TROY MEDIA: Social media “missions” extend reach for social causes

EDMONTON, AB, Nov. 16, 2012/ Troy Media/ – A UK husband-and-wife team, Dom and Domino, known as DES Daughter, is on a crusade to raise awareness of Diethylstilbestrol (DES), a prescribed drug that, while off the market for decades, has had and may still have devastating side effects on third-generation children. Yet it is virtually unknown.

DES was the first synthetic man-made female sex hormone (oestrogen) prescribed for public use, used mainly between 1938 and1971, but in spite of issues discovered as early as 1971 it was still prescribed in some countries through the 1990’s. It was used primarily and marketed aggressively to prevent miscarriage and complications during pregnancy as well as for more than 100 additional medical conditions. In the U.S. alone, it’s estimated that five to 10 million people may have been exposed to the drug.

DES has been referred to as ”silent Thalidomide”. In fact, it’s also been mistakenly confused with Thalidomide, according the U.S. Center for Disease Control. Its devastating side effects include cancer, abnormalities, premature labour and miscarriages. Daughters born of mothers who were given the drug are referred to as DES Daughters.

Domino is one of them. She suffered a miscarriage due to having a T-shaped uterus, as a result of her mother having taken the drug during pregnancy.

Domino, the DES Daughter, describes herself as an activist, blogger and social media addict committed to shedding light on a global health scandal and dedicated to raising DES awareness and its devastating side effects. Her husband Dom, also a contributor, focuses mainly on the web aspect of things.

The couple prefers anonymity, in their desire to raise awareness of the devastation caused by DES and not for them.

Domino and her husband, known as DES Daughter, are on a crusade to raise awareness of Diethylstilbestrol (DES), a prescribed drug that has had and may still have devastating side effects on third-generation children

After launching their first website just over a year ago, they discovered that the reach of the various DES awareness groups and organizations was nominal at best as well as being fragmented: information on DES was limited to what was happening in their local vicinity. DES Daughter wanted to help give the public a more global view.

And that is where Empire Avenue (Now Empire.Kred), a social media platform, came in.

Dom and Domino joined Empire Avenue, ticker (e)DESDAUGHTER, and discovered the possibilities of launching missions to raise awareness of DES.

They found that missions could increase transactions, tweets, re-tweets, likes, and comments etc., across social platforms which in turn could help them achieve better ranking in keyword and search results and across other platforms. Furthermore, the mission exercise could not only help their cause, but also help them learn more and be better at social media.

The couple approaches missions strategically, running one, for example, right after posts.

“We would immediately get comments. I also realized that if I asked people to re-tweet posts it would also naturally increase our follower ratio, ” says Dom.

It extended their reach because those who saw the re-tweets would then also re-tweet them. The same held true for Facebook shares and likes.

But as Empire Avenue’s missions are listed in reverse chronological order (most recent ones first), and as they continue to grow in popularity, Dom found that theirs quickly became buried beyond the mission list’s front page.

So rather than launching a mission when convenient, he began to take a strategic approach to maximize mission visibility. “I would analyze the time of day and I would run smaller and more frequent missions. As well, I would look at the nature of the mission,” he says.

Whether it was a media interview or a blog post might also affect the frequency. He also looked at the audience and relevant time zones.

Dom surprisingly discovered that there were indirect benefits to launching missions, as one day he woke up to a KLOUT score of 80.“When people see high scores like celebrities like Oprah, people start to take notice of you and what you are doing.”

“It’s like a snowball,” he says. “We are now growing with less effort. Somehow it showed I was doing the right thing”

DES Daughter realizes that they cannot change the past but perhaps they can help shape the future. With the help of these missions, “Hopefully DES will become well known enough by politicians and decision-makers that will result in action.”  

But their work is never done. Dom is gearing up for his next Empire mission.

Greg Gazin, known as The Gadget Guy, is a Tech Columnist, Small Business and Technology Speaker and Senior Editor at Troy Media. He can be reached at Gadgetguy.CA on Twitter @gadgetgreg or you can find him on Empire Avenue at (e)GADGET1.

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