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Promote reliable health information to communities using social media



"In Australia, research suggests social media use is higher among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than the general Australian population."

(Hefler, Kerrigan, Henryks & Thomas, 2019, p. 706)



Social media a resource of all online information, it has transformed from a broadcasting platform for scientists using morse code to a communication network for all public users to search, view, publish and chat.


You can teach, communicate new information to people you know, discuss issues and keep relations with others. The "real-time" benefits of social interaction improve connectivity, problem identification, knowledge and being seen as helpful or trustworthy in community relationships.


 

Health science with entertainment


With less scientific health information in the news, there has been trending for people in communities to use casual forms of social media to develop knowledge in health. Health websites, business blogs, forums, podcasts and social network sites have the most information on health. They discuss problems, symptoms, preventions and treatments.


In the exploration for knowledge, entertainment and drive for self-promotion, social media platforms can have the most influential effect on participants with some spending more than 2-3 hours per day viewing information (Brunsborg & Burdzovic Andreas, 2019).


Postings shared about health topics can be controversial and debatable with false, inaccurate, or misleading content. Searching for reliable health information from different online sources often results in the development of social media fatigue. Unverified health information is more likely to be shared when someone has decision fatigue (Najmul Islam, Laato, Talukder & Sutinenb, 2020).




What interests them?

A study investigated the types of topics of main interest shared within the last 20 years analysing a variety of different social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, MySpace, Pinterest, Twitter, VK, WhatsApp and YouTube). It found most health misinformation was about products, arguments, knowledge of diseases and information about treatments (Suarez-Lledo & Alvarez-Galvez, 2021).



Most Popular Topics on Social Media

Studies With Most Health Misinformation

Drugs

Hookah and water pipes, vape, opioids and marijuana

Eating disorders

Profiles on self-identity

Non-communicable diseases

​Types 2 diabetes, psoriasis

COVID 19 pandemic

Vaccines, prevention, treatment, spread and mortality

Cancer treatment

Alternative treatments

Note: From 'Prevalence of Health Misinformation on Social Media: Systematic Review", by Suarez-Lledo & Alvarez-Galvez., 2021, Journal of Medical Internet Research. doi: 10.2196/17187.




Sharable social media improving popularity





To promote health information for people in communities, content needs to be designed for easy comprehension to judge what is the best and healthiest behaviour.


The competition is radicalised memes, misguiding health tips, partial quotations, scammer websites, misleading graphs, old news and fake images. Most of these sources simplify their messages aiming to entertain a certain profile of a larger population.


Viewers often profile what popular or famous people are posting and mimic within socially active networks to gain popularity. Simple and sharable content delivered as a personalised campaign is most likely to succeed in correcting misbeliefs in health.



Community advertising strategies build longer term relationships using social media to connect and engage people. Friendly attitudes welcome communities to participate in a shift from digital interaction to sharing media and meeting for social events.


People with common aspects in their lifestyle, like for example interest in sports, look for opportunities to expand their connections with others. They search for information to help cultivate an identity and build relationships. Promoting sharable health content with diverse and intelligent advertising can make an active impression.


Get a health content writer to use social media storytelling or inspire through a local social media message for community engagement. It's about understanding influencer trends and how healthy conscientious beliefs make people successful. New, relatable and helpful information presented with simple display or clever humour is competitive media.




Simple strategy




The most effective advertising strategies use a content strategy map to achieve the best with social media.


Be realistic and logistical with what social involvement can achieve. It can improve product reputation, inspire healthy lifestyles, help people learn new skills together and fundraise for charity,


Inspirational and relatable social media health content resembling the reality resonates more with viewers and is more likely to be shared.


Directing your social media towards a broad audience with an authentic message can encourage social media participation with all voices in the community to be heard.



Do you need more interesting videos, images and content for sharing?









References


Brunborg G., & Burdzovic A. (2019). Increase in time spent on social media is associated with modest increase in depression, conduct problems, and episodic heavy drinking. Journal of Adolescence. 74, 201-209. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2019.06.013


Hefler M, Kerrigan V, Henryks J, Freeman B., & Thomas D. (2019). Social media and health information sharing among Australian Indigenous people. Health Promotion International. 34(4), 706-715. doi: 10.1093/heapro/day018


Islam A, Laato S, Talukder S., & Sutinen E. (2020). Misinformation sharing and social media fatigue during COVID-19: An affordance and cognitive load perspective. Technological Forecasting and Social Change. 159. doi: 10.1016/j.techfore.2020.120201


Suarez-Lledo V, & Alvarez-Galvez J. (2020). Prevalence of Health Misinformation on Social Media: Systematic Review. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 23(1). doi: 10.2196/17187



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