The jury is still out on the results, but the government is using social media to try and drive enrollment on the healthcare exchanges. The focus is on getting younger people to sign up – a necessary ingredient for the success of the exchanges. The insurers are counting on younger, healthier people enrolling to reduce the risk pool.
Healthcare.gov is using all of the most popular social sites to get out the message. The content is similar across their selected social sites: Facebook (310,000 Likes), Twitter (158,000 followers), YouTube (5,400 subscribers) and Google+ (126,000 followers). They seem to trying to reach their audience wherever they can.
At the heart of these posts are both images and well over a hundred videos featuring average young people and celebrities. One recent video features the basketball star LeBron James urging young people to #Getcovered and that video has been viewed more than 74,000 times. Added to that, President Obama appeared in a faux interview with comedic actor Zach Galifianakis that has been viewed more than 17 M times.
The images and posts are meant to catch attention and – hopefully – be shared. Both Facebook and Twitter statistics show that images increase the engagement (comments, likes, shares, retweets) of posts. On Facebook the engagement goes up by 39% and tweets with images received 150% more retweets than those without images. And the #Getcovered hashtag has maintained a strong presence on Twitter since the rollout of the healthcare exchange.
It’s a bold approach. But will it be effective? We can only wait and see if the social media message engages enough young people to make a difference to the bottom line results of the Affordable Care Act.