Using Social Media to Engage and Connect with Indiana SNAP Recipients

      Objective: Utilizing social media and the principles of social marketing to reach, engage, and motivate action and desired behavior change.
      Target Audience: Low-income SNAP recipients with children, in all Indiana counties.
      Theory, Prior Research, Rationale: Focus group research indicated a deep connection to the world through smart phones. Our rationale is to share relevant information and resources where and when we can most reach our target audience—when they are on their smart phones.
      Description: Purdue Nutrition Education Program produces a monthly content calendar of posts for Twitter and Facebook that include information about programs and tips and resources to encourage families to be active, gather together, and eat more healthy meals. We include recipes, real-person videos, curated content and timely posts designed to make it as easy as possible for the target audience to engage in the desired behaviors. Some posts are boosted to encourage even more engagement. All targeting is aimed at Indiana women with children and with household income under $30,000 per year.
      Evaluation: The following statistics are from 10/1/16 through 9/30/17: impressions on Facebook 1,825,981 total post impressions, 5,724 per post and Twitter 51,048 total post impressions, 181 per post; reach on Facebook 1,443,171 total post reach, 4,524 per post and Twitter 299,083 total post reach, 1,060 per post; engaged users on Facebook 19,749 total engaged users, 62 per post and Twitter 828 total engagements, 3 per post, and demographics on Facebook 98% females, 49% 35–44; 25% 25–34 and Twitter 63% females, 43% 35–44; 36% 25–34.
      Conclusions and Implications: Social media posting is an effective and cost-effective way to reach and engage low-income women with children. Posts that encourage easy ways to live healthier on a budget are particularly effective and lead to behavior change. It is important to keep content fresh and relevant for continued success.
      Funding: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—Education.

      Supplementary Data

      The following is the supplementary data to this article: