By Mariam Bhacker, Social Media Coordinator of Inis Communication and manages HSG’s social media platforms
HSG: A membership community
In the past five years, Health Systems Global (HSG) has established itself as one of the leading communities on health systems research, related knowledge exchange and solutions. HSG is unique within the health systems space because it is driven by a diverse, global membership, comprising over 1,500 researchers, practitioners and policy-makers from 96 countries around the world.
As recent events such as the Ebola epidemic have made clear, health systems are growing in prominence in global health discourse. As a result, increasing numbers of practitioners and policy-makers are paying close attention to what health systems research has to offer.
‘New media’ provides several opportunities and platforms to help catalyze this active HSG community and to capitalize on the growing interest in engaging with the global health community in conversation and action for health systems strengthening.
As co-host of the new HSG Secretariat, Inis Communication** is continuing the foundational work by the HSG secretariat over the past year or two, in particular across the Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn platforms. HSG now boasts a (still growing) online network of 3,484 Twitter followers, 1,585 Facebook fans, and 1,503 LinkedIn members in our main discussion group.
So what does each of these platforms offer, and how can you get involved?
- Twitter: As HSG’s most active social media network, we use our Twitter profile to share research, announcements and events from HSG’s Thematic Working Groups (TWGs) and wider membership. We also flag specific and relevant news and commentary from the broader global health arena, as it pertains to health systems research, policy and action. You can also follow updates from our Board, Thematic Working Groups and affiliates by subscribing to our Twitter lists.
- Facebook: One of HSG’s key communications priorities is making sure that we reach a global audience. Due to varied geographic preferences for social media platforms, our Facebook page shares similar information to our Twitter profile, with a slightly more focused nod to HSG’s thematic areas and opportunities, such as grant notices and calls for papers. Although not widely regarded as a ‘professional’ platform, Facebook is nevertheless important in allowing HSG to reach out to potentially interested new contacts and constituencies, promoting an ‘edge of network’ expansion.
- LinkedIn: Geared towards professional networking, the HSG LinkedIn Group and TWG sub-groups provide ring-fenced spaces for targeted and in-depth discussion on health systems research and other technical areas. Conversations that happen here can aid knowledge translation for a broader community of policy makers and practitioners, and identify research priorities and opportunities for collaboration. *
- YouTube: Our YouTube channel and website host videos of our webinar series, webcasts of previous Symposia, and social media training videos for our members.
- Newsletter: The e-newsletter provides a monthly round up of the activities of the global HSG community including announcements from the Secretariat, new reads and resources, and updates on the next Symposium. If your inbox is where you like to receive your news and updates, sign up here!
The small print
* Anyone can join the HSG LinkedIn Group. Joining one or more of the sub-groups requires being a member of the main group, and requests to join are referred to the group managers for approval. Approval usually takes 2–3 days.
**Meet the people working behind the scenes:
Farzana Nawaz, HSG Communications Manager
Erlyn Macarayan, HSG Social Media Moderator
Mariam Bhacker, Inis Social Media Coordinator
We’re always happy to respond to your questions and suggestions so don’t hesitate to get in touch!