Mental health information online: what we have learned from social media metrics in BuzzFeed’s Mental Health Week

<div><p>Abstract Introduction The Internet has seen rapid growth in the number of websites focusing on mental health content. Considering the increased need for access to accurate information about mental health treatment, it is important to understand the promotion of this information online. Objective To analyze BuzzFeed’s Mental Health Week (BFMHW) interactions on its own website and in related social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube) using metrics of information delivery in mental health topics. Methods We extracted social media metrics from the 20 posts with the highest number of BuzzFeed interactions on the BFMHW website and from 41 videos available on the BFMHW playlist created by the BuzzFeed Video profile on YouTube. We analyzed the format and content used in BuzzFeed’s publishing methods as well as the following social media metrics: exposure (presence online, views and time online), influence (likes) and engagement (comments, shares, replies and BuzzFeed interactions). Results Analysis of the variables revealed that audience engagement is associated with the number of medias in which the content is published: views on YouTube and shares on Facebook (0.71, p<0.001), total interactions on Facebook (0.66, p<0.001) and BuzzFeed number of total interactions (0.56, p<0.001). Conclusions Our results suggest that videos on YouTube may be an important information channel, including activity and engagement on other medias such as Facebook. Information may be more effective in reaching the audience if it is delivered in more than one media and includes personal experiences, some humor in content and detailed information about treatment.</p></div>