APHA and HIV.gov collaborate to host the APHA Annual Meeting Social Media Lab. We chatted with Aisha Moore, Senior Technical Advisor at HIV.gov about this exciting resource that’s free to all 2018 APHA Annual Meeting & Expo attendees. Whether you’re a social media newbie or a Twitter addict, Aisha explains why there’s something for everyone at the social media lab.

Q: Tell us a little about the basics of the social media lab. Who is it for, and what can you learn?

A: The APHA social media lab offers one-on-one and small group training on social media use planning for public health programs. The lab is open to all meeting attendees. This lab provides a chance for attendees to sit down with an expert from the HIV.gov team to ask questions that will improve effectiveness of your organization’s social media efforts. The lab is for anyone, be they newcomers who need help getting started with social media, or more advanced users ready to enhance their current strategy. For example, you can talk about strategy, planning, implementation, or evaluation. Or maybe you’re wondering how to use social media effectively or how to stay up-to-date on current best practices. Bring us whatever social media questions you’ve got! You can also drop in for our theater sessions.

Q: Which social media platforms will the lab cover?

A: Our experts in the lab are versed across platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, and more. And we can also help participants look at the bigger picture with related topics like editorial calendar planning, creating and using images, analytics and metrics, ads, and more.

Q: How is social media important to HIV.gov’s work?

A: At HIV.gov, we strongly believe that social media and digital tools have a key role in our response to HIV in the United States. One of HIV.gov’s key focuses is on how social media can be used to communicate with populations most affected by HIV.

Q: Why is it important for public health professionals to know how to use social media?

A: In 2018, there’s no getting around using social media and digital tools (e.g. apps, texting, chatbots) when communicating with clients, providers, volunteers, and other stakeholders. Many organizations are interested in using these tools; they just need someone to help them understand how to plan and effectively leverage technology. It’s not just about having an online presence. It’s about our effectiveness in reaching people before they walk through our doors.

Q: I need a lot of help! How can I get some one-on-one assistance with my social media at the meeting?

A: Here’s how to take part:

When: Monday, Nov. 12 and Tuesday, Nov. 13, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

How: Conference goers can walk-in to any session scheduled below or reserve your spot for one-on-one coaching or drop by for these sessions:

MONDAY, NOV. 12

12:40 p.m. How did you score? Using quizzes for social media engagement

2:40 p.m. Build your brand! 1: Intro to finding your voice

4:40 p.m. Build your brand! 2: This time, it’s professional

TUESDAY, NOV. 13

12:40 p.m. How to make Snapchat work for public health

2:40 p.m. How Instagram stories can help build your brand

4:40 p.m. The age of AI: Chatbots and public health

You can visit the Social Media Lab in the San Diego Convention Center in the Ballroom 6 Lobby, Monday, Nov. 12 and Tuesday, Nov. 13, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Watch one of our theater presentations or sign up to reserve a one-on-one session.

APHA’s Annual Meeting is the largest annual gathering of public health professionals. Thousands of people attend, and thousands of new scientific papers are presented each year on every public health topic. APHA 2018’s theme, “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Health Equity Now” puts health equity at the center of our field’s attention.