Recently we outlined the latest Facebook page design updates, but for most health insurers’ social strategies, Facebook is just one important piece of a comprehensive puzzle. With 310 million monthly active users, Twitter is a space where patients, health insurers, and medical professionals and organizations come together for increasingly active conversations about healthcare. From live commentary to customer service, Twitter is a go-to tool for health insurers, and staying on top of updates is fundamental.
Over the past decade, the platform has evolved from simple messages with just 140-characters of text to a landscape rich with visuals and video. In the last month alone we’ve seen notable changes that present significant opportunities for brands and consumers, alike. Twitter conversations are becoming easier, signifying a win for health insurers when it comes to customer service and communications with both members and prospects. The latest round of updates offers more room for expression, keeps conversations tidier, and makes communication between brands and customers simpler.
Get GIF (or Photo or Video) Happy
While tweets continue to be 140 characters, visual and media attachments – including photos, GIFs, videos, polls, and quote tweets – no longer count as characters within tweets, allowing more room for copy and context. This allows health insurers to include key messaging, links, and hashtags in tweets, without having to forego informative video spots or eye-catching images, as seen in Kaiser Permanente’s testimonial tweet. Now brands won’t have to choose between the engagement-boosting media attachments and copy messaging essentials.
Reach More Audience Members
Similarly, Twitter names, or @names, will no longer be counted in the 140-character tweet limit. This means that more users can engage in the same conversation, without needing to cut down on words or send multiple tweets in a row. Health insurers can now answer questions posed by multiple members more efficiently, or participate in health-related Twitter chat conversations that include several individuals or organizations.
Marketers should get excited knowing that forgetting a punctuation mark at the beginning of a tweet will no longer mean a major drop in impressions. Soon, tweets that begin with @names will be visible in all followers’ timelines, eliminating the need for the pesky “.@” and helping to preserve characters. Before the update, this tweet would only have been seen by users who follow both Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation and Royal Family Kids, but once the update takes place any follower of BCBS of Louisiana Foundation will see it in their timeline. This extra character could be the key to including a trending hashtag – and, therefore, increasing visibility – or the link to a lading page, pushing website clicks.
Re-share Key Messaging
Need to inform members about a health plan update or remind followers of an upcoming event? With the latest update, Twitter users can now Retweet and Quote themselves. This feature provides opportunity to share a new reflection about an old tweet or reach new followers with a tweet that they may have previously missed. The new quoting option should be used as a way to drive home key messaging, highlight important events, or re-share newsworthy content, as seen by Cambia Health Solution’s tweet about telemedicine technology.
Amp-up Customer Service
From a customer service standpoint, direct messaging has been streamlined. A new Message button, highlighted on the tweet from Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, makes it easier to share specific tweets through a Direct Message on mobile devices. This simplifies the process of beginning a private conversation and confirms that both parties are on the same page – making it a valuable and efficient tool for both customer service teams and consumers.
Also, health insurers and other brand pages can now indicate when plan members should anticipate customer service responses through a new feature on the profile. Brand-specified support hours will appear in search results, mentions of brand accounts in tweets, and users’ direct message inbox. Highmark, for example, specifies that the support team will be most responsive between the hours of 8am and 9pm, setting expectations for their response timing.
Twitter has already indicated that in addition to these changes, it will continue to roll out updates to improve the Twitter experience for brand accounts and personal accounts. While it’s too soon to tell exactly how the latest Twitter updates will affect health insurers’ Twitter strategies, there are a few things we do know:
- Data shows that when it comes to engagement, tweets with media attachments significantly outperform tweets lacking visual elements.
- More than 80% of customer service requests on social occur on Twitter – and that number is growing.
These numbers tell us that Twitter’s latest updates provide significant opportunities; the opportunities to continue to boost engagement and reach more individuals, while helping to manage the growing number of customer service inquiries.Tags: health plan marketing, healthcare marketing, Social Marketing, Twitter strategies, Twitter updates