Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2015 Mar 16;10(3):e0118899. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0118899. eCollection 2015.

Social media and internet driven study recruitment: evaluating a new model for promoting collaborator engagement and participation.

Author information

1
Imperial College London Medical School, London, United Kingdom.
2
University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom.
3
Cardiff University Medical School, Cardiff, United Kingdom.
4
University of Liverpool Medical School, Liverpool, United Kingdom.
5
Norwich Academic Foundation Programme, Norwich, United Kingdom.
6
Academic Department of Surgery, 4th Floor, Old Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University of Birmingham, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, West Midlands, B15 2TH, Birmingham, United Kingdom.
7
University College London, London, United Kingdom.

Abstract

AIMS:

A substantial challenge facing multicentre audit and research projects is timely recruitment of collaborators and their study centres. Cost-effective strategies are required and fee-free social media has previously been identified as a potential conduit. We investigated and evaluated the effectiveness of a novel multi-format social media and Internet strategy for targeted recruitment to a national multicentre cohort study.

METHODS:

Interventions involved a new Twitter account, including weekly live question-and-answer sessions, a new Facebook group page, online YouTube presentations and an information page on a national association website. Link tracking analysis was undertaken using Google Analytics, which was then related to subsequent registration. Social influence was calculated using the proprietary Klout score.

RESULTS:

Internet traffic analysis identified a total of 1562 unique registration site views, of which 285 originated from social media (18.2%). Some 528 unique registrations were received, with 96 via social media platforms (18.2%). Traffic source analysis identified a separate national association webpage as resulting in the majority of registration page views (15.8%), followed by Facebook (11.9%), Twitter (4.8%) and YouTube (1.5%). A combination of publicity through Facebook, Twitter and the dedicated national association webpage contributed to the greatest rise in registration traffic and accounted for 312 (48%) of the total registrations within a 2-week period. A Twitter 'social influence' (Klout) score of 42/100 was obtained during this period.

CONCLUSIONS:

Targeted social media substantially aided study dissemination and collaborator recruitment. It acted as an adjunct to traditional methods, accounting for 18.2% of collaborator registration in a short time period with no associated financial costs. We provide a practical model for designing future recruitment campaigns, and recommend Facebook, Twitter and targeted websites as the most effective adjuncts for maximising cost-effective study recruitment.

PMID:
25775005
PMCID:
PMC4361707
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0118899
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center