Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA Jul-Aug 2012 Contents hand and are using social media at work via
their smart phones. This has led to a sharp
spike in the number of terminations relating to
breach of patient confidentiality, staff bullying
and harassment and other social media misuses.
As an employer, you need to make sure that
staff understand the implications of posting
comments online, both for the organisation's
reputation, as well as their own. Are employees
aware, for instance, that what they say on
Facebook at home during an ad break can be
quoted in the mainstream media the next day?
Organisations that don't have a social media
policy that is both understood and signed off
by employees, are putting at risk their ability
to manage their reputation as well as leaving
themselves exposed to any performance-based
issues arising from inappropriate use of social
media. Fair Work Australia has made a number of
decisions in the favour of employees when social
media guidelines and employee education have been considered
Another area where social media is changing the landscape is
recruitment. 'Social recruitment', an approach to attracting
qualified and committed staff using social media and purpose
built careers microsites, has grown tremendously over the last
few years and will continue to do so as aged care employment
demand increases in the coming years. Traditional recruitment
strategies must be revised to adequately fulfill current and future
human resources issues.
There are some excellent case studies of organisations that
have radically improved their recruitment rates and the quality
of candidates. The 'Treescapers' case study on the Ellis Jones
website is a good example.
FAST TRACKING FUNDRAISING
With the rapid and continued rise of internet usage (even
among our ageing population - see box), the rise of social
media and smart phones, web based social fundraising should
be a major focus for aged care providers. Strong visibility and
promotion are essential to achieving fundraising goals, and social
media holds the key to maximising scale and reach of fundraising
campaigns. It's almost as if social media was invented with
fundraising in mind!
Yet, according to a social media survey conducted by Pro
Bono Australia in 2011, of the 71 per cent of charities in
Australia using social media, only 34 per cent of them are using
it to raise funds.
STILL NOT CONVINCED?
Social media has attracted a lot of hype in
the last couple of years and now the dust is
starting to settle. People are beginning to stop
counting followers and consider how this cheap
and effective communication channel can
help solve some of their business challenges.
Instead of focusing on connecting everyone,
savvy organisations have begun to focus on
engaging with communities that have relevance
to their target audiences or using social media
innovatively to deliver or augment services and
programs. Some innovative providers have, for
instance, already begun piloting social inclusion
programs reliant on social media.
The cost of not listening and engaging
with people in social channels will result in
continued disillusionment throughout the
aged care industry. The value of social media depends on the
value providers place on relationships with consumers -- there
is literally a dollar value attached. Providers that choose not
to prioritise online and social communication in their overall
business and marketing strategies risk losing visibility in the
Providers such as Bupa and Benetas have already begun shifting
to a more customer-responsive model and have established new
product offerings that were missing in the marketplace. As a result,
consumers are turning to them for support.
The shift to a consumer-driven environment, in a world where
communication via social media platforms is now the dominant
paradigm, means that ignoring these channels will impact your
ability to compete. n
Kate Crawshaw is Director Engagement at Ellis Jones, a
communications and public relations agency. @EJHealth_Ageing
An Older Victorians Online report released by Ellis Jones &
COTA Victoria surveyed 174 Victorians aged over 55. The study
tested activities and behaviours, including use of web 2.0 tools
and services such as social media. It found that:
✓ Over 35 per cent of older Victorians engaged not only
with friends and family on social media platforms, but
organisations and strangers with shared interests.
✓ The 65-75 age group had the most even spread of
stakeholder interactions on social media, interacting with
family (68.6 per cent), friends (66.6 per cent), organisations
(45.9 per cent); and products (22.9 per cent).
✓ Two thirds of Victorians over the age of 85 perform online
banking and over 50 per cent of 65 to 85 year olds book
✓ Of note was the importance of engaging with people of
shared interest online, with over 20 per cent of social media
users in the 75-85 age group interacting around their hobbies.
The full report can be downloaded from the Ellis Jones website.
AAA | JULY -- AUGUST 2012 | 33
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