the BAOT/COT website we would incur additional bandwidth charges.
Flickr is a user friendly way to share images without incurring additional costs.


       Professional slideshows available for COT staff to share with their networks
       Search-friendly images available from BAOT/COT
       Image publishing complementing COT website
       Good digital marketing material e.g. View slideshow of Annual Conferences


       Encouraging Flickr profiles for Specialist Sections and regional groups
       More frequent uploads and more photography at COT events
       Greater integration of photo sharing on COT website
       Explore how Specialist Sections could make use of Flickr
       Expanding picture library for OT News and promotional materials (with appropriate clearance)

                                                                                                  Page 14
                                   BAOT/COT Social Media Strategy September 2, 2010

Flickr slideshow of COT annual conference

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                                    BAOT/COT Social Media Strategy September 2, 2010

    7. BAOT/COT on YouTube

YouTube is a video-sharing website on which users can upload, share, and view videos. The website
includes a wide variety of user-generated video content, including movie clips, TV clips, and music
videos. YouTube is also a rich resource of educational video content and presentations. While most
videos have been uploaded by individuals, large media companies and organisations offer their material
publicly via the site. Unregistered users can watch videos, but only registered users can upload videos.
These videos can also be embedded within external websites, allowing users to stream videos instead of
having to download them.

A YouTube search for 'occupational therapy' results in over 2000 results. The American Occupational
Therapy Association (AOTA) and the Royal College of Nurses (RCN) are among health organisations that
have launched YouTube channels to feature their video content.

BAOT/COT's YouTube channel was launched in February 2010 to promote videos produced by the
Marketing department. Since the launch, the YouTube channel is used to publish all video content from
the organisation - including member interviews at NAIDEX and regional meetings.

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                                  BAOT/COT Social Media Strategy September 2, 2010

Videos published on Youtube have also been embedded directly on the COT website under About OT.


      30 YouTube users (including AOTA Inc) subscribe to our videos meaning users get notifications
       when the organisation publishes a new video
      Video: OT can help people has been viewed and 4,732 (as of 20.08.10), 3,505 times (as of
      Total upload views: 14,520(as of 20.08.10), 8,126 (as of 14.06.10)
      Videos have been used to enhance quality of web content on COT web pages About OT, Become
       a professional member, UKOTRF
      Videos are easy to circulate via email, social networks
      Positive feedback from members – who have shared the videos on their social media profiles

Objectives for 2010:

      Use FLIP camera to record member interviews and testimonials
      Create more video content to publish on the website and share with social networks

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                                     BAOT/COT Social Media Strategy September 2, 2010

    8. Tone / Language on social networks

Conversational language works better rather than focusing purely on conveying information. The key to
getting people to respond is to use language our members use. We aim to find a balance between being
professional and social. We want the organisation to be trusted, yet approachable. Social media involves
the same discretion that we all bring to our daily professional interactions with others. Occupational
therapy staff using social media sites agree to terms and conditions of use, which preclude anti-social
behavior. Because so much of what is said is public, and because users of social media sites value those
sites and their own reputations, standards of behavior are usually high.

BAOT/COT has never had to delete any inappropriate or insulting comments from its social media

Politeness and responsiveness are also appreciated, whether you are an individual posting or posting on
behalf of an organisation. We tweet thanks to those who ask their followers to follow us and we also
thank those who Re-Tweet our tweets. We also thank Facebook contributors and highlight activities of
OT staff active on social networks e.g. Sharing a list of OTs on Twitter created by Claire Hayward of the
Membership and External Affairs Board.

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                                BAOT/COT Social Media Strategy September 2, 2010

9. Next Steps

   Please note agreed objectives under each social media type for the next year
   All staff to read the BAOT/COT Social Media Guidance

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                                     BAOT/COT Social Media Strategy September 2, 2010

9   Social media Reading list

The following links and websites are excellent social media resources

     - Social Media news blog covering cool new websites and social networks
     - full-service, social media marketing agency specialising in Facebook, Twitter
        and WordPress for businesses
     – UK based social media/online PR agency
     – Blog of prominent thought leader in new media. A digital analyst, sociologist,
        and futurist
       Nonprofit Tech 2.0: A social media guide for nonprofits :
       Social Media: Business Benefits and Security, Governance and Assurance Perspectives
       How to use Twitter for marketing...
       Social media trends for business in 2010:
       A social media Strategy checklist:
       5 Must-Do Twitter Style Tips via:
       Creating Your Organization's Social Media Strategy Map:
       Strategies to Ensure an Engaged Social Presence:
       5 Must-Do Twitter Style Tips via Harp Social
       8 Guides for Becoming a Power Business Social Networker

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