How to Effectively Use Social Media in the Public Health Space

social media in the public health space

When we think about social media marketing, the public health space rarely comes to the top of our minds. However, using social media platforms to raise public awareness in public health campaigns cannot be overlooked. In this article, we will cover how the two can go hand in hand. Let’s start with defining public health.

What is public health?

We define public health as “the science of assuring the safety of people while improving the health of communities through education, research, and policies.” The three main public health functions are to create public policies intended to solve local and national health problems. To make sure that all communities have access to efficient health care: to test the overall health of populations at risk to find health priorities.

The Opioid Crisis

Besides all the technical definitions, public health has been at the forefront of our conversations and new cycles because of the opioid crisis. The opioid crisis is affecting populations in America and Canada, and social media can be a powerful tool to solve this public health crisis.  We are all aware that people need pain medications regularly, but often difficult to educate both young and older generations to understand the right usage of meds. In 2016, several non-profit organizations that tried their best to train suburban communities to a healthier and more responsible lifestyle conducted the first opioid crisis response acts. Statistics related to opioid crisis did not improve. Social media marketing companies started to deepen their knowledge of public health concerns. For example, FCB New York, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s advertising agency, announced the launch of a new education campaign to help America understand the fundamental role of removing and disposing of unused prescription opioids from people’s homes.

The “Remove the Risk” campaign extends its social media marketing tips even on the FDA website in both Spanish and English to help individuals choose the best choice for their solution. Social media marketing books started to write about public health issues while giving out powerful suggestions on how to deal with public health concerns as a social media marketing agency. For instance, the “Social Media Marketing and Public Health: Theory and Practice” manual introduces conceptual approaches to influence positive behaviors that prevent diseases and promote healthier habits. Social media marketing took an important turn in today’s society, focusing on making an honest and powerful impact in people’s minds. At MSSmedia we have been creating a sincere difference for over 15 years, making our clients’ needs and objectives a priority.

Viral Public Health Social Media Campaigns

So, in the last five years, businesses and individuals have kept wondering how to market on social media, such as meaningful concerns. Ranging from mental health prevention to anti-smoking campaigns, many social media marketing services internalized public health and its challenges. Movember Foundation is one of the most successful social media campaigns that focuses on men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, mental health, and suicide prevention. #Movember proposes a very intriguing challenge to ditch the razor and grow out a mustache for the month of November to raise awareness in the community. Also, the very well-known “Ice Bucket Challenge” uses the same social media marketing strategy.

Proposing a challenge all over the Internet to raise funds and people’s awareness for public health issues, such as “the ALS”, is a common practice. However, creating a viral marketing campaign requires time and dedication. People well know that success doesn’t come right away, but there are few secrets that if used wisely can make your brand successful across the Internet. For example, sharing novel content that is innovative and unusual could definitely help you earn more social media engagement with the ice-bucket challenge campaign. Also, mastering your target audience is powerful. Viral content is effective if it is relatable to the people that are eager to share your content. To understand your target, create a marketing persona that represents who you are trying to reach. It should include both psychographic and demographic information and social media. Another great suggestion that brands like Burger King and Oreo have taught marketers is to select the social media platform and become an expert at it. The content you create will be different depending on the platform you choose. For example, Instagram is designed for sharing both media and content, while Twitter also allows text posts and polls. The features of these two social media platforms also differ. While Instagram has only single-level reply chains, Twitter allows retweeting, quoting, and multilevel reply chains. So, once you have followed some of these suggestions, you will be on the right path. What’s so surprising about top social media marketing plans is that people accept the challenges without even remembering what the whole campaign was for. This is the power of social media, which is not only changing the marketing sphere but also people’s lives. At MSSmedia, we know the space, we know the product, and we know how to provide our clients with successful and forward-thinking marketing solutions.

Authenticity is Key

So, the winning combination of a well-delivered social media marketing strategy can achieve good results with an invested brand that understands society’s true needs. We could use it to fight bullying or to educate on health insurance safety, but the focus is to spread a meaningful influence to all communities. This changed the business world. Brands started to stand by their values rather than only focusing on profitability. Nowadays, social media marketing has been offering many ways for brands to give a voice to their consumers. For example, influencer marketing is one of the top selected social media marketing strategies because it involves the integration of a micro-influencer that would advertise or talk about your products or services. Research has found that over 80% of consumers are likely to follow those recommendations because they trust the influencer’s opinion. Social media influencers have the chance to connect with their followers through a more personal relationship based on relatable content, such as similar beliefs or lifestyle. So, what social media networks, particularly Instagram, are showing us is that consumers will buy your product if they trust your brand and their beliefs align with the business’s culture. As a company or small agency, it is crucial to express honesty and transparency to all prospective clients to increase visibility and reach both social and financial success. For example, Nursing Now is a global campaign that recently launched with the collaboration of World Health Organization and The International Council of Nurses to raise the profile and the value of nurses. Public health nursing is important because it is the direct agent for educating people about health issues and how to prevent them. In fact, public health nurse practitioners are essential to create communities where everyone has the chance to learn what high-quality care means.

At MSSmedia, we have executed successful campaigns in the public health space. Curious to learn more about our work? Check out our website. 

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