The Role of Social Media in Health Advertising and Promotion Introduction
Since the first e-mail was sent in 1971, much has changed in how the web is used. The internet has afforded everyone a front-row seat to the trailblazers behind cutting-edge innovation, as well as their ambitious awareness into the history of technology, its most cardinal moments and how it can be applied to different aspects of everyday life to improve one’s experiences. Social media has become a huge part of this and we build alliances, businesses, raise awareness and forge momentum for future innovation all on the internet (Daniels, 2012). Social media websites such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter have become the most popular places people visit on the Internet, with two out of three Americans using social media sites, which is about two thirds of people who use the internet in the United States, or nearly one hundred and fifty million people (eMarketer, 2011). The healthcare industry is also not left behind in this as social media sites also serve as a growing source of health care information, and Facebook is the preferred source of health information for those who use social media sites for health purposes (Dolan, 2011). The growing popularity of the Internet, the proliferation of social media websites, and the sheer number of people who visit these websites has thus created favorable opportunities to online health advertisers and marketers. A major challenge for the health industry over the years has been low health education, as when patients are better educated about public health, especially issues like diet and exercise, it helps them make better choices and as a result prevent many diseases (Berkman et al., 2011). Social media has created an avenue to bridge this gap as several health organizations now use social media to promote public health and healthy living, build their brand identities, as well as to identity strategies for improvement.
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