Using Videos on Facebook to Encourage Dialogue
By Kathryn Harben and Lauren Elsberry
Million Hearts™ recently launched a new educational program—Team Up. Pressure Down —to help pharmacists engage consumers in a conversation about blood pressure control. Animated videos and custom Facebook tabs provide a targeted method for reaching both audiences with useful educational tools.
According to a recent Vital Signs report from the CDC, more than half of Americans with hypertension (also known as high blood pressure) don’t have it under control. Millions more Americans aren’t even aware that they have the condition. Controlling high blood pressure is a key component of the Million Hearts™ initiative and Team Up. Pressure Down. offers support for pharmacists and other health care professionals to help patients more effectively manage their blood pressure.
A key component of the program’s outreach strategy is the use of animated videos embedded on the website and the tabs of the Million Hearts Facebook page to explain what blood pressure is, how treatments work in the body, and why viewers should care. In the past few years, online video consumption has risen dramatically and videos are a popular content type for sharing with friends. The three short animated films created for Team Up. Pressure Down. invite viewers into a quirky neighborhood (featuring a pill-bottle shaped pharmacy) and introduce them to engaging characters (including Franny, the family dog). This one-of-a-kind video series, created using 3D and 2D animation, adds a fresh perspective to a very serious topic, and explains the role that pharmacists can play in helping people manage their high blood pressure.
- High Blood Pressure Basics: http://youtu.be/mjTMZ_sm0LQ
- Treating High Blood Pressure: http://youtu.be/XbLmIoyDJuE
- Teaming Up With Patients: http://youtu.be/KR_mCUBEYlc
Team Up. Pressure Down. resources are available in custom tabs on the Million Hearts™ Facebook page (and at millionhearts.hhs.gov ). Million Hearts™ made the decision to post the videos and other resources on Facebook because of the great success to date with reaching and interacting with people interested in heart health. Targeted Facebook advertising has helped the initiative acquire 52,000 fans who match the ages and ethnicities of people at greatest risk for heart attack and stroke. With higher-than-average engagement rates and a large existing fan-base, the strategic decision to house Team Up. Pressure Down. materials on Facebook was almost a no-brainer. The custom tabs are designed to provide easy-to-understand information to the people who need it, where they already are. The tabs prompt users to “Share” and “L ike” resources, extending the reach of the program by capitalizing on users’ social connections. With the added benefit of attracting more pharmacists to the Facebook page through the Team Up. Pressure Down. campaign, pharmacists and patients can participate in the conversation online. The Million HeartsTM Facebook page now brings patients and pharmacists to the same space to comment on postings and begin a dialogue online, helping patients understand the value of teaming up with their pharmacist offline too.
Kathryn Harben is the Million Hearts™ communications lead.
Lauren Elsberry is the Million Hearts™ social media lead.
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