The Effects of Social Media Marketing on Help-Seeking Behavior
AuthorRusso, Joseph V.
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This study was designed to determine if a mental health professional’s web presence with use of social media icons (or badges) would impact upon the perceived competence of that therapist. The icons were those of the three major social networking sites, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. The 162 participants consisted of undergraduate students enrolled at two major universities located in the western United States. The participants were asked to think of themselves as help-seekers for purposes of this study. Three mock web pages were designed, one with no social media icons presented, one with social media icons which laid claim to a low number of Likes, Followers, and Pluses (terms of art used by Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus respectively), and one with social media icons which laid claim to an extraordinarily high number of Likes, Followers, and Pluses. Participants were evenly split between males and females, and then placed at random into groups of 27 that then viewed one of the three mock web pages. Participants were asked to rate the fictional therapist as to perceived overall competence, as well as to indicate their willingness to make initial contact with that therapist. The measurement instrument used was the Counselor Rating Form – Short Version (CRF-S). Results were not statistically significant. Findings and potential for future research are discussed.