March 20, 2012

My Social Strand: A social media campaign worth sharing

A game with a serious underlying message about joining the marrow donor registry

Target audience: Nonprofits, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, cause organizations, do-gooders, private citizens.

Guest post by Lynn Treadwell

Be the Match, run by the National Marrow Donor Program, is tapping into people’s online social networks to educate in an entertaining way. And we just launched a fun new social media campaign called My Social Strand that we hope you’ll find not only worth sharing but perhaps worth emulating with your own organization.

Through Facebook Connect, users can create a dynamic and highly personalized infographic that reflects, with some good humor, the individual’s personality, activities, relationships and more.

For example, my own personal My Social Strand profile shows me to be an optimist. Some 25% of my friends are, like me, Nerds & Proud. And the No. 1 song on the day I was married is “My Life Would Suck without You,” by Kelly Clarkson (and it’s so true!). Woefully, I also learned that three of my Facebook friends are likely to be affected by leukemia during their lifetime.

And that’s the point. Woven through this social network game is education about the need for people to join Be The Match Registry operated by the National Marrow Donor Program, which has been helping patients receive the transplants they need for more than 20 years. If you don’t know anyone who’s yet been affected by cancer, you likely will. In fact, each year, more than 10,000 patients in the United States are diagnosed with a life-threatening leukemia or lymphoma, and their best or only hope of a cure is a transplant from an unrelated adult donor or umbilical cord blood unit.

Ultimately, the goal of My Social Strand is to show people that everyone is unique, yet connected in some way. So any one person could save a life by joining the Be The Match Registry.

Visit and learn more about the new effort. Better yet, why not join the 9.5 million other registered potential marrow donors at BeTheMatch.

Lynn Treadwell is supervisor, Interactive Development and Communications, of
BeTheMatch and its My Social Strand campaign. Follow BeTheMatch on Facebook and on Twitter. Follow Lynn at @lynntreadwell.
October 28, 2011

6 reasons to use Flickr for your next media campaign

Flickr network
Image by Nano Taboada on Flickr

Don’t overlook the visual component of social media marketing

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, social enterprises, social media managers, marketing professionals, businesses, brands, Web publishers, photographers.

Guest post by Karissa Van Hooser
Marketing associate, Walker Sands Communications

It seems as though everyone is looking for creative ways to engage their audiences through social media. When social media experts develop a campaign, however, many turn to the usual outlets, Twitter and Facebook, with good reason. These social media outlets reach a large, engaged audience.

Flickr, on the other hand, is an often overlooked but effective social network where the emphasis is on visuals: photos and short video clips. Here are a few reasons why you should add Flickr to your next social media campaign.

People are visual
1You’re able to tell a story in a way you can’t through other mediums. Let’s face it: people like to look at pictures. Plus, the change of scenery is nice. Most people, when browsing online, typically stare at text; mix it up to create more ways to engage with and inform your audience.

You can share your photo stream
2The Flickr community is not the only place where people can see the photos you post to the site. Flickr makes it easy to share photos across all social media platforms.

It’s good for searches
3The tags you assign to your photos are used in search. This allows people with your interests to more easily find you, and enables your audience to grow beyond people who already know about your brand.

Higher picture quality
4Picture quality is much higher on Flickr than any other social media platform. On Flickr, you will have fewer grainy images, and your presentations will be much sharper.

Creative Commons
5Flickr provides a safe platform for pictures. They offer creative commons, which means you pick the stringency of your copyright. This feature can give you peace of mind that others aren’t using (or misusing) photos without your permission. This is something you don’t always get with other social media platforms.

You can start discussions
6Flickr allows you to create groups and comments, just like all other social platforms. Although the focus is on photographs and videos, people are still interacting with each other – and could be interacting around images and videos of your brand or client.

Now, go get a Flickr account and let the fun begin!

Karissa Van Hooser is an interactive marketing associate at Walker Sands Communications, a marketing, design, SEO and public relations firm. Reach Karissa at [email protected] or visit the Walker Sands blog, FootPrints.
June 6, 2011

A reality check on social media

Social Media for Social Good


It only works when it’s connected to the real world

JD LasicaAt the National Conference on Volunteering and Service — which some folks call “the Super Bowl of nonprofit conferences” — George Weiner and I teamed up on one of the most successful Social Media for Social Good Bootcamps that Socialbrite has put on to date. (Socialbrite has put on camps in New York, San Francisco, Miami, London and elsewhere.)

For those of us who live and breathe tech and social media — me in Silicon Valley and George, CTO of, in New York and Washington, DC — it’s always a good reality check to come to gatherings like this and see how the non-early adopters are faring.

The three-hour session we led yesterday offered a range of tips on how to use social media strategically for campaigns, for collaboration, for building community, and I invite you to browse through the presentation above, since the attendees found it useful: “AMAZING session” (thanks, Volunteer Centre) … “awesome, fantastic session” (thanks, NCVS) … “Great session!” (thanks, Groupon).

But there were more beginners in the crowd than I expected. For instance, only about five out of 50 particpants were using Google Analytics (the free tool every website and blog ought to have). None had heard of the effort to document the Gulf oil spill, even though we’re right here in New Orleans. And only one out of 80 people (not counting me) at today’s session on data had ever used Tumblr, an easy way to post blog entries and photos.

These are good, smart, motivated people — we need to break through the barriers and connect the tools and strategies with the organizations and causes that need them, starting with the basics.

So let’s take a deep breath and remember: We still have a lot of work before us, and there’s a lot of education yet to be done.