Top Tips for Using Social Media to Recruit Study Participants

Date: May 11th, 2017

Genevieve Martínez-García

Ever wondered how recruiting for a research study through social media works? Or maybe you tried but did not see the results you expected? Over the last six months, Healthy Teen Network has recruited over 1,700 young women across the United States to participate in two randomized controlled trials to test our two new mobile apps. We primarily used social media to recruit participants and enrolled them through a website portal. This two-part interactive blog will share our lessons learned in successfully recruiting, screening, and enrolling participants into our two research studies.

After considering various social media channels for launching our recruitment ads, we selected Facebook and Instagram. Facebook owns Instagram, and they use the same ads manager platform to create, deploy, and monitor campaigns. You can select on which channel you want your ads to be displayed. This also allows you to test on where they perform better without recreating your ads.

Click on the orange + signs on the images below to learn more about each aspect of our campaigns.


-Co-written by Mila Garrido and Nick Sufrinko.

This post is Part 1 of a 2-Part Series. Part 2 provides information about screening and enrolling your participants.


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About the Author

Dr. Genevieve Martínez-García, Director of Innovation and Research at Healthy Teen Network, is a health educator committed to bringing innovation to the field of sexual and reproductive health. She has over 14 years of experience researching adolescent sexual and reproductive health issues such as mHealth, fertility, social determinants of health, cultural and economic barriers to health care access among minority populations, health media literacy, characteristics of programs for pregnant and parenting teens, and Latino youth pregnancy intentions.

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