Informing women about the risks of exposing babies to tobacco smoke: outreach and education efforts using Facebook "boost posts".
Maternal smoking is associated with a host of negative health outcomes, including an increased risk of children developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This study evaluated the efficacy of health messages disseminated through Facebook Ads focused on reducing tobacco smoke exposure during pregnancy. Two message versions were promoted via post advertisements on Facebook-a static infographic and a video containing an animated version of the infographic. The reach of and engagement with each message version was evaluated. Comments made to the posts were assessed using content analysis. The infographic reached approximately 60,000 people and the video reached about 16,000 people. The average costs were $10.00 and $40.00 per 1,000 people reached for the infographic- and video-based posts, respectively. While there was no engagement with the video, the infographic was liked (n = 157), given alternative likes (n = 59), shared (n = 171 to 341), and commented on (n = 221). About one-quarter of comments contained a personal narrative and mentions of health history related to ADHD and/or smoking. Comments were more often negative (than positive) (16.6% vs 3.9%) and expressed skepticism more often than message acceptance (21.5% vs 12.2%). Facebook users were more responsive to the infographic (compared to the video) and static posts were a preferred channel (i.e., higher engagement at a lower cost) to disseminate messages when using the boost post feature on Facebook for health education. Our review of the comments provided insights into message acceptance and guidance for future social media-based health message campaigns. However, it is not known whether and if so, how, these findings on message exposure would correlate with behavioral intentions or changes in behavior, such as intentions to quit smoking or smoking cessation.
Miller, CA; Jung Kim, S; Schwartz-Bloom, RD; Bloom, PN; Murphy, SK; Fuemmeler, BF
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