MASCC and Social Media, Part II: MASCC’s Social Media Strategy

2019    Our October issue carried the article “MASCC and Social Media, Part I: Why Social Media Matters,” which considered the importance of social media to healthcare organizations, including MASCC. From its origins as a means of social exchange and keeping in touch with friends, social media has rapidly evolved to become a powerful platform for sharing information with customers, clients, and colleagues. In the healthcare sphere, it now provides a major means of disseminating best practices and the latest clinical and research findings and is also rapidly becoming an extension of the patient-provider relationship. MASCC has made a commitment to using social media to advance knowledge of supportive cancer care, connect with professionals and patients alike, and increase its visibility as the prime international and multidisciplinary organization devoted to supportive care in cancer.

A formal MASCC social media plan was initiated by the Publications Committee in response to MASCC’s 2017 Strategic Planning meeting held in June 2017. A Social Media Working Group* led by Committee Chair Anna Boltong, PhD, was formed and tasked with compiling guidelines for advancing MASCC’s social media visibility. By mid 2018, the group had completed a Social Media Toolkit comprising a Social Media Strategy Guide and a Twitter Quick Guide. The Social Media Toolkit was designed to help MASCC members promote MASCC’s global presence. It provides information on managing social media accounts, implementing best practices on major social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), and disseminating research findings on supportive care in cancer. The Social Media Strategy comprises two sections: Practical Content and Strategy Content. The practical content includes best practices for effective communication and key features in a social media post. The strategy content concerns effective content and best practices for each particular platform, as well as codes of conduct, confidentiality, and privacy.

Following its June 2018 meeting in Vienna, MASCC’s Publications Committee changed its name to the Information and Communications Committee to better reflect its digital and social media aims — specifically, to further MASCC’s presence on social media platforms and educate MASCC members on the importance and best use of social media. Committee Chair Anna Boltong, PhD, and members Hannah Wardill, PhD, and Ysabella Van Sebille, PhD, have been instrumental in spearheading MASCC’s social media initiatives, including an expert session at the 2019 Annual Meeting and a social media booth at which attendees received help setting up social media accounts.

Having a social media strategy means specifying goals, identifying target audiences, finding out how best to reach each audience, tailoring content for the greatest impact, monitoring progress, and measuring success. The Information and Communications Committee is continuing its efforts to articulate MASCC’s position and improve its use of the major social media platforms. While MASCC’s initial position is contained in the Social Media Strategy guide, platforms and their audiences continue to evolve. The Committee is working with MCI (MASCC’s professional conference organizer) on social media initiatives, monitoring, and evaluation — especially the measuring of progress by means of available data and analytic tools.

MASCC also seeks to advance its social media presence through the identification of key MASCC members to serve as social media ambassadors and Study Group leads who will promote their Study Groups’ work through social media channels. To participate in this effort, it is not necessary to be a social media expert. Rather, MASCC welcomes members who can help drive content to MCI. If you are a MASCC member and interested in participating in this effort, please contact us at [email protected].

*Social Media Working Group (2017-2019): Anna Boltong, PhD, Melissa Chin, HBSc, MBA, CHE, Ian Olver, AM, MD, PhD, Hannah Wardill, PhD, Ysabella Van Sebille, PhD, Christopher Steer, MBChB, MD, Ray Chan, PhD, RN, and Danielle Kamien, BA, BBus (Cancer Council Victoria).

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