Our Facebook Engagement will Determine our CoVid Vaccine Success
Over the past two months I've kept re-reading the May Nature Study “The online competition between pro- and anti-vaccination views” (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2281-1) .
Its first author is a data scientist and physicist Neil Johnson. It basically maps out how the anti-vac folks go after the vaccine undecided versus how healthcare folks do, and the message is clear:
The anti-vaxxers totally dominate the discussion about vaccines on Facebook with the undecided.
To visually see this, look at how the attached image, and how the antivaxers (RED) dominate the Undecided (GREEN) and how peripheral the healthcare good guys are (BLUE).
If and when a vaccine becomes available next year, it, by definition, will only have less than one year of safety data, and it will likely be more like the flu vaccine in terms of only being partly effective. It's also likely to require 2 shots rather than one.
These factors will make it prime for attack by the anti-vaxxers online, and undoubtedly the groups that will be hurt the most will be the most vulnerable.
Put another way—if you think getting folks to wear masks was problematic, then we haven’t seen anything yet!
Anyway, although I have a few ideas on how to address this (one being we need to review, experiment and strengthen our digital networks with more attention to how to engage on Facebook during this upcoming influenza season) I think ts important for most marketing folks to take a good look at this article because it's unlikely most of the medical folks within your organizations will understand the Facebook culture as well as you do.