How Be The Match uses social media to help save lives

The Challenge

An outpouring of support from potential donors and supporters

When Susie Rabaca found out she was pregnant with twins, she was overjoyed. But after several follow up tests and then a bone marrow biopsy, that joy turned to heartbreak when she was diagnosed with leukemia. To make things even more challenging, Susie found out that as a Hispanic American, her chances of finding a blood stem cell donor were less than 50 percent. It was at that point that Susie and her family turned to Be The Match for help.

Be the Match helps people with blood cancer or other blood diseases connect with potential donors through its blood stem cell registry which, with nearly 16 million individuals listed as potential donors, is the largest and most diverse registry of its kind in the world.

"Susie’s family and her community were so amazing. They wanted to do everything they could,” said Be The Match social media specialist Sarah Middleton. “They made custom content for us, sent us videos, held events, and held registry drives."

After the team published Susie’s story, it got picked up by numerous media outlets, including national morning talk show Good Morning America. “With Susie's story, we saw a huge spike in followers from all the media coverage that was happening and then we also had a huge influx of inbound messages,” Middleton said. “We saw thousands of messages coming in every night with people that were new to our community asking how they could join the registry, or how else they could support Susie if they were already on the registry.”

A small social media team experiences rapid growth

Overall, the Be The Match social team has seen the number of inbound messages through their social channels increase astronomically in the past three years. “Our audience has grown like crazy, and our engagement has grown like crazy,” said Ryan Pena, a social media strategist at Be The Match.

“Sprinklr to me is an invaluable tool. I use it every day all day long and I think without it, I don't think any of us would really be able to do our job as well as we can.” – Sarah Middleton, Social Media Specialist, Be The Match

From 2017 to 2018, the team—which at the time consisted of three people—saw a 778% increase in inbound messages, fielding over 32,000 inbound messages in one year. In 2019, the team has added 14,000 registry members through social media alone. “The challenge with that rapid growth is that our team, which has grown a lot over the past year, in some ways it's still kind of a small team,” Pena said.

The Solution

“This year alone through social media, we’ve added 14,000 registry members… Knowing that those are 14,000 potential life savers, and even if one of them went on to eventually save a life and match with the searching patient, that's an awesome feeling.” – Sarah Middleton, Social Media Specialist, Be The Match

Responding to thousands of messages per day

One significant step the team decided to take to address this growth was to adopt Sprinklr. According to Middleton, the team conducts all of its social media activities—scheduling, responding, and engaging—through Sprinklr, mostly through the planner and their community management workflows.

Middleton remembers how they used Sprinklr when Susie’s story went viral. “We used Sprinklr like crazy that week. We had thousands of messages every day,” she said. “Using Sprinklr to respond to those messages quickly and add thousands of registry members on such a short amount of time was amazing. With such a small social team and a high volume of messages from our community coming in, Sprinklr allows us to really crank through those messages with automated workflows.”

Authentic responses to 500 messages per night

One priority for the Be The Match social team is to be able to respond to inbound messages as authentically as possible. That means no canned or templated responses, even though they field hundreds of messages each night. “We answer every single question that comes into our community management workflow. Some nights that's five hundred questions, but we make sure to respond to every single one and sign our name,” Middleton said.

“Sprinklr makes it very easy for us to be more human and interact with our community and just engage them in whatever way they need. Whether that's connecting them to the right person in the organization or just answering a simple question or giving them the right link,” Middleton said. “We have the capability to answer those questions with just two clicks of a button, so it's super easy for us to get through those five hundred messages and be able to engage with everyone that wants to engage with us.”

“We had thousands of messages every day. Using Sprinklr to be able to respond to those quickly and add thousands of registry members on such a short amount of time was amazing.” – Sarah Middleton, Social Media Specialist, Be The Match

Listening for pertinent online conversations

In addition to community management, the team is using other features in Sprinklr as well. Pena said the team uses Sprinklr for daily social listening reports, where notices are sent out to the organization about some of the top trending posts from influencers in their space.

Another important feature in Sprinklr that is helping the team do their work is the ability to use a customized dashboard, which brings in mentions of a donor match, but also secondary and tertiary mentions that relate to Be The Match.

“They might not be spelling us out as an organization yet, but they're talking about their need to find a match on the bone marrow registry or the blood stem cell registry,” Pena said. “They're talking about what we do, but they're not mentioning us. So we're finding ways through Sprinklr to pull in those conversations.”

Crucial differences from the competition

The Be The Match social team had the opportunity to test out a competitor of Sprinklr, using both platforms at the same time for about a month. “We had to create a business case for why we wanted to stay with Sprinklr since we were the only team using it,” explained Middleton.

One of the biggest differences the team noticed between the two platforms was the lag time the other platform had in responding to community management inbound messages. “With Sprinklr, it's literally two clicks and it closes out immediately. With the competitor, we found there was sometimes a 20-second lag time,” Middleton said. “When you're responding to hundreds of messages, that expands out to literally hours of time.”

Middleton explained that on the competitor platform, paid advertising comments and engagement weren’t populating, so they couldn't see any comments that may have been coming in via Twitter ads or Facebook ads. “That's a huge miss for us, because if people are asking how to join and we miss it, that's one registry member that could have saved a life that we're missing,” Middleton said. “Every missed message that we don't respond to or don't see could be someone’s potential life-saving donor.”

“We find Sprinklr invaluable at Be The Match. I use it every day, all day long, and I think without it, I don't think any of us would really be able to do our job as well as we can.” Middleton said. “We're able to make sure that we can respond to every single message, every single question. Every one of those messages is important because any one of those people could be a potential life saver in the future.”

BE THE MATCH in numbers

inbound messages in one year


increase in inbound messages from 2017 to 2018


registry members


messages per night


People on the team

Positive Business Outcomes:

  • 14,000 registrations from social this year alone

  • Proactive engagement through listening queries > be where the conversation is

  • Quicker response times than competitor >

  • Identify searching patients and share story content to increase registrations (Susie story drove 85K reg)