A list analysing the top 10 Australian Twitter accounts in health and medicine has been compiled by University of Sydney public health researchers.
The study by Professor Simon Chapman and Dr Becky Freeman found the leading twitter accounts with a single-issue focus generally had far higher followings than accounts who tweeted on a variety of health issues.
Of the 10 most followed single-issue individual accounts, three campaigned against sugar, two were about nutrition, and two about personal fitness.
Twitter followings of leading health nongovernment organisations and government departments were generally far higher than those for leading individuals.
The study, published in the Journal of Public Health Research & Practice also gave some advice on how to use twitter more effectively.
For instance, tweets with images were more likely to get a reaction from other users by being retweeted, favourite or quoted.
“Health advocates need to consider extending key messages beyond text and including shareable and compelling images,” they advised.
Connecting with other users, giving voice to groups and issues that are normally ignored in the mainstream press, and demonstrating leadership of neglected public health issues were also key to a high twitter impact.
“Users achieved this by sharing links to their own research, actively engaging with other users and lending their profiles to lesser-known users by sharing tweets and creating opportunities for other users to attract more followers,” they said.
Click here to see the top 10 twitter accounts.