With technology at the fingertips of many young Americans, using multiple social media channels and blogs is key to promoting the messages about the new health coverage options under the Affordable Care Act. Consider creating a social media strategy that offers relevant messaging and access to helpful information.
Many young adults get information from online sources, and although the majority are less likely to share health information on social media, young adults do exchange the information they receive in-person with friends and family.13
Social Media Best Practices
Use all channels
Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Vine, Flickr, Pinterest, and more.
Stay on message
Social media broadcasts far and wide to the general public. Context matters. Make sure the conversation stays focused on the intended subject matter and can’t be taken the wrong way.
Have a target audience
Many communities include specific hashtags to continue an ongoing conversation (ex. #latism #LGBTQ #AA #AAPI). It’s always better to use an existing hashtag than start your own.
Use the right handle
When you want to engage someone in the conversation around a subject, be sure to include the handle they choose to be associated with. For Get Covered America:
- @GetCoveredUS – This is the campaign focused on getting the word out to consumers.
- @EnrollAmerica – This should be reserved for messages, and information to, for, and with other organizations
Use the right hashtags
Using the correct hashtag will give your messages context and relevance. Use for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
- Branded: #GetCovered. Help make this a trending topic!
- General: #healthinsurance, #Asegurate, #healthcarereform, #HIX, #ACA, #Obamacare
Localize your tweet
Sometimes, geography matters for an event. Inserting a specific state or town will help categorize your tweet. #yourstate’s2lettercode + #yourcity – This is especially important for events. #Miami #FL
Be brief: 120 is the new 140
Shorter is better: you have limited characters allotted per message so be sure to make them count. Abbreviate liberally and be informal with punctuation.
- When tweeting events, use day/date/time to create a sense of time-sensitivity or sense of urgency.
- Sample tweet: TODAY! 8/29, 12-2 pm ET! Join @GetCoveredUS canvassing #GetCovered
@ Mention partners
- When co-sponsoring events, try to @ the people/org’s you’re working with, especially @GetCoveredUS. It’s like an extra shout-out, especially on #FF (Follow Fridays), so that your message reaches other networks too. You can do this on Facebook as well.
Show your support
Share Get Covered America’s content on FB. Retweet us on Twitter. Increase your reach.
Social Media & Young Adults:
→ 89 percent of 18-29 year olds use online social networking websites.14
- More than half of all internet users use two or more social media sites.15
- 87 percent of young adults ages 18-29 use Facebook.16
- 53 percent of young adults are Instagram users.17
- 37 percent of young adults use Twitter.18
→ The majority of young adults use social media sites daily, and 67 percent of young adults ages 18-29 use a social networking site on their phone.19
→ 72 percent of young adults seek health information online.20
Best Practices for Blogger Outreach
Make sure the blog is relevant
- There are thousands of bloggers out there, so find the right blog that will be interested in this topic.
Make your pitch personal
- Know and understand who the blogger is. Dig a little deeper, showing them you’ve done your homework. You can post comments on previous post to show you share the same interests.
Make sure it’s news
- Bloggers will not cover stories that are not interesting or informative.
- Provide relevant information to the blogger, but do not send a canned press release.
Get Covered America is an issue-based campaign, focused on educating the public about the new health coverage options under the Affordable Care Act. By definition of our 501(c)3 status, we cannot promote advocacy or take a political side. We will always support our partners, but If your organization promotes advocacy, legislative or electoral issues, please know that Enroll/Get Covered cannot actively participate in those discussions on social media or otherwise. Our Netiquette Guide:
13 PerryUndem Research/Communication. (March 2010). Reaching Youth: Raising Awareness & Encouraging Use of ACA Preventive Care Benefit. Retrieved from http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/documents/ACAReport.pdf ↩
14 Duggan, M. Ellison, N.B., Lampe, C., Lenhart, A., & Madden, M. (January 2015). Social Media Update 2014, Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/01/09/social-media-update-2014/↩
15 Duggan, M. Ellison, N.B., Lampe, C., Lenhart, A., & Madden, M. (January 2015). Social Media Update 2014, Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/01/09/social-media-update-2014/↩
16 Duggan, M. Ellison, N.B., Lampe, C., Lenhart, A., & Madden, M. (January 2015). Social Media Update 2014, Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/01/09/social-media-update-2014/↩
17 Duggan, M. Ellison, N.B., Lampe, C., Lenhart, A., & Madden, M. (January 2015). Social Media Update 2014, Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/01/09/social-media-update-2014/↩
18 Duggan, M. Ellison, N.B., Lampe, C., Lenhart, A., & Madden, M. (January 2015). Social Media Update 2014, Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/01/09/social-media-update-2014/↩
19 Pew Research Center (2015). Social Networking Fact Sheet. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/social-networking-fact-sheet/↩
20 Lenhart, A. Purcell, K., Smith. A., & Zickuhr, K. (February 2010). Social Media and Young Adults, Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2010/02/03/social-media-and-young-adults/↩