OneBlood, the local not-for-profit blood center serving most of Florida and into parts of Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina is using live social media capabilities on a regular basis and as a result, the blood center is experiencing increased engagement with its content.
“Social media has always been a powerful tool to speak directly with your audience. With the introduction of Facebook Live the ability to instantaneously communicate with your viewers in real-time and share important information with them live takes communicating to a new level,” said Susan Forbes, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for OneBlood.
Over the summer when the blood center found itself intertwined in worldwide media coverage following the Orlando tragedy at the Pulse nightclub, the OneBlood Marketing & Communications team turned its website and social media channels into a live newsroom. They created live reports, took people behind-the-scenes, showed what to expect upon arriving at a donor center and explained the importance of making online appointments. “During the darkest of times, blood donation became a way for people to help, and we needed to make sure we kept them informed on how to do that,” said Forbes. People were paying attention to the messaging and as a result, more than 400,000 people visited oneblood.org and thousands of appointments were made that week.
The team went into breaking news mode again when Hurricane Matthew was barreling towards Florida in October. They took to the online airwaves to stress the urgency for a ready blood supply before, during and after the storm. The team produced live shots from Biologics, showcased the massive operational efforts underway, spoke with donors live in the donor room and stressed the need for people to donate. Their live coverage prior to the storm reaching nearly 44,000 people and shared nearly 200 times.
Once the storm passed, the OneBlood team was back on-the-air again, communicating where people could donate and what blood types were needed.
In addition to breaking news situations, OneBlood is also producing live, one-on-one interviews with blood recipients. They’re going live on college campuses, at television station blood drives and even from the track at the Daytona International Speedway.
“We have entered a new era of communicating. Advances in social media and the ability to go live instantly provide tremendous capability for blood centers to stay connected with their audiences in new and compelling ways,” said Forbes.