AS A PUBLIC HEALTH PROFESSIONAL, WHICH SOCIAL MEDIA OUTLET SHOULD YOU USE??
Some would say that the world today is quite intimidating. Our lives have exploded with thousands of websites and apps and the overwhelming mass of options can be difficult to sift through. Clay Shirky goes in detail in his book, Here Comes Everybody, on the reality of social media and what it has become in our world today. A person with access to the internet has the power to potentially communicate to almost anybody, anywhere, whenever they like. You find this sort of communication in all types of ways: social media movements amassing hundreds of millions of followers, the ability to search for anybody or any group in the world and attempt to connect with them, building your very own network of personal connections. Information has never flowed faster and, although it may be overwhelming, it has become a glorious tool for raising awareness and informing the people. So if you’re a health professional and you have something vital to say, it may be wise to know which social media outlet you should emphasize on.
ebizmba.com uses traffic data to valuate the amount of users going through social media sites. As of July 1, 2015, they accumulated the Top Social Media Sites and, drum roll, the site with THE MOST USERS IS:
Facebook has reached roughly 900,000,000 users and spearheads our list. This is nearly THREE times as many users as our second place outlet, Twitter. It was one of the first online social networks and it allows you to personalize your page, add friends, sift through pictures, read bios, and blog. You can share posts and information instantaneously and others who follow you can do the same for you. A huge asset is the ability to create an online network of your local community and communicate health issues at an exceptional rate. This gives you the power to reach out to your community faster and more efficiently than ever. So start liking, requesting, accepting, and blogging to get your public health issues public.
Clay Shirky emphasizes that social media “does not create collective action–they merely remove the obstacles to it”. So if you’re a health professional on a mission, it’s nice to know that there is a tool like Facebook that can potentially give you the power to reach 900,000,000 people. That’s a lot of zeros.