Liquid Gold Answers

How do you engage teenages using social media in health. I’m not sure this is easy to answer. They are the SMS generation, not facebook. Any ideas?

This was a question I asked on LinkedIn How about this for a superb answer and case study from Jesper Nyholm, Copenhagen, Denmark

I have sucesfully engaged teenagers in online communities (social media) promoting healthy lifestyle.

I have concepted and implemented several health-campaigns for both Danish companies and Governments trying to reach the teenagers through social media.

(we have succesfully engaged more than 150.000 people in healthy campaigns via social media since 2005. some of the campaigns lasted 12 weeks and on average we have 80% of the participants completing the campaigns with daily interaction and with great healthy results)

my key findings are:

1. you need to make a story of the healthy issue – don’t spend to much time on talking health – spend time on encapsulating health into a relevant context for the teenagers.

2. you need to have a scoreboard and think in points and merits – look at all that is happening on facebook these days; farmville, mafiawars – or outside facebook; world of warcraft – these games are based on getting points and honor your effort.

3. When engaging teenagers, make sure that everybody can join your initiative at their own level – It is like playing golf; a bad player (unhealthy teenager) is able to challenge a pro player (healthy teenager) because of the handicap scoresystem in golf.

I know that this is a very brief introduction to our key findings. We are working on a book on the subject – and  have plenty of relevant cases to introduce you to if you need more inspiration?

Gotta love social media for providing gold answers.

And in line with how young people are using email, texting, PEW released this data on how young people communicate

Pew Data on how young people use email

If I’m lucky Jesper may expand on this answer in the future. It’s clearly a well researched project they have undertaken.  Here’s hoping.