It’s important to understand these social media tips for promoting health and nutrition information online. As a registered dietitian to be, this is a topic I am very passionate about.
Throughout my dietetic internship, I had the opportunity to research this topic of health promotion in depth. There’s some pretty interesting impacts social media may have on our health. My full presentation can be viewed here.
Did you know there are over 3.5 billion people on social media?
And that number is increasing everyday, especially during this health crisis. A recent survey actually revealed 32% of Americans are spending more time on social media during this time.
What are the health effects of social media?
However, it’s important to keep the potential negatives in mind too. Social media can take a toll on our mental health, provide unrealistic expectations, and false health information. When you are looking for nutrition information online, be sure it is coming from a nutrition professional–ideally a registered dietitian.
Research on social media is pretty new and many health effects are still unknown. But one thing is for sure–social media is here to stay. Therefore, it’s important to know some of the best practices for social media.
Here are 6 tips for using social media
Although these tips go for everyone, they are directed towards healthy food bloggers, health professionals, and registered dietitians.
1. Find Your Voice
Voice is how you portray yourself through text, images, and other visuals. Try to pick a few words to get you started. This voice will help guide your content, show your personality, and form your audience. Here are some examples:
When it comes to audience, think about the specific group of people you want to reach. This is your “target audience”. If you’re not sure who this is, imagine your ideal audience as one person. Then, write down how you picture their age, gender, location, education, and occupation. Even think about their personality, values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyle. Compose your social media posts as if they were being written directly for this person.
Here are a few examples of a target audience:
- Male athletes between ages 18-30 who want to learn how to fuel their performance
- Busy single moms looking for easy recipes for weeknight dinners
- Millennial women looking for virtual nutrition counseling in the Denver area
You want to make sure you are putting out credible health information. Speak to the research rather than promoting misleading claims. Of course, break down the research into simple terms so your audience can understand it too. For example, rather than saying “blueberries are rich in anthocyanin, a flavonoid, which helps stop free radicals from taking electrons and causing damage”, say something more like “blueberries are high in antioxidants, which can help prevent and slow diseases”.
You can also build credibility and rapport with your audience by engaging back with them. If someone messages you or comments on a post, respond back whenever you can.
Content can be a number of things–usually text, photos, or videos. You want to make sure you are putting content out consistently. Maybe once a day, once a week, or bi-weekly. Find a schedule that works for you and stick with it. There are also free schedulers apps like Buffer, Hootsuite, or Tailwind that can help.
Don’t feel like you have to go overboard and post multiple times a day. Go for quality over quantity.
Also, don’t be afraid to reuse content that performed well. Just when you are sick of a topic, your audience will just be starting to notice it.
And finally, share your content across other social media platforms. This helps get more eyes on your work.
Social media is always changing. That’s why it’s important to experiment.
Experiment with different types of posts and see what works best. Perhaps videos of people’s health testimonies get more likes. Or maybe overhead angles on recipes have more saves. You’ll never know until you try.
Keeping up to date with the latest trends is always a good idea. Perhaps it’s a recipe featuring a trendy ingredient or speaking to the latest fad diet. These kinds of posts are more likely to grab people’s attention.
You can also try A/B testing, where you compare two similar posts or pictures and see what performs better. For example, below are two images I posted on Pinterest–one with text overlays and one without. With this test, I actually found out the text overlay image was saved way more.
Experiment with hashtags too. Play around with popular ones as well as more specific ones. For example, #Foodie has a large reach but your post might get lost in the millions. Instead, a niche hashtag like #DietitianApproved or #VeganFoodBlogger may help you reach more people and your target audience better.
Dig into the numbers to see what works and what doesn’t work. You can do this by looking in the “Insights” tab on social media platforms if you have a business account. For websites or blogs, use Google Analytics.
Be mindful of metrics like impressions, likes, comments, saves, and followers. I like to keep track of my monthly numbers on a spreadsheet. You can also simply take a mental note of what performed well and let that guide your future posts.
If you are feeling lost, learn from those who inspire you. Follow and save posts from accounts you love and strive to be like.
Want more? You can take online social media courses from Skillshare or Bluprint to learn more.
Feel free to follow me on social media for health and nutrition inspiration: