Spreading Breast Cancer Awareness, One Virtual Ribbon at a Time

By Michele Weisman In years past, social media has amplified awareness of breast cancer.  With over 800 million active users, Facebook is the largest social network and has been the powerhouse vehicle in supporting multiple social good efforts.  Most actions on Facebook take place within networks of friends. Campaigns have the opportunity to spread virally from friend to friend.  In January 2010, bra color status updates dominated newsfeeds worldwide to raise awareness for breast cancer. Seven months later, the “I like it on” status updates (which actually referred to where women like to place their purses) went viral on Facebook to show support for breast cancer. Now one year later, Facebook is still the initial social media outlet that brands are turning to, to show their support for breast cancer this month. I've outlined five ways companies are showing their support for breast cancer awareness via social media.

Gillette Venus: Gillette is donating $50 for every Picture Hope photo it receives to support the National Breast Cancer foundation (up to $25,000). Just print the certificate, add a name, snap a picture of yourself holding the sign, and upload the photo to Gillette’s wall. Together we can do something beautiful and “Picture Hope.”

NFL: The NFL and the NFL Players Association are showing support through many events this month.  Their campaign “A Crucial Catch”, in partnership with the American Cancer Society, is focused on the importance of annual screenings, especially for women who are 40 and older. Yesterday, before kickoff, the Baltimore Ravens tweeted a picture of the M&T Bank Stadium all decked out for Breast Cancer Awareness. Other teams, such as the New Orleans Saints and the Miami Dolphins, have changed their twitter profile pictures to show their support.

The NFL is showing their pink support on the field. Games throughout October will feature NFL players and coaches donning pink cleats, gloves, chinstraps and game officials wearing pink caps, wristbands, whistles and pins. Even the footballs will have pink ribbon decals.  All apparel won at games by players and coaches will be auctioned off. To help support this cause, you can purchase your NFL pink merchandise here.

Panera Bread: From September 30th till October 31st, for each virtual Pink Ribbon Bagel “liked” on Facebook, 10 cents will be donated to the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation to help fight breast cancer (up to $25,000). Want to try the Pink Ribbon Bagel at a Panera Bread location? A portion of the proceeds will be donated to a local breast cancer organization. In fact, for every Baker’s Dozen Pink Bagels bought, Panera Bread will donate $1 to a local effort to fight breast cancer.  Panera Bread has been fighting breast cancer with its Pink Ribbon Bagels for the past 10 years. According to its page, Panera Bread customers have helped them sell “more than 7 million Pink Ribbon Bagels and over $1 million has been donated to the fight against breast cancer.”

Barnes & Noble College: Picture a cure for breast cancer. No literally. Barnes & Noble College will donate $1, up to $10,000, to the Young Survival Coalition for every fan who uses their pink ribbon as their profile picture in October.  Download their profile picture and upload it to your personal profile to show your support.  Then leave a comment on their wall to let them know you participated.

The Pampered Chef (client): The Pampered Chef (client) is running a promotion on called “Help Whip Cancer.” Fans are encouraged to purchase exclusive “Help Whip Cancer” products online during the month of October. Funds will be donated to the American Cancer Society’s Breast Cancer awareness and early detection programs. Enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win a pink prize package.

Bonus: Likeable Media: On Sunday October 16th, The Likeable Media staff will be participating in the "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk" in Central Park. If you would like to show your support and make a likeable donation on our team page, click here.

What other pink brands support breast cancer awareness and research via social media? Share in the comment section below!