Networking and the Power of Social Media
The waiting time is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about adoption and some of the issues that may need your attention as your child grows. We hope you use this as a learning tool to enhance your adoption journey preparation. Don’t forget, after you have read and reviewed this material, log onto www.MyAdoptionPortal.com to complete a summary in the Domestic Education section.
The topic of networking and using social media has been discussed at several different points in time already in your adoption journey, and now even as you wait, it continues to be an important topic. Why do we at AAI continue to bring this topic up? Because it is that important! We know that waiting for the much anticipated call to meet an expectant mom can be a long and tedious time. However, there are things that you can do during this time that can be powerful and effective. Have you considered reaching out to your social media community as a way to potentially connect with a woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy who may be considering adoption?
Why do we use social media? Very simply, because expectant mothers do. If you are not using it, there is a good possibility that you may be missing out on an opportunity for that critical connection.
Here are some interesting facts about social media:
- 1.4 billion Facebook users
- 500 million users on Facebook Messenger
- 2.65 billion active mobile accounts
- 2 million users on VIBER
- 47% of internet users are on Facebook
- 284 million people are on Twitter
- 300 million users daily on Instagram
We suggest that you take some time to review the Social Media section of your DAA handbook and ask yourself what more you could be doing. Have you started your video? We find expectant moms love YouTube and videos. If you haven’t worked with Parentfinder on creating a video, now is the perfect time to begin. Have you created your Adoption Facebook Page, or Instagram account? The power of Facebook is in the numbers. Create a page and post on it daily. Ask those within your Facebook community to share the page. Begin to spend time each week totally dedicated to networking and outreach. As you do this more you will become more comfortable with it, and you may even surprise yourself when it begins to feel like a natural part of your week.
An adoptive mother and marketing expert, Angela Hayes, shares a few important points before getting started:
- Always be sure that you are logged in and posting, commenting, sharing, and tweeting using the profile you set up for your adoption.
- Never include personal information in your posts such as last name, address, place of employment, etc.
- Be careful with pictures that you post as well, insuring that they do not reveal any personal information.
And she also shares tips on how to engage others and increase your number of likes and followers through Facebook:
- Ask questions to engage your followers.
- Share quotes, images, and stories about Adoption Associates.
- Talk about your journey, the ups and downs. Don’t be afraid to share your feelings. Be yourself and be real.
Tips for Using Social Media After You are Linked or Placed:
- Remember to keep the best interest of your child in mind for everything.
- Make your comfort level with social media usage known to your child’s birth parents; respect each other’s comfort levels.
- Once matched with birth parents, do not share that news or post photos before the court release is held.
- Be very cautious with sharing your child’s information on public posts. It is ultimately part of your child’s story; once it goes viral it is no longer private and no longer your child’s story to share at his or her discretion.
- Create a separate and unique e-mail address for communication with birth parents.
- It is important to talk with extended family members and friends about keeping some information private.
- Asking permission from your child’s birth parents BEFORE posting pictures is a great way to respect each others’ comfort levels and privacy.
- Set up a private site such as Shutterfly, Snapfish or Kodak Gallery to share pictures with the birth parents.
- Always use positive adoption language and be mindful of the words you choose.
How YOU Can Help Spread the Word
Here are samples of what some of our adoptive families are doing:
Brian stopped at a pregnancy center located in the town where he and his wife Julie live. Brian said, “I did this to promote adoption and show possible perspective birth mothers there are waiting families in this area.”
Justin stopped in at an OB office near his place of employment and brought some of AAI’s pamphlets with him. He said he felt motivated to do this “to help improve the availability of education on adoption assistance for local mothers in need that may want to plan adoption for their child.” Having experienced the joy of becoming a parent through adoption Justin said, “I have a desire to help ensure birth mothers go forward with comfort, confidence, and support in the decision they may want to make for their child out of love so they can find peace in that difficult choice.”
Don’t forget that the more exposure Adoption Associates gets through social media, the likelihood of reaching an expectant mother is increased. There are also things each of us can do as part of the community of adoption.
- Tag “Adoption Associates Inc” in a Facebook post.
- Check in on Facebook at Adoption Associates, Inc. when you attend meetings.
- Follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter & Instagram to keep connected with the agency, and become informed about what’s happening.
- LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE posts, pins, tweets & photos.
- Follow and listen to Blog Talk Radio http://www.blogtalkradio.com/adoptionfocus
Social Media and the Post-Adoption Experience
By Deborah H. Siegel, PhD, LICSW, DCSW, ACSW
Social Work Today Vol. 12 No. 5 P.22
Ten Tips for Navigating an Open Adoption with Social Media
By Tiffany Smart
Adoption.com July 31, 2014
How To Find Birth Mothers For Adoption Using Social Media
*This is a quarterly educational newsletter for all families waiting to adopt domestically. This edition is focused on social media in adoption. We hope you enjoy the content. Don’t forget, after you have reviewed the content of the newsletter, log into www.MyAdoptionPortal.com to complete a summary in the Domestic Education section!