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Strategic use of Twitter as a source of health information: a pilot study with textual analysis of health tweets

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Abstract

This study examines how key organizations and individuals use Twitter strategically to disseminate health messages, in terms of information, community, and action functions. A textual analysis was conducted through a synthesized analytical approach (typology of strategic tweets by classification of key users), comparing the tweets originated from media users versus non-media users. Findings suggest that key health communicators use Twitter either for spreading health information, building relationships, or encouraging people to perform health-related actions. Media users tweet more health information whereas non-media users tweet more to propose health-improving behavior. Implications of this analysis for health and social care are also discussed.

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