No, it’s not, at least not directly, but it has helped multiple organizations to raise money, spread their word, have their voice heard by the government, and to provide more information and support for patients and their families.
I have had many people in my family and close friends suffer from Cancer so it has always been a topic of interest for me. I recently found out that one of my parents’ dearest friends has had a relapse. This gave me the idea to research how SM has impacted the Cancer community.
The four largest and most influential organizations, LIVESTRONG, American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen, and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital all have a very active social media presence. Their Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, YouTube channels, and blogs have helped to raise millions of dollars for research and to directly impact the recovery of the millions of Cancer patients around the world.
LIVESTRONG’s social media community has brought in more than 60% of their website’s traffic (Hibbard, 2010).
American Cancer Society has several Twitter handles as well as an iPhone/iPod/iPad app, which community support the community and increase donations and participants in their annual walks.
Susan G. Komen has a blog that is meant to provide information and support to the community dealing with Breast Cancer. With it being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this blog becomes particularly popular.
St Jude’s Children’s Hospital provides medical care to children with illnesses regardless of their parents ability to pay. Donations are particularly important for this organization as they are what keeps this wonderful service available and keeps their research going. St Jude’s has a fantastic online presence with a social media toolkit for people to use to spread the word.
This really opened my eyes to the potential social media has to change the world in a great way. If anyone ever asks you what “the point” of Twitter is, I think you’ll have a pretty snappy reply! ;)
Hibbard, Casey. (2010, April 13). How LIVESTRONG raised millions to fight Cancer using social media. Retrieved from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-livestrong-raised-millions-to-fight-cancer-using-social-media/