Research recruitment using facebook advertising: Big potential, big challenges

Julie M. Kapp, Colleen Peters, Debra Parker Oliver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


To our knowledge, ours is the first study to report on Facebook advertising as an exclusive mechanism for recruiting women ages 35-49 years residing in the USA into a health-related research study. We directed our survey to women ages 35-49 years who resided in the USA exclusively using three Facebook advertisements. Women were then redirected to our survey site. There were 20,568,960 women on Facebook that met the eligibility criteria. The three ads resulted in 899,998 impressions with a reach of 374,225 women. Of the women reached, 280 women (0.075%) clicked the ad. Of the women who clicked the ad, nine women (3.2%) proceeded past the introductory page. Social networking, and in particular Facebook, is an innovative venue for recruiting participants for research studies. Challenges include developing an ad to foster interest without biasing the sample, and motivating women who click the ad to complete the survey. There is still much to learn about this potential method of recruitment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-137
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Advertising
  • Facebook
  • Research recruitment


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