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Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium [ANTHC]: Keeping A Strong Focus on Social Media

In social media we usually associate success with numbers – ‘number of followers or fans‘, number of times content has been re-tweeted, shared or plus 1’d and number of subscribers. This is called social proof but it’s not always proof of a job well done.

Sometimes your numbers may be small, but the size of the problem you’re solving is huge. I came across Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), a small healthcare provider serving rural Alaska.

ANTHC website features a strong focus on social media

The organization was created in 1997 to manage health services for the Native Alaskan people. Their success has been phenomenal. ANTHC has not only contributed to the near eradication of hepatitis A among Alaska Natives, but also made this population’s rate of disease go from among the worst to the best in the U.S (quoted on their website). Now there’s a story worth telling!

Inspired by their story, I set out to find out how they’re using social media content to achieve some of their goals.

ANTHC Website Content

No blog (yet!) but a visually interesting site that supports a unique brand message of ‘leadership in life-care’. Their site show-cases content that is interesting, useful, relevant and problem-solving – all key elements of quality web content.

Also interesting is the organization’s vision (which could also be their unique value proposition),”To promote wellness, eradicate disease and to make Alaska Natives the healthiest people in the world”. Very well said!

ANTHC on Facebook

ANTHC has a Facebook ‘Like box’ displayed well above the fold on their site, and for a small page it’s great to see that a lot of their content is being shared or liked by fans – which means that fans find it useful and relevant.

ANTHC on Twitter

ANTHC has a fairly young Twitter page (383 tweets as of this writing) featuring tweets that are mostly educational or informative. I think they will experience better interaction with followers when their content becomes a little more conversational in nature.

ANTHC on Vimeo

The Vimeo channel showcases some great life stories of challenges and opportunities within the Native Alaskan communities. However the video content is not always consistent with their branding. In some cases for instance, instead of featuring brand-specific content, they show clips from other brands, even non-healthcare brands. So if there is an important message here, it’s easy to miss.

ANTHC on YouTube

On YouTube ANTHC has a variety of great brand-specific content  – patient stories, hospital culture, health tips and so on. Again, not a huge number of hits, but they’re putting out content that tells interesting stories about their brand and their communities.

Key Takeaway

Here’s what we can learn from ANTHC – Any healthcare organization no-matter how big or small CAN solve their community’s problems and touch lives by using social media content. It’s not always about social proof and it doesn’t mean you always get it right. It’s about finding new innovative ways to reach people and to solve their problems.

In an industry that doesn’t trust social media, ANTHC has embraced it, they’re experimenting with new platforms, starting conversations, and touching people’s lives. And that is a great story.

 Over to you: Do you think that organizations can solve serious life problems using social media? Please share your thoughts in the box below.



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