Social Media

Last fall, everyone was invited to Canadian Blood Services’ biggest blood donation e-party ever: a cross-country “tweetup.” The goal of the event was to raise awareness of the need for 14,000 more blood donations leading into Thanksgiving.

A tweetup is a meeting organized on the social media site, Twitter, on which users send and read messages of up to 140 characters known as “tweets.” Canadian Blood Services’ first large-scale, national tweetup was called “14,000 thank yous,” with the number corresponding to the total blood donation appointments still available to be filled the week before Thanksgiving. The thank yous were coming from the patients who would benefit from those donations. Participants were encouraged to use the hashtag #14000thankyous in their tweets, with the hashtag helping other users to find the event.

About 1,400 people jump-started the online shindig, helping spread the word through Twitter and other social media sites to their more than 360,000 friends and followers across the country. Through participants’ social networks, Canadian Blood Services was able to reach out to people who may not have considered giving blood before.

The tweetup attendees were very creative, making videos of their donation experiences, posting photos showing off their first-time donor stickers, and sending words of encouragement throughout cyberspace.

The massive national team effort helped ensure that our goals for Thanksgiving were not only met, but were exceeded — in one week, Canadian Blood Services collected close to 18,000 blood donations across the country.

Now it’s our turn to say thank you to everyone who participated and made this tweetup so successful. We hope you had a great time. Thanks for coming to #14000thankyous!