Application of McGuire's Model to Weight Management Messages: Measuring Persuasion of Facebook Posts in the Healthy Body, Healthy U Trial for Young Adults Attending University in the United States
International journal of environmental research and public health
Facebook; McGuire’s Model; communication; weight
Digital communication is a common intervention channel for weight loss, yet little is known about the types of messages that are most effective. Using McGuire's Model of Communication and Persuasion as a framework, this study investigates the persuasiveness of Facebook messages posted as part of the weight loss intervention in the Healthy Body Healthy U (HBHU) study to determine what message characteristics prompt higher engagement on Facebook, and whether certain messages are more appealing to certain demographics. The first four weeks of HBHU Facebook posts (n = 32) were coded according to McGuire's Input Communication Factors. Facebook engagement scores [(Total Engaged Users/Total Reach) × 100] were calculated for each post to determine effectiveness. The most effective posts were diet-related discussions or interactive polls. Participants who engaged with the highest and lowest effect posts were in their mid-twenties and tended to be female. Those engaged with the highest effect posts had an average BMI of 32.34 kg/m, while those engaged with the lowest effect posts had an average BMI of 31.31 kg/m. The least effective posts were didactic lessons (i.e., diet- or reminder-based), or video-based informational posts (edutainment). Future interventions should balance didactic content and interactive engagement to achieve persuasive messaging.
Arnold, Jeanie; Bailey, Caitlin P.; Evans, W Douglas; and Napolitano, Melissa A., "Application of McGuire's Model to Weight Management Messages: Measuring Persuasion of Facebook Posts in the Healthy Body, Healthy U Trial for Young Adults Attending University in the United States" (2022). GW Authored Works. Paper 1997.
Prevention and Community Health