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From the 7th Annual Shorty Awards

Silverback Social / The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Entered in Real-Time Response


On March 11, 2014, five-year-old Makayla completed her last session of chemotherapy. Makayla's mother shared an inspiring photo on The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Facebook page. In the photo, Makayla is holding up a sign celebrating her last day of chemo, much to the delight of her friends and family. We wanted to share that delight with countless others in LLS' social community.

Conducting his everyday due diligence, our Community Manager first saw the photo and immediately brought it to the attention of the LLS team. Together we agreed to share it with the entire online audience we've helped to grow for the non-profit organization. The result was staggering.

The photo of Makayla was seen organically by over 17 million people, exploding through LLS' existing fan base of about 200,000 Facebook Likes. Makayla's photo resonated strongly within the community, and our team was thrilled to engage with thousands of comments sending positivity, encouragement, and well wishes to Makayla and her family.

This single post exceeded all of our previous records for Likes, Reach, and Engagement, but more importantly, it helped us spread awareness for LLS and promote the incredible work that they do for blood cancer patients. By listening and reacting to Makayla's mother's original photo in real time, we were able to spread the message to a much larger audience and hope that they were inspired by it as much as we were.

Strategy and Execution

Silverback Social has been managing the social media presence for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for nearly two years. We've helped to cultivate a community that is comfortable sharing their stories of triumph. They trust that we will show the appropriate reverence for their situation. We convene, but don't control the conversations. We've been highly effective, and have grown the entire LLS social media community by over 75% leveraging organic and appropriate social media techniques.

Silverback Social is successful because of our process and relentless procedures we implement while working with our clients. Our Community Manager immediately brought the compelling photo to the attention of the team at LLS. We all knew that we would need permission from her family to post this compelling photo. We had a process in place for just such an occasion. We had the pre-approved language and the appropriate contact at LLS with whom we should be working. We recommended branding the photo with the LLS logo in the hopes that it would be seen by a larger audience.

As a result of having all these processes in place, we were able to successfully curate an incredibly compelling content piece, optimize it for a particular social platform, and expand its reach to more than 17 million online users. No financial boost, no media plan. Just a community responding to the lovely face of a child who had overcome adversity.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Silverback Social / The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society


Entry Credits