One of the most overwhelming things when RD's and students first start out on Twitter is deciding who to follow. So many options! It's like a foodie in a summer farmers market.

 I always tell my social media clients to follow the movers and shakers plus the information makers. If you're in the nutrition world, that means following the American Dietetic Association and any state affiliates that apply to you (OR ones that will hire you to speak!).

Out of all 50 states,DC and Puerto Rico less than 10 affiliates have a Twitter account.

  • @EatRight (ADA)
  • @eatrightflorida
  • @eatrightdc
  • @eatRightCT
  • @eatrightiowa
  • @MSDAInfo (Massachusetts student assoc.)
  • @eatrightTN
  • @EatrightTexas
  • @VA_Dietitians

One major way dietitians can make themselves known to the public as THE nutrition experts is to be visible. With 56 million active accounts, Twitter is a free advertising and client engaging resource. While we may complain about 'holistic nutritionists' or 'certified clinical nutritionists' (i.e. the not-so-experts) hogging the healthy foods spotlight, they're doing something right: using social media.

So what does it say about our profession if our major organizations aren't visible? When I was researching Twitter accounts for these states it was clear that several of the affiliate websites themselves had not been updated in many years. We reside in a time when much of the population goes to the internet for answers. To represent a huge part of our profession with an outdated face is doing dietitians a disservice.

To the ADA, dietitians, students, and states engaging in social media I'm giving you a huge round of applause. People like Janet Helm, Hope Warshaw, and Rebecca Subdiah are making great strides for the profession and healthy eating as a whole by creating smart phone apps, using You Tube, blogs and certainly Tweeting nutrition bytes.

Yes, social media can seem like speaking Greek at first, but with some patience, Google, a helpful ListServ, or a social media consultant, you can give the look of the nutrition world a pretty healthy complexion. Think of each of your tweets and blogs as antioxidants to battle the free radicals of the false experts.

What was your biggest hurdle to social media? Is your state on Twitter?