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Is there an App for that?: Social media uses for road safety.

Murray, C, Lewis, I (Peer reviewed)

Communication

ACRS conference 2011

The use of social media has increased dramatically in recent years in the areas of public health and injury prevention, with many organisations creating online and social media content. Despite the adoption of such media by modern society, research relating to the design and evaluation of social media for the promotion of health issues is very much in its infancy.

A timely review of the available evidence in relation to the use of social media campaigns from both the road safety and broader public health context will be undertaken. In particular, this paper will address the questions of what social media should be developed, how it should be evaluated, as well as what should be the key measures of success and to what extent do these measures relate to practically significant outcomes, such as behaviour change.

Much like more traditional media campaigns, social media may be best regarded as another approach within the array of potential approaches that a health advertising researcher or practitioner may utilise. With younger demographics becoming less likely to engage with more traditional advertising mediums relative to their preference for social media, social media’s most important role in the road safety advertising context may be to offer the means of delivering road safety messages to high risk, younger road users.