Predictors of Facebook User Engagement With Health-Related Content for Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex With Men: Content Analysis

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Graduate student (PhD)
Final version published as: 

Card KG, Lachowsky N, Hawkins BW, Jollimore J, Baharuddin F, Hogg RS Predictors of Facebook User Engagement With Health-Related Content for Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex With Men: Content Analysis JMIR Public Health Surveill 2018;4(2):e38. DOI: 10.2196/publichealth.8145.

Date created: 
2018-04-06
Keywords: 
Social media
Health promotion
Gay and bisexual men
User engagement
Abstract: 

Background: 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.

Objective: The aim of this study was to identify post characteristics that can be leveraged to optimize the health promotion efforts of CBOs on Facebook.

Methods: 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.

Results: 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.

Language: 
English
Document type: 
Article
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