How Carilion Clinic’s #YesMAMM Campaign Transformed Breast Cancer Awareness

As marketers, a vital part of our roles is to successfully communicate with consumers. More importantly, we need to understand who, when, where and how to communicate our messages. Social media marketing is defined as a simplified, optimized way to make connections, and now more than ever, one of the main distribution channels marketers are using is social media. Why, you ask? Well, according to Hubspot, “420 billion people are active on social media.” This means that more than half of the world’s population is using these digital platforms on a daily basis. Think about how much exposure businesses can get by being on a digital platform that consumers have readily accessible at their very fingertips. 

In healthcare, we are selling a service most people don’t want to buy but often need. Increasing awareness of a service line or health topic is one of the top ways healthcare businesses are able to move consumers up the funnel towards taking action. 

The “YES MAMM, Say Yes to Your Annual Mammogram” social media campaign launched by Carilion Clinic is what I like to call a #MasterMarketer (or great) example of a successful healthcare marketing campaign that transformed breast cancer awareness in a small town in southwest Virginia. According to Social Speak Network, Carilion Clinic launched this campaign when, “clinicians noticed that many women in Roanoke Valley were not getting mammograms.” Essentially, the clinic found a need in the community and targeted it. The campaign’s main goal was to get the community to work together to support one another in the fight against breast cancer, hence, increasing traffic for breast cancer screenings or mammograms. Here are some key elements they used within their campaign that you’ll want to note:

  • They launched the campaign in October which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It was launched via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Taking advantage of health observances is a key way to remain timely and relevant (two of our SMART goal characteristics).
  • They optimized the power of the hashtag #YesMAMM to start a trend that could multiply in reach the more it was used. Click here to view all of the people who are posting about the campaign using the #YesMAMM hashtag.
  • Eight years after Carilion Clinic came up with the hashtag, some of the top healthcare systems in the country, like the video example from Ogden Clinic below, are still using the hashtag in their breast cancer awareness strategies.

  • Internal and external triggers were used in the campaign. Triggers are fancy words for call-to-actions (CTAs). Internal triggers are elements that touch one’s emotions, enticing action to be taken. By encouraging their consumers to share personal stories of themselves or any loved ones who have been impacted by breast cancer, they are appealing to pathos. Externally, they used call-to-action buttons that linked to their website and service line page, motivating women to set up an appointment for a mammogram. They also used relationship triggers that encouraged people to invite or remind their friends about the importance of getting screened. 

Carilion Clinic’s YesMAMM social media campaign is one of the many ways marketers use social media in their day-to-day strategies. If you quickly scroll back up, you’ll see that I emphasized what was essential to making this campaign a success. Not only was it timely and relevant, but it also used internal and external triggers to multiply in reach. As you can see, the possibilities for social media marketing campaigns are endless. Hey, they may even save lives. 
Did you enjoy this post? Learn more about Cialdini’s six shortcuts of persuasion and how to apply them in your next campaign on my last post.

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