Produce engaging social media content to improve diabetes care and education
August 13, 2021
4 minutes to read
Source / Disclosures
Drago L, et al. T-24. Presented at: ADCES21; August 12-15, 2021 (virtual meeting).
Disclosures: Drago and Johns do not report any relevant financial disclosures.
Social media can promote engaging and informative diabetes educational content while also fostering a support network for people with diabetes, according to two speakers.
In a 10-day program conducted in a private Facebook group with people with diabetes, researchers created informational videos and other content to encourage participants to eat healthier and be physically active. By the end of the program, the cohort showed improvements in overall energy, exercise, physical function, pain management, and blood sugar levels.
“My role was to put the diabetes educator at the forefront and bring together all these people with diabetes to take up a challenge” Lorena Drago, MS, RND, CDN, CDCES, Registered Dietitian and Certified Specialist in Diabetes Care and Education for Hispanic Foodways LLC, Healio said. “We believe that challenges are a great way to engage people with diabetes or any other chronic disease to support each other, but also to see in no time what a challenge can really do. do to improve health. “
Draco and Miguel Johns, KingFit CEO, described how to create engaging diabetes content on social media at the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists virtual conference.
The keys to creating engaging content
Social media use has increased dramatically over the past 10 years, with more than half of adults between the ages of 18 and 64 using at least one social media site, according to data from the Pew Research Center. The increase in the use of social media has given diabetes care and education specialists a new way to reach people with diabetes. However, information saturation on social media platforms means educators need to create engaging content that will stand out from users.
Johns described how his organization, KingFit, has spent the past few years designing new ways to engage people with diabetes. The company has launched two pages on Facebook: DiabetesCare and DiabetesCare Español. Infographics, videos, links, and other media have been shared across both pages, and page admins take the time to review the metrics to determine what type of content subscribers are engaging. Johns said reading the comments and seeing what subscribers are most interested in are major considerations when creating content.
“You have to build trust with the audience and deliver value, and do it in a consistent, persistent and generous manner,” Johns told Healio. “If you are able to perform these tasks, leveraging your expertise and understanding the landscape and the toolboxes, you can be successful. “
Johns added that diabetes care and education specialists should create unique and authentic content. Finding a process that doesn’t require a large financial investment and makes it easier to duplicate is the key to building a strong subscriber group that will keep coming back to a page and engaging for longer periods of time.
“You have to have a long track of content,” Johns said during the presentation. “Whether it’s a video series, an eBook series, a webinar series, there has to be some kind of follow-up that you can implement, so that even if someone ‘one can start with you on the first video, you have a path that leads them to your call to action. By the time they get to your call to action, they’re ready to go.
The challenge of diabetes improves health
Following up on the DiabetesCare Español Facebook page commitment, researchers invited their subscribers to participate in a 10-day diabetes challenge. Participants joined a separate private Facebook group where they attempted to complete daily tasks using educational posts from Drago and connected with other people participating in the challenge.
“[The challenge program] encompasses all of the behaviors that people with diabetes need to lead healthy lives, ”Drago told Healio. “It includes everything: preventing complications, managing complications, eating healthy, managing your medications, seeing your doctor. The group also serves to support each other, to encourage everyone. “
During the challenge, participants attempted to complete 12 tasks per day. The tasks focused on three pillars: healthy eating, physical activity and smart testing.
“We wanted people to be able to connect with the [glucose] numbers, ”Drago said during the presentation. “We wanted them to be able to observe trends, and we also wanted to be able to start making changes based on those values. Not just something they bring to their doctors every 3 or 6 months, but changes that are actually significant. “
Many of the videos created for the challenge are short clips focused on specific areas of diabetes management. The challenge videos focused on topics and questions raised by participants in the Facebook group, allowing admins to tailor content to what was most important to the cohort. The videos included physical accessories, such as measuring cups, menus, and food, to add visual appeal and make them easier to understand. Since the cohort was a Spanish speaking group, there was also an emphasis on including cultural foods that participants were more likely to include in their diets.
Engagement among the participants was a big part of the challenge. According to Drago, 40% of behavior changes occur with peer support. She said the Facebook challenge group gave attendees the ability to connect with both her and their peers.
Based on the surveys and data collected during the challenge, the cohort reported improvements in several areas. Participants experienced a 29% improvement in physical functioning, a 32% increase in energy, a 26% improvement in pain management, and a 9% improvement in their overall health. Physical activity increased an average of 81 minutes per week and average blood sugar decreased by 35.75 mg / dL during the challenge. Of the participants, 70% continued to join the group 3 months after enrollment.
“The combination of social media where people spent their time on a daily basis, with the expertise of a diabetes educator like [Drago], and powered by peer-to-peer support, has led to a fantastic engagement rate, ”said Johns.