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#APHA15 Social Media Lab: Where digital and health communications meet!

APHA lab shotFor the third year in a row, we collaborated with APHA Exit Disclaimer to provide free social media technical assistance (TA) at the American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting Exit Disclaimer.

Over 130 conference attendees stopped by the “Social Media Lab.” They received personal sessions with an or APHA social media expert, or attended mini sessions addressing popular social media topics.

Patrick Benko, Manager of Online Marketing for APHA, noted the change he has seen over the past few years, stating, “the profession is getting more sophisticated. In year one we were helping with password recovery. Now people are seeking us out for campaign building and organizational use.”

APHA mini sessionAttendees came to the Lab with a wide range of questions and varying levels of social media experience. Two popular topics were planning ahead to save time and creating eye-catching visuals. Here is some of what we shared:

  • Plan your content via an editorial calendar. At we encourage modifying a template such as this free tool Exit Disclaimer created by Lightbox Collaborative Exit Disclaimer. We have found it to be very useful as a starting point, as it underscores the value of building social media into organizations’ broader communication strategy and goals.
  • Create strong visibility through great visuals. Templates are available to create images for a range of social media platforms, and you can search for images within the site (or upload your own) to create something engaging for your specific audience. Tools such as Canva Exit Disclaimer are both flexible and easy to learn. Need to find that perfect image or icon? Consider using tools such as the Creative Commons search engine Exit Disclaimer, Unsplash Exit Disclaimer, Pexels Exit Disclaimer, or the Noun Project Exit Disclaimer.

APHA Tweet image 1We know that many people are still trying to figure out how to use digital tools to both manage and extend the reach of their work. Didn’t make it to the conference, but still want to take advantage of this type of help? We offer TA through social media labs and Virtual Office Hours to assist others in effectively using these tools.

Sign up for Virtual Office Hours and schedule a free 45-minute phone appointment Exit Disclaimer with an social media expert.

You can also check out the Social Media page for more resources.