The power of personal stories on social media
Whilst charities are getting their campaigns talked about online, more and more people living with illnesses and facing challenges are taking to social media to start topical conversations and they’re gaining large followings. We've found some of our favourite examples of individuals using a range of social networks to share their stories.
We think that there’s a lot to be learnt from the individuals’ use of social media as they’re often using different platforms to start important discussions about health, disability and wellbeing. Last month we suggested 10 social media influencers that charities should be targetting. This month why not engage with these influencers who live your cause and communicate about it on a daily basis…
Tweeting about illness
Paul, 30, tweets from @livingwithlowes. He doesn’t solely tweet about his illness, instead he offers a genuine insight into his day-to-day life which is read by his two and a half thousands followers.
Using Instagram and Pinterest
It’s not just on Twitter where individuals are coming together to form communities. A search of either #spoonie or #chronicallyawesome on Instagram shows how people affected by chronic illnesses are using the platform to share photos from their daily lives. Similarly, on Pinterest, boards can be found such as Chronically Awesome and Cancer Sucks where users have pinned images relating to their illnesses, but also pinning images of hope and support.
An online community
Families of those with disabilities have also taken to social media to share their stories. Nicola Turnbull uses Twitter to talk about living with her three children, two of whom are autistic. As well as Twitter, Nicola has created a Facebook page which has become a online community for over 1,000 people. The page has become a place for them to share their ups and downs, but mostly it’s a place of support knowing that there are others in similar situations living with relatives who have autism or ADHD.
Online inspiration and hope
Rebecca Joyce founded the Kick Cancer crew (#kickcancer). With her 3,000+ followers, Rebecca clearly has a lot of influence on Twitter but it’s on Facebook where her influence is taken to another level. The Kick Cancer Crew Facebook page is approaching 30,000 likes offering cancer patients from around the world a chance to talk to others. One look at the photo gallery and it’s clear that the group is much more than just something that pops up in a news feed and gets ignored: It’s a place of inspiration and hope. This weekend Rebecca sadly lost her fight with cancer, but her online legacy and inspiration continues.
We often highlight charities who are doing great work online, but there’s also a lot to be gained from looking at those with the first hand experiences. There are so many online communities out there which charities could offer support to and it seems that some of the biggest influence is coming straight from the patients and families themselves.
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