CDC Uses Twitter to Protect, Inform

The Internet is complicated. Perhaps that explains why Twitter has become so popular–it’s simple. Tweets are limited to 140 characters, so they have to be quick. When you follow other users, all their updates are right there on your homepage. There aren’t many actions to take in the first place, and most take a few short seconds to complete.

And yet the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently published a nine-page primer on how to use Twitter. The document, titled “Micro-blogging Requirements and Best Practices”, explains the basics of posting, covers lingo, addresses Twitter etiquette and talks about how to best reach audiences. Whatever they’re doing must work–their feed, CDCemergency, has nearly 1.3 million followers.

The Twitter compendium is part of a larger social media project that has continued to grow since CDC put it into action. They have also published guidelines for text messaging, Youtube and viral videos, motion graphics, and eCards. As they say on their website, “the use of social media tools is a powerful channel to reach target audiences with strategic, effective and user-centric health interventions.” Talk about using the Internet for good purposes. 

Read more about CDC and social media here.

–Mo Hickey