[This article was originally published in Healthcare Quarterly, 16(1)]
Not so long ago (2007), sites such as Twitter were relatively free of "spambots" and robotic marketers promoting or demoting brands. Facebook was innocent and not in the business of collecting more than two billion "likes" every day and selling the data. It's a different world today. Five years ago, using social media to engage was innovative. Not so today. In fact, it is questionable that the return on investment of engagement using social media ever lived up to the hype. Despite much attention paid to the role of social media in the United States presidential campaigns of 2008 and 2012, the return on investment of social media in that context is dubious – that is, whether younger people voted in "record numbers" and this translated into a statistically meaningful upswing in voting for this demographic.
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