For healthcare brands, stressing preventive care in a positive manner is one big go-to strategy. Typically, users have found healthcare brands for a reason, said Howard Zoss, president of Zig Marketing: They are ready to make a change, but need motivation. As a result, campaigns should feel personal. “People who engage (with social media) want to get healthier,” Zoss said. “You have to unlock a way for them to get out of a bad habit and into a better habit to help themselves.”
Displaying credibility and legitimacy is also important to social-media users. They demand “the right story and the authenticity,” said Patrick Hopkins, president of agency Imaginasium. If marketers “can find that right story, that's when things go viral,” he added. “Users want to pass it on.”
Best practices for developing campaigns for social media include:
Find stories that are authentic and relatable: Stories that complement a social-media advertising campaign can't be contrived, Hopkins said. When developing its “Change Your Game Challenge” campaign for client Prevea Health, Imaginasium and Prevea's marketing team decided to share video submissions from users talking about how they wanted to change their lives by making healthier choices. “When we started sharing that, that's when other people struggling with long-term illnesses or addictions got engaged,” Hopkins said. “We had the story. We had the authenticity. We identified the right audience.” Prevea chose six “game changers” from a pool of submissions and documented their lives on social media and its website, including video. The “game changers” also had their own blogs, which their trainers contributed to. From September 2013 to February 2014, Prevea saw an 85% increase in total users versus a typical organic growth rate of 34%.