Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Lithys 2017: Covered California - Social Marketing Champion

Lithys 2017: Covered California - Social Marketing Champion

Based on learnings, during the last Open Enrollment (OE) campaign, our social campaign was built around three primary content buckets – Informing, Engaging, and Customer Service.



Company:  Covered California

Entry submitted by: Amanda Danley (Senior Marketing Specialist)

Community/Social Channels: REAL LOGO.png

Facebook (English):

Twitter (English):

Instagram (English + Spanish):   

Facebook (Spanish):  

Twitter (Spanish):  

 Lithy category: Social Marketing Champion


Covered California is the state-based health insurance exchange under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) where Californians can get brand-name health coverage. It’s the only place to get federal premium assistance to help lower the cost of having health insurance.


Goal & Key Strategies

Covered California utilizes social media to promote our services and improve relationships with our consumers. We are aware that some experience confusion or frustration when purchasing health insurance. Our goal is not only to provide information and guidance to ease the process, but also to create a friendly and accessible social experience with our brand.


Through content testing, we learned consumers are excited to engage with social channels and brands that consistently deliver value to them – value being emotional, informational, or support. Based on these learnings, during the last Open Enrollment (OE) campaign, our social campaign was built around three primary content buckets – Informing, Engaging, and Customer Service. All paid social content was optimized to drive engagement.

“Informing” content focused on detailing specifics about Covered California services, enrolling in health insurance, and promoting various functional information about OE.


 “Engaging” content sought to deliver “Life Care” messages to consumers, including suggestions about how to cook healthier meals, reduce stress and get more exercise. “Life Care” is Covered California’s traditional marketing campaign that stresses the importance of health coverage being a part of a healthy life.


“Customer Service” content promoted the availability of customer care through Covered California social channels. We have seen meaningful results indicating significant improvement in brand sentiment from members who visit our social channels for assistance.


Content types varied from static images, illustrations, photos, animated gifs, and video - all shared across our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts – in English and Spanish. In total, over 60 unique pieces of creative were developed for the three-month OE campaign.


Covered California is the only health care exchange in the United States – state or Federal – operating its social media program at this scale – in terms of both content and customer care.


Content examples







Customer Service:



The Plan

Covered California social media is a proactive and reactive operation, managed by the “do-it-all” small team of six.


For proactive content publishing,  Lithium Social Media Management (SMM) for Marketing is utilized for its simple-to-use scheduling with the choice of an exact time or by daypart using Klout data to post at popular times, bulk content uploading, and ease of approval management. For reactive, Lithium SMM for Service is the tool we use. It has become essential for quickly and effectively responding to messages from consumers – not only addressing pain points or functional questions, but also utilizing it to interact with supportive consumers.


Both tools work together and play a critical role in the “full circle” of Covered California social media strategy – delivering engaging content at the right time, and building relationships with responsive consumers.


The target audience for our content included both current followers/fans, but also “lookalike” audiences within California across social channels – both English and Spanish-speaking. Because health insurance and the Affordable Care Act impact individuals between 26-64, targeting too specifically would significantly limit or reduce content reach and potential impact.


As previously stated, all content was optimized and targeted to drive engagement.

The Results

The Covered California social media effort during this past OE, running November 2016 to January 2017, yielded the strongest results of any OE campaign to date. The primary Key Performance Indicator (KPI) chosen for the campaign was engagement – as reflected by content and optimization – but the strong results also included lead generation and website visitation.

Overall, the content campaign generated over 11.7 million post engagements (not including media clicks), an overall engagement rate of 10.8% (including video views), 26,000+ leads, and 589k+ website visits. Cost per engagement was a mere $0.10.


Facebook non-video content yielded a 1.79% average engagement rate, Instagram at 7.48%, and Twitter at 0.09%. Compared among each content type, “Engaging” posts were the top performing:



During OE, Covered California Facebook channels grew by 7.4%, Twitter by 3.1%, and Instagram by a staggering 42%.


Social customer care during the three-month OE campaign was also very strong, with over 30,000 unique posts handled, a less than 1% flush rate, and 84% of incoming posts handled within the 2-business hour goal. After interacting with our team, negative conversation sentiment was reduced by 54%, and positive sentiment increased by 460%.






A nice treat for the team is when we receive a “thank you” from a customer we have helped on social. We were grateful to receive many during this past OE campaign: