Australian men #manupinthekitchen - Using social media to drive data collection
Outside of the research setting, data collection could seem like an onerous task and may be seen by dietitians as a barrier to conducting their own research. Social media provides a unique channel for data collection as it is cost-effective, has broad reach, yet it can be targeted demographically. The aim of this research was to use social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and some pre-planned digital advertising to collect data about Australian men and their cooking habits. A prize was offered as an incentive and the hash tag #ManUpInTheKitchen was used to create engagement online. Participants (n = 811) responded to three questions through an electronic survey quantifying the number of times they cook per week, the degree to which they like cooking, and an open question about what they like to cook. More than half (57%) reported cooking between two and five times a week, 13% reported cooking more than eight times a week. Seventy-three percent report liking cooking 'a lot', whereas only 3% reported 'disliking' or 'disliking a lot'. There was a moderate correlation (r = 0.36; p < 0.05) between number of meals cooked per week and 'liking' cooking. Even those who disliked cooking provided an example of a meal that they like to cook, although more complex meals were described by those who reported the greatest 'liking' of cooking. Social media was an effective tool in gathering responses from the target group and could be a useful method for dietitians to gather data for research or health promotion campaigns.