Committed to Health: Key Factors to Improve Users' Online Engagement through Facebook

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Mar 11;17(6):1814. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17061814.


Health organizations, continuously exposed to public scrutiny due to the social relevance of the services provided, have adopted social media to disseminate information about health but also about themselves, and thus, reducing uncertainty and improving communication. In this context, users' participation in social media has become one of the main indicators of their effectiveness, highlighting the importance of analyzing which factors enhance online engagement. This research extends the number of variables identified in prior studies and analyzes 19,817 Facebook posts from 126 health organizations. Using multivariate linear regression, explanatory results show that economic and organizational attributes, and factors related to the social media posts, both contribute significantly to explain the engagement reached in social media by those organizations. According to our findings, health organizations are not taking enough advantage of social media to engage with their current and potential users. The dissemination of relevant information using visually attractive formats could help draw the attention of consumers, both to reach a higher commitment with the organization and to create value for society.

Keywords: Facebook; engagement; health communication; health organization; management; social media.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Communication
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination / methods*
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Patient Participation / methods*
  • Social Media*