WRITING AND WRITERS: STYLE AND WRITING MANUALS : MEDICINE : HEALTH : UNITED STATES: GOVERNMENT: THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION : SOCIAL MEDIA : SOCIAL NETWORKING: CDC's Guide to Writing for Social Media

David P. Dillard
 

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WRITING AND WRITERS: STYLE AND WRITING MANUALS :

MEDICINE :

HEALTH :

UNITED STATES: GOVERNMENT:
THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION :

SOCIAL MEDIA :

SOCIAL NETWORKING:

CDC's Guide to Writing for Social Media

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CDC's Guide to Writing for Social Media

http://www.cdc.gov/socialmedia/Tools/guidelines/ pdf/GuidetoWritingforSocialMedia.pdf

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/8x6kew6

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Table of Contents

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Acknowledgements

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction

What Is Social Media?

What Is This Guide For? How Should It Be Used?

Social Media and Communication Strategy

Chapter 2: Before You Start

Target Audiences, Health Literacy and Plain Language, and Social Marketing

Chapter 3: Principles of Effective Social Media Writing

Creating Content

Examples of Relevant, Useful, and Interesting Messages

Chapter 4: How to Write for Facebook

Profiles and Pages

Best Practices for Writing CDC Facebook Posts

Sample CDC Facebook Posts

Chapter 5: How to Write for Twitter

Twitter Syntax

Anatomy of a Tweet

Best Practices for Writing CDC Tweets

Sample CDC Tweets

Chapter 6: How to Write Text Messages

Best Practices for Writing CDC Text Messages

Sample CDC Text Messages

Chapter 7: How to Use Your Web Content as Source Material for Social Media

Content

Make Social Media Writing Easier by Repurposing Web Content

Plan to Rewrite Your Web Content for Use in Social Media

Chapter 8: Hands-On Practice in Revising Social Media Content

Improve These Draft Facebook Posts

Improve These Draft Tweets

Improve These Draft Text Messages

Improved Facebook Posts

Improved Tweets

Improved Text Messages

Chapter 9: Checklist for Writing for Social Media

Chapter 10: Glossary

Facebook Terms

Twitter Terms

Texting Terms

Chapter 11: Social Media Writing Resources

CDC's Social Media and Writing Resources

Federal Agencies' Social Media and Writing Resources

State Government Social Media and Writing Resources

Other Social Media and Writing Resources

Appendix A: Audience Segmentation

Audience Information, by Age

Audience Information, by Role


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Content Sample

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Chapter 1: Introduction

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What Is Social Media?

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Beginning in the early part of the 21st century, Web applications began to change the way we communicate. A single personwho before had been limited to a point-to-point communication method such as face-to-face conversation or a telephone callcan now reach an audience of hundreds or thousands of people with a single click. One-to-many communication channels, such as television or radio advertising, had previously been expensive and their reach limited to a general audience. We have since seen a dramatic increase in the use of online and other electronic tools (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, and texting) for sharing and creating content, which in this document are collectively called social media. Companies and government agencies are discovering how to harness the power of social media to expand the reach of their marketing and communication messages.
For those of us in health communication, social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and text messaging allow us to expand our reach, foster engagement, and increase access to credible, science-based health messages. Social media can help organizations achieve the after goals:


Disseminate health and safety information in a timelier manner.

Increase the potential impact of important messages.

Leverage networks of people to make information sharing easier.

Create different messages to reach diverse audiences.

Personalize health messages and target them to a particular audience.

Engage with the public.

Empower people to make safer and healthier decisions.

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When integrated into health communication campaigns and activities, social media can encourage participation, conversation, and communityall of which can help spread key messages, influence decision making, and promote behavior change. Social media also helps to reach people when, where, and how its convenient for them, which improves the availability of content and might influence satisfaction and trust in the health messages delivered.

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Social media is also a key tool in building awareness and credibility. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project report in 2011, Social Networking Sites and Our Lives, nearly half of adults (47%) used at least one social networking site in 2010. That number is growing quickly, nearly doubling from 2008 (26%). Social networks are places where people gather information from experts and peers to help them make health decisions.

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April, 2012 CDCs Guide to Writing for Social Media Page 3

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What Is This Guide For? How Should It Be Used?

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As a health communicator, you craft health and safety messages that can have a profound impact on the public. Using social media, these messages can reach more audiences and have an even greater impact on the public. This Guide aims to assist you in translating your messages so they resonate and are relevant to social media audiences, and encourage action, engagement, and interaction. It is largely tactical, giving you specific ways to write for social media channels.

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Although a wide variety of social media tools exist, this Guide will focus on three specific channels: Facebook, Twitter, and text messages (short message service, or SMS). For information on other channels, social networking sites, and microblogs, visit CDCs Social Media Tools, Guidelines and Best Practices at



http://www.cdc.gov/SocialMedia/Tools/guidelines/.



Social Media and Communication Strategy

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Keep in mind that social media is one tool in a larger communication strategy. Always consider your overarching communication goals when developing social media activities.

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As with all media outreach, the keys to an effective social media presence are to

Identify your target audience.

Determine your objective.

Select the appropriate channel for your message.

Decide upfront how much time and effort you can invest.

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You can learn more about social media strategy in The Health Communicators


Social Media Toolkit at

http://www.cdc.gov/healthcommunication/ ToolsTemplates/SocialMediaToolkit_BM.pdf


OR


http://tinyurl.com/2clpcbm


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