Igniting Digital Influencers to Start a Movement for Good



This event took place at Social Media Week in Los Angeles. Sign up for SMW Insider to access the full video of this event and 50+ other #SMWLA sessions.

“We’re about to embark on an amazing journey with the Muscular Dystrophy Association,” says Shira Lazar.

As the Founder and CEO of What’s Trending, Lazar adds that the amazing aspect of having a platform as a media publisher is being able to be a part of incredible initiatives. What’s Trending is known to be involved with various non-profit organizations and the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) is no exception.

“Individuals are diagnosed every day with muscle diseases that literally take away their ability to walk, run, breathe, or talk. These are really slowly debilitating diseases,” explains Natalie Stamer, VP of Digital & Content Marketing for MDA. “MDA cares for individuals with those diseases through a variety of ways. We fund research and we are also continuously caring for those individuals. We support and champion.”

In order to spread MDA’s message and increase awareness, they will be introducing a brand new initiative that is social media and digital heavy.

“Once upon a time, this national stage was television and now, instead of having that captive audience on one stage, we are going to have the captive audiences of all kind of influencers,” states Stamer. Jordan Doww, actor and comedian, is one of the influencers that jumped on board with MDA’s new #LiveUnlimited campaign, calling it interactive, fun, and a great opportunity for him and his generation to get educated.

Stamer explains the concept behind the #LiveUnlimited campaign when she states, “Muscular dystrophy is something that people have but the idea of #LiveUnlimited is something broader. We all have our own limitations, whether that’s where we grew up or what we think of ourselves. It’s really living beyond those limits.”

Doww talks about his own definition of what it means to #LiveUnlimited when he states, “I have a time limit of my own and I want to make every dream of mine possible in the time that I have. The words ‘can’t’ and ‘no’ are almost motivation for me to keep going and prove people wrong.”

“We all have limitations whether we’re someone with a muscular disease or not,” adds Stamer. According to Stamer and Doww, the accessibility of the campaign is exactly what allowed for the success of the ALS bucket challenge. “Through interactive tools, our hope is to make it fun and something we can all identity with.”

In order to amplify the LiveUnlimited message, MDA has partnered with What’s Trending in order to introduce what was described as “internet Coachella” by Doww. “We decided we would do a celebration of music on Facebook. We’re going to have artists go live, or have performances that they taped, and post them throughout the day.”

It doesn’t just stop there. MDA plans to use all the expected digital channels in creative ways. Not only are they involving popular artists on Facebook, but they are also introducing a Social Sharing tool that will give people an opportunity to show a #LiveUnlimited moment with friends and family while also using their own personal megaphones to share their views. “This campaign is really about doing that. Using others’ megaphones to share this message,” says Stamer.

MDA will also be sharing stories and dynamic content such as the story of Joe Akmakjian, the 2016 MDA’s National Goodwill Ambassador that was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy type 2, but still managed to fulfill his dream of skydiving. “We’ll have 12 impactful and amazing profile videos of individuals with Muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related diseases really ‘living unlimited’ and pushing beyond their limitations.” adds Stamer.

She also introduced MDA Amplify, a dynamic app to amplify the message. “About 10% of your Facebook audience ever sees any of the posts that you put out there. You can download it on your phone and get instant notifications when we have content to share with you. This allows us to get notifications straight to individuals. They’re also able to modify the message slightly, post it on their own social networks, and it’s post it as if it’s their own organic content which makes that message amplify that much farther,” Stamer explains.

It’s no secret that the involvement of all these influencers will allow MDA to reach millions of people. For some of these influencers, it will be the first time they’ll be associating themselves with muscular dystrophy or muscle diseases.

As Shira Lazar puts it, “This is a huge passing of the torch to the new generation to be a part of this. Not just be part of this for one day or for one campaign, but build a long-lasting relationship to support the organization.”

This event took place at Social Media Week in Los Angeles. Sign up for SMW Insider to access the full video of this event and 50+ other #SMWLA sessions.

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