Evaluation of the Sexual Health Behaviors of Black Male Adolescents and Young Adults Through Social Media Platforms: Web-Based Survey Study.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, which have millions of users who interact and communicate every day, have been effective in promoting sexual health interventions and in disseminating reproductive health education. They have also been shown to be useful in health promotion and have been used to track several key metrics (eg, comments, posts) among users of all demographics. However, there is a lack of research on the impact and reach of these social media platforms as a community-based tool for disseminating sexual health information and for increasing engagement among Black adolescents and young adults, which is a targeted high-risk population. OBJECTIVE:The purpose of this study was to determine the social media platforms and banner advertisements that affected engagement among Black male adolescents and young adults in participating in web-based health surveys. METHODS:A web-based survey was conducted from March 2019 to July 2019 to assess sexual health and health behaviors in a convenience sample of Black male adolescents and young adults in the age range of 18-24 years (N=170). Social media metrics from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter were monitored. This cross-sectional survey comprised several categories, including basic personal information, drug-related risk behaviors, health care, sexual reproductive health questions, attitudes, norms, and perceived control, mental health, violence-related risk behaviors, and social media preferences. RESULTS:Social media advertisements on the Black Male Opinion survey reached approximately 146,412 individuals. Our primary finding of the web-based survey engagement was that referral (eg, group chat, indirect social media sharing) led to as the greatest proportion of recruitment, with Twitter and YouTube as the preferred sites to receive sexual health information. CONCLUSIONS:Recognizing the variety of technologies being used among Black male young adults and adolescents can help the community, researchers, and health care providers understand the web-based engagement of this high-risk population. This information may also promote culturally sensitive, customized marketing on sexual health information for this population.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Public health organizations have begun to use social media to increase awareness of health harm and positively improve health behavior. Little is known about effective strategies to disseminate health education messages digitally and ultimately achieve optimal audience engagement.<h4>Objective</h4>This study aims to assess the difference in audience engagement with identical antismoking health messages on three social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) and with a referring link to a tobacco prevention website cited in these messages. We hypothesized that health messages might not receive the same user engagement on these media, although these messages were identical and distributed at the same time.<h4>Methods</h4>We measured the effect of health promotion messages on the risk of smoking among users of three social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) and disseminated 1275 health messages between April 19 and July 12, 2017 (85 days). The identical messages were distributed at the same time and as organic (unpaid) and advertised (paid) messages, each including a link to an educational website with more information about the topic. Outcome measures included message engagement (ie, the click-through rate [CTR] of the social media messages) and educational website engagement (ie, the CTR on the educational website [wCTR]). To analyze the data and model relationships, we used mixed effects negative binomial regression, z-statistic, and the Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness-of-fit test.<h4>Results</h4>Comparisons between social media sites showed that CTRs for identical antitobacco health messages differed significantly across social media (P<.001 for all). Instagram showed the statistically significant highest overall mean message engagement (CTR=0.0037; 95% CI 0.0032-0.0042), followed by Facebook (CTR=0.0026; 95% CI 0.0022-0.0030) and Twitter (CTR=0.0015; 95% CI 0.0013-0.0017). Facebook showed the highest as well as the lowest CTR for any individual message. However, the message CTR is not indicative of user engagement with the educational website content. Pairwise comparisons of the social media sites differed with respect to the wCTR (P<.001 for all). Messages on Twitter showed the lowest CTR, but they resulted in the highest level of website engagement (wCTR=0.6308; 95% CI 0.5640-0.6975), followed by Facebook (wCTR=0.2213; 95% CI 0.1932-0.2495) and Instagram (wCTR=0.0334; 95% CI 0.0230-0.0438). We found a statistically significant higher CTR for organic (unpaid) messages (CTR=0.0074; 95% CI 0.0047-0.0100) compared with paid advertisements (CTR=0.0022; 95% CI 0.0017-0.0027; P<.001 and P<.001, respectively).<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our study provides evidence-based insights to guide the design of health promotion efforts on social media. Future studies should examine the platform-specific impact of psycholinguistic message variations on user engagement, include newer sites such as Snapchat and TikTok, and study the correlation between web-based behavior and real-world health behavior change. The need is urgent in light of increased health-related marketing and misinformation on social media.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The popularity and reach of social media make it an ideal delivery platform for interventions targeting health behaviors, such as physical inactivity. Research has identified a dose-response relationship whereby greater engagement and exposure are positively associated with intervention effects, hence enhancing engagement will maximize the potential of these interventions. OBJECTIVE:This study examined the social media activity of successful commercial activity tracker brands to understand which creative elements (message content and design) they use in their communication to their audience, which social media platforms attract the most engagement, and which creative elements prompted the most engagement. METHODS:Posts (n=509) made by Fitbit and Garmin on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram over a 3-month period were coded for the presence of creative elements. User engagement regarding the total number of likes, comments, or shares per post was recorded. Negative binomial regression analyses were used to identify creative elements associated with higher engagement. RESULTS:Engagement on Instagram was 30-200 times higher than on Facebook, or Twitter. Fitbit and Garmin tended to use different creative elements from one another. A higher engagement was achieved by posts featuring an image of the product, highlighting new product features and with themes of self-improvement (P<.01). CONCLUSIONS:Findings suggest that Instagram may be a particularly promising platform for delivering engaging health messaging. Health messages which incorporate inspirational imagery and focus on a tangible product appear to achieve the highest engagement. Fitbit and Garmin employed difference creative elements, which is likely to reflect differences in their target markets. This underscores the importance of market segmentation in health messaging campaigns.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Image-based social media Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Flickr have become sources of health-related information and tools for health communication. No known systematic review exists that summarizes the existing research and its health implications. METHODS:We searched EBSCOhost Academic Search Complete, PubMed, and Web of Science in January 2016, April 2017, and November 2017, with the following keywords: Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, or Flickr. Only public health-related, peer-reviewed research articles were included (excluding surveys of self-reported social media use). RESULTS:Sixty-six research articles were included. All 12 experimental studies used Instagram. Of the 54 observational studies, 38 studied Instagram; 12, Pinterest; 7, Tumblr; and 6, Flickr; some studies investigated more than 1 platform. More than half of the included articles were related to mental health and substance abuse (n = 39, 59%). Other topics included chronic diseases, infectious diseases, surgery, injury prevention, pharmacovigilance, sexual and reproductive health, and adolescent psychology with functional magnetic resonance imaging. DISCUSSION:Public health-oriented research on Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Flickr is increasing. Most observational studies investigated questions ranging from public perception of diseases or interventions (vaccination) and undesirable media exposure ("echo chamber," distorted body image, underage substance use, and pro-suicide messages) to information dissemination and online engagement (likes and comments). A few studies attempted to use image-based social media as intervention tools, but the results were mainly exploratory. CONCLUSION:More research is needed to study how social media users discuss health through sharing images online, and how public health professionals can communicate effectively using image-sharing social media.
Project description:Today, many science communicators are using social media to share scientific information with citizens, but, as research has shown, fostering conversational exchanges remains a challenge. This largely qualitative study investigated the communication strategies applied by individual scientists and environmental non-governmental organizations on Twitter and Instagram to determine whether particular social media practices encourage two-way conversations between science communicators and citizens. Data from Twitter and Instagram posts, interviews with the communicators, and a survey of audience members were triangulated to identify emergent communication strategies and the resulting engagement; provide insight into why particular practices are employed by communicators; and explain why audiences choose to participate in social media conversations with communicators. The results demonstrate that the application of interpersonal communication strategies encourage conversational engagement, in terms of the number of comments and unique individuals involved in conversations. In particular, using selfies (images and videos), non-scientific content, first person pronoun-rich captions, and responding to comments result in the formation of communicator-audience relationships, encouraging two-way conversations on social media. Furthermore, the results indicate that Instagram more readily supports the implementation of interpersonal communication strategies than Twitter, making Instagram the preferred platform for promoting conversational exchanges. These findings can be applicable to diverse communicators, subjects, audiences, and environments (online and offline) in initiatives to promote awareness and understanding of science.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Social media is often used for health communication and can facilitate fast information exchange. Despite its increasing use, little is known about child health information sharing and engagement over social media. OBJECTIVE:The primary objectives of this study are to systematically describe the content of social media posts about child pain and sleep and identify the level of research evidence in these posts. The secondary objective is to examine user engagement with information shared over social media. METHODS:Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook were searched by members of the research team over a 2-week period using a comprehensive search strategy. Codes were used to categorize the content of posts to identify the frequency of content categories shared over social media platforms. Posts were evaluated by content experts to determine the frequency of posts consistent with existing research evidence. User engagement was analyzed using Netlytic, a social network analysis program, to examine visual networks illustrating the level of user engagement. RESULTS:From the 2-week period, nearly 1500 pain-related and 3800 sleep-related posts were identified and analyzed. Twitter was used most often to share knowledge about child pain (639/1133, 56.40% of posts), and personal experiences for child sleep (2255/3008, 75.00% of posts). For both topics, Instagram posts shared personal experiences (53/68, 78% pain; 413/478, 86.4% sleep), Facebook group posts shared personal experiences (30/49, 61% pain; 230/345, 66.7% sleep) and Facebook pages shared knowledge (68/198, 34.3% pain; 452/1026, 44.05% sleep). Across platforms, research evidence was shared in 21.96% (318/1448) of pain- and 9.16% (445/4857) of sleep-related posts; 5.38% (61/1133) of all pain posts and 2.82% (85/3008) of all sleep posts shared information inconsistent with the evidence, while the rest were absent of evidence. User interactions were indirect, with mostly one-way, rather than reciprocal conversations. CONCLUSIONS:Social media is commonly used to discuss child health, yet the majority of posts do not contain research evidence, and user engagement is primarily one-way. These findings represent an opportunity to expand engagement through open conversations with credible sources. Research and health care communities can benefit from incorporating specific information about evidence within social media posts to improve communication with the public and empower users to distinguish evidence-based content better. Together, these findings have identified potential gaps in social media communication that may be informative targets to guide future strategies for improving the translation of child health evidence over social media.
Project description:Little cigar and cigarillo use is becoming more prevalent in the United States and elsewhere, with implications for public health. As little cigar and cigarillo use grows in popularity, big social media data (eg, Instagram, Google Web Search, Twitter) can be used to capture and document the context in which individuals use, and are marketed, these tobacco products. Big social media data may allow people to organically demonstrate how and why they use little cigars and cigarillos, unprimed by a researcher, without instrument bias and at low costs.This study characterized Swisher (the most popular brand of cigars in the United States, controlling over 75% of the market share) little cigar- and cigarillo-related posts on Instagram to inform the design of tobacco education campaigns and the development of future tobacco control efforts, and to demonstrate the utility in using big social media data in understanding health behaviors.We collected images from Instagram, an image-based social media app allowing users to capture, customize, and post photos on the Internet with over 400 million active users. Inclusion criteria for this study consisted of an Instagram post with the hashtag "#swisher". We established rules for coding themes of images.Of 1967 images collected, 486 (24.71%) were marijuana related, 348 (17.69%) were of tobacco products or promotional material, 324 (16.47%) showed individuals smoking, 225 (11.44%) were memes, and 584 (29.69%) were classified as other (eg, selfies, food, sexually explicit images). Of the marijuana-related images, 157/486 (32.3%) contained a Swisher wrapper, indicating that a Swisher product was used in blunt making, which involves hollowing out a cigar and refilling it with marijuana.Images from Instagram may be used to complement and extend the study of health behaviors including tobacco use. Images may be as valuable as, or more valuable than, words from other social media platforms alone. Posts on Instagram showing Swisher products, including blunt making, could add to the normalization of little cigar and cigarillo use and is an area of future research. Tobacco control researchers should design social media campaigns to combat smoking imagery found on popular sites such as Instagram.
Project description:An increased use of social networks is one of the most far-reaching consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Aside from the traditional media, as the main drivers of social communication in crisis situations, individual profiles have emerged supported by social networks, which have had a similar impact to the more specialized communication media. This is the hypothesis of the research presented, which is focused on health communication and based on a virtual ethnography methodology with the use of social metrics. The aim is to understand the relationship established between the population in general and digital media in particular through the measurement of engagement. In this regard, a comparative study was carried out that describes this phenomenon over a period of six months on three social networks: YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, with a sample composed of specialized health media versus healthcare professionals. The results point to a new communications model that opens up a new space for agents whose content has a degree of engagement comparable to and even exceeding that of digital media specialized in health communication. The conclusions show that the crisis of the pandemic has accelerated the transformation of the communication sector, creating new challenges for the communication industry, media professionals, and higher education institutions related to market demands.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Studies estimate that the number of cancer survivors will double by 2050 due to improvements in diagnostic accuracy and treatment efficacy. Despite the growing population of cancer survivors, there is a paucity of research regarding how these individuals experience the transition from active treatment to long-term surveillance. While research has explored this transition from more organized venues, such as support groups for cancer survivors, this paper explores the discourses surrounding cancer survivorship on social media, paying particular attention to how individuals who identify as cancer survivors represent their experience. METHODS:We identified social media posts relating to cancer survivorship on Twitter and Instagram in early June 2018, in order to coincide with National Cancer Survivorship Day on June 3, 2018. We used nine pre-selected hashtags to identify content. For each hashtag, we manually collected the 150 most recent posts from Twitter and the 100 most recent plus the top 9 posts from Instagram. Our preliminary sample included 1172 posts; after eliminating posts from one hashtag due to irrelevance, we were left with 1063 posts. We randomly sampled 200 of these to create a subset for analysis; after review for irrelevant posts, 193 posts remained for analysis (118 from Instagram and 75 from Twitter). We utilized a grounded theory approach to analyze the posts, first open-coding a subset to develop a codebook, then applying the codebook to the rest of the sample and finally memo writing to develop themes. RESULTS:Overall, there is substantial difference in the tone and thematic content between Instagram and Twitter posts, Instagram takes on a more narrative form that represents journeys through cancer treatment and subsequent survivorship, whereas Twitter is more factual, leaning towards advocacy, awareness and fundraising. In terms of content type, 120 posts (62%) of the sample were images, of which 42 (35%) were images of the individual posting and 28 (23%) were images of patients posted by family or friends. Of the remaining images, 14 (12%) were of support groups and 7 (6%) were of family or friends. We identified four salient themes through analysis of the social media posts from Twitter and Instagram: social support, celebrating milestones and honoring survivors, expressing identity, and renewal vs. rebirth. DISCUSSION:We observed a marked relationship between physical appearance, functional status and survivorship. Additionally, our findings suggest the importance of social support for cancer patients and survivors as well as the role social media can pay in identity formation. CONCLUSION:Our findings suggest that individuals who identify as survivors on social media define their identity fluidly, incorporating elements of physical, emotional and psychological health as well as autonomy.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is perhaps the greatest global health challenge of the last century. Accompanying this pandemic is a parallel "infodemic," including the online marketing and sale of unapproved, illegal, and counterfeit COVID-19 health products including testing kits, treatments, and other questionable "cures." Enabling the proliferation of this content is the growing ubiquity of internet-based technologies, including popular social media platforms that now have billions of global users. OBJECTIVE:This study aims to collect, analyze, identify, and enable reporting of suspected fake, counterfeit, and unapproved COVID-19-related health care products from Twitter and Instagram. METHODS:This study is conducted in two phases beginning with the collection of COVID-19-related Twitter and Instagram posts using a combination of web scraping on Instagram and filtering the public streaming Twitter application programming interface for keywords associated with suspect marketing and sale of COVID-19 products. The second phase involved data analysis using natural language processing (NLP) and deep learning to identify potential sellers that were then manually annotated for characteristics of interest. We also visualized illegal selling posts on a customized data dashboard to enable public health intelligence. RESULTS:We collected a total of 6,029,323 tweets and 204,597 Instagram posts filtered for terms associated with suspect marketing and sale of COVID-19 health products from March to April for Twitter and February to May for Instagram. After applying our NLP and deep learning approaches, we identified 1271 tweets and 596 Instagram posts associated with questionable sales of COVID-19-related products. Generally, product introduction came in two waves, with the first consisting of questionable immunity-boosting treatments and a second involving suspect testing kits. We also detected a low volume of pharmaceuticals that have not been approved for COVID-19 treatment. Other major themes detected included products offered in different languages, various claims of product credibility, completely unsubstantiated products, unapproved testing modalities, and different payment and seller contact methods. CONCLUSIONS:Results from this study provide initial insight into one front of the "infodemic" fight against COVID-19 by characterizing what types of health products, selling claims, and types of sellers were active on two popular social media platforms at earlier stages of the pandemic. This cybercrime challenge is likely to continue as the pandemic progresses and more people seek access to COVID-19 testing and treatment. This data intelligence can help public health agencies, regulatory authorities, legitimate manufacturers, and technology platforms better remove and prevent this content from harming the public.
Project description:Social media data is increasingly used as a proxy for human activity in different environments, including protected areas, where collecting visitor information is often laborious and expensive, but important for management and marketing. Here, we compared data from Instagram, Twitter and Flickr, and assessed systematically how park popularity and temporal visitor counts derived from social media data perform against high-precision visitor statistics in 56 national parks in Finland and South Africa in 2014. We show that social media activity is highly associated with park popularity, and social media-based monthly visitation patterns match relatively well with the official visitor counts. However, there were considerable differences between platforms as Instagram clearly outperformed Twitter and Flickr. Furthermore, we show that social media data tend to perform better in more visited parks, and should always be used with caution. Based on stakeholder discussions we identified potential reasons why social media data and visitor statistics might not match: the geography and profile of the park, the visitor profile, and sudden events. Overall the results are encouraging in broader terms: Over 60% of the national parks globally have Twitter or Instagram activity, which could potentially inform global nature conservation.