Social and Digital Media Blog – January 2016

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This January, there were 2,435 new Twitter followers and 2,816 new Facebook followers. There was a significant spike in Facebook followers on January 19, with 126 likes – higher than the daily organic average of 84 likes.

Monthly engaged users are the total number of users who have interacted with our content on social media (e.g. by “liking” a post on Facebook or “retweeting” on Twitter), or opened our “Your Health” email newsletter.


Top Tweet
The top tweet for January (based on number of people reached) was on Change4Life’s latest campaign on reducing daily sugar intake with the Sugar Smart App. This tweet had 232 retweets, 76 favourites and 81,352 impressions. This tweet was also ranked the 12th most popular UK Gov tweet for January 4 2016.

Favourite on Facebook
The top Facebook post this month (based on number of people reached) was a post on cervical cancer. This Facebook post had 680 shares, 312 likes, 26 comments and reached a whopping 125,711 people.
cervical screening final subbed

Cold weather and minor illness
The cold snap in January drove our top-ranking activity, with asthma and chest infections being the two most clicked links. The most successful asthma post was shared via Facebook on January 19, with the text, “Cold weather can have a serious impact on the 5.4 million people with asthma in the UK. Information on what to do in an asthma attack, including how to spot the warning signs and having a personal action plan”. This post received 703 likes, comments and shares, and reached 70,163 people. The most successful chest infection post was shared via Facebook on January 29, with the text, “Chest infections are common, especially after a cold or flu during autumn and winter. See signs, symptoms and advice on self care”. This post had 397 likes, comments and shares, and reached 57,078 people. This suggests that referencing the weather in posts boosts engagement.

David Bowie
On January 13, David Bowie influenced our third most clicked link – the conditions page on liver cancer. A day after the sad news of his passing, two referenced posts were sent out. The post on Twitter reached 13,317 people, with 38 retweets and eight likes. A similar Facebook post had 188 likes, comments and shares, and reached 37,379 people.

Smear For Smear
Smear For Smear is an annual campaign that runs alongside Cervical Cancer Prevention Week. Social media users are encouraged to smear their lipstick and take a selfie to raise awareness of cervical cancer screening, and the 2016 campaign allowed us to highlight one of our in-house graphics on screening. This was produced by the Social and Digital Media team as part of a previous campaign to alert the public that Public Health England content on screening had moved to NHS Choices. Not only was this topic the most successful Facebook post of the month, it was also the seventh most clicked link of the month.

Antibiotic guardians
In January, our Facebook page hosted paid advertising on antibiotic resistance as part of the #AntibioticGuardian campaign. Three videos were sent out, raising awareness of antibiotic resistance, highlighting how flu cannot be treated with antibiotics and how people can help prevent resistance.
blog antibiotic resistence

Altogether, these videos reached over 1,179,400 people and had 543,141 video views. The most successful video explained what antibiotic resistance is, and featured information on how to help families stay well.

blog antibiotic resistence2


Mentions on other social media sites other than Twitter and Facebook
On January 28, a Reddit user mentioned the NHS Choices’ recovery position page in a thread on “unlikely scenarios people should learn how to deal with correctly”. A user wrote, “If you’re taking care of an overly drunk friend, remember the rescue/recovery position! The (really easy) how to [link]”. This forum thread generated 2,461 clicks to our website. In January, there were 8,623 clicks to from Reddit.

Buzzfeed was the fourth-largest social media influencer, with 5,875 people clicking through to during the month. The most popular reference was in an article (originally written in Spanish) called “9 Slightly Gross Reasons You Might Want To Leave Your Pubes The F**k Alone”. There were 3,049 page clicks to the conditions page on molluscum contagiosum (MC) – a viral infection that affects the skin.


Top ten clicked links on social media Clicks
Asthma attack: what you need to do 2,891
Chest infection 2,543
Liver cancer 2,201
Five lifestyle tips for a healthy tummy 1,783
Eight tips for healthy eating 1,726
Home remedies for common conditions 1,327
Cervical Cancer – Prevention 1,071
Zika virus: your questions answered 1,068
Pilates video for beginners 955
Healthier takeaways 935


Your Health newsletter
The January edition of Your Health featured the new alcohol guidelines as the lead story . The newsletter also included the weight loss plan, Couch to 5k, Livewell’s stop smoking content and coping with money worries. Your Health was sent to subscribers on Thursday 28th January 2016, and resent to subscribers that did not open the first send on Sunday 31st January 2016. The net result was 27,932 unique opens from 95,820 subscribers.

The below table shows the total number of clicks for each piece of content across both sends of the newsletter:

  1. Weight loss: clicks = 2019, repeat clicks = 428
  2. Alcohol guidelines: unique clicks = 1339 , repeat clicks = 129
  3. Couch to 5k: unique clicks = 553, repeat clicks = 49
  4. Money worries: unique clicks = 422, repeat clicks = 42
  5. Stop smoking: unique clicks = 174, repeat clicks = 11

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