Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin has decided to climb into the interactive social cyber-community space in a big way. The company is offering members of all ages the opportunity to interact via social networking and media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The marketing move solidifies the health carrier’s ability to provide information across a variety of mediums as well as remain engaged and responsive to its members, the company says.

"At Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, we understand that more teens, adults and even seniors are logging online to tweet, network or blog about their daily activities, likes and dislikes, among other things," said Larry Schreiber, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin. "Tools such as Twitter and Facebook provide an additional means of communicating with our members and all consumers in the communities we serve in a way that's convenient and of interest for them."

Currently, Anthem is piloting a program in which it uses Twitter to identify members who may have questions or concerns about their health benefits. Twitter allows Anthem to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, real-time conversation, and respond to each tweet about Anthem. Members can follow Anthem on Twitter here.

Twitter is also one component of Anthem's collaboration with Bob Harper from the "The Biggest Loser" to provide information and tools to help members and people in our communities live healthy lives. In just two months since the launch, more than 12,000 people are following Bob's regular tweets with tips on how to get healthy and stay healthy here.

Additionally, Anthem is utilizing Facebook to create a community where people can interact with Anthem and each other, and learn about how everyone’s health is connected, and how one person's healthy behaviors can positively affect someone else's behaviors. Anthem also is launching a brand channel on YouTube to create a vital and viral community around health and wellness.

"Building relationships with our members and showing the human face of our company is critical, especially today when so many rely on online tools and communications for all aspects of their life, but even more so with something as personal as health care," said Kate Quinn, VP of corporate marketing for Anthem's parent company. "Social media provide a great opportunity for us to engage our members, listen to them and be more responsive."

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