Local health departments should use social media to provide stakeholders with access to credible, science-based health information when, where, and how they want it. A variety of social media tools can be used to reinforce and personalize messages, reach new audiences, and build a communication infrastructure based on open information exchange. It’s important to research your audience to help identify the right platforms to reach your target audience, and knowing your particular community’s social media habits and trends are important. For example, does your community predominately use Facebook over Twitter? Focus your efforts wisely on what will have the biggest impact, rather than trying to have a social account on every platform that may not be working well.
From establishing your health department’s social media presence to finding out which platforms work best in communicating with your audiences, NACCHO’s Social Media Toolkit: A Primer for Local Health Department PIOs and Communications Professionals will help local health departments get started and grow their social media programs, one tweet at a time. For beginners as well as experienced practitioners, this toolkit features a description of platforms; how to develop a social media policy; how to integrate social media with your emergency communications plans; social media strategy; and emerging trends.
To access the entire toolkit, visit NACCHO’s online bookstore.