Now, who told you that you needed to have the alphabet behind your name to do research? My favorite author, Zora Neale Hurston (hey, Soror!), once said, " Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose." You already poke and pry on people's social media pages, so you can do research!
When I first got into research, people were throwing big words at me and I was in no way a researcher or academic. However, when I started to learn the basics of research, I realized that all those fancy big words were just meant to show people that folks were "intellectuals”, but research was pretty basic.
Do you have an issue? Why aren't people coming to your health program? What are the needs of the community you serve? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop? So, there's your question and now you need ways to answer it. That's research. You an issue, you ask a question, and you find ways to answer it. Research can seem big and scary because "academics" and "intellectuals" like to frame it that way but it's doable and very much needed.
Imagine setting up a health fair year after year and very few people attend. You are giving away free information, services, and resources that could help the community, yet no one seems to be showing up. Using research can help you understand why no one is attending and can help you have the answers you need to boost attendance and provide the community with needed tools to achieve optimal health. You can conduct research without being a researcher!