Assessing Brigada Digital de Salud Audience Reach and Engagement: A Digital Community Health Worker Model to Address COVID-19 Misinformation in Spanish on Social Media

July 11, 2023

U.S. Spanish-speaking populations experienced gaps in timely COVID-19 information during the pandemic and disproportionate misinformation exposure. Brigada Digital de Salud was established to address these gaps with culturally-tailored, Spanish-language COVID-19 information on social media. From May 1, 2021-April 30, 2023, 495 Twitter, 275 Facebook, and 254 Instagram posts were published and amplified by 10 trained community health workers. A qualitative content analysis was performed to characterize topics and formats of 251 posts. To assess reach and engagement, page analytics and advertising metrics for 287 posts were examined. Posts predominantly addressed vaccination (49.45%), infection risks (19.12%), and COVID-related scientific concepts (12.84%). Posts were educational (48.14%), and aimed to engage audiences (23.67%), promote resources (12.76%), and debunk misinformation (9.04%). Formats included images/text (55.40%), carousels (27.50%), and videos (17.10%). By June 9, 2023, 394 Facebook, 419 Instagram, and 228 Twitter followers included mostly women aged 24-54. Brigada Digital reached 386,910 people with 552,037 impressions and 96,868 engagements, including 11,292 likes, 15,240 comments/replies, 9,718 shares/retweets, and 45,381 video play-throughs. The most engaging posts included videos, trending topics, and music or audio-narration. This community-based model to engage Spanish-speaking audiences on social media with culturally-aligned content to counter misinformation shows promise for addressing public health threats.

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