Over on Facebook there was quite the buzz after our radio piece on Women’s Health in the BAME community on International Women’s Day. We were talking postnatal depression, Kyle Jenner, pre and post pregnancy fitness and weight problems.
There were tears, disclosures on air and an avalanche of support and recognition from the community.
It got me to thinking about what had made it so successful.
When I dissected it out, there were five key elements that it incorporated that are also essential for a creating an effective social media health promotion campaign.
Here are my thoughts:
1) Get specific about your message.
We weren’t just talking about women’s health, we were talking specifically about pre and postnatal health. This allowed us to craft a radio show that was full of educational value to the listeners, that kept them interested and engaged. Watered down messaging leads to watered down results.
2) Get specific about your target audience.
Cater your content to your audience. We specifically spoke about pre and postnatal health in the context of the BAME community. This meant our content was relatable, on point and relevant to our listeners as we addressed culturally specific taboos, beliefs and stigmas.
3) Involve your audience and make them feel valued.
Throughout the show we invited input and messages from our listeners, much as you do in livestreams on social media. This meant that the show was very much a co-creation as it moved on, adapting to answer questions. In the context of health promotion this was crucial to reinforcing the importance of our message and showing that we cared about addressing the concerns of the public.
4) Implement a ‘patient expert’ story and craft your message around that.
In the NHS we talk about the patient expert. In this case our show was crafted around the story of the DJ host, that disclosed a powerful emotional journey through postnatal depression and her reasons for getting help on improving her health. This served to empower the audience to seek out advice and disclose their own challenges and experiences.
5) Have a call to action to signpost individuals to get more information.
It’s important to empower the audience to find out more.
This is what we did:
- Advised listeners to see their GP if they recognised signs of postnatal depression
- Referenced websites for more information
- Recorded a livestream of our show for listeners to refer back to.
- Call a friend that they think may be suffering from the symptoms.
You can watch the part of the livestream on Facebook here:
Fundamentally, health promotion is about empowering communities to take charge of their health in a way that is evidence based and makes sense to them.
Generic messaging can work to an extent, but lacks the punch that thoughtful, targeted and specific campaigns can achieve.
If you want to know more about how focused social media messaging can produce epic results when it comes to health promotion, get in touch!
Dr Aisha Malik, GP and Social Media Expert