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J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr. 2013 Dec;2013(47):206-8. doi: 10.1093/jncimonographs/lgt019.

If you build (and moderate) it, they will come: the Smokefree Women Facebook page.

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MMG, Government Services Department, 700 King Farm Blvd, Ste 500, Rockville, MD 20850.


This analysis explores the impact of modifying the Smokefree Women Facebook social media strategy, from primarily promoting resources to encouraging participation in communications about smoking cessation by posting user-generated content. Analyses were performed using data from the Smokefree Women Facebook page to assess the impact of the revised strategy on reach and engagement. Fan engagement increased 430%, and a strong and statistically significant correlation (P < .05) between the frequency of moderator posts and community engagement was observed. The reach of the page also increased by 420%. Our findings indicate that the strategy shift had a statistically significant and positive effect on the frequency of interactions on the Facebook page, providing an example of an approach that may prove useful for reaching and engaging users in online communities. Additional research is needed to assess the association between engagement in virtual communities and health behavior outcomes.

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