#StateOfEnrollment: Working Together to Get America Covered: How a Digital Working Group Helped Expand Our Reach

By Sara Little

Strategy: Bringing together organizations that had a stake in promoting health insurance enrollment in order to coordinate efforts, promote each other’s work, and maximize our impact.

When it was used: Year-round, but more frequently during open enrollment

Notable metrics: Our reach on social media was expanded to over 300 million impressions by coordinating with partner organizations.

Best Practices to Replicate:

  • Maintain regular communication with organizations with similar missions. In some cases, it can lead to new partnerships.
  • Coordinate timing and messaging of social media campaigns with other organizations to make a bigger impact.

Enroll America convened a digital working group of organizations that had a similar stake in promoting health insurance enrollment. The goal of the working group was to maximize our impact by coordinating our efforts and promoting each other’s work. The group communicated regularly via conference calls and an email listserv to share content and feedback, brainstorm ideas, and coordinate digital campaign plans.

While there were a number of areas around which we were able to coordinate our work, social media was the most frequent and successful. Several members of the digital working group (Organizing for Action, Get Covered America, Out2Enroll, and Community Catalyst) coordinated four timed social media campaigns on December 18, called Thunderclaps, to increase awareness about the December 23 deadline. With support from the rest of the working group, we promoted the hashtag #Dec23, which was tweeted 3,618 times yielding nearly 300 million impressions. That same day, #GetCovered was tweeted 9,152 times, yielding more than 358 million impressions.

In March, the group coordinated weekly Tweet storms (when many coordinated messages on one topic are sent over a short time period) around predetermined hashtags to drum up excitement and awareness about the final enrollment deadline. Because we were able to coordinate our timing and messaging, half of the hashtags “trended” (were among the most-tweeted) nationally on the day of the tweet storm, which increased our potential exposure to millions more Twitter users.

The working group was also a quick way for us to get feedback on our work. When we were building consumer tools for our website like the Get Covered Calculator and an assister locator tool, we were able to assess quickly if other organizations were interested in having these same tools for their own sites. And they were. The quick positive feedback allowed us to adjust our project to build embeddable versions of these tools.

Another added benefit was that organizations whose work didn’t traditionally overlap were able to build relationships and work together on projects to amplify their message. For example, Get Covered America and Our Time released a co-branded video that, as of April 2014, had more than 140,000 views on YouTube. Get Covered America also participated in numerous “Wellness Wednesday” Twitter chats with MomsRising, which helped us reach one of our key demographic groups: young mothers. The most successful chat featured actress Reagan Gomez and yielded more than 16 million impressions in both Spanish and English. And Get Covered America participated in several Facebook Q&As with Organizing for Action. The most recent Q&A led to more than 3,000 new page “likes” for Get Covered America.

The digital working group was a significant time investment, but it paid off for everyone in the long run. The group shared testing results and messaging information about what worked and what should be avoided. Several new partnerships were formed. And it helped to expand the digital reach of numerous organizations — not just our own — to get the word out about the new health insurance options to as many consumers as possible.

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