The Many Faces of Facebook “Utilizing Social Media Tools for Participant Recruitment in Clinical Research”


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The Many Faces of Facebook “Utilizing Social Media Tools for Participant Recruitment in Clinical Research” was presented by Tracy Strickroth at the 5th Annual Clinical Research Workshop, Yale University, June 4-5, 2012.

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The Many Faces of Facebook “Utilizing Social Media Tools for Participant Recruitment in Clinical Research”

  1. 1. The Many Faces of Facebook: Utilizing Social Media Tools for Participant Recruitment in Clinical Research Tracy Strickroth, Nariman Nasser Clinical and Translational Science Institute, University of California, San Francisco, CA Mark Pletcher CTSI Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, CA Introduction Creating & Building Study Awareness Social networks on Public Health - Facebook Connect for Recruitment Public facingThe “Facebook Frontier” is how some bloggers The Social Heart Study at UCSF takes a new community pageand marketing websites have referred to the approach to the utilization of social media. Thispotential of social media to build awareness of online cardiovascular disease prevention study Users can “like” andideas, causes, products, or brands among online employs Facebook to recruit & conduct survey “share” pages withcommunities. With more than 800 million based research, and to recruit participants for others “friends”worldwide users and various features for linking future heart studies via snowball sampling.websites and sharing information, Facebook was Links to studyseen by many research managers as an exciting website & contact Using an online consent process Facebooknew prospect for clinical trial recruitment. However, information Connect is activated and their Social Heartthere are still challenges to overcome, including profile is linked to their Facebook profile. This Links to otherlearning how to use Facebook’s applications to allows the study database to access publicly asthma relatedbuild study awareness and meet recruitment goals. available info about the participant & the groups & pagesRemember that FB users are able to share participant’s network, such as list of friends—ainformation with friends in their network, who in presumed trusted source.turn share with their friends, and so on. New skillsets and training are needed to implement social Social media motivates study participants andmedia strategies, and maintaining an online their friends to adopt new behaviors that will lowerpresence requires time and resources. Despite their risk for a heart attack.these issues, social media, when applied Distinct Registered Users = 395judiciously, can still be an effective recruitmentstrategy for research participant recruitment. Thisis overview of the different ways Facebook has Pilot period of recruitment DID NOT CONSENTbeen used for clinical trial recruitment.  2.5 months  ZERO dollars Aims Administrator Insight Snapshot features allow for real-time reporting: spend on advertising  Likes & Share  People Talking About This Creating & building study awareness  395 distinct  Social Reach  Demographics & Location users registered CONSENTED Insight real-time reporting  Friends of Fans  Page views  Snowball Targeting potential participants through online sampling, friend advertising Targeted Online Advertising activity Exploring the effects on social networks on public health through Facebook Connect Comparison of two types of targeted (pay per click) advertising - 2 month period Next Steps application  Development of personalized health feedback, 1 Paid Ad created from Facebook Page, links to Benefits Lessons Learned study-specific FB community page contextualized within participants’ social Targeted demographic & • Get multiple ads IRB approved networks geographic ahead of time, test ads & adjust  Employ text messaging from smart phones as Stay on budget, daily max, pay • Link to easy online screener Paid Ad independent from Facebook Page, links per click options • Hard to measure ROI 2 new form of CVD risk factor data collection Easy, real-time reports • Friend to Friend connection to external study-specific website for pre-  Recruitment of 20,000 participants – enhancing Flexibility increased clicks & reach screening website, advertising & recruitment campaign, Campaign Impressions Clicks Social Impressions Social Clicks Actions Page likes Twitter fed, collaborate with other CVD groups Acknowledgments 1 942,112 313 1,923 2 152 128This project was supported by the National Center 2 338,596 48 NA NA NA NA Summaryfor Research Resources and the National Center Key Facebook Terms Actions- Data includes all people who have taken action within 24 hours of viewing an ad, or after 28 days of clicking on it. Clicks – Social media is a useful clinical study recruitment tool but can be difficult to implement fully withoutfor Advancing Translational Sciences, National Number of clicks your ad has received. CTR (click thru rate) - Number of clicks your ad received, divided by the number of times the ad was shown on the site. Friends of Fans – Number of unique people who were friends with people who liked your page. Impressions- adequate resources to constantly update with new disease/study related info. Social media is best utilizedInstitutes of Health, through UCSF-CTSI Grant Total number of times the ad appeared on the site. Likes – Number of people who have liked you page. People talking about this – as part of a broader recruitment campaign that drives traffic to always accessible web-based screening.Number UL1 RR024131. Its contents are solely Number of unique people who have created a story- liked, commented, shared, posted on their wall, mentions, tags, recommend your page. Getting more people to talk about your page is one of the best ways to reach more people. Reach- Number of individual people who saw Social media strategies need to be refined on a daily basis to identify and maintain interest with yourthe responsibility of the authors and do not your ad during the selected dates. This is different than impressions, which includes people seeing the ad multiple times. Socialnecessarily represent the official view of the NIH. Impressions- Impressions that were shown with the names of viewer’s friends who liked your page, event, app, etc. Social Reach- patient population. In the meantime, there is hope that social media as a recruitment tool will be less People who saw your ad with the names of their friends that liked your page, event, or app. If you are not using a sponsored story or advertising a page you won’t have social reach. problematic once recruiters gain more experience with the many tools online networks offer.