Blog Post

Social Media Listening for Public Health Marketers

As public health marketers we must understand our audiences to create effective messaging. Traditionally, we have used focus groups and surveys to understand how a population feels about a given topic. While useful, these methods can take time to collect and have limited datasets. Social media listening is a way for public health marketers to identify public health topics trending in real time, allowing them to serve communities like never before.

Content Creation

Social media listening can help public health marketers determine the online habits of specific target audiences. By analyzing this data, we can determine the preferred social media platforms and why they share and interact with content. Organizations can also use this data to better understand societal norms and customs of their audiences to create socially relevant content.


Social media listening can also be used to find out what questions or information gaps our target audience has and develop messaging to address them. Social media listening can also be used to find and combat sources of misinformation. Identifying and responding to rumors quickly can stop them from spreading and establish trust in your organization.

Understanding the questions, habits, and preferences of target audiences can help marketers create effective campaigns. Social media listening is a helpful tool that allow us use data to connect and engage with our audiences. Effective messaging requires insight and consideration to create content that will connect and resonate with users.

Blog Post

Audience Management for Successful Public Health Campaigns

Audience management is an important aspect of any social media marketing strategy. This is especially true for public health marketers trying to disseminate information about sensitive health topics. Sexual health and education are often seen as taboo and require in-depth knowledge of your audience to be successful.

Knowing Your Audience

It is not uncommon for individuals to be a bit uncomfortable or embarrassed when asking health-related questions, especially those surrounding reproductive and sexual health. Therefore, it is important to identify both your audience and their needs in order to tailor campaign messaging. Layla’s Got You was a successful multimedia campaign by the Public Good Projects out of Syracuse, NY to increase contraception knowledge of young Black and Hispanic women.

Collaboration is Key

The success Layla’s Got You stems from the incorporation of key audience members in the creation of the campaign. By collaborating with their intended audience, developers discovered that participants felt more comfortable speaking with a trusted friend about sexual topics. Using this information allowed Public Good Projects to develop the Layla, a chat-bot that can be used anonymously to answer questions regarding sexual health. To date, it has received 4,390 messages related to contraception or sexual health.

Sexual and reproductive health is a sensitive topic that can be difficult to talk openly about. Therefore, it is important to develop culturally sensitive content to connect people with the information they need. By collaborating with audience members to develop content, marketers can improve community buy-in and reduce negative health outcomes.

Blog Post

When to Use Qualitative and Quantitative Data in Public Health Messaging

As public health marketers, we look at a lot of data when designing our outreach materials. It is important to use data correctly when designing your messaging to ensure audience buy-in.

Quantitative Data

Quantitative data sets are helpful when conveying the statistics, such as the morbidity and mortality of a specific disease, to support broad actions. For example, quantitative data could be used in messaging that stresses the severity of a disease on a population to sway public opinion. Or it could be used to demonstrate the overall impact of a policy in order to convince legislators that a specific program is needed.

Qualitative Data

Qualitative data, such as focus groups and observations, aid in messaging aimed at individuals. Qualitative data can be useful for adding a personal or human element to information. It is also important to know how your audience feels about a specific program so that the qualitative data can be better tailored to their wants and desires.

It would not make sense to use population statistics when trying to change an individual person’s actions. It also would not make sense to use participant observations to convince policymakers to fund programs. While neither type of data is better, they do serve different purposes and should be used appropriately in public messaging.