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Social Media Listening for Public Health Marketers

As public health marketers we must understand our audiences to create effective messaging. Traditionally, we have used focus groups and surveys to understand how a population feels about a given topic. While useful, these methods can take time to collect and have limited datasets. Social media listening is a way for public health marketers to identify public health topics trending in real time, allowing them to serve communities like never before.

Content Creation

Social media listening can help public health marketers determine the online habits of specific target audiences. By analyzing this data, we can determine the preferred social media platforms and why they share and interact with content. Organizations can also use this data to better understand societal norms and customs of their audiences to create socially relevant content.


Social media listening can also be used to find out what questions or information gaps our target audience has and develop messaging to address them. Social media listening can also be used to find and combat sources of misinformation. Identifying and responding to rumors quickly can stop them from spreading and establish trust in your organization.

Understanding the questions, habits, and preferences of target audiences can help marketers create effective campaigns. Social media listening is a helpful tool that allow us use data to connect and engage with our audiences. Effective messaging requires insight and consideration to create content that will connect and resonate with users.

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Social Media Marketing ROI

As public health marketers we know that social media can be a great resource to connect users with support services. Health departments and non-profits, however, have limited marketing budgets making every penny count. Knowing how to calculate the ROI for a proposed campaign can help public health marketers use their limited budgets strategically and justify future spending to stakeholders.

Measuring Effectiveness

Like with any other marketing campaign, we want to start our social media campaign with a clearly defined goal. A clear goal is needed to direct efforts and to determine whether we achieved it or not. Next, we need to ensure that we have measurable metrics assigned to our goal so that we can track the performance of our campaign. If the metrics chosen are not measurable, it is impossible to determine if they had an impact. Finally, we must calculate the ROI for the campaign. The traditional ROI calculation is [(value-investment)/investment * 100]. There are also ROI calculators available online that can help with this calculation.

Calculating the ROI for a social media campaign is important for marketers to utilize their budgets effectively and justify spending. Limited funding and budget restrictions of public health organizations make ROI calculations that much more important. Connecting users with support services has been made easier through social media and has proven to be an excellent tool for public health marketers.

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Masterful Marketing: The Death of Mr. Peanut

As marketers one of our main objectives is to build and maintain brand recognition. Even established brands must maintain their marketing efforts to stay relevant in the minds of consumers. The death of Mr. Peanut is a fabulous example of an established brand engaging with audiences and keeping things fresh.  

Campaign Concept

Mr. peanut made his debut in 1916 and has been the Planters mascot ever since. During the 2020 Super Bowl, Planters ran a commercial in which Mr. Peanut sacrifices himself so that his friends can survive. In the second half of the game, a second Planters commercial aired and continued the story of Mr. Peanut showcasing his funeral service and Groot-like reincarnation.

Media Outlets

The Death of Mr. Peanut campaign started with the super bowl ads and quickly spread across media platforms. The video, which is now unlisted, has over 7 million views on YouTube, and 2.3 million views on Planters’ Twitter feed. The ad was soon being featured in CNN stories and had a segment on SNL’s Weekend Update.

Audience Reception

The reactions to the death of Mr. Peanut were mixed. Many viewers were intrigued by the tongue and cheek nature of the mascots demise. Others saw the campaign and trending twitter hashtag #RIPPeanut as tone deaf given the death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant four days after the release of the campaign.

The killing of Mr. Peanut, while controversial to some, was an excellent example of an established brand staying relevant. Within minutes of the commercial airing, the hashtag #RIPPeanut was flooding news-feeds across the country, bringing Mr. Peanut and his legacy back into peoples’ minds. Although killing off a mascot was a bold and risky move, Planters was able to use this controversy to build its brands recognition and equity.

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Increasing Social Media Engagement with Closed Captions

As marketing professionals, a core element of building an effective marketing campaign for is finding those small changes that can help your project have maximum impact. For example, with the recent movement on social media platforms from text-based to video-based content, we need to find ways to increase views and to encourage viewers to watch the video until the end. But most of today’s market uses a mobile device to access their social media accounts, and they casually scroll through the content, often while waiting in line at the store. In this public context, most users mute their devices, so it is critical that video content include subtitles to maintain the viewers attention.

Content Accessibility

Providing closed captions or subtitles to content not only increases the likelihood of an individual watching a clip in full, it will also make your content accessible to the hard of hearing and deaf individuals. As it stands many people in the deaf community feel underrepresented in social media platforms, in particular on Instagram.

Communicating Values

The simple addition of captions to your social media posts will not only increase viewership, it will also signal to the greater community that your brand values inclusiveness. Today consumers expect that organizations to value diversity and inclusion and by making your video content more accessible your organization proves this.