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

Date

2018

Authors

Card, Kiffer George
Lachowsky, Nathan J.
Hawkins, Blake W.
Jollimore, Jody
Baharuddin, Fahmy
Hogg, Robert S.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

JMIR Public Health and Surveillance

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.

Description

Keywords

social media, health promotion, gay and bisexual men, user engagement

Citation

Card, K. G., Lachowsky, N. J., Hawkins, B. W., Jollimore, J., Baharuddin, F., & Hogg, R. S. (2018). “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 and Surveillance, 4(2), 174-184. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2196/publichealth.8145