National HIV Testing Day Twitter Town Hall Recap

Content From: Susan Robinson, MS, Associate Director for Communication Science, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB PreventionPublished: June 29, 20102 min read


Susan Robinson, MS

Susan Robinson, MS, NCHHSTP (NAPWA), (NPIN), who hosted the event. Being at "tweet central" for the town hall at the NPIN Atlanta office was enlightening!

Without further ado, here's what we learned:

1. Great partners are key to a successful Twitter Town Hall, because it is their network of followers that extend the reach of the event.

Here's some data on Twitter Activity during the Town Hall:

2. When you promote a shared concern using social media, you reach an incredibly diverse set of groups and individuals who care. We're still sorting out all the different types of tweeters who participated, but for example, during our town hall, here's some of the prevention partners who were on the line:

  • Individuals active in HIV/AIDS, public health, social media: 49
  • Community-based organizations (CBOs): 35
  • Consumers: 25*
  • National groups/businesses: 16
  • Federal agencies & health departments: 15
  • Media: 5

*NOTE: "Consumers" is the category for participants who did not identify themselves as belonging to one of the partner categories.

3. Lots of different kinds of conversations occur in a Twitter Town Hall. Here's some of the themes we observed:

  • People talked about NHTD plans and promotions
  • Others shared facts and figures
  • Partners were able to connect, support, and build relationships.

4. And finally, when your Twitter Town Hall is over, it isn't over … We observed that people kept using the hash tag, #NHTD, and continued tweeting as we neared the actual National HIV Testing Day (June 27)!

In closing, I have to say that doing a Twitter Town Hall is a blast! And as a community activity, it has all the elements that have long been touted as tenets of good social marketing: it is FUN, it is EASY, and for now, a POPULAR thing to do!

Thanks again to the team who produced the event and all who made it a success. It is our privilege to do this work.