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Social Health Check #8

Brought to you by our New York, London and Hong Kong Social@Ogilvy teams, this is our monthly snapshot of the latest news and trends in healthcare social media. The aim is to inspire ideas, discussion and fresh thinking in this challenging yet ever exciting field.

Happy Birthday to the Healthcare Hashtag Project

Social Health Check would like to wish a happy third birthday to the Healthcare Hashtag Project  this month. This comprehensive listing of healthcare-related Twitter hashtags is one of the most indispensable sites for communicators—it has something to offer to everyone. Drafting tweets for your client’s disease awareness campaign? Use the Hashtag Project to look up popular hashtags for a particular illness. It can tell you the most important online influencers associated with that disease too. Writing coverage reports about a medical meeting? The Hashtag Project provides metrics on usage over time. Just getting started on Twitter and trying to figure out what it’s all about? Use the Hashtag Project’s directory of upcoming tweet chats. Pick a topic of interest and dive in! It’s never been easier to join the conversation.

#Stoptober challenge kicks off

217,742 people are currently taking part in “Stoptober” – a UK challenge to stop smoking for 28 days this month. The argument to take part is compelling: the NHS initiative claims you are five times more likely to stay smoke free after completing the challenge. The program is supported by a strong social media presence – Twitter  acts as the community hub and provides much-needed tips and advice, and a playlist on Spotify aims to keep you motivated with inspirational songs. Participants are invited to tweet a song with the hashtag #stopify to add a track to the list.

A recent study from the University of Georgia in the USA found that those who engage in health specific social networking actually found it easier to quit smoking, so this program and similar initiatives demonstrate what a community of people can achieve when united online over a designated time period to fight conditions such as addiction. This is a great case study for planning similar initiatives for other conditions.

Content marketing: “Your customers don’t care about you…”

According to Forbes, content marketing will be “bigger than ever” in 2014 – and this applies to pharma as well. Pharma has a long heritage in producing high quality content – detail aids, MOA videos, monographs, fact sheets, infographics – but much of it is too brand focused to satisfy the needs of today’s digital doctor and e-patient. As Joe Pullizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute says “Your customers don’t care about you, your products, your services…they care about themselves, their wants and their needs. Content marketing is about creating interesting information your customers are passionate about so they actually pay attention to you.” A great example is J&J’s – a website with enormous breadth and depth of un-branded content on pregnancy and childcare that received more than 18 million visitors in the past 30 days. The need for developing and publishing engaging content becomes ever more important as stakeholders increasingly start their search for health information on social networks and share the best content with their community. All this might make pharma marketers scratch their heads and wonder, “How will we measure the ROI?” Building credibility, trust and engagement through publishing quality content can in the long term convert into increased sales. The less tangible results of enhanced reputation, customer loyalty and engagement may be difficult to measure, but may end up being of equal value.

#KeepWatching Meningitis

68% of parents believe that vaccinations protect their children against all strains of meningitis. 100% of parents should know that some strains of meningitis are not covered by vaccinations, thus the Meningitis Research Foundation, along with the Meningitis Trust, Meningitis UK and Novartis launched their #KeepWatching campaign. Incorporating social media and advertising, this disease awareness around vaccination campaign had the overall objective of debunking myths about vaccination. Mums with small infants were specifically targeted and Facebook was a major campaign tool as 93% of the target audience has an account.

The Facebook page has personal case studies, a quiz, and ‘About Meningitis’ facts. Another interesting feature of the campaign is the use of 10 influential bloggers, or ‘campaign ambassadors’ as they were known. But the centre piece of the campaign is an emotive video originally screened at parent-and-baby events at Picturehouse cinemas in the UK.

To date, the campaign has reached an audience of over 31 million, generated over 66,000 views on Youtube and gained 15,000 Facebook ‘likes’. What really makes it distinctive though, is its variety of different social media platforms and its integration of online and offline components that effectively engaged with the target audience. Definitely something to think about for future campaigns.

Like to hear more? Get in touch ( to discuss all things healthcare social media.