This just in-- Kansas State researchers are beginning to analyze Twitter statuses to see if they can use this medium in the prevention of disease. According to e! Science News, "researchers are studying whether a well-timed post from a public authority or trustworthy person could be as beneficial as flu shots, hand-washing or sneezing into an elbow."
The research team is comprised of countless researchers from numerous different backgrounds. So far researchers have surveyed people on various concepts such as how college students use social media and what preventative techniques they use to reduce their chances of acquiring an illness. The end goal is to see if a strategically placed tweet could prevent disease and to determine who would be the best person to distribute this message.
While the article is informational, it doesn't list any other survey techniques. In my opinion, I think a good method would be to implement a focus group where college students could have an open discussion on opinion leaders or where they receive their news and whether or not they would take initiative from a tweet urging them to get a flu shot, etc.
Definitely an interesting topic- I'll be sure to keep you posted on further research.