The gift of life—with help from social media sites

How a Seattle blood center drums up donors through Twitter and Facebook.

How a Seattle blood center drums up donors through Twitter and Facebook

When a blood center in Seattle needed more A, B or O blood, organizers would text and e-mail its donor list to get the word out.

That’s so last year. Now, the Puget Sound Blood Center is turning toward Facebook and Twitter to ask people to donate blood.

It’s working.

In June, the communication staff hired a full-time social media coordinator to direct the center’s outreach efforts.

“We wanted someone to own the program,” says Michael Young, director of communications. “We didn’t want to just set up a Facebook page and leave it alone. We wanted someone to interact with donors.”

From June to August, there have been 25 blood drives advertised through social media efforts. Of the people who attended those drives, from 5 percent to 33 percent of the people found out about the event through Facebook and Twitter. In addition, a Meetup.com group sponsored a blood drive with the center, and about 12 people attended.

To learn more about Facebook and Twitter, the center also joined the Social Media Club of Seattle.

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