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Social Media for Health Communications


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An investigation and evaluation of the use, and effectiveness, of social media for environmental health communications.

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Social Media for Health Communications

  1. 1. Investigating the Characteristics and Effectiveness of Social Media in Environmental Health Communications 2010 National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media
  2. 2. SOCIAL MEDIA AND ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH CRISES: AN EXAMINATION OF PUBLIC RESPONSE TO IMPORTED DRYWALL AND PERCHLORATE HEALTH RISKS <ul><li>Dagny Olivares Emergency Communications Specialist National Center for Environmental Health/ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Centers for Disease Control and Prevention </li></ul>Glen Doss Senior Manager Web Strategy & Implementation ICF International
  3. 3. ICF’s Approach to Leveraging Social Media for Health Communications <ul><li>Environmental Scan </li></ul><ul><li>Active topics </li></ul><ul><li>Misinformation </li></ul><ul><li>Audiences/groups & demographics </li></ul><ul><li>Platforms & websites </li></ul>Overall Strategy & Plan <ul><li>Monitoring & Evaluation (Listening) </li></ul><ul><li>Websites: page views, visitors, amount of time, newsletter subscriptions, inbound links, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Social media: participation, # of members/followers/subscribers, discussions, impressions, sentiment, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Messaging & communications: integrity, viral </li></ul><ul><li>Manual and automated data gathering </li></ul><ul><li>Direct and indirect contact </li></ul><ul><li>Increased awareness/behavioral change </li></ul>Implementation <ul><li>Channels/Activities </li></ul><ul><li>Target websites and social media platforms determined by: </li></ul><ul><li>Target audience use </li></ul><ul><li>Reach – amount of traffic </li></ul><ul><li>Measurable/quantifiable </li></ul><ul><li>Earned & paid media </li></ul><ul><li>Messaging </li></ul><ul><li>Informed by: </li></ul><ul><li>Active topics </li></ul><ul><li>Misinformation </li></ul><ul><li>Target audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Types of platforms & websites </li></ul>Partners/Collaboration Websites or groups that have active presences on social media sites
  4. 4. Research Questions <ul><li>How is social media being used to distribute information on environmental health topics? </li></ul><ul><li>How is the public using social media in response to the environmental health topics and events? </li></ul><ul><li>How effective is social media for distributing information and managing crises related to environmental health issues? </li></ul>
  5. 7. Methodology <ul><li>What: Conducted keyword analysis to define search phrases </li></ul><ul><li>When: Established a historical timeframe </li></ul><ul><li>Where: Selected data sources </li></ul><ul><li>How: Selected tools, processes, and amount </li></ul>
  6. 10. Filtering Out the Noise Perchlorate AND “baby formula” OR “infant formula” Health AND “Chinese drywall” OR “toxic drywall” OR “imported drywall”
  7. 12. Defining Social Media Social Media = User Generated Content
  8. 13. Data Sources <ul><li>Targeted Sites </li></ul><ul><li>Other Social Media (SM) Blogs (126+ million) Discussions Forums Websites with Comments (300+ million) </li></ul>
  9. 14. Social Media Monitoring & Analysis Tools Enterprise or Mid-range Free or Freemium
  10. 15. <ul><li>2009 filtering enhancements </li></ul><ul><li>Segmented by month to account for spikes </li></ul><ul><li>Selected samples: perchlorate = 10%, Chinese drywall = 3% </li></ul><ul><li>Total data results coded (includes comments): 838 - Perchlorate: 199 - Chinese Drywall: 639 </li></ul>Collecting Data From “Other SM”
  11. 16. Methodology <ul><li>What: Conducted keyword analysis to define search phrases </li></ul><ul><li>When: Established a historical timeframe </li></ul><ul><li>Where: Selected data sources </li></ul><ul><li>How: Selected tools, processes, and amount </li></ul><ul><li>Created reference guides to inform coding </li></ul><ul><li>Conducted intercoder reliability - 94% intercoder agreement measured by Cohen's kappa coefficient </li></ul><ul><li>Created data analysis plan with numerous data points </li></ul>
  12. 17. Preliminary Findings <ul><li>Types of websites </li></ul><ul><li>Types of Facebook pages </li></ul><ul><li>Accuracy of information </li></ul><ul><li>Areas of focus </li></ul><ul><li>Framing of public responses </li></ul><ul><li>Prevalence of comments </li></ul><ul><li>External linking </li></ul>
  13. 18. Types of “Other SM” Sites
  14. 19. Types of Facebook Pages
  15. 20. Accuracy in Posts and Comments
  16. 21. Primary Public Concerns and Focus Perchlorate Drywall
  17. 22. Framing of Public Responses to Perchlorate and Drywall
  18. 23. <ul><li>Ratio of Original Posts Vs. Reposts </li></ul><ul><li>Online Conversations: Rate of Comments Per Posts </li></ul>
  19. 24. Use of External Links to Support Public Opinion 63% of posts had one or more external links
  20. 25. Recommendations <ul><li>Recognize change </li></ul><ul><li>Have a strategy in place </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitoring, engagement, social CRM </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Know your space </li></ul><ul><li>Understand how messages spread </li></ul><ul><li>Issues are unique </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the challenges and opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>No magic bullet for in-depth analysis and evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Expand your definition of social media </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Think beyond the usual suspects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social media = User contributed content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Convergence = Blurring of social media and traditional Web </li></ul></ul>
  21. 26. A Glimpse Into the Future <ul><li>Google Me? </li></ul><ul><li>Less email </li></ul><ul><li>Shifting privacy expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Decentralization </li></ul><ul><li>Better, scarier search </li></ul><ul><li>Geolocation </li></ul>
  22. 27. Geolocation Cool, you’re here too! Yup… section 500. Let’s meet up after. Photo:
  23. 28. <ul><li>Download this presentation at </li></ul><ul><li>twitter @ICFhealth </li></ul><ul><li>More information </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>