Social and Digital Media blog – May 2016

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Rank Page Clicks
1 Talc and Ovarian cancer – Behind The Headlines 3,129
2 Walking for health 1,321
3 The Eatwell Guide 1,132
4 10 stress busters 817
5 Using e-cigarettes to stop smoking 776
6 Mental health problems and pregnancy 492
7 Coping with exam stress 482
8 Hangover cures 388
9 Do juices and smoothies count towards my 5 A DAY? 353
10 Do I need to stretch before exercising? 347


Top tweet and Facebook favourite – Eatwell Guide with GIF
The top tweet this month was linked to the Eatwell Guide and advertised how it was now interactive. A GIF was made especially for social media to show users that the sections of the plate are now clickable. This tweet had 489 retweets, 271 likes and reached 90,877 people. It was also ranked the fourth best UK Gov tweet of the day on May 20. The top Facebook post this month was also the Eatwell Guide, with the post copy containing a similar message to the tweet. The post reached 81,331 people, had 305 reactions, 16 comments and a whopping 414 shares.

Click to see the gif in action.


Ovarian Cancer
Making another appearance in the monthly blog is the Behind the Headlines article “Talc and Ovarian Cancer: what the most recent evidence shows”. On May 1, the topic was back in the news, rekindling interest in the article. This page received 3,129 clicks. A Facebook post linking to the article reached 64,605 people, had 108 reactions, 182 shares and 16 comments. A similar tweet had 33 retweets, 6 likes and reached 13,365 people.

A great day for a walk
The second most popular clicked link this month was the Livewell article “Getting started walking”. On May 7, this article received 3,129 clicks. There were several sponsored walking events and walking festivals happening around the country on this day, including walks in Chesterfield, Devon, Ipswich, Wolverhampton, Maidstone and West Sussex. Similar to the increased popularity of the Couch to 5K pages seen after marathons, these events may have sparked an interest in content on walking.

All’s well for the Eatwell Guide
As well as the Eatwell Guide being the most popular Tweet and Facebook post, it was also the third most clicked link of the month, with 1,321 clicks to the website. The GIF demonstrated that the guide is now interactive, enticing the audience to try it for themselves.

The Eatwell Guide is often the subject of public debate. The Facebook community came to the rescue when user Lauren Rankin expressed negativity towards the cost of health foods. 7 people “liked” that we engaged in this conversation and two others came to the rescue with helpful advice

facebook june 2016

The youth wellbeing directory – harnessing the power of local NHS accounts.
To increase awareness among young people about the Youth Wellbeing Directory, which is now featuring new data, we produced a partner pack for local NHS Twitter accounts so they could share information on their specific local youth mental health services. Over the two-week period that this activity ran, there were 1,614 visits to the directory, representing a 630% increase on the previous two weeks (221 visits).

Localised Twitter accounts are more likely to be followed by people living in the associated area, as well as other local businesses and organisations. For example, NHS Bradford CCG is followed by two local Youth LGBT accounts. By giving these accounts the resources to spread the message, we may be more likely to reach a more geo-targeted audience.

Our suggested messaging personalised and shared by NHS Bradford City CCG

A graph showing a spike in visits to the Youth Wellbeing Directory caused by social media activity

Your Health Newsletter
The featured content in May’s edition of Your Health focused on stroke, with information on symptoms, causes, diagnosis and recovery. The newsletter also included content on dementia, sun protection, hay fever and the 10,000 steps challenge.

Sent: 165,256
Unique addresses received: 89,201
Open rate: 24,841 opens – 27.84%
Click-through rate: 3967– 15.96%

Top five links:

  1. 10,000 steps challenge: clicks = 1,201, repeat clicks = 156
  2. Symptoms of stroke: unique clicks = 972, repeat clicks = 91
  3. Hay fever: unique clicks = 390, repeat clicks = 25
  4. Dementia guide: unique clicks = 284, repeat clicks = 40
  5. Stroke: unique clicks = 420, repeat clicks = 51


Express yourself!
In the coming months, there will be changes to Twitter that will mean more character space to write tweets. Using @names in replies and media attachments (like photos, GIFs, videos and polls) will no longer “use up” valuable characters. This is good news for NHS Choices, as we know that our posts that include a media attachment have higher engagement. Sometimes we choose not to use an image or GIF, as it uses up 22 characters – well, not for long! Read more here.

One thought on “Social and Digital Media blog – May 2016

  1. Pingback: Social and Digital Media blog - September 2016 | NHS Choices Blog

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