Best Practice #5 for Health Departments' Social Media Strategy: Be Authentic

Oct 26, 2012 12:00 PM ET
Best Practice #5

5 Best Practices for Public Health Departments' Social Media Strategy

In order to drive engagement and promote behavior change, PHDs need to adopt authentic marketing practices. Audiences will not engage with a department if it appears the department is not interested in them or is uncommitted to the cause of promoting healthy behaviors.

The easiest way to appear authentic is to regularly update your social media sites. A site that is not regularly maintained suggests the department is not invested in the site or the message it is promoting. If this is the case, why should the audience be invested?

“If you never return to your profiles, you... will be forgotten (best case) or seen as unconnected, clueless or lazy (worst case).”

It should be noted that there is danger in posting too regularly just for the sake of posting. A site that posts one perfunctory post per day can be seen as being just as inauthentic as an abandoned site. Social media should be a tool used to drive engagement; it should not be another meaningless task that is performed once a day and then ignored.

Social media expert Josh Ochs continues, “great messaging can be the key to a successful social media campaign. The key is to set up the right process and be consistent in striving for quality. The best way to get a response from your customer is with engaging and well thought-through copy. You actually have MORE to lose by flying by the seat of your pants than you do by not being ‘here and now.’”  

We encourage PHDs to recognize that consistent use does not mean following a defined posting schedule. Rather, it means that social media  should be used to consistently generate ideas for discussion and share relevant information while also reacting to evolving audience discussions.

To read the rest of this white paper and learn about the other best practices, download your free copy here.