Lithys 2017: Covered California - Surprise & Delight

Lithys 2017: Covered California - Surprise & Delight

Our "Real Stories" video series created an opportunity for others to share their own stories and show support for Covered California and validate the importance of having health insurance.



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.


Social Promotion

Significant political events – with potential implications for Covered California – took place this past fall and winter during the most recent Open Enrollment (OE) period. These events raised consumer questions about the future of the Affordable Care Act and Covered California. This took the form of passionate, supportive messages from those who have benefited from having coverage, as well as messages from those opposed to it.


In early January 2017, Covered California met with several consumers who had reached out to us on social media to share their powerful, personal stories. These conversations led to the creation of three “Real Stories” videos, where each consumer shared how health coverage through Covered California positively impacted or even saved their life.  These videos were quickly produced to be posted online before the OE deadline on January 31. With a small budget and only six days to promote, the videos were posted on Facebook and received an overwhelming level of engagement. 


The videos can be seen here:











Goal, Strategy and Tactics

The goal of the videos was to highlight the life-saving and potential financial impact of having health coverage, regardless of any concerns over the future of Covered California. The strategy of posting the “Real Stories” videos on social media was to increase engagement of the page and promote the importance of coverage in the final days of the OE period. Utilizing  Lithium Social Media Management (SMM) for Marketing, the campaign was tactically implemented by posting the videos on Facebook to reach our 230,000 fans, as well as lookalike users who share similar interests. For the campaign to be deemed a success, the Social Team set the goal for the engagement rate of the posts to be comparable to other promoted videos of approximately 3%.


The Results

The “Real Stories” videos received a tremendous amount of support from Californians who were concerned about the future of the ACA. SMM for Service was critical to manage the influx of personal stories that were received due to the video posts on Facebook. These comments added to the other messages received regarding the OE deadline.


The “Real Stories” series resulted in some of the highest levels of engagement Covered California social channels have ever received. Overall, the videos reached more than 1.4 million Californians in the six days they were promoted, attracting 4,370 post reactions (likes), 476 comments, and 923 shares. There were more than 332,000 video views (3 seconds or longer) and the average engagement rate was 24% - significantly higher than the 3% goal. The cost per engagement was very low, at $0.04. Additionally, the videos were responsible for adding 337 new Facebook fans.


Perhaps the greatest engagement on these videos came in the form of user comments – shared stories from other CoveredCA members. The video series created an opportunity for others to share their own stories and show support for Covered California and validate the importance of having health insurance.


We received many personal stories from of our members highlighting how much they valued the organization and their coverage. These stories provided an opportunity for us to connect with these users to learn more about their experiences, and potentially create additional video stories in the future. Nothing is more powerful than genuine, compelling, emotional stories – and we received many in a short period, at a critical moment – the deadline to enroll in health coverage.


Examples of comments received: