“No stroller, I just carried her around cuz she likes to reach for the leaves on trees and bushes. She started to fight off sleep, then her head dropped to my neck & she was out. I'd never felt happier.”
The words he shared in this Tweet caught the attention of thousands who were engaging with the #HowIFightDepression. That’s only one small example of how the Health Community works on Twitter. It is a community that we focused on as a part of a groundbreaking research project2 into understanding the audience on Twitter in the UK. The study uncovered the communities that thrive on Twitter and drive conversation.
The study,1 using a combination of cutting-edge data science analysis and traditional market research, identified 75 subcommunities. It examined them to understand their motivations and how brands can best engage with them.
For good reason, health, and specifically mental health, has recently been very prominent in public debate. And because Twitter is the place where people start conversations that defy convention, it’s unsurprising that the scale of Health Twitter is extensive. In the same way that health issues vary greatly, so do the subcommunities that makeup Health Twitter, with people clustering around specific physical and mental health conditions personal to them.
Three in particular stood out, due to their size and interconnectivity. These include mental health, where hashtags like #HowIFightDepression thrive, and people rally to share experiences, learn about mental health, find advice, and support others in need.
Carers was another community. Here we saw how these people come together to support each other and exchange ideas, knowledge, and experiences.
Our third Healthy Twitter subcommunity was based around people who have or are connected with people who have learning disabilities. It brings together many different pockets of people. They come together to share, discuss, and support each other centred on specific learning disabilities, e.g., dyslexia, dyscalculia, and autism.
Where do brands fit into Health Twitter?