Is Facebook a viable recruitment tool?
evidence and practice    

Is Facebook a viable recruitment tool?

Teresa D Welch Assistant professor, Nursing, Capstone College of Nursing, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, US

Background Effective participant recruitment strategies are crucial to the success of research studies. A targeted, well-designed recruitment plan provides researchers with a rich bed of information to fully explore research questions and achieve statistically significant responses.

Aim To discuss the importance and methodology of participant recruitment in achieving reliability and validity, and to provide an example of a recent study that used Facebook to recruit participants and achieve statistically significant findings.

Discussion A targeted Facebook recruitment campaign was highly successful in attracting qualified participants who could provide essential information relevant to the study’s research questions. A series of Facebook posts strategically targeted the population of interest and presented them with a short, ten-minute survey. It resulted in responses from 175 qualifying participants, achieving a statistical significance greater than 90%.

Conclusion Successful recruitment strategies must provide access to the population of interest and in sufficient numbers to provide a good representative sample of the population of interest for the study. Facebook provides efficient cost-effective access to target populations.

Implications for practice As communication technology advances, nurse researchers must learn to adapt to the changing avenues of communication to reach potential study participants. Effective recruitment and a good representative sample is the key to reliability, validity and transferability of research findings.

Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2019.e1682

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

tdwelch@ua.edu

Conflict of interest

None declared

Welch TD (2019) Is Facebook a viable recruitment tool? Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2019.e1682

Published online: 14 November 2019