Small Steps to Health and Wealth™ Twitter Chat Impact Report
Prepared by Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®
Rutgers Cooperative Extension
Many Americans have health and financial “issues” such overweight/obesity, diabetes, low savings, and high household
debt. To address these issues, promote the NIFA-USDA Small Steps to Health and Wealth™ (SSHW) program, and
provide a capstone activity for Financial Literacy Month (April 2014), an interactive Twitter chat was conducted on
4/29/14. The following six questions were discussed using the hashtag #SSHWchat to link the questions and answers.
Q1: In what ways are health and personal finances related?
Q2: What is something that people can do every day to improve their health?
Q3: What is something that people can do every day to improve their personal finances?
Q4: What is your favorite personal finance book, Web site, phone app, or curriculum?
Q5: Since it is Financial Literacy Month, how do you personally define financial literacy?
Q6: What are your best tips to put people on the path to better health and greater wealth?
A total of 34 people participated in #SSHWchat with 26 actively posting Twitter messages and 8 retweeting or replying to
messages. Four program hosts were also involved. A Tweet Reach report for the hashtag #SSHWchat, pulled a day after
the 1-hour Twitter chat, provided outreach information for 50 of the 101 tweets that were sent. The estimated reach was
25,294 Twitter accounts and 50,553 impressions (the total number of times that tweets were delivered to timelines,
including repeats). Almost half (48%) of these tweets were sent by users with 100 to 999 followers, 28% by users with
1,000 to 10,000 followers, and 24% by users with less than 100 followers. The chat included several dozen tweets that
were developed in advance by chat Moderator Dr. Barbara O’Neill, Extension Specialist at Rutgers University. Each of
her tweets included a link to a chapter of the SSHW workbook that is available online at http://njaes.rutgers.edu/sshw/
A link to a six-question Qualtrics survey was embedded in the final tweets sent during the last five minutes of the Twitter
chat. Participants were asked if they learned anything new, the single most important thing that they learned, whether they
planned to take any action to improve their health or finances and, if so, to describe the planned action. The final two
questions asked respondents to share comments about #SSHWchat and to provide their Twitter handle if they wanted to
be entered into a drawing for gift cards. Ten chat participants completed the online evaluation form, a 29% response rate.
100% of respondents reported learning something new such as available resources, not sacrificing health for wealth,
relationships between health and wealth, and the impact over time of taking small steps to improve health and personal
finances. 100% of respondents also reported planned behavior changes that included monitoring health and financial
choices, considering spending needs, drinking more water, and increased physical activity.
The Twitter chat was very well received. Among the comments received were “I really enjoyed the chat and liked how we
use the Q&A system to keep it organized,” “I loved that it talked about financial literacy,” “Good event. Please
continue,” “Very informative and a great way to send positive financial messages to the public via Twitter,” and “Loved
the Twitter chat. Please have one monthly if possible.” Several good suggestions for future chats were also received
including less broad questions, new topics, and a published summary. Dr. O’Neill is planning to learn how to use Storify
(https://storify.com/) in the near future to create an attractive online archive of the #SSHWchat Twitter chat feed.