JMIR public health and surveillance 2018 04 064(2) e38 doi 10.2196/publichealth.8145
Social media is used by community-based organizations (CBOs) to promote the well-being of gay and bisexual men (GBM). However, few studies have quantified which factors facilitate the diffusion of health content tailored for sexual minorities.
The aim of this study was to identify post characteristics that can be leveraged to optimize the health promotion efforts of CBOs on Facebook.
The Facebook application programming interface was used to collect 5 years’ of posts shared across 10 Facebook pages administered by Vancouver-based CBOs promoting GBM health. Network analysis assessed basic indicators of network structure. Content analyses were conducted using informatics-based approaches. Hierarchical negative binomial regression of post engagement data was used to identify meaningful covariates of engagement.
In total, 14,071 posts were shared and 21,537 users engaged with these posts. Most users (n=13,315) engaged only once. There was moderate correlation between the number of posts and the number of CBOs users engaged with (r=.53, P<.001). Higher user engagement was positively associated with positive sentiment, sharing multimedia, and posting about pre-exposure prophylaxis, stigma, and mental health. Engagement was negatively associated with asking questions, posting about dating, and sharing posts during or after work (versus before). CONCLUSIONS
Results highlight the existence of a core group of Facebook users who facilitate diffusion. Factors associated with greater user engagement present CBOs with a number of strategies for improving the diffusion of health content.