As a tool to drive traffic to the IU Health Twitter feed and website, the event was a great success. At the same time, IU Health helped spread the word about the importance of living organ donation.
“We went into this not knowing what to expect, and in the end we were blown away,” says IU Health Public Relations Coordinator Kris Karol. “We never in a million years expected the kind of response that we received.”
The surgery generated more than 700 responses on Twitter, including retweets, mentions and direct questions to IU Health about the procedure. Of course, the best outcome is that the surgery opened many peoples’ eyes to the importance of organ donation.
Aside from step-by-step Twitter updates throughout the procedure, IU Health produced videos, fielded questions and provided an e-postcard program, where supporters who were following the procedure online could send an e-postcard to both the donor and recipient, with well wishes.
“There were dozens upon dozens of questions asked by followers during the Twittercast,” says Karol. “And we even had some surprise retweets—we didn’t know that the LA Times would pick up on it and even the actress Alyssa Milano tweeted it.”
With such a successful outcome, will IU Health offer a live Twitter cast of a procedure again? Karol stresses that it requires choosing the right kind of procedure, and having enough lead-time to coordinate. “This has been a real eye opener, and a learning experience,” he says.
In the end, though, despite the wonderful response, it wasn’t about increasing numbers on social media. “Obviously, in terms of social media, this was a success. We need that, to get the word out,” says Karol. “But the real success is with the people who are helped through living donor organs.”
Check out this social media success story at iuhealth.org/kidneydonation. You can also read more at the hashtag #calebskidney on Twitter.
Tell us: How do you use Twitter as a marketing tool? Have you ever hosted a Twittercast?