NFA is on Facebook!!

By: Annie Skapinsky

After managing the NFA’s Facebook page for over a year, I feel privileged to have gained this rewarding experience and am excited to continue to have this opportunity.  From day one, I quickly realized that this required more than the task of simply writing a daily post, but more of an ability to immerse myself into a dynamic community full of vibrant conversation. I am the lucky one who has the opportunity to interact with 143,000+ inspiring individuals on a daily basis all of whom contribute to the FM community.

The first NFA Facebook campaign I participated in was the “100,000 for 10 million”.  Reaching our goal of 100,000 Facebook “likes” in just a few days amazed me as I saw firsthand the overwhelmingly positive response and power of the fibro Facebook community. It was then that I realized that without a doubt the NFA’s loyal Facebook followers have the authority to make one of our favorite tag lines come true, “to make fibromyalgia visible”.

Managing a community of over 143,000 people could appear to be an overwhelming task, but it is the fibro community’s appreciation and participation that makes me excited to log into the NFA’s account every day.  My continuous objective is to keep the current followers engaged and to entice new people to join by harnessing my creativity and connecting to the FM followers by posting interesting and educational articles, videos, and information.  We also work to spread FM awareness by designing NFA branded items and selling them through our online store.  We truly appreciate all of the feedback we receive from our FB friends, and we try our very best to provide products that will appeal to all.

One of the emotional difficulties I face is realizing that, unfortunately, I do not have the time or resources to personally contact and respond to every individual post and message. Not being able to give immediate solutions is especially challenging when I know people are eager to have their insightful questions answered and are seeking advice for their personal hardships. I understand and feel the inevitable frustration, but I believe in the power of the voice of our loyal Facebook followers and together we are making a difference at an exponential level.

My personal goal is to strive to provide a safe and supportive platform for our fibro friends to exchange personal stories, advice, and information with one another, and to be a part of an online community where everyone feels like their voice counts and that they truly belong. I love sparking the conversation with a Facebook post and watching it grow like wildfire into a dynamic exchange of information. A short optimistic post wishing our fibro friends a Happy Monday reached 64,928 people, showing how strongly our FM friends value community cohesion and support.

Making fibromyalgia visible is not a singular effort, but instead it is the result from a unified group of constituents all of whom have come together to support one another and to get the message out that fibro is real. Overall, managing the NFA’s Facebook account has been a learning process full of challenges, but it has been an extremely rewarding experience, and I feel privileged and excited to continue to lead such an inspirational and loyal community of fibro fighters.