Session Type: ACR Poster Session C
Session Time: 9:00AM-11:00AM
Background/Purpose: Clinical research is dependent on being able to recruit and enroll appropriate patients in sufficient numbers to make robust conclusions. For many diseases it can be difficult to obtain satisfactory numbers of participants, which can impact the quality of research performed. Investigators have used a variety of advertising methods to reach potential participants for research studies. Advertising through new technology platforms offers many advantages over other types of study advertising, particularly for rare diseases. By using these platforms, very specific groups of individuals can be targeted, thus increasing the probability that a person who sees a notice for a study has the disease being investigated. The idiopathic inflammatory myopathies are a group of rare muscle disorders and we performed advertising campaigns using Facebook and Google advertising platforms for these diseases in an attempt to evaluate their relative characteristics and effectiveness.
Methods: IRB approval was obtained to use Facebook and Google advertising platforms for four NIH non-interventional studies attempting to enroll patients with juvenile or adult dermatomyositis, polymyositis, or inclusion body myositis. Targeted words and ad criteria were developed in conjunction with experts from each platform. Similar terms and criteria were picked for each platform. The advertising ran on Google from October 9th to November 18th 2015 and on Facebook from September 30th 2015 to February 17th 2016.
Results: Google ads had 1,285,733 views and Facebook ads had 335,941 views. In total, 0.54% of impressions on Google and 2.29% of impressions on Facebook led to a click of the advertisement. Google averaged about 80 cents a click and Facebook averaged 30 cents a click. Each site also collected additional advertising data about the population reached. On the Google platform 17 search terms led to 10 or more individuals clicking the advertisement and they were not the 17 terms with the highest number of impressions. With a list of 49 keywords there were 1110 distinct search terms used by end users that led to our advertisement being displayed. Facebook ads reached 191,098 individual people. The majority of individuals reached were female (175,914 female, 336 male, 127 unknown) and between the ages of 45-64 years (63% of the clicks and 55% of views). The vast majority of individuals seeing the Facebook ad did so on a mobile news feed (98% of all clicks and 97% of all views) with the rest viewing the ad on their desktop feed, third party mobile application or website, or desktop right hand column in order of frequency for views and clicks. Of the mobile devices used to access the content, 40% of clicks were on an android smartphone, 36% on an iPhone, 15% on an iPad, and 4% on an Android tablet.
Conclusion: Both Google and Facebook advertising platforms were able to reach a large audience of potential study participants for a rare disease. Each platform collects its own type of user data and differs in how ads can be targeted. Overall, Facebook was cheaper per a click, led to more absolute clicks, and had a higher percentage of individuals who saw the ad click it.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Schiffenbauer A, Rider LG, Faghihi-Kashani S, Patel K, Miller FW. The Effectiveness of Social Media in Recruiting for Rare Rheumatic Diseases [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2016; 68 (suppl 10). https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/the-effectiveness-of-social-media-in-recruiting-for-rare-rheumatic-diseases/. Accessed February 2, 2023.
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ACR Meeting Abstracts - https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/the-effectiveness-of-social-media-in-recruiting-for-rare-rheumatic-diseases/