Social Media

Social Media
Social Media

Social media refers to online communication channels or platforms that allow you to share content and open it up to comments and input from the social community. There are many platforms that are used by millions of people across the world, who often access them directly through their smartphone, so you can potentially reach a lot of people through social media. Some of the most popular channels are Facebook, X, and Instagram, WeChat in China, LINE in Japan and Korea, WhatsApp, and Telegram. Think about the messages you want to share and the audiences you want to share it with to thoughtfully choose your social media channel.

Getting started with social media

  • Do you need your own dedicated social media account? Here are 5 easy hacks for a time-crunched team looking to engage and share on social media. Many groups feel they lack the time to dedicate to their social media communications and lack the skill set; this is okay. You do not have to have your own social media account for your Cochrane group - there are still ways to present your messages on social media! 
  • What's the plan? Create a social media plan that describes your aims, target audience, the content you want to share and in which language. This will help you decide what platforms to use and if you need to create your own social media accounts for your Cochrane group. 
  • Choose your platforms wisely Select a social media platform depending on what may be most commonly used by your target audience in your region and language. This is a useful summary of social media and healthcare professionals providing an overview of different social media sites in the Western world and a useful glossary of social media terms used.
  • Use existing accounts If you have findings from your Cochrane review or want to celebrate something from your Cochrane group but do not have your own social media accounts, let us know!  We can help get this to the appropriate audience. To do this, contact Muriah Umoquit (
  • Starting a new social media account Each Cochrane group is allowed one account per platform (i.e. Satellites and Affiliates should jointly use the main account, not have their own account). We use consistent naming conventions across all platforms, such as "Cochrane [Name of Group]'. This makes it easier for users to find and follow your group across different sites. Use the Cochrane logo in your Group's colour for the profile picture to maintain consistency. For your banner, choose an image that represents your group. Write a concise bio that includes your focus and include a link to more information on your group. 

Content Creation

  • Use hashtags Hashtags are a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) and used to identify messages on a specific topic. It’s an excellent way to reach a new audience looking for specific information on Twitter and Instagram. You can look up specific healthcare hashtags in the Symplur index.
  • Be visual You can increase the engagement of your post on social media if you choose a related image to accompany it. This should be standard practice across all Cochrane accounts. Check out our comprehensive guide on Choosing Images for Sharing EvidenceThis site provides more information about accessing the free photos that Cochrane offers. 
  • Think about using “awareness days” to amplify your message Awareness days, weeks and months are periods usually set by an organisation or government to commemorate a public health or ethical cause of importance on a national or international level. There are some questions in this 1-page resource that you can use when deciding whether to support a particular awareness day. These questions came from a report on awareness days, which is available here. 
  • Be engaging Share relevant news, research findings, and updates from your group. Encourage interaction by asking questions or initiating discussions. Comment on others posts that are relevant or tag you

Top tip! No matter which social media channel you use to share the findings from your Cochrane review, you’ll want to use the Dissemination Checklist to make sure you are sharing it the correct way.

Managing multiple social media accounts

If you are managing multiple social media accounts, there are tools to help you:

  • This blog provides a review of tools to manage multiple accounts as well what they consider to be the six best social media management strategies.
  • Buffer allows you to manage many of your social media accounts from one place including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest. The tool allows you to schedule posts and analyse performance. This video will help you set up and use Buffer.
  • Hootsuite is another platform which allows you to post in multiple channels, schedule posts and provide analytics of performance.

Top Tip! Even if you use a scheduler for your social media make sure you log into the platform! This way you can respond to comments, DMs, and mentions promptly. Engaging builds community and trust! 

Evaluating the effect of social media

  • Look at the numbers You can evaluate the effects of your social media activity by looking at followers, conversations, views, likes and retweets. Most social media platforms have some sort of built-in analytics dashboard.
  •  Be qualitative too Numbers can't tell us everything about the impact our dissemination. You may also find it useful to record comments that you receive on your posts. Screenshots of these can be useful visuals for Annual Reports. 

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