Healthcare and Social Media – an odd but perfect marriage
Line Østergaard
Author: Line Østergaard
On March 20, 2019

The Healthcare industry is historically and too many degrees still considered rigid and ‘old school’ with many regulations that make the life of any marketer almost impossible to create a truly effective social campaign that utilizes all the mechanics and beauty of these channels.

Striking the right balance
It’s well known that the content that works best on social media is personable and relatable. The more corporate, the less people connect with it. After all, brands are competing with friends, crushes, favorite brands, family etc. In order for healthcare brands to be on the most important, must see content list – brands must “translate” their content into social media language. It’s not just a one to one translation – brands have to take the essence of the content and then create content that will work for social media.

Making serious fun
Most of us remember how corporate organizations used crisis simulation to learn how to deal with potential crises. Nowadays it’s normal to use game-based tools for involvement and training when working with change management, leadership development, and learning. The same development has been happening in healthcare using social media to engage patients and doctors in a more fun, yet still a serious way.

Here are some examples of campaigns we think managed to take the serious fun to heart:

  • Campaign: Stachie Facebook Contest: This contest, organized by Anne Arundel’s Medical Center, asked participants to post their best “stachie” — otherwise known as a selfie with either a real or fake mustache. The purpose was to raise awareness for men’s health during November (or, “Movember” or “No Shave November,” as it has popularly come to be known). This clever contest not only took advantage of social media hilarity, but it also drove traffic to the medical center’s website for Men’s Health – which has other attractions for awareness, like their blog, podcast, and calendar of events.
  • Campaign: Doralgina: The Doralgina campaign started in 2014 when the brand decided to go digital via Youtube. The first video that they made and shared was a parody of the famous song in Brazil “Everyone on their square” (Cada um no seu quadrado), showing headaches from modern times, all associated with digital. For instance, an inappropriate photo shared on a family group on Whatsapp or making a joke about your boss and coping him by mistake on the email. The campaign was a great success, more than 1 million views in one week on Youtube, one of the most viewed in December 2014, according to Youtube leaderboard, getting importance amongst other big brands. The success is related to the fact that besides being inspired by a viral song and use humor to do so, people identify and share this content.
  • Campaign: We Dare You: The multi-award winning “We Dare You” campaign from UnitedHealthcare stands out as the gold standard for what can happen when healthcare organizations engage with their following. With monthly “dares,” quizzes, and prizes on its website, United Healthcare encouraged followers to make one small healthy change per month and document it on social media. This interactive campaign not only led to healthier habits, but it also fostered an interactive online community of brand loyalists.

Dilemma between serious and fun
So healthcare is serious stuff – it’s not about having a fun party at the beach or going on your dream vacation – healthcare is about helping patients and sometimes saving lives. So how do you make that fun? Is it even possible? We would argue YES. It’s important when we say FUN it’s not about making a joke or laughing at people with diseases but it’s maybe taking a bit of a different angle at something serious. Let’s imagine diapers for adults. A way of talking about how much a diaper can contain could be challenging people to make videos of people testing it with different liquids. This is content that is fun and would have the potential to be shared but at the same time PLUS it will educate about the main selling point of the product!  This is the dilemma many companies still seem to struggle with and the majority of campaigns still try to take content and post it – forgetting to translate it to “social language”. However because healthcare IS important and social media is POWERFUL we think it’s the perfect odd marriage.

We hope this post has inspired you to think twice next time you work on your next social media campaign and should you need help “translating” your message to social media, we would be happy to help you!!

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