Social Media for Community Health Centres

The social media journey is a shared journey, and it will evolve over time. The key is to get started and to continue evolving your social media strategy over time! Here are some resources and tools that will help you and your Community Health Centre to get started or to improve your existing social media use:

So...what are social media and why do they matter for CHCs?
Social media are important tools for non-profit organizations. They include blogs, video resources like YouTube, social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter, and other interactive, Internet-based resources. These tools enable organizations to better connect with the individuals and communities they serve, as well as community partners.

This applies equally to health and health care organizations, including Community Health Centres. In fact, social media are a natural extension of the Community Health Centre mandate to reach out and engage individuals, families and communities to improve health and access to health care! Social media are not a new thing for your CHC “to do”. They are about an evolution in the way that your CHC goes about doing the things you already do, placing important new tools to use.

The concept behind social media is often referred to as “Web 2.0”. This is a way of saying that we have moved from “Web 1.0” where we used the Internet simply as a way to present static or one-way information (e.g. your basic CHC website) toward more dynamic, interactive and participant-driven communication via the Internet. Social media allow users to interact with each other and contribute to dialogue about issues that are important to health, including access to health care. By using social media such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs and other tools, your Community Health Centre can:

  • Better connect to individuals in the community about current and emerging health issues

  • Collaborate around joint strategies to improve health and appropriate health care

  • Expand the reach of your CHC’s messages via communications channels that more and more individuals, policymakers and news media are using

  • Boost traffic to your CHC’s website and increase participation in your local community health events and CHC programs

  • Build and strengthen relationships within your centre, including among staff, Boards and volunteer