Leveraging digital influencers for HIV messaging: testBKK experience

By October 1, 2021 October 4th, 2021 Newsroom, Publications, What We Do

testBKK has a recognizable digital footprint in HIV testing, prevention and treatment advocacy in social media.

testBKK
Facebook followers : 73,703 followers
Twitter followers : 6,141 followers

However, in order to reach a wider audience and new generation of young gay men and other men who have sex with men, we also cooperate with local online influencers. Our dedicated team has contacted various influencers based on their followers with a demographic that fits the testBKK target, then we work closely with the influencer to create tailor made content for the audience and integrate HIV testing, prevention, and treatment messages for their posting. On some occasions, we create lifestyle contents that are not related to the key message directly but subtly insert within the content, for example like Deltanu TH series where the main content is gay lifestyle in Bangkok but every episode have sexual health messaging. Some of the famous influencers that testBKK have collaborated with are Ten Ten (@tentensib, 134,000 followers), teng1 (@Kristqiao 192,000 followers) , Diary tootsie author : Guss (Instagram account @guszanova 88,200 followers, Facebook followers 1,877,226 followers), Sprite Bang (@sprite.patteerat, 106,000 followers)

Inviting the influencers to join the campaign, testBKK has become one of the biggest campaign platforms in Thailand that advocate for positive portrayal of sexual health, promoting HIV prevention, treatment and testing and normalizing LGBTQI+ culture to the society. Given this background, some of the influencers have joined the campaign to not only advocate for the community but also to be a role model. Here are some interviews from two of our influencers.

What is it like working on a campaign with APCOM’s testBKK?

“When I’m working with testBKK, I feel that I’m working on something that is sexy and also has benefits to the society too,”

Ten Ten, who was also one of the actors in the groundbreaking GayOK Bangkok series

“I feel that sex education in Thailand is almost non-existance and testBKK have been trying to be an outlet to spread the knowledge, which I totally understand and agrees. testBKK never look at sex as a bad thing, but they are trying to say, have fun with it and remember to protect and handle yourself properly.”

Ten Ten

Do you think of yourself as a role model for the community?

“I’m not sure if I’m a role model or not but I think that I have always been working with testBKK and that our audience already knows the message of what we’re trying to say. Which is a good thing that I am a part of reminding the community about the message testBKK is always trying to say.”

Ten Ten

What do you like about working with us?

“I am honored to join testBKK, which I already knew at that time. They are spreading accurate information about sex and also have partners that provide services like HIV testing, and giving PrEP too. And when I joined testBKK, I felt like I’m also a voice to help spread accurate information to the community,”

Anawin, one of the well-known influencers in the MSM community and has multiple works in the modeling industry. 

“Working with testBKK is fun, the team is very nice and easy going. When I work with them, I feel like I’m their friend and that reflects on the quality of the work too.”

Anawin

Furthermore, testBKK differentiated strategy between each demographic that testBKK are targeting, by picking influencers that have impact in the segment that they have influence over. For example, the influencers that participated in the DeltanuTH campaign have a rich influence on overall young MSMs in Bangkok, currently the videos that posted on Youtube gained 279,000 total views. While the influencers in the “Boyfriend” campaign have influence over young MSMs and chemsex users in big cities in Thailand. This campaign encourage our target audience to getting tested, having safe sex and being on PrEP by having the influencers acting as if there were the audience boyfriend and are reminding the audience the key messages. The feedback was positive, after the campaign launched, there was an uptake in reservation and traffic to testBKK website. Another successful campaign is “f#@k without fear”, where the campaign promotes having safe sex, regular blood tests and adhering to PrEP subscription, in order to continuing having their lifestyles. testBKK used influencers that represent their demographic, a drag queen, muscular gay man, a queer, and a plus size “bear” guy. 

“Despite Covid-19, we are actively providing HIV messaging to our community and promoting services that we can guarantee will be of excellent quality. We have seen an increase in 50% of HIV services reservation in 2021 as compared to 2020. And as more and more people are going online due to the pandemic, testBKK Facebook page and Twitter account received more engagement and followers from our engagements with the influencers, thus, this makes it an effective tool in reaching out and engaging with our community,”

APCOM Executive Director, Midnight

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