The number of social media users is growing at an astonishing pace. According to some recent statistics, there have been 3.2 billion social media users globally. This is basically 42% of the global population.
Over time, the way we use social networks has changed. We turn to them to share our opinions, join relevant communities, and ask for help.
This also changes how brands are interacting with their audiences. In addition to branded content, many organizations are turning to building extensive online communities and producing valuable content that improves the lives of their followers.
One such example is using social networks in mental health awareness campaigns.
Here are the 3 powerful metal health campaigns you can learn a lot from.
Instagram has turned into a place that helps us feel heard – the place where we can share our thoughts freely. People use it to voice their ideas and feelings, discuss problems and, above all, seek help.
If you search for #depression on Instagram, you will see that there are 19.1M posts containing this hashtag. A group of scientists recently analyzed the #depression hashtag and found that it appears in a wide range of posts, from suicide threats to self-harmed body images.
But, have you ever wondered how social networks really impact people suffering from mental issues? How many people are using the #depression hashtag not knowing what this term really stands for? Can other people’s posts and comments affect people suffering from depression negatively? Finally, how competent are the people that are giving mental health tips on social networks?
Social networks have an immense impact on people with mental health issues. In other words, when it comes to fighting mental problems, social networks should have a certain level of responsibility.
Fortunately, Instagram is aware of that and they’ve shown that by launching the recent “HereForYou” campaign. This campaign was created specifically to make a positive social impact, support its users suffering from mental disorders, and help them find appropriate help. For many of them, social networks are the safest place to look for help.
The campaign revolves around the one-minute video that showed up as a sponsored post in Instagram users’ news feeds. It covers the stories of three different users, discussing their problems with eating disorders, suicidal thoughts, and depression.
The hashtag has been accepted well by Instagram’s users and, right now, it appears in 175K posts. The campaign has risen the awareness of mental health problems and led to the creation of a growing online community, where people come to seek and provide help.
The reason why this campaign works that well lies in the fact that, through it, this social network has taken its role in addressing mental issues and formalized it through quality, socially responsible content.
Leeds NHS created a comprehensive, multi-channel “Future in Mind: Leeds” mental health awareness campaign.
They started it by creating the MindMate website that was created to address vulnerable populations. The site was designed in collaboration with young people suffering from mental issues and their families and includes real stories, games, and educational resources. The idea was to increase the awareness of mental issues and improve the emotional wellbeing of the young people in Leeds. Moreover, they use the promotion channels that resonate with their target audience. For example, they promoted their website on Football Manager.
In 2018, they took the campaign to a whole new level, by expanding it to Snapchat. During the campaign, created 10 Snapchat filters, each including a caricature of one of their MindMate ambassadors The filters were strongly promoted across various online and offline channels, such as sports events and festivals, in order to spark the interest of many young people.
This campaign gained success for several reasons. First, Leeds NHS understands their audiences and adapted their content to them. This is key to any content marketing campaign. According to the recent article by the OMG digital marketing company, targeting your website content lets you provide users with the right messages and provide more personalized ways to convert. They turned to Snapchat for the same reason – to make mental health-related topics more approachable to young people.
“Reaching young people isn’t the easiest of tasks, so we are using a mix of digital, social and more traditional tactics – Snapchat is hugely popular with our target audience and it’s great to have our ambassadors starring on the filters,” claims Jane Mischenko, commissioning lead for children & maternity services at NHS Leeds.
Statistics say that global suicide rates have grown by 60%. The World Health Organization emphasizes that approximately 800 000 people commit suicide every year, while the number of those attempting suicide is even larger.
Instead of sweeping this topic under the rug, we should speak out about it openly. Education and prevention are still the most effective ways to help our loved ones from ending their lives.
This is exactly what TheLADBible Group emphasized by launching their UOKM8? campaign.
Inspired by the fact that suicide is a leading cause of death among British men under 45, TheLADBible Group teamed with a number of other charity organizations and started a three-month social media campaign. They also conducted a brief survey and found that 37% of their respondents thought about committing suicide at some point.
As TheLadbible Group’s Ian Moore emphasized in an article on their website, over 50% of all British men between 18 and 25 follow TheLadbible on social channels. Precisely because of that, they decided to launch a campaign that would raise awareness of mental health issues. Their idea was to encourage young people to stop keeping their suicidal feelings and start talking honestly about them.
They launched the UOKM8? with a series of documentary films called Everyday Heroes, where many authoritative people are talking about mental issues. The documentary was also supported by a few informative articles on mental health.
This socially driven campaign turned into an immediate success, reaching more than 38 million young people on Facebook and generating impressive 823K engagements. The reason why it worked is obvious – it was perfectly tailored to young audiences suffering from mental health issues. Through multiple examples, they proved that depression is not something we should ignore or be ashamed of. They used plain, conversational language to make this topic more approachable to young audiences and grab their attention. They encouraged British men to communicate and, as a result, the campaign continued to exist way beyond its original, three-month strategy.
Social media has an immense impact on people’s mental health. And, luckily, online brands and organizations are getting aware of that. Campaigns like those mentioned above teach us that we shouldn’t be afraid to share our emotions and experiences with the public.
However, social networks need to be used strategically. Only by educating people and teaching where to seek help, how to behave, and what kind of content to post will we be able to fully harness the power of social when raising mental health awareness.