When utilizing social media to nudge folks towards protected and wholesome behaviour, it’s important to ensure the phrases match the images, based on a brand new research.
After social media posts, mother and father of younger kids had been higher capable of recall security messages resembling the best way to put a child safely to sleep when the photographs within the posts aligned with the messages within the textual content, the researchers discovered.
The research seems within the Journal of Health Communication.
“Many times, scientists and safety experts aren’t involved in decisions about social media for health agencies and other organizations, and we end up seeing images that have nothing to do with the safety message or, worse, images that contradict the guidance,” mentioned lead writer Liz Klein, an affiliate professor of public well being at The Ohio State University.
Take the protected sleep instance, as an example. The researchers discovered posts that advocated a bumper-free crib for child however used a picture of an toddler in a crib with bumpers.
They noticed posts about stopping head harm with bike helmets illustrated by photos of children with out bike helmets.
“In this study, we were trying to understand how much those mismatches matter — do people understand the message even if the picture isn’t right? Does the picture really matter?” Klein mentioned.
Their solutions got here from analysis utilizing eye-tracking know-how to gauge the eye younger mother and father paid to numerous posts, and subsequent checks to see what they recalled concerning the security messages.
When the 150 mother and father within the research had been proven a trio of posts with matched imagery and textual content and three different posts with mismatched visible and written messages, they spent far longer on the matched posts — 5.three seconds, in comparison with the three.three seconds their eyes lingered on the mismatched posts.
Further, the matched messages appeared to make a distinction in understanding and recall of security messages. After accounting for variations in well being literacy and social media use amongst members, the researchers discovered that every second of viewing time on matched posts was related to a 2.eight % enhance in a security information rating.
“With nearly 70 percent of adults reporting use of social media, and many parents using social media and other internet sources to keep current on injury prevention strategies, social media is a great opportunity to broadcast safety and injury prevention messages,” mentioned research co-author Lara McKenzie, a principal investigator within the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus.
“As more health organizations and public health agencies use social media to share health information with the public, the findings of our study underscore the need to ensure that the imagery and text in social media posts are aligned,” added McKenzie.
Klein mentioned she understands that these managing social media accounts could also be drawn to pictures which might be essentially the most attention-grabbing. But in the case of well being and security, this research means that ensuring the picture and the textual content are sending the identical message is extra vital.
“If you want people to put their medicine up and out of reach of children, kids to wear their bike helmets or new parents to remember that babies should always go to sleep on their backs, alone and in a crib — that’s where matching matters. Maybe save the eye-grabbing stuff and the humorous posts for different purposes,” Klein mentioned.
Klein mentioned the findings on this research possible prolong past baby security messaging to any variety of well being and security campaigns, however that there’s extra work to be accomplished to grasp how greatest to harness the facility of social media for several types of public well being communication.
“We need to pay more attention to how we communicate with the people we’re trying to influence with health and safety guidance. All of us can do a better job of thinking about how we use our social media accounts to contribute to better public health,” she mentioned.
(This story has been revealed from a wire company feed with out modifications to the textual content.)
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