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Simply Clicks Or Simply Effective?

In a previous blog post, I covered the issue of “quality not quantity” when it comes to effectively engaging with fans and followers. Large volumes of fans can add credibility to your social media assets, but it’s the interaction with those fans that is the most effective driver of enhanced customer experience and online advocacy.

However, a recent campaign by the health group Simplyhealth highlighted an approach that seems to achieve the best of both worlds. It is a very simple and effective way of boosting likes, while simultaneously growing your CSR credentials through charity and research. This, in turn, further engages potential customers and gets them talking.

Simplyhealth ran a digital and terrestrial TV ad campaign between 17 September and 2 November. The premise of the campaign is that Simplyhealth believe there is a clear link between dental health and cardiovascular disease. They have conducted research to support this link and posted findings and health guides for visitors to view on their website. So far so good, but how do you get people to visit?

To draw people to the website is where a well-thought-through social media campaign comes in. The ad highlights that for every “like” the Simplyhealth Facebook app achieves, Simplyhealth will donate £1 to Heart Research UK. Visitors can use the app to access the research, health guides, videos, competition and quiz.

Heart Research UK is a charity which promotes heart-healthy lifestyles, and has also produced a ‘Dental Care and your Heart’ leaflet, so it is a very good fit as a partner.

The campaign was a great way to attract visitors to the site, get them engaged with the content and, of course, contribute to charity. The initial target of 30,000 likes (£30k to charity) was surpassed in just four weeks and now stands at over £60k. Because of its success, Simplyhealth has now increased the donation target to £150k and is re-running the TV adv campaign from 14 January to 10 March 2013. This will help fund further research into how dental health can affect the heart and so becomes a virtuous circle.

Simplyhealth have dramatically increased their Facebook presence and promoted a good cause. By using an altruistic incentive rather than hard cash to generate “likes,” it has created a fan base with a genuine interest in both the issues and the charity, which will further drive online discussion around the campaign.

Given that Simplyhealth now has a large pool of engaged fans at its disposal, perhaps it is missing a trick by not recruiting them into a private online community. Those people who have clicked the “like” button have already engaged with the campaign and seem open to charitable incentives. Therefore, they would appear to be ideal type of candidates to get more involved in the campaign and share their views online. Through further charity donations they can be incentivised to provide richer, more detailed feedback via bulletin board discussions or video diaries. 

Add in the fact that people show a natural interest in discussing health issues, but  may prefer to discuss certain matters in a more private setting with like-minded members – then you have the perfect set-up for a community that could flourish. 

Through getting involved with the research and sharing their experiences, participants may even be able to co-create ideas for improvements in dental care and help with the research going forward. Using social media research to gain customers, while also potentially saving lives, really is the ultimate win/win.

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