Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Year Published:
Resource Type:
Tools & Manuals

In the last several years, the use of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other social media tools to disseminate health messages has grown significantly, and continues to trend upward. Using social media tools has become an effective way to expand reach, foster engagement and increase access to credible, science-based health messages. Social media and other emerging communication technologies can connect millions of voices to:

  • Increase the timely dissemination and potential impact of health and safety information
  • Leverage audience networks to facilitate information sharing
  • Expand reach to include broader, more diverse audiences
  • Personalize and reinforce health messages that can be more easily tailored or targeted to particular audiences
  • Facilitate interactive communication, connection and public engagement
  • Empower people to make safer and healthier decisions

This toolkit was designed to provide guidance and to the share lessons learned in more than three years of integrating social media into CDC health communication campaigns, activities and emergency response efforts. In this guide, you will find information to help you get started using social media—from developing governance to determining which channels best meet your communication objectives to creating a social media strategy. You will also learn about popular channels you can incorporate into your plan, such as blogs, video-sharing sites, mobile applications and RSS feeds.

This toolkit is intended for a beginner audience, although some viewers with an intermediate level may find parts of the toolkit useful.