Empowering Healthy Behavior Via Facebook

By Dhara Naik I’m wrapping up my sixth week working at Likeable Media and over the course of the last few weeks, I’ve loved watching clients have “aha moments” when they realize social media’s power in helping them build a relationship with their customers.

Coming from a healthcare background, I’ve always believed that social media plays a pivotal role in not only educating people, but helping all of us change a behavior and lead a healthy lifestyle. I decided to write about some of my favorite Facebook pages and share three important things that brands in the health, wellness and lifestyle sector can take into consideration when using Facebook to engage their audience and ultimately help people make a positive change.

1. Discussing healthy lifestyle changes on Facebook doesn't have to be serious or dry. Once you know your brand’s audience, you can add flavor to engage your audience without losing your brand’s messaging. Two brands that do this well are Vita Coco and Emergen-C.

Promoting healthy coconut water, Vita Coco’s page is  fun and so exciting that I can almost taste the coconut water while I’m visiting their page. Emergen-C is similar in terms of engaging its fans in a lively manner.

Complete with a recipes tab that has an array of Emergen-C concoctions, the brand has managed to turn what was once a chore into something that I look forward to everyday. Both of these brands do a great job ofencouraging individuals to change a behavior with a twist that is still true to their message

2. It’s also important to be a good resource and making sure the information you’re sharing is engaging. Sharing valuable tips and knowledge that evolves into a conversation with your audience is the best way to spread awareness and motivate healthy change.The Heart Truth is a national campaign dedicated to educating women about heart disease. The campaign’s Facebook page has an active wall with over 8,000 followers. Why is there so much engagement? Because the campaign encourages fans to share their advice and experiences instead of preaching facts about heart disease. It’s a page that keeps me coming back!

Choose You is another campaign dedicated to health education. Founded by the American Cancer Society, Choose You is a campaign that encourages women to make healthier choices. The campaign’s Facebook page is another example of a page that engages its audience without preaching to them. Every time I visit the page, I learn something new and observe women who share their experiences in making better choices for a healthy lifestyle.

3. The third tip or observation I noted after browsing all of my favorite pages is that brands in this sector have the ability to create a sense of belonging to a community on Facebook which is pivotal when a brand is trying to promote healthy lifestyle changes. I’m not a gym enthusiast by any means, but when I landed on the Nike Women’s Facebook  page, I immediately felt like someone was there to motivate and inspire me to get to the closest treadmill I could find. At first I was expecting to come across a wall with posts talking about their latest shoes or workout gear, but I didn’t. Instead, I found a community of women sharing their workout sentiments. What I love most is a tab called “Make Yourself” which allows women to make a public declaration . With 374 pages of declarations, Nike Women has harnessed the ability to empower women who ultimately want to get fit and live a healthy life. I now see Nike in a new light and feel pumped to buy some new Nike sneakers and get to the gym!

Maintaining a healthy diet and losing weight is not always an easy task. Often, finding the motivation to start can be stressful. This is where I believe Weight Watchers gets it. When I first took a look at their Facebook page, I felt like I was entering a community of people that were there to cheer me on. Because of the positive engagement and conversation, it feels as though I’m talking to a group of friends or a coach, not a brand that is trying to sell me something.

It’s always easier to make a change when we know we’re not alone and we have someone who motivates us.  With the help of social media, brands in the health, wellness and lifestyle industry have the opportunity to serve as coaches, build relationships and find lifelong brand ambassadors!

Share your thoughts in the comments below!