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patient selection, recruitment, research design, social media



  1. Wentzell, Katherine
  2. Walker, Heather R.
  3. Hughes, Allyson S.
  4. Vessey, Judith A.


Background: Though clinical researchers have begun to use social media platforms to recruit participants, social media influencers are innovative community connectors to further expand recruitment reach, especially in hard-to-reach populations.


Objectives: The purpose of this methods article is to provide a step-by-step guide for engaging social media influencers for virtual participant recruitment.


Methods: There are multiple steps for researchers to follow, including preplanning, institutional review board approval, engaging with influencers, the pitch, the post, and results dissemination.


Discussion: Engaging social media influencers to recruit for clinical research demonstrates great potential to increase access to hard-to-reach populations. Several methodological considerations remain, and this article shares both opportunities and challenges to guide researchers in this technique.