Health Care Trends With a Social Media Twist
The topic of obesity is never far from the headlines and it features heavily in the news this week with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) calling for a ban on trans-fats in foods in the UK. As is reported by the BBC, experts who work on NICE guidelines believe that reducing salt and saturated fats, as well as banning trans-fats, would save the NHS more than £1bn.
This week, Wellpoint, a health benefit company based in the US, has written about a campaign they launched to encourage people to live a healthier lifestyle. Armed with research showing that a person's chance of becoming obese rose by 57% if a friend becomes obese, Wellpoint teamed up with Anthem, an insurance company, and used social media to share the statistic, in the hope that one person’s positive actions would influence another.
They created a footprint calculator which allows users to calculate their health footprint by answering some basic questions. The calculator provides a score that shows the measure of their positive health influence on others. This can be posted to the user’s Twitter feed or Facebook page. Once a health footprint has been calculated, the user has the opportunity to sign up for the ’10-Day Boost’, which links to a Facebook app. The app shows one video a day on how to live a healthier lifestyle and it can be shared with the user’s Facebook friends.
Wellpoint also used Bob Harper, the trainer from "The Biggest Loser" US, as their social-media collaborator. Using him increased the reach of the campaign by extending his strong association with health living and changing lifestyle habits onto the campaign. His image was used on the Facebook site, Twitter site (@mytrainerbob) and viral videos. He encouraged his followers to calculate their health footprint and offered healthy tips on how to be successful in growing that footprint.
I think it’s a really nice idea and I tried it out. I scored a 2,090 which showed a lot of room for improvement! I had a look at the tips and they are short, helpful tips written in an easy-to-read format.
This campaign was extremely successful with, 50% Facebook fan growth in the first week of the 10-Day Boost program and they now have 18 times the number of Twitter followers than their five biggest competitors combined. This provides Wellpoint and Anthem with a channel to directly connect with their customers, giving them an edge over their competitors, and demonstrates the enormous power of social media.