I was always told by my gran that ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’. In digital communications, I’ve come to realise that this is at least partially the case.

At Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (the country’s national children’s hospice service), simply stating that we’re ‘leaders in palliative care’ is only half the battle: we have to be able to demonstrate this specialist knowledge, too.

So, how do we go about this? Yes, we provide top quality care to children with life-shortening conditions. Yes, our health and social care staff are some of the best in country. But that in itself is not enough…

We get involved in the right conversations

The key way to demonstrate expertise is to get involved in tweet-chats. These are regular Q & A’s on more or less any topic you can think of! At CHAS, we’ve gotten involved in Twitter chats on social prescribing, and young people transitioning to adult services, using the #WeEOLC hashtag. During these chats, we’ve seen our engagement and followers on social media significantly increase, along with visits to our website. We’re even planning on co-hosting a tweet-chat on children’s end of life later in the year!


We think strategically about our #hashtags

Whether we’re sharing a family’s story, thanking a donor, or speaking about what we’re experts in, we always link in with widely used hashtags. This ensures that our tweets are seen by the largest possible target audience of our charity, including key influencers in that subject area. However – the flip side to this is that you should always #use #your #hashtags # sparingly. Twitter isn’t Instagram – there’s no need to hashtag every word!


We’re good, we’re social

Whether it’s a fundraising event or a health and social care conference, we try to live tweet whenever the opportunity arises. Scheduling tools like Sprout Social, Hootsuite and Buffer are great, but only get you so far. The very nature of social media allows instantaneous communication, meaning that users have come to expect live tweeting. We find that our engagement spikes significantly when we live tweet at events: by up to 400%, in one recent case. That’s why we also create Twitter Moments and use Wakelet, to pull the highlights of our live content together, after the event. Oh, and what’s even better is that both of these features are completely free to use!


Rebecca Curtis-Moss, Digital Manager at Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS). To find out more about Children’s Hospices Across Scotland, visit www.chas.org.uk