#StateOfEnrollment: Staying Lucky Beyond St. Patrick’s Day

By Guest Blogger

This post was written by Tobin Van Ostern from Young Invincibles.

Strategy: Using tools to leverage social media for a unique enrollment reminder on St. Patrick’s Day

Where and when it was used: Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr targeted in Washington State in March

Notable metrics: 

  • More than doubling an initial goal of 100 supporters, the Thunderclap got 219 supporters to sign up
  • It reached 223,544 people

Washington Healthplanfinder, the state health insurance marketplace, teamed up with Young Invincibles to remind young Washingtonians about the March 31 deadline to enroll in health insurance. Together, we used a tool called Thunderclap that allows individuals and organizations to sign up their social media accounts to blast out a single message at a specific time. Supporters blasted out the following message:

"Last call...to be #lucky in health every day: #GetCovered by 3/31! Happy #StPatricksDay! #WAHealthplanfinder http://thndr.it/1iwoCrN"

The week before the blast on St. Patrick’s Day went out, Young Invincibles and Washington Healthplanfinder reached out to existing partners, community colleges, local businesses, student leaders, non-profit organizations, community health centers, sports leagues, student organizations, and elected officials and got them to sign-up for the Thunderclap.

As a result of the Thunderclap, the #WAHealthplanfinder  hashtag was used the most times since launching on October 1, 2013 and the @WAplanfinder Twitter account received one of the highest days of online engagement thus far.

Here’s  a few of the supporters that helped us blast out the reminder message:

Best practices to replicate:

  • Because Thunderclaps allow you to organize around a specific message, it is important to have a unique and appealing message that supporters can be excited to share.
  • Target people and organizations that interact with your intended audience. For example, we got community colleges to sign up because community college students tend to be uninsured at a higher rate than other students.
  • Use an existing event or theme to hop onto. For example, we used St. Patrick’s Day to capture some of the unique social media activity that was going on around the holiday.
  • Thunderclaps are useful tools to organize around online activities because it gets a group of people behind a single message. As such, making them successful requires similar strategies applied to traditional forms of on-the-ground organizing. For example, after sending out e-mails to potential supporters providing them information about the Thunderclap, we hit the phones to follow up with and tracked signups to verify who needed a reminder.
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