GE’s social media philosophy: Put the bullhorn down

With the launch of its HealthyShare Facebook app over the summer and other social media efforts directed at smaller communities, the company is proving that ‘going viral’ isn’t everything.

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“I don’t speak to my friends with a bullhorn,” says Paul Marcum, director of global digital marketing and programming at GE. “As a social engager, you can’t.”

What GE has done instead is to foster communities such as the one that flocked to its HealthyShare Facebook app this summer. For the most part, GE has taken a hands-off approach to the community, which has nearly 25,000 users, making it an open forum for people to encourage each other to become healthier and ask each other health questions.

It’s indicative of GE’s social media philosophy of focusing on people rather than trends, and it’s working.

The path to sharing

HealthyShare got its start in June as the result of a partnership between GE and Facebook looking ahead to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Paul Adams, global head of brand design at Facebook, explained the idea behind the app: “Many research studies show that our friends can help us live healthier lives. By supporting each other, we increase people’s motivation, helping them meet their goals of feeling better and being healthier and happier.”

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