Although public health agencies are using social media, they are not using the tools to their full potential, according to a study published in the journal BMC Public Health, FierceHealthIT reports.
About the Study
For the study, researchers conducted a review of social media websites. According to the study, 60% of public health agencies use at least one social media platform. Of those:
- 87% have a Twitter account;
- 56% have a Facebook account; and
- 43% have a YouTube channel.
Researchers found that public health agencies primarily are using social media to distribute information rather than leveraging the tools' "social" aspects to create conversations and engage with audiences.
They also found that agencies have few "friends" or followers on social media sites.
The authors wrote, "If public health agencies are to effectively use social media, then they must develop a strategic communication plan that incorporates best practices for expanding reach and fostering interactivity and engagement" (Shaw, FierceHealthIT, 8/17).