Over the past decades, organizations in the health sector have increasingly used social media tools to disseminate health messages (Newbold and Campos, 2011). Social media campaigns have been very effective methods of expanding research and fostering engagement between health organizations and their stakeholders. Health communicators have reaped significant benefits from integrating social media into health communication. Maximum effectiveness is achieved if social media campaigns meet the requirements of the best practice guidelines (Newbold and Campos, 2011). The social media campaign that is largely used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and that has been chosen for analysis in this paper is blogs and badges. The two components of blogs and badges are consistent branding across all channels and interactive content that allows users and the organization to engage in a conversation. These two components meet the requirements of the best practice guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention largely uses small graphic images called badges to share important health information with interest groups. These small graphics have been used according to the best practice guidelines set by the organization. For example, the badges have been created in several sizes to fit different web pages. In addition, health messages included in the badges are simple and catchy. The designs or images are also attractive and colorful and can be viewed on different sites. Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention include URLs on the image and links that direct the user to its website (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). The use of badges that meet the best practice guidelines has enabled the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to promote activities and increase awareness about relevant health topics.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also uses regularly updated online journals to share health related content with many people across the world. Blogs allow readers to engage in discussion and leave comments. The organization ensures that each and every post consists of its logo for consistent branding purposes. Blogs used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention meet the best practice guidelines. For example, the organization provides links to web pages that contain contents that support different posts. In addition, the posts have been kept as short as possible with attention-grapping headlines. The organization also keeps the posts consistent throughout all channels and offers readers the opportunity to make comments (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011).
Even though the blogs and badges meet the best practice guidelines, the campaign can still be improved by adding new keyword to different posts and by making posts and graphics appear on the first page. Adding new keywords on the existing social media campaign will allow readers to access the required content very fast. In addition, making posts to appear on the first page of search results enables users to get what they are looking for within the shortest time possible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should implement these two methods to improve its blogs and badges in order to enhance public engagement (Heldman, Schindelar and Weaver, 2013).
Blogs and badges is one of the social media campaigns used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The two significant components of this campaign are consistent branding and interactive content. Blogs and badges meet the requirements for best practices set by the organization. For this reason, blogs and badges assist the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to disseminate important health information that has potential impacts to diverse audiences.
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