Want to see a trendy, festive hospital Facebook page?
Check out what’s going on at UNC Rex Health Care.
Here, you’ll meet “Hipaa,” a 12-inch plastic elf who finds himself in unusual places around the hospital, bringing holiday spirit—not to mention hundreds
of “likes” to the hospital’s Facebook page.
This photo campaign started in early December. The first picture was of Hipaa, swaddled in a baby blanket.
“Everyone thought that was adorable,” says Jason Papagan, eMarketing manager at the hospital.
That picture received 271 “likes,” 17 comments, and 24 shares.
Even though his name is Hipaa, he doesn’t always do HIPAA-related things. (Although, he has been spotted hanging out by a flu shot poster and under a hand
“The name just kind of popped up—we wanted a name with a double meaning, and ‘Hipaa’ sounded kind of elf-y,” Papagan says.
Hipaa has been a hit. Hospital staff members ask the marketing team, “When will Hipaa come visit our department?”
The week, there was a 770 percent increase of people “talking about” the page. Also, the “likes” on the Facebook page have increased by 23 percent, though
the spike might be from a Facebook ad that has run during that time, Papagan says.
The idea for the campaign was spurred by the popularity of the book, “Elf on the Shelf.” With this tradition,
families adopt the elf that comes with the book and hide it throughout the house, for their children to find. This year, it’s especially trendy for parents
to post pictures on Facebook showing where they hide the elf.
“We’re always looking at trends and thinking about what people are doing outside of health care,” Papagan says. “And then we ask ourselves: Is there
something we can pick up and weave into health care marketing? The elf trend was a natural fit for us.”
The budget for this campaign was $29.99, the price of the book.
The wellness facebook page at UNC Rex Health Care also has a girl elf, named Peaches. She likes to lift
weights and swim.
Papagan says that at some point, Peaches and Hipaa will meet each other.
Is mistletoe in their future?
“Well, I can’t say, but we have developed a story arc,” Papagan says with a laugh.