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CDC's Injury Center 20th Anniversary:Tips and Tools for Working with Social Media

The use of social media tools is a powerful channel to reach target audiences with strategic, effective and user-centric health interventions.

CDC Social Media Tools, Guidelines & Best Practices

To assist in the planning, development and implementation of social media activities, the CDC Social Media Tools, Guidelines & Best Practices have been developed to provide critical information on lessons learned, best practices, clearance information and security requirements. Although these guidelines have been developed for the use of these channels at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they may be useful materials for other federal, state and local agencies as well as private organizations to reference when developing social media tools.


Facebook is a social utility that helps people communicate more efficiently with their friends, family and coworkers. Anyone can sign up for Facebook and interact with the people they know in a trusted environment. Facebook is a part of millions of people’s lives and half of the users return daily.

If you or your organization already has a Facebook page, make sure to post information about your event on your wall or status and continue to update your page. CDC’s Injury Center has three active Facebook pages. We encourage you to follow us if you aren't already, and please share any relevant pieces of information that we post.


Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest information about what you find interesting and allows you spread the word about your activities. Using your organization's Twitter handle (easy and free to create if you don’t already have one), you can send messages about your event in short (140 characters or less) messages that can be easily retweeted by other users who would like to share your tweets with others.


A short (no more than a minute) video posted to YouTube is a creative way to promote your event or activity online. Film your activities or record testimonials of health experts that will entice viewers to learn more about public health, your organization and the Injury Centers 20th Anniversary! Be very careful when using copyrighted materials including music and images. Many songs, photos and movie clips require gaining the rights to use them and you could face legal action if you do not obtain permission.


If you or your organization hosts a blog, use it to promote your activities. Post all essential information (location, date, time, etc.) and provide frequent updates to increase reader’s interest in attending. A blog can also be a forum for readers to post questions in the comments section, which you will be able to answer and potentially address in future posts.


Don’t forget about the old standby of email, it is still a powerful tool to spread your message. Make sure to keep an up-to-date distribution list of people to receive your information; this includes deleting old contacts and removing contacts who have asked not to receive information anymore. Include links to all of your social media site pages to drive more people to your online networks.

Web Site

Your organization’s web site is likely the first place visitors will go to find information about your activities. Make sure that all the information is up-to-date.

The Injury Center’s 20th Anniversary button helps you raise awareness online of injury and violence prevention in your community.

For all things related to CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and Social Media, visit the Injury Center Social and New Media page.