Limits...
Using Twitter for breast cancer prevention: an analysis of breast cancer awareness month.

Thackeray R, Burton SH, Giraud-Carrier C, Rollins S, Draper CR - BMC Cancer (2013)

Bottom Line: The majority of tweets did not promote any specific preventive behavior.Twitter is being used mostly as a one-way communication tool.Organizations may consider collaborating with individuals and celebrities in these conversations.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Health Science, Brigham Young University, 221Richards Building, Provo, UT 84602, USA. rosemary_thackeray@byu.edu.

ABSTRACT

Background: One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. The best-known awareness event is breast cancer awareness month (BCAM). BCAM month outreach efforts have been associated with increased media coverage, screening mammography and online information searching. Traditional mass media coverage has been enhanced by social media. However, there is a dearth of literature about how social media is used during awareness-related events. The purpose of this research was to understand how Twitter is being used during BCAM.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional, descriptive study. We collected breast cancer- related tweets from 26 September - 12 November 2012, using Twitter's application programming interface. We classified Twitter users into organizations, individuals, and celebrities; each tweet was classified as an original or a retweet, and inclusion of a mention, meaning a reference to another Twitter user with @username. Statistical methods included ANOVA and chi square. For content analysis, we used computational linguistics techniques, specifically the MALLET implementation of the unsupervised topic modeling algorithm Latent Dirichlet Allocation.

Results: There were 1,351,823 tweets by 797,827 unique users. Tweets spiked dramatically the first few days then tapered off. There was an average of 1.69 tweets per user. The majority of users were individuals. Nearly all of the tweets were original. Organizations and celebrities posted more often than individuals. On average celebrities made far more impressions; they were also retweeted more often and their tweets were more likely to include mentions. Individuals were more likely to direct a tweet to a specific person. Organizations and celebrities emphasized fundraisers, early detection, and diagnoses while individuals tweeted about wearing pink.

Conclusions: Tweeting about breast cancer was a singular event. The majority of tweets did not promote any specific preventive behavior. Twitter is being used mostly as a one-way communication tool. To expand the reach of the message and maximize the potential for word-of-mouth marketing using Twitter, organizations need a strategic communications plan to ensure on-going social media conversations. Organizations may consider collaborating with individuals and celebrities in these conversations. Social media communication strategies that emphasize fundraising for breast cancer research seem particularly appropriate.

Show MeSH

Related in: MedlinePlus

Number of breast cancer tweets during breast cancer awareness month.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4231612&req=5

Figure 1: Number of breast cancer tweets during breast cancer awareness month.

Mentions: There were 1,351,823 breast-cancer related tweets during BCAM by 797,827 unique Twitter users. Compared to pre-BCAM levels, the tweets spiked dramatically the first few days, with a peak of 125,278 on October 1st (FigureĀ 1). The tweet frequency then tapered off rather quickly through the rest of the month. There was an average of 1.69 BCAM-related tweets per user made during the month.


Using Twitter for breast cancer prevention: an analysis of breast cancer awareness month.

Thackeray R, Burton SH, Giraud-Carrier C, Rollins S, Draper CR - BMC Cancer (2013)

Number of breast cancer tweets during breast cancer awareness month.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4231612&req=5

Figure 1: Number of breast cancer tweets during breast cancer awareness month.
Mentions: There were 1,351,823 breast-cancer related tweets during BCAM by 797,827 unique Twitter users. Compared to pre-BCAM levels, the tweets spiked dramatically the first few days, with a peak of 125,278 on October 1st (FigureĀ 1). The tweet frequency then tapered off rather quickly through the rest of the month. There was an average of 1.69 BCAM-related tweets per user made during the month.

Bottom Line: The majority of tweets did not promote any specific preventive behavior.Twitter is being used mostly as a one-way communication tool.Organizations may consider collaborating with individuals and celebrities in these conversations.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Health Science, Brigham Young University, 221Richards Building, Provo, UT 84602, USA. rosemary_thackeray@byu.edu.

ABSTRACT

Background: One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. The best-known awareness event is breast cancer awareness month (BCAM). BCAM month outreach efforts have been associated with increased media coverage, screening mammography and online information searching. Traditional mass media coverage has been enhanced by social media. However, there is a dearth of literature about how social media is used during awareness-related events. The purpose of this research was to understand how Twitter is being used during BCAM.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional, descriptive study. We collected breast cancer- related tweets from 26 September - 12 November 2012, using Twitter's application programming interface. We classified Twitter users into organizations, individuals, and celebrities; each tweet was classified as an original or a retweet, and inclusion of a mention, meaning a reference to another Twitter user with @username. Statistical methods included ANOVA and chi square. For content analysis, we used computational linguistics techniques, specifically the MALLET implementation of the unsupervised topic modeling algorithm Latent Dirichlet Allocation.

Results: There were 1,351,823 tweets by 797,827 unique users. Tweets spiked dramatically the first few days then tapered off. There was an average of 1.69 tweets per user. The majority of users were individuals. Nearly all of the tweets were original. Organizations and celebrities posted more often than individuals. On average celebrities made far more impressions; they were also retweeted more often and their tweets were more likely to include mentions. Individuals were more likely to direct a tweet to a specific person. Organizations and celebrities emphasized fundraisers, early detection, and diagnoses while individuals tweeted about wearing pink.

Conclusions: Tweeting about breast cancer was a singular event. The majority of tweets did not promote any specific preventive behavior. Twitter is being used mostly as a one-way communication tool. To expand the reach of the message and maximize the potential for word-of-mouth marketing using Twitter, organizations need a strategic communications plan to ensure on-going social media conversations. Organizations may consider collaborating with individuals and celebrities in these conversations. Social media communication strategies that emphasize fundraising for breast cancer research seem particularly appropriate.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus