25525 Going Viral: The Power of Social Media In Raising Awareness about Influenza Vaccination

Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Columbia Hall
Amelia Burke, MA , Director of Digital Media, AED

Background: Digital media presents a unique opportunity to engage a variety of audiences online around the issue of influenza vaccination. CDC’s 2010-2011 national influenza campaign represents the best use of social media for reaching hard-to-reach audiences with this critical health information. Examples include leveraging mommy bloggers to ignite the blogosphere and drive visibility for the campaign and the health messages as well as leveraging a viral social network called Brickfish to engage young adults to develop their own “The Flu Ends with U” PSA (either in video or digital poster format) and share it online. This presentation will review the social media elements of the 2010-2011 campaign and the results it achieved.

Setting: Online social media platforms

Population: General audiences with a specific focus on pregnant women, healthcare providers, businesses, at-risk minorities, chronic disease sufferers, young adults, and older adults

Project Description: Identify key channels online that will reach the campaigns target audiences with CDC’s influenza vaccination messages for the 2010-2011 flu season. Develop engaging and audience-appropriate creative, reach these audiences and drive them to engage with the campaign messages, share messages/creative online with people in their networks, and visit the CDC website for more information. Track and report all campaign metrics.

Results/Lessons Learned: Digital media is ripe for influenza vaccination messaging. Specifically, environments such as mommy bloggers and user-generated content (UGC) sites such as Brickfish.com are great places to engage creative individuals with the message and reach hard-to-reach audiences with critical health information. Moreover, digital media provides an efficient and cost-effective platform for reaching specific audiences.