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Story from the Field

Name of Health Department/Agency: Kent County Health Department
State: MI
Date Added: 01/04/2010
Themes: Communications - Priority Groups
Issue Summary: Social Media Use in H1N1 Vaccine Campaign
Description of Issue(s): The Kent County Health Department (KCHD) wanted to reach those individuals who spend much of their time using social media. Users of such media encompassed many of the target groups for H1N1 vaccination (including young adults and teens and parents of young children).
Actions taken to address the issue(s): KCHD posted up-to-date information on facebook and linked each update to Twitter to make sure that current information populated on both mediums at the same time. Through Twitter and Facebook, KCHD could quickly and easily communicate messages to the public throughout the H1N1 incident.
Outcomes that resulted from actions taken: The Kent County Health Department has 470 "fans" on facebook and 139 "followers" on Twitter. Facebook has a rating system for groups, like KCHD, that use pages to reach their public. Based on the number of interactions KCHD had with the public (Q&A, Comments, etc.), facebook regularly gave the page a 4- or 5-star rating. The number of interactions and quality of interactions proved to be helpful to Kent County residents.

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