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Social Media

  • By: Ellen Langhans & Silje Lier
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Social media are a growing part of health communication and marketing plans, campaigns, social marketing, and outreach. Social media are Internet-based applications that allow individuals, communities, and organizations to communicate, participate, and engage with one another by sharing and disseminating knowledge, ideas, and messages via online networks. In their research, Andreas M. Kaplan and Michael Haenlein classified social media as (1) collaborative projects (e.g., Wikipedia), (2) blogs and microblogs (e.g., Twitter), (3) content communities (e.g., YouTube and Pinterest), (4) social networking sites (e.g., Facebook), and (5) virtual game worlds and virtual social worlds.

Social media can also incorporate interactive tools such as text messages, widgets, buttons, and badges. Blogs and microblogs, content communities, and social networking sites are the most commonly used social media in ...

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