Using social media for vaccination promotion: Practices and challenges

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Abstract

Objective: Vaccination misinformation is widespread on social media. Vaccine-promoting organisations are working to curb its influence, but face obstacles. We aimed to analyse their social media strategies and the challenges they encounter. Methods: In this qualitative study, we purposively sampled 21 participants responsible for social media from vaccine-promoting organisations. We used Framework Analysis to explore the data. Results: Vaccine-promoting organisations faced obstacles using social media, including fast-paced change, limited resources, and insufficient organisational buy-in. They experienced difficulties reaching audiences, exploiting social media listening, and measuring impact. Consequently, they may miss opportunities to counter misinformation, connect with groups low in vaccine confidence, and determine diverse audience responses. They lack strong evidence linking social media strategies with behaviour change, and have difficulty understanding silent audiences. Conclusions: Vaccine-promoting organisations have an opportunity to embrace the participatory nature of social media. They could share listening insights with like-minded groups, and conduct research exploring associations between social media strategies and community attitude/behaviour change. Social media platforms could assist by renewing vaccine-promoting organisations' organic reach, supporting the development of tailored listening and credibility tools, and strengthening collaborations to promote credible content.

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Steffens, M. S., Dunn, A. G., Leask, J., & Wiley, K. E. (2020). Using social media for vaccination promotion: Practices and challenges. Digital Health, 6. https://doi.org/10.1177/2055207620970785

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