Advocacy on Different Social Media Platforms
Last updated: February 2020
I'm 40 and I'm constantly reminded by the younger people in my life that Facebook is for old people. Am I old? Probably. I've had Facebook since 2008 and I admit that I'm comfortable with it. I know how to follow and unfollow people, I know how to get to my secret and private groups, I know how to use it. I've also used LinkedIn for quite a few years as well. I'd only ever posted professional announcements on LinkedIn before my diagnosis, but now I use it quite a bit to share my blog posts and information about metastatic breast cancer. I also have used Instagram for a bit, but I am not as comfortable with it. Twitter is new to me and I'm really still learning that platform.
Social media platforms
I've found that I use the different platforms for different things and I get different things out of each platform. I'll take them one at a time.
I'm in a lot of groups on Facebook. I go to Facebook to keep up with family and friends, to interact with other metastatic men and women in the groups, and to share my own information. This is where I share pictures of my kids and talk about our personal lives. On my personal Facebook page. I have a second Facebook profile, which can get confusing, but I've had both for quite a while, one personal and one more professional.
I am connected with lots of lawyers and other professionals on LinkedIn. I've found that LinkedIn can be extremely helpful to connect with others who have resources. For instance, I post a lot about my non-profit, Connect IV Legal Services, on LinkedIn. That's where I often recruit lawyers to help stage IV patients. I was contacted a few days ago by a guy who had a family member with breast cancer and he has connected me with a bunch of lawyers and may help me with a web page project I've been needing to do.
I'm still learning about Twitter and I'm sure I don't do it right. My favorite thing about Twitter is all the doctors and medical professionals I follow. I learn so much from the doctors' feeds and have interacted with quite a few of them. I've been pleasantly surprised to see how generous professionals on Twitter are often with their time and expertise. There are also some really awesome Twitter chats where patients and medical professionals get together to discuss different topics. In my opinion, Breast Cancer Social Media (BCSM) is the best one and is focused on metastatic cancer. That one is Monday nights at 9 EST and anyone can join in.
I'm not that great of a picture taker. I do my best, but Instagram hasn't been my favorite medium because of that. What has been fun on Instagram are the companies that have reached out to ask me to wear something and take a picture and talk about it. My sister is really the expert on Instagram and if anyone needs natural beauty tips, you should follow her @beautystealsinward.
Key social media takeaways
Bottom line, all of the different social media platforms have their strengths and weaknesses, yet each one can be used to share stories and advocate for metastatic breast cancer. The ability to reach lots of people that you may never meet in person is powerful and impactful!
What social media platform is your favorite?
Advanced breast cancer is an isolating and lonely disease.