Group of young people lying on the ground smiling

How we are using social media

Our understanding of social media extends far beyond brand communications. We use social media throughout our digital projects in a number of different ways:

  • Using social media as core information and education channels. For example we reach millions of people through our Be in the KNOW sexual health information brand across Facebook, Instagram, X, YouTube and LinkedIn.
  • Using social media to support our approach to user-centred design and co-creation, working with members of our target audiences via WhatsApp and Facebook as part of the development and design process.
  • Using the engagement we get through social media to provide ongoing insights into what content is relevant and of interest to our audiences. Analysis of this engagement improves our context and audience understanding and feeds into our content development across projects.

We actively moderate all our social media channels to ensure our pages and campaigns remain safe spaces for the vital peer discussions and interactions that help support informed choices on sexual health.

Sexual health and HIV awareness are crucial topics that need accurate and accessible information. Your post serves as a valuable resource for getting the facts straight and promoting awareness.

Be in the KNOW social media follower

Why we use social media

As the amount of people and time spent on social media continues to grow, so does the importance of being present and relevant on these platforms. We meet our audiences where they already are, fitting in with their existing behaviour and lifestyles.

Social media gives us the opportunity to reach and engage people who may not be actively looking for information on HIV and sexual health but are in great need of the information and may not realise they are at risk.

It enables us to understand our audiences better and so provide each different audience group with more of the information they want in the way they need it.

Reach and engagement

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million people reached globally in 2022-23
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million post engagements with Be in the KNOW social media content in 2022-23
conversations started with the Young Africa Live WhatsApp chatbot

How it makes a difference

We continually analyse the reach and engagement with our audiences on social media. In 2022-23 we reached over 36 million Facebook and Instagram users with information to support their knowledge, skills and confidence.

Be in the KNOW

Our Be in the KNOW social media channels provide safe spaces for young people, and those supporting young people, to learn and engage on sexual health, further developing the reach and engagement of the Be in the KNOW brand. We share accurate, trusted and positive information and resources on HIV and sexual health, encouraging conversations, addressing stigma, and providing opportunities for our followers to ask questions and share their experiences.

Young Africa Live

Our work on Young Africa Live combined Meta’s platforms – Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp – to support young people’s sexual and mental health. We led on social media marketing to drive awareness and engagement with the WhatsApp chatbot and to promote and moderate discussions on Facebook and Instagram.


Our Boost Facebook group gives community health workers a space to learn and support one another. The group accompanies our digital job-aide Boost and provides a forum for community health workers and peer educators across different regions to provide feedback, ask questions, start conversations and join discussions.

Young Voices

As part of our Young Voices Africa project, which engaged young people in Southern Africa through character-led animations on sex and relationships, we undertook coding of thousands of their comments from social media campaigns. This helped us to understand how young people were engaging, and further improve our communications work with this group. We found 59% of people participating in online discussions showed deeper engagement with the issues covered in the animations – expressing that they had gained knowledge; changed their perspective; or related the issue back to their own experience.

Photo credit: Masimba Sasa. Photos are used for illustrative purposes. They do not imply health status or behaviour.