By Chloe Partikas, Social Media Director and Rick Evans, Senior Digital Strategist at our friends Ogilvy Healthworld (part of WPP Health & Wellness)


One in 20 Google searches is a quest for health information, and 47% of people in the UK have admitted to self-diagnosing on Google according to YouGov.

With high demand for health information online, it is key that at Ogilvy Healthworld the health communications that we craft for our clients are scientifically grounded – to only share factually accurate information  –  and creatively driven to grab our audience's attention amongst the noise in the space.

We rarely begin a social media project without carrying out social listening first. Over the years, we have learnt some key lessons from social listening that are applicable to developing communications strategies across many sectors.

1 – Question whether your campaign needs its own unique hashtag

Consider whether a unique hashtag has a purpose in your campaign and whether it will be utilised – and be realistic about expectations. If it is a campaign for a brand encouraging the submission of adventure photos for a competition then absolutely create a unique hashtag for grouping and easy tracking of the entries, but if the purpose is to track mentions of an ad campaign on Twitter – this will most likely lead to disappointment from all parties that no-one used it.

The best way to leverage hashtags is getting involved in an existing and relevant conversation. Carry out social listening to ensure brands are joining the right conversations, and save creating new unique hashtags for the few moments where they are vital.

2 - Never assume you know the language niche communities are using online

We have carried out quite a few social listening projects in the ‘mother and baby’ space.  Mumsnet is awash with acronyms that are often surprising. Who knew that BC now means Before Children, and that the rarely used DMIL stands for Darling Mother in Law?

Communities have their own jargon. We need to understand it, consider whether as a brand it is appropriate for us to use it, and when we do - use it sparingly.

3 – Social media is evolving language at an alarming speed

Social media is changing the way we speak and it’s being taken seriously by the powers that be. Indeed, Tweet, Selfie, YouTuber and Vlog have made their way in to the Oxford English Dictionary over the past few years. These new words and concepts are here to stay, and we need to make sure our clients are up- to-date on the latest expressions and vernacular that our audiences use. However, we should always remember the brands and companies we represent, and ensure that the language we use in our communications has gravitas and complements our image.

Chloe and Rick presented on this topic at the Sysomos Summit 2018.