242441 Developing custom Facebook quizzes as health education tools

Monday, October 31, 2011: 3:00 PM

Iana M. Simeonov , Schools of Pharmacy & Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
According to CNN, in March 2010, Facebook became the most popular website on the Internet, more visited than Google. Facebook currently has over 500 million active users. The largest demographic is ~35 and women over 54 are the fastest growing segment. Applications such as games and quizzes can have 300 million visitors monthly.

We decided to test Facebook as a health education tool by custom-building two quizzes (writing code rather than using the “create a quiz” option).

“Gee, that tastes funny”, targeted to moms and focusing on common household poisons and safety, and “Stop it, you're killing me!”, a humorous trivia quiz for all ages, were built and launched in the same week. After finishing each quiz participants could post a commitment, essentially a promise of good behavior, as a badge to their profile.

Building a custom Facebook quiz that deviated from the site's offered format and could appear on a fan page proved challenging and required much custom coding. Consequently, the quizzes were initially difficult to locate on the page and had only 100 users in the first month. A better coding strategy that allowed more prominent placement was discovered and subsequently nearly 500 quizzes have been completed.

Facebook has enormous potential to reach highly targeted audiences and engage with consumers about health behaviors, but frequent changes to the site's infrastructure create challenges. Strategy must be fluid and evolve with the site's changes and include using internal ads to drive usage.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Communication and informatics
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the value of using Facebook as part of a social marketing campaign 2. Evaluate the tools available to build quizzes and games on Facebook 3. Formulate a strategy for developing a game or quiz on Facebook

Keywords: Social Marketing, Technology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: 10+ years in consumer research, social marketing and brand positioning in public health, including 2+ years in mHealth and technology-building for public health programs. Marketing and Communications Director for largest provider of poison control services in the U.S. Presenter on social media, mobile and mhealth at the following: 2010 NIH mHealth Summit 2010 CDC Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media (2008, 2009, 2010) 2010 North American Congress of Clinical Toxicology
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.