Using the Social Web to Make Local Impact | npENGAGE

Using the Social Web to Make Local Impact

By on Oct 2, 2009


Friday, October 2, 2009, is LIVESTRONG Day. As part of the LIVESTRONG Action campaign the LIVESTRONG day is focused on unifying people from all around the world through local events and activities that celebrate cancer survivorship. It’s also designed to generate awareness and foster support so the world can be freed from cancer. While their efforts are focused on encouraging local participation in the physical sense they’ve also made it possible for people to participate online through social media using sites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube.

I’m hoping you’ll be inspired and begin to get a vision for your organization by seeing what LIVESTRONG is doing with social media.  Let’s have a look.

Using the Social Web

LIVESTRONG - Using the Social WebFor some going to a local event or activity is a perfect fit. For others it’s not possible for one reason or another. No need to worry if you’re one of those who can’t make it to a local event. LIVESTRONG has done a fabulous job using the social web to encourage participation and interaction in ways that don’t require you to physically attend anything. We’ll talk more about the specifics below.

Encouraging Local Participation

LIVESTRONG - Encourage Local Participation1st, you can find a LIVESTRONG Day event near you with their interactive online map. It’s easy to use and gives you an idea of how many events are going on around the world (There are more than 1,100 events taking place to raise awareness about cancer all over the world.). If you can attend an event, great! If you can’t attend an event the map makes it easy for you to share information with your friends and family so they can attend.

Note to LIVESTRONG (just an idea): It would be really cool if you did a Google Maps Mashup that maps all the events that were put on with all the photos, videos and tweets. It would be awesome if people could search the map to find an event that took place near them and then see all the Flickr photos and YouTube videos that we’re associated with that particular event.

Communicating on the LIVESTRONG Blog

LIVESTRONG - The LIVESTRONG BlogNew blog post: “A LIVESTRONG Day Message from Lance

LIVESTRONG uses their blog to engage with their readers on a regular basis. They made sure to get out information on the LIVESTRONG Day early and often to their blog subscribers. I imagine Brooke McMillan is already thinking about how to do a post LIVESTRONG Day summary of all the activity that went on around the world.

Participating on Twitter

LIVESTRONG - Participating on TwitterAs you can see I’ve used tweets (all screen captures from @livestrong Twitter account) from @livestrong throughout this post to show you how LIVESTRONG is using Twitter to communicate and spread the word. They’re sharing information about the day while also promoting what their supporters and fans are doing.

Check out what’s going on for your self by using Twitter search ( Just search for #LIVESTRONG and you’ll be able to see most everything that’s being said about the event.

Check out @livestrong, @livestrongceo and @lancearmstrong

Building Community with Facebook

LIVESTRONG - Build Community with FacebookThe folks at LIVESTRONG want to hear from you on Facebook – it’s one of their most active and engaged online communities. They have thousands of fans all sharing and talking daily. What can you do there?

  • You can view photos in their Facebook album “LIVESTRONG Day 2009“.
  • You can post video, photos, and links of your local event on the LIVESTRONG fan page for others to see and interact with.
  • You can update your Facebook status in support of LIVESTRONG to show all your friends what you’re supporting.

Remember, everything you do on Facebook is shared with your friends through the activity/news feed. It all helps LIVESTRONG build awareness through the social web.

Bring Events to life with Flickr and YouTube

LIVESTRONG - Use Flickr and YouTube to Bring your Events to LifeUpload your photos to Flickr and videos to YouTube. Make sure to tag them as LIVESTRONG so they can be found by the LIVESTRONG team and the thousands of people who will be looking to participate virtually. Using Flick and YouTube helps bring the local event to life for those participating online.

Final Thoughts and Future Moves

I can see this exact model working for event based fundraising. Think about how the American Heart Associations Heart Walks could be enhanced by a social media and online strategy that encourages participation virtually.

I’m sure there are tons of ways you can think to incorporate these types of activities into your online efforts. What do you think? Share your thoughts with us in the comments or ask questions that the community can help you with.


Frank Barry, formerly worked at Blackbaud helping nonprofits use the Internet for digital communication, social media, and fundraising. He’s worked with a diverse group of organizations including LIVESTRONG, United Methodist Church, American Heart Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters, ChildFund Int’l, InTouch Ministries, Heifer Int’l, University of Notre Dame and University of Richmond. Along with writing for industry publications like Mashable and Social Media Today, Frank facilitates discussions, presents solo sessions and organizes panels for industry conferences such as NTC, SXSW, BBCon and numerous others. When he’s out and about he enjoys talking to interesting people about how they are changing the world – check out his interviews. Say Hi on Twitter – @franswaa or Google+

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