As I’m sure you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This subject is close to the hearts of my family as my mother-in-law passed away from this disease, my oldest sister was diagnosed with Stage IV Breast Cancer last year (her cancer is now “dormant”.), and two cousins this year.
What does breast cancer have to do with social media?
If your social channels are anything like mine, you’ve seen many images and posts supporting the survivors and scientists working on a cure such as this infographic from www.knowcancer.com.
Savvy Instagram users have create collages with their favorite images. Check out this one from toysoulga featuring three images to showcase support of breast cancer survivors during “Pink October”, the month to get involved. I stumbled across this collage on my Facebook page and hit the share button. Within two minutes, two of my Facebook friends “liked” it.
An Instagram Breast Cancer Awareness Collage
Many of my male friends on Facebook are showing their support this month as well. Though this disease primarily hits women, it has also been known to effect men too. One of my cousins is a huge NFL fan, and loves the Seattle Seahawks. Scott’s wife and sister-in-law were both diagnosed earlier this year with breast cancer, and this month Scott has proudly changed is profile picture to:
Seattle Seahawks and NFL support breast cancer month
And his cover photo to:
Does your NFL team support breast cancer?
And remember the secret “girl’s only” Facebook game that left men all over the globe the wondering why women were updating their status with a color? These games are a fun way to keep the importance of this illness in the forefront of the public’s eye.
It’s no secret that Pinterest users are 80% female and that this channel would be a great channel to encourage awareness and education of breast cancer. One account, Blog Friends Great Ideas, pinned Breast Cancer Awareness Printables created by Natalie at http://oneshetwoshe.com.
Another Pinterest page was created by Medline, an industry leader in medical supplies, “to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer research.” This company Pinterest page is loaded with boards that not only support survivors, inspire patients and educate the mass, but also includes fun treats, drinks and contests! Check out Medline’s “Pink Glove Dance” Pinterest page to learn more.
People often connect with celebrities who are brave enough to go public with their health issues. Giuliana Rancic is one recent celebrity that has been very open with her condition and treatment, and now speaks publically to help other woman who are going through breast cancer. A simple search on YouTube.com will provide several results to videos that tell Giuliana’s story; her struggles, her surgery, and her survival.
Giuliana Rancic is one recent celebrity that has been very open with her condition and treatment
Stay informed all year long by following organizations on Twitter such as the National Breast Cancer Foundation @NBCF, or Susan G Komen @SusanGKomen and many others.
To answer my original question, “What does breast cancer have to do with social media?” My answer would be, “a lot!” Just look at all the informational, educational and inspirational content on these channels for patients, survivors and their loved ones. Personally, with three family members who are breast cancer survivors, and one who was a victim, I feel a great responsibility to support this cause, even in little ways. It doesn’t take much time or effort to share an Instagram collage, participate in a Facebook game or repin an inspirational quote. But the feeling of support that it offers will be lasting.
In a couple of weeks our daughter will be helping to host their high school team’s annual “Pink Out Swim Meet.” She has invited our three family members already inflicted with breast cancer to honor them publically with a flower and let them know how proud she is of them for staying tough through such a trying time. She will also keep her grandmother who passed close to her heart. She’s not raising a $1 million dollars for research, but her small efforts to show she cares will be much appreciated by her auntie and cousins just the same. I’ll be sure to post pictures on Instagram and Facebook to share with everyone.
Now it’s your turn – how can you tie a pink ribbon around your social media channels in support of breast cancer awareness?
@ThereseMatthys - Certified Social Media Strategist helping businesses navigate through the digital world by providing strategies and instructions to reach their business objectives.