It’s interesting following the current market trends of social media and how intrinsic it has become in our business and private lives. We attended HACP seminar in Chandlers Ford with the guest speaker Leilani Mitchell who is a TA Therapist, co-founder of The Link Centre workshop and training organisation. The topic for discussion was social media and how this is playing a part in the professional world of counselling.
Topics ranged within social media touching on connecting to Facebook, Bebo, Twitter, Linkedin and many more interactive sites. It was really interesting to hear the views of counsellors who attended and their choices in social media and recognising the limited understanding of the more up-to-date websites with dedicated blogs.
We discussed the difficulties that come with social postings and the relevance of using this media to explore new realms of business to a much wider audience. It does seem that although keeping up with the ‘Joneses’ seems to be a real business dilemma. It’s a fact that Facebook if used correctly can be used as a direct tool to post as a status, your most recent news and blog updates. Twitter on the other hand I have learnt from last night is restricted to 140 characters. This limits the use but unlike Facebook, Twitter is available for all to see.
What I came away with from the seminar, was a better understanding of the necessity to marketed more positively on the net and be more open and broadminded. Social media groups are good and have their place. I feel more can be done through networking, pointing people/clients to your website and making your blog relevant and up-to-date as possible. Facebook/twitter when managed correctly has the capacity to reach a wider audience and when the element of control can maintain your social\professional networking more precisely.
Thinking about the HACP talk and looking at JPA Counselling and Training Services I do feel that there is a place for twitter and with my colleagues over the forthcoming month I intend to integrate a twitter feed directly linked with the JPA website.
The evening was enlightening and I’ve come away with probably more questions than answers! The one direction I feel counselling needs to follow, is a better broader networking between individual counsellors and counseling services around the country. I feel networking links and connected blogs are relevant for discussion and material and this would benefit and bring a real change to our workplace.
I look forward to attending the next seminar and we will be providing our own very soon. I also feel that websites can scare many individuals and small businesses so I will be providing support for start-up packages for counsellor who are interested to be truly autonomous.
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