I recently attended a marketing conference and learned that the average person now spends 2 hours on social media and over 7 hours consuming content – a DAY! After I got over the initial shock of these figures, I found myself thinking about how social media is used in public health mosquito control. Curiosity got the best of me, and we decided to just ask.
This information isn’t a sweeping report of the industry’s adoption of social media. But after surveying a segment of about 100 of our U.S. based customers, including mosquito abatement districts, municipal programs, and public health departments, some key trends emerged that we can all learn from.
- Facebook is where it’s at. 70% of respondent organizations are using Facebook to communicate with their constituents.
- Twitter is the second-most popular platform, but even so, only about 29% of respondents reported using it.
- For comparison’s sake – that’s close to the same percentage of respondents who said their organizations do not use any social media sites for external communication – 23%.
- And whether your mosquito control organization is using social media or not, 70% of survey respondents do use one or more social media platforms personally.
Value of Using Social Media
The mosquito control industry is using social media in four primary ways:
- To build overall awareness of what we do and why it’s important
- For public relations
- To educate the community on their role in mosquito control – think “Tip & Toss” or Fight the Bite programs
- And to inform the community of planned treatments or important surveillance work
However, when asked about the type of content that they are seeking from their peers and the industry at large, respondents agree on four topic categories:
- Community education efforts
- Reports on mosquito borne diseases
- Information on new technologies or products
- Operational best practices
While this is just a snapshot begging for a deeper dive, we can draw some understanding from the survey on how the industry can use social effectively:
- Meet your customers, constituents and colleagues where they are – on Facebook, and sometimes Twitter. The reality is that conversations about your work are happening there whether you participate or not.
- Use social platforms for community relations and education by showcasing the importance of your work and earning the support of stakeholders.
- Put content on social that meets the expectations of what your constituents want to learn about. Don’t make it about “you.”
A short summary of the survey results is available here for download. If you find this information valuable, drop me a comment below or send me an email, and let’s chat!