Federal Health Insurance Marketplace Glitches Drive Overall Online Conversation During First Week of Open Enrollment.
Since the opening of the federal Health Insurance Marketplace on October 1st, the DC office of TogoRun, a global boutique communications company, has been on the scene monitoring and synthesizing thousands of online community discussions surrounding the launch and implementation of the marketplace and each state-based exchange.
It’s no mystery, driving the online discussion this week has been a myriad of programming issues and the public’s inability to complete online enrollment applications. Despite these setbacks and the domination of the traditional news cycle of the government shutdown, social media has been utilized heavily by state-based exchanges, navigators and outside advocacy groups to reach the uninsured.
- Overall sentiment for ACA, across all online communities, leans unfavorably: favorable – 41.4%; and, unfavorable – 58.5%.
- California, with a robust year-long paid advertising campaign, has garnered the largest social media following and leads in online discussion nationally.
- States with larger regional pockets with a high number of uninsured are trending highest.
Oct 1 – Oct 8, 2013 (Week 1)
The following analysis contextualizes the online discussion on blogs, mainstream media, Facebook and micro-media, or Twitter, relating to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act for the period of October 1 through October 8.
TogoRun analyzed the number of discussions pertaining to ACA and Obamacare from 10/1 to 10/8, and determined that there were over 651,000 mentions across all online communities. As expected, Twitter, the micro-media platform, carries the majority of all online discussions with over 58.1%, or 378,704 total mentions, with Facebook at 12.3% or (u: 80,700*), news groups at 13.1% (u: 85,431), forums at 9.1% (u: 59,495) and blogs at 7% (u: 46,057) trailing far behind.
Of the total online mentions (651,812*), there were approximately 207,512 or 31.8% % unique online conversations/verbatims where tonality could be ascribed. Of these mentions, approximately 85,941 or 41.4% were favorable and 121,571 or 58.5% were unfavorable.
Overall discussion highlights
The graphs below depict the overall conversation by major online communities such as Facebook, twitter, blogs, digital news media and forums. The colors illustrate the specific community groups.
On day 1 of the state and federal insurance exchanges opening, online conversations peaked at an aggregate count of 120,000+ mentions. Trailing off over the course of the past week, daily discussion volumes have declined to approximately 40,000 mentions with sentiment holding true to the ebb and flow of the overall volume of discussion.
The graph below depicts sentiment levels by day, and overall favorability ratings for the week. Due to the fact that Facebook is a walled garden, monitoring platforms are limited to searching only open group pages.
The graph below shows online discussion by state. It is evident that states with larger regional pockets with a high uninsured population are trending highest.
Over the course of the week’s discussion, top key words, or hashtags, on Twitter included the following:
California leads overall social media follower race. Most states garnering following organically with a median of 1,123 followers.
As part of our methodology, we manually calculated all state health exchanges social media follower counts. In a social media spectrum, follower counts help distribute messages at a low cost and enhance a social media campaign’s engagement ratio. In states that are not running their own exchange, we have derived calculations from top navigator grant recipients, or other prominent groups working to educate the public about health care reform and exchanges.
Across the 47 states that have a social media presence, the total follower count as of the end of the day October 7 tops out at 183,457 followers/likes, with a median of 1,123.
By our count, it’s apparent that California leads the social media race – making up 22.5 times the national average of social media followers.