The R-word and Social Media

February 01, 2012

It's not just a new look. The site that launched February 23 moves the campaign squarely into the realm of social media. Learn more about how it is done below.


Nine Ways to Highlight Your Facebook Page. The plugins vary in size, purpose and look. You can see which one works best for various circumstances before embedding code on your website. Go to the Facebook Plugins page.

About the R-word Site

The original site launched more than two years before, and since then, Facebook and Twitter redefined what it means to stay connected online. It was time to refresh the look of the site, and also to turn it into a destination for stories, commentary, news links, slideshows and videos. The site was updated in early 2011.


Embeddable Code. This might look complicated, but people with basic HTML knowledge can make this small amount of code transform key pages on your site to highlight Facebook activity.

High Profile for Social Media

One striking part of the new look is the right column. It's a bold stroke, putting Facebook's "Like Box" so prominently on every page. Every time the page loads, the site visitor sees the latest on the Spread the Word Facebook page and the latest on the R-word Twitter feed.

For Special Olympics and, Facebook has become an important driver of website visits. Between March 3, 2010, the date of the previous Spread the Word to End the Word Day, and March 2, 2011, the most recent STW Day, the role of Facebook in driving traffic to the site has increased dramatically. In March 2010, 5,982 people visited the site directly after visiting Facebook. In March 2011, Facebook sent over 53,000 people to

How It Works

Making both of those feeds work was straightforward and about as easy as embedding a YouTube video. For an overview of the Facebook "widgets" now available, go to, which lists nine embeddable Facebook feeds. For a similar page of ideas for Twitter, go to

Is It Right For Your Site?

Whether this is right for your site or not depends on several factors. If your site is basic editable HTML, adding the code should be pretty easy. If your site--like the SOI main site and this Resources site--is deployed using templates that limit your access to HTML, it will be more involved. You may need to pay money to make this happen.