A social media campaign for promoting active travel to a university campus

Liza Rovniak, Melissa Jean Bopp, Dominique Wilson, Joanna Colgan, Dangaia Sims, Stephen Augustus Matthews, Erika Poole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context: Promoting regular physical activity can be challenging. Active travel (AT), walking and biking for transportation, is a way to achieve more activity, but rates remain low in the United States. With increased technology use, social media is one way to expand reach.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe the reach of social media in a campaign to promote AT to a university campus.
Design: This was an observational study.Setting: The Active Lions campaign promoted AT to and on a large university campus for employees and students. The campaign included local events promoting AT, a smartphone app, and social media postings (Facebook, Twitter) from August 2014 to August 2015.
Main Outcome Measures: The social media postings included different types of messages about AT. These posts were then examined and categorized, and any responses or interactions were recorded to identify trends for engagement.
Results: The Facebook page had 177 followers, educational posts elicited the most responses, posts with pictures averaged 6 clicks and 1 like, and posts with links averaged 3 clicks and 1 like. Active Lions had 103 Twitter followers, educational posts on Twitter had the most activity, with 149 interactions.
Conclusion: Facebook and Twitter appear to reach some of their followers in motivating and promoting regular physical activity. It is important, however, to recognize that posting on social media targets the younger population. Therefore, to reach more adults, it may be more beneficial to find other tactics to promote regular physical activity.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16
JournalJournal of Healthcare Communications
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 11 2016


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