Using Twitter Town Halls as a Tool to Reach and Engage Key Populations

Anthony Roberts Jr., MS | Salon 2

Digital Marketing Director, ARJR, LLC

Meico Whitlock, MS | Salon 2

Senior Manager, Communications, National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD)



More Americans than ever before have access to Internet-enabled technologies and are participating in online social networking platforms such as Twitter. Overall, Twitter has more than 55 million monthly active users and 500 million messages or tweets sent daily. These numbers show a glimpse of the network’s influence and proves why it is the number two most widely used social networking platform. According to The Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, this high rate of usage is particularly notable among key populations, such as youth and African-Americans, that bear a disproportionate burden of health disparities in the U.S. Tools such as Twitter provide new opportunities for reaching and engaging these communities around health promotion.

In this workshop, presenters Meico Whitlock and Anthony Roberts, Jr. will share what Twitter Town Halls are, how they can be leveraged to reach and engage key populations, and how to plan and successfully execute one. The presenters will focus specifically on Black men who have sex with men (BMSM), one of the communities disproportionately impacted by the HIV epidemic in the U.S. In a world so large, these coordinated events bridge online and offline communities from coast to coast and provide an opportunity for community members to take part in a conversation, in real-time, that would otherwise be limited to individuals in a particular geographic location. During the session, participants will walk through three case studies and identify ways Twitter or other social media could be leveraged effectively in their outreach efforts.


Learning objectives:

  • Identify what Twitter Town Halls are and how they can be leveraged to reach and engage key populations
  • Develop a plan for executing and measuring the success of a Twitter Town Hall event



Transforming digital connections