Social Media in the States
Tools for Instant Access to Emerging Issues
According to a recent study by the Pew Internet Project, 61 percent of adults look online for health information, with 41 percent using social media to obtain information about health or medical issues.1
Other studies show that "use of social media in health promotion and public health continues to grow in popularity" and that "social influence … and performance expectancy … were both positively associated with increased behavioral intentions to use social media for health promotion."2
The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) and the MCH Digital Library are examining how emerging issues can be tracked through social media in the states. "Predictive analysis" of trending topics online and through Web 2.0 channels can help the maternal and child health work force remain abreast of and address problems currently being discussed in states.
Resources developed include
- A live feed of state Twitter accounts, showing public health information as it emerges in states.
- A list of state Facebook and Twitter accounts, accessible via an interactive map.
External resources to help states use social media
- Connecting with Your Target Audience Using Social Media: 2012 Archived MCHB Webinar: This basic webinar provides attendees with an orientation to the basics of social media and how different platforms can be used in MCH. Speakers include John Richards and Tomeeka Farrington (Spotlight Communications). Moderated by Scott McMahon (IMPACt Inc.)
- Using Visual Apps to Connect with Your Target Audience on Social Networks: 2013 Archived MCHB Webinar: this webinar continues the discussion from the 2012 MCHB webinar and focuses on how to use images and visually-based social media platforms including Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, FiLMiC Pro and Path. They will also take-away best practices, and tips/tricks to help engage their target audience on social media. Speakers include John Richards and Tomeeka Farrington.
- Social Media Strategy: Moving Beyond "How-To:" 2013 AMCHP Skills-Building Session: this webinar provides real-life examples of how state and local MCH professionals have used social media in their work. Speakers include Christina Malin, MPH, MSW (Alameda County Public Health Department), Susan Colburn, BS (Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services), and Vanna Livaditis (Salt Lake Valley Health Department). Moderated by John Richards, MA, AITP (Georgetown University).
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Electronic Media Branch. 2012. CDC's guide to writing for social media. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC social media tools, guidelines and best practices. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2011. The health communicator's social media toolkit [upd. ed.]. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Haigler P. 2012. Using social media tools to advocate for infants and toddlers. Washington, DC: Zero to Three.
- New Media Primer for Health Professionals. Health Information Group, Georgetown University.
1. Fox S, Jones S. 2009. The Social Life of Health Information. Pew Internet & American Life Project.
2. Neiger BL, Thackeray R, Burton SH, Giraud-Carrier CG, Fagen MC. 2013. Evaluating social media's capacity to develop engaged audiences in health promotion settings: Use of Twitter Metrics as a case study. Health Promotion Practice 14(2):157–162.