NHS Choices monthly social media blog – December 2014

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December’s blog covers stats, trends and social media activity between 1st -31st December.

Winter health infographics

December saw the launch of winter health infographics to coincide with the efforts of the earlier better campaign and general winter pressures. In total there were 6 images, 5 of which sourcing information on ‘Five ways to stay healthy this winter’ and one on tips for Asthma in the cold. There were a total of 26 posts between 16th December and 2nd January.

all infographics
The most successful of these was on eliminating sleep debt, posted on December 21st with an impressive 116 retweets, 19,713 impressions and approximately 216 clicks to article. The second most popular post was also on sleep debt, sent on 28th December, strangely, with the same amount of retweets (116), 60 favourites and 19,223 impressions. Perhaps this is because Christmas can be exhausting and everybody was looking forward to catching up on sleep. The third most successful post was Asthma in winter, sent on 23rd Dec with 77 retweets, 25 favourites and 16,346 impressions.

For the 26 messages that went out featuring the winter health infographics, retweets were averaged the 50 mark which is a very good result. Due to high posting volume over a short period, it is difficult to decipher the exact number of clicks throughs per specific link, however based on the top 4 link clicks for this article; there were a minimum of 2,178 visits to the healthy winter page generated from tweets including the graphics.

Total click throughs for the month: 163,227 (Up 6%)
New likes on Facebook: 1,509 (Down 60%)
Total likes on Facebook: 70,237
Total organic reach on Facebook: 3,647,51

Top ten most popular links across Twitter and Facebook

New followers on Twitter: 1,397 (Down 54%)
Total followers on Twitter: 155,922 (Up 1%)
Number of impressions on Twitter: 4,500,000

Link Number of Clicks
Early advice – find a service 1,519
Early Advice 1,492
Early Advice – Find a service 1,302
How to cut down on sugar 1,287
Ebola 1,199
Weight loss guide 1,180
Too much sitting is bad for your health 1,137
Effects of alcohol 1,086
Early Advice 1,081
Early Advice 1,037


Spike in followers on twitter 11th December
On the 11th of Decembers there was a larger than usual spike in followers. 133 accounts liked the page, which is 166% more than the previous day. This could be due to two very popular links, cutting down on sugar and heart disease in women. On this day, it was published in the news ‘Sugar worse than salt’ row erupts’,

Therefore, we could surmise that trusted information on sugar and cutting back was relevant on social media. The tweet received 630 click throughs, 58 retweets, 20 favourites and 17,646 total impressions. The tweet on heart disease in women may have been successful due to the demographic of our followers, rather than a timely message. 54% of our followers are female, and seemingly a topic that resonates with them.

Christmas frontrunners – top clicked links of the day.
24th December – sexual arousal in women, 551 clicks
25th December – which painkiller should I take?, 256 clicks
26th December – treating a hangover, 594 clicks
31st December – mental health helplines, 590 clicks
1st January – treating a hangover, 421 clicks.

Start4Life Facebook and twitter started up again at the end of October, but now, after trialing messages, it is clearer what resonates with the S4L audience. A post on non-alcoholic drinks over the party season had a larger than average reach of 31,136 – as the Change4Life Facebook page shared this post to its 305,069 followers. The post encouraged followers to share their choices non-alcoholic beverage, to which no one replied. So although there was a high reach thanks to a share  by a page with many ‘likes’, it may be that the Start4Life page doesn’t yet currently hold enough weight to spark conversations on the page. The second most successful post on the S4L Facebook page was on ‘when and where to get enough sleep when you have a newborn’ with 8 likes, 4 comments and 5 shares and a reach of 3,618. It may be that currently the best way to engage with the audience is to stick with providing helpful and timely information. As the page gathers momentum, more data insights will drive post choices.

“My Instagram account is effectively a record of my children’s lives,” Dan from London

Research from the University of Brighton suggests that men are increasingly turning to public forms (such as blogging and Facebook) to share their experiences of the highs and lows of parenting. Although female focused (due to the way pregnancy works), the Start4Life page includes parenting advice for both mum and dad, but perhaps there is a way Start4Life can target into the ’60-pics-a-day-parents’ to have more success in creating a space where parents will engage with our Start4Life’s social media channels the way that users often do on Change4Life SM.

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