An early adopter of social media, the Lance Armstrong Foundation leverages social media to engage, connect, and celebrate its community. The LAF goes beyond a mere presence on social networks, it has taken a maven approach, engaging deeply with supporters with a regularly updated blog, MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter presences.
The LAF uses its Facebook fan page and Twitter profile as a way to directly connect with cancer survivors on a personal basis and animate the community. I asked Brooke McMillan, Online Community Evangelist, for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, to share some examples of how they engage with their community.
October 2nd is LIVESTRONG Day- a day we set aside each year to focus on cancer survivors, advocacy efforts and community participation. October 2nd is also the anniversary of our founder’s, Lance Armstrong, cancer diagnosis. The foundation used social media heavily to promote this day.
Here are a few examples of how we engage with our community to make this day a success:
1. Encourage your community's creativity and creative expression
We use the our blog to share stories about "out of the box" LIVESTRONG Day events and ideas. Take for example, this post about celebrating "Livestrong Day at Work."
2. Build partnerships with corporate sponsors
Buca Di Beppo signed on to host LIVESTRONG Day events. We, in turn, gave them heavy publicity. Radio Shack is on board as well as Nike and our other corporate partners.
3. Let the community give to the cause in different ways
We asked people to dedicate their Facebook statues to mark the date and give suggested "tweets" to share their followers.
4. Provide a platform for people in the community to support one another
We try to provide as many opportunities for our community members to provide support to one another by telling their stories on our Facebook Fan Page wall and sharing their cancer experiences. This bonding and sharing creates a stronger connection to the LAF.
5. Offer ways for the community to create something together
We designed an interactive map function on our website that shows where all the events are taking place. It has allowed me to proactively reply to folks that may not necessarily want to host an event, but would like to attend one in their area. It has also allowed me to highlight some of the really hot areas of the map—like the UK, India, China, US, etc. We had 1000+ events on all 7 continents (yes including Antarctica) and in all 50 states.
6. Create opportunities for the community to create social content for your web site
We asked our supporters to upload photos from their events to Flickr and videos to Youtube. We ask our supporters to tag their photos in a special way so we can easily pull and republish this content on together on the organization’s Supporter’s page.
7. Create opportunities for activism
On LIVESTRONG Day we ask our US based supporters to take action and show their support for healthcare reform. We will be sending out an email to our constituents, Facebook blasts, Facebook ads, tweets and more to sign the petition for healthcare reform. The petition will be on our advocacy website LIVESTRONGAction.org
Brooke McMillan is the Online Community Evangelist for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.