Using Social Media in Substance Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Recovery


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Using Social Media in Substance Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Recovery was presented by Jennifer Barbour of another jennifer writing lab on June 18, 2012 at the New England School of Addiction and Prevention Studies.

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Using Social Media in Substance Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Recovery

  1. 1. Using Social Media in Substance Abuse Prevention, Treatment & RecoveryNew England School Addiction and Prevention Studies: June 18, 2012 #NESAS presented by Jennifer Barbour
  2. 2. About me¤  Blogger, copywriter, new media consultant¤  Chief Engagement Officer (CEO) for Another Jennifer Writing Lab; author of another jennifer blog¤  Former communications specialist for Crossroads in Scarborough, ME ¤  Author of Crossroads blog ( and monthly e-Newsletter; admin of crossroadsforwomen¤  8 years working in behavioral health handling public communications
  3. 3. What we’ll cover¤  Who’s Using Social Media?¤  Writing a Social Media Strategy¤  Social Media Policies¤  Best Practices¤  Why ¤  Facebook ¤  Blog ¤  Twitter ¤  Video ¤  Email Marketing¤  Time Management Tips & Tricks
  4. 4. Who’s using social media?¤ 66% of online adults use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.¤  95% of all teens ages 12-17 are now online, and 80% of those online teens are users of social media sites.¤  34% of internet users age 65 and older use social networking sites such as Facebook, and 18% do so on a typical day.Sources:;;
  5. 5. Millions use social media worldwide. 901 million monthly active users; average of 526 million daily active users 140 million active users; 340 million tweets / day More than 161 million members Sources: NewsAreaId=22; million-users/; (stats as of March 2012)
  6. 6. Plus…•  More than 10 million users in first three weeks•  2nd most popular search engine•  More than half of social media referral traffic•  Powers 14.7% of top million websites in worldSources:; predictions/;; (retrieved 9/10/11)
  7. 7. And don’t forget…
  8. 8. Why use social media?¤  Mostly free (except for time)¤  Easy way to get out information fast, in real time, and reach a big audience¤  Levels the playing field¤  Gives everyone a voice¤  Allows people to connect all over the world at any time¤  Establishes expertise¤  Platform to educate, advocate, inform
  9. 9. Uses for social media¤  Connect¤  Share information¤  Publish original content¤  Ask questions, find answers¤  Research¤  Find support¤  Have conversations¤  Fight stigma
  10. 10. Writing a Social Media Strategy1.  Who is your audience?2.  What actions do you want your audience to take?3.  What does your audience need to believe in order to take those actions?4.  Which social media channel (or channels) will you utilize?5.  What will you share/talk about?6.  What is your social media policy?
  11. 11. What’s your social media policy? When you post something on a social media site, imagine that post on a billboard for everyone to see. With your name on it.
  12. 12. What your policy should consider¤  Who is allowed to post for your organization? Where?¤  What will the posts say?¤  Do social media postings need to be approved?¤  How will your posts comply with your confidentiality policies?¤  How will you handle negative comments?¤  Are employees allowed to post or comment during work hours? (Can they access the social networking sites?)
  13. 13. More policy considerations¤  What is appropriate to share; not to share on a social networking site?¤  What is your procedure for sharing client stories, photos or videos?¤  How will you educate staff, volunteers, board, supporters, etc. on utilizing your social media sites?¤  What happens if staff, volunteers, board, etc. don’t comply with the social media policy?¤  Who is the go to person if/when questions arise?
  14. 14. Be clear and set boundaries
  15. 15. Creating & Managing Profiles: Rules of Thumb¤  Create a page, not a personal profile on Facebook (¤  Fill in ALL information (bio, about, etc.)¤  Upload a profile picture!, + cover photo on Facebook ( can help design cover photo for free)¤  Follow like-minded people, organizations¤  Add a few status updates/tweets/posts before telling everyone¤  Interact! (make/answer comments, tag people/orgs, etc.)
  16. 16. Social Media Best Practices¤  Have a strategy (tweak as needed)¤  Share regularly - not too much, not too little ¤  Aim for at least 3 posts per week on Facebook to keep things active and engaged ¤  Twitter can be much more frequent¤  Don’t limit people’s ability to interact with you¤  Monitor, monitor, monitor!¤  Reply to comments and mentions, keep the conversation going¤  Be authentic!
  17. 17. Why Facebook?
  18. 18. Cover Photo GuidelinesMust be at least 399 pixels wide and may not contain:¤  Price or purchase information, such as "40% off" or "Download it at our website"¤  Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Pages About section¤  References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features¤  Calls to action, such as "Get it now" or "Tell your friends”
  19. 19. Gain “Likes” in Facebook¤  Tell your “friends” via your personal account; ask others to tell their “friends” about your page¤  Tag other like-minded pages in your status updates so the posts will also appear on that page’s wall (type the @ symbol to bring up list of pages to tag)¤  Comment on Facebook as your page¤  Tell people online and offline about your page: website, email signatures, events, waiting room, marketing materials, newsletters, other social networking sites, etc.¤  Follow best practices¤  Use Facebook Ads
  20. 20. Facebook Content Ideas¤  Your (or your organization’s) thoughts, ideas and observations¤  Links to your blog posts and e-newsletters¤  Inspirational quotes¤  Video and photos¤  Info about upcoming groups, events, workshops, etc.¤  Ask questions (How do you celebrate recovery?)¤  Information from partners or other helpful resources¤  Relevant news articles or blog posts
  21. 21. Why Blog?
  22. 22. Blogging Platforms¤ (free) or (need hosting, better options)¤ (Blogspot)¤ (somewhere between Twitter and a full- fledged blog)¤¤  Many websites are built with blogs
  23. 23. Writing a blog post¤  Most important info goes in first paragraph¤  Use bold or italics to emphasize information¤  Bullets and lists make content manageable¤  Consider keywords in titles and in post¤  Invite your readers to comment
  24. 24. Blog Content Ideas¤  Your specific expertise¤  Stories of treatment success, recovery¤  Myths vs. Facts¤  Education for family and friends affected by addiction¤  News/Research from addiction and recovery fields¤  Public policy issues (be informative)¤  Current events¤  Guest post or cross-post
  25. 25. Why Twitter?
  26. 26. Host or participatein a Twitter chat:SAMHSA-sponsored#recoverychat
  27. 27. The Language of Twitter¤  Handle: Your Twitter username is referred to as your handle, and is identified with the @ symbol (ex. @anotherjenb)¤  Tweet: What posts are called on Twitter¤  Follow: The act of connecting with someone on Twitter¤  RT/Retweet: When someone posts something like, you can RT it and share it with your followers¤  DM/Direct Message: A private note between two users on Twitter¤  Hashtag: Words preceded by a # sign; can be used to tie various tweets together and relate them to a topic
  28. 28. The Language of Twitter (cont’d)¤  Lists: A way to combine select people you follow on Twitter into a smaller feed¤  Search: Use Twitters search feature to look for tweets containing a keyword, phrase or hashtag¤  Timeline: The chronological listing of all tweets in a given feed, be it your own, in a list, or another user’s¤  Tweetup: A term for in person events (i.e., meetups) that spring from Twitter connectionsMore lingo description:
  29. 29. The Power of Video¤
  30. 30. The Power of Video¤
  31. 31. You are not alone campaign: ThePartnership at
  32. 32. Why Email Marketing?¤  92% of adults have an email address*¤  Keep in front of audience on a regular basis¤  Message targeting¤  Build and track your supporters¤  Opt-in options to ensure quality contacts¤  Easy to share¤  Integrates well with social media¤  Save printing and mailing costs, trees*
  33. 33. Email Marketing Platforms¤  Constant Contact¤  AWeber¤  Emma¤  GetResponse¤  MailChimp¤  Vertical Response¤  iContact
  34. 34. Uses for Email Marketing¤  Newsletters¤  Event invites¤  Donation or volunteer appeals¤  Action alerts¤  Group, workshop, meeting info
  35. 35. Email Marketing Best Practices¤  Only send emails to those that have requested them¤  Send the content your subscribers expect¤  Have a regular email schedule (monthly, bi-monthly, etc.)¤  Send during the week, avoid Fridays¤  Include option to unsubscribe¤  Have an html and text version¤  From address should be recognizable¤  Avoid multiple exclamation points and all caps¤  Build your list online and offline
  36. 36. More Social Networking Sites¤ Google +: cross between Facebook and Twitter¤ YouTube: video sharing¤ Flickr: photo sharing¤ Pinterest: visual pinboards¤ StumbleUpon: social bookmarking
  37. 37. Other Strategies¤  Recovery-specific / wellness social networking sites ¤  Sober24 ( ¤  The Second Road ( ¤  Wellsphere (¤  Mobile Marketing ¤  Smart phone apps ¤  Text message marketing
  38. 38. SAMHSA Resources socialmedia
  39. 39. Time Management Tips¤  Dedicate a specific amount of time each week to social networking¤  Develop an editorial calendar (or have regular meetings)¤  Set up Google Alerts to keep track of topics ( alerts)¤  Use automatic publishing tools like NetworkedBlogs¤  Use a social media dashboard like TweetDeck or Hootsuite¤  Sign up for NutshellMail (¤  Post and monitor using a smart phone¤  Know when to ask for (or hire) help
  40. 40. More Resources¤  Social Media Quickstarter:¤  Facebook for Business:¤  Facebook Pages Interactive Course:¤  Listening Tools Wiki (from Beth Kanter) - socialmedia-¤  Mashable – The Social Media Guide:¤  Social Media Examiner:¤  Beth’s Blog:¤  Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog: ¤  Katya’s Non-profit Marketing Blog:
  41. 41. Final Tips¤ Know your audience (and where they are)¤ Have a strategy¤ Engage¤ Monitor¤ Don’t be afraid to experiment!
  42. 42. Stay Connected¤  Jennifer Barbour email: phone: 207.653.4542 website: facebook: twitter: @anotherjenb linkedin: stumbleupon: google+: