Yulia Strekalova and Janice Krieger Research Looks at Engagement with Cancer-Related Information on Social Media
The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications’ Yulia Strekalova, director of grants development and Ph.D. student, and Janice Krieger, director of the STEM Translational Communication Research program, published an article in the Journal of Cancer Education titled “A Picture Really is Worth a Thousand Words: Public Engagement with the National Cancer Institute on Social Media.”
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) provides pertinent information about cancer prevention, treatment and research advancements that is considered objective and accurate. NCI’s presence on social media is an example of a growing effort in promoting and facilitating audience engagement with evidence-based information about health and cancer.
However, it is unknown what strategies are most effective for engaging audiences via this communication platform. To evaluate this important question, we analyzed data on posts, associated comments, and meta-data from official NCI Facebook page between July 2010 and February 2015 (end of data collection).
Results show that audience engagement is associated with the format of cancer-related social media posts. Specifically, posts with photos received significantly more likes, comments and shares than videos, links and status updates. The findings have important implications for how social media can be more effectively utilized to promote public engagement with important public health issues.