Fewer than half of PCTs in England are using social networking website Facebook to promote health information, a new survey has reported.
Research by NHS Salford discovered only 36% of PCTs have a Facebook page, with the number for Twitter even lower at 28%. The Facebook pages boasted an average of 200 friends while Twitter updates were followed by double that number per PCT.
The survey by NHS Salford – one of the first PCTs to use social media actively within the NHS – found that most PCTs use social media of some form to highlight their health policies and advice online.
Karl Brookes, head of comms at NHS Salford, advised PCTs to keep on top of their social media, proactively add people as Facebook friends, stick to one account to avoid confusion and follow social media etiquette.
He added: "Good communication has always been about using the appropriate channels at the right time to reach the right people. Clearly social media is one of these channels and Twitter, Facebook and Youtube have been around long enough to ensure it's not just a fad."