FAQs about Social Media for The Untold Story campaign

Al-Anon is introducing two additional social media channels – Instagram and Twitter – to coincide with Alcohol Awareness Week and the launch of our “The Untold Story” campaign.

1. Why has Al-Anon started using social media – doesn’t this break anonymity? To raise public awareness of Al-Anon Family Groups among the general public. Social media is a very powerful tool as it allows many more people to find information about us. On page 112 of our Service Manual it says: “GSO*, in carrying out its responsibility for creating public information messages beyond the local level, will continually look for new ways to do so using the capabilities of social networking and emerging technologies while adhering to Al-Anon’s spiritual principles.”  *General Service Office

2. Why has Al-Anon started using Twitter and Instagram as well as Facebook? We know from the membership survey in 2016 that the majority of our membership is female and over 54 years of age. In order to attract younger members and increase awareness of our organisation amongst the general public, we need to have a presence on more social media channels – this is where younger people seek information for many products and services.
We also know that only 15 percent of members currently find us through an internet search. By increasing our digital presence across these new social media channels, we will make it much easier for new and potential members to find information about Al-Anon.

3. What is the purpose of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter? They are primarily another way of getting Al-Anon’s name better known and telling the public about the help and support we can offer. The content of the pages will be managed by the General Service Office and all posts will be designed to explain what Al-Anon is, how it can help people and to attract people to our organisation with a view to them finding their nearest meeting.
On Page 111 of our Service Manual, it says: “Social networking can be an important venue for carrying the message of Al-Anon as it fulfils its primary purpose of reaching millions who are not yet aware of the existence of our fellowship.”

4. As a member, do I need to sign up for Twitter and Instagram? No. We are not asking any members to sign up for these new accounts. Our social media channels are primarily for telling the outside world about Al-Anon. If you do have an existing Instagram, Twitter or Facebook account, you are welcome to view our pages and content.

5. If I go on to Al-Anon’s social media channels can I protect my anonymity? Everyone needs to be responsible for protecting their own anonymity online. To do this please do not click “like” ‘share” or “retweet”. You can still look at the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages – read the posts and the comments as well as listen to the podcasts.

6. As a member of Al-Anon, if I “like” or “share” or “retweet” content on the Al-Anon social media channels, will others know I am a member? Depending on your individual privacy settings, they will see that you “liked”, retweeted or “shared” the page but it won’t identify you as a member. If you do not want your friends to see that you are associated at all with Al-Anon, please do not “like” or “share” or “retweet” any content.

7. Can I view the content of the Al-Anon social media channels if I don’t have an account myself? Facebook: Users who don’t wish to log on or join but would like to see the page, can simply click the ‘Not Now’ on the screen that pops up on a desktop computer. You can then continue. The screen shot below shows where the ‘Not Now’ button can be seen.

If accessing via smartphone, you can view the Al-Anon information without signing up.
Instagram: You can view the Al-Anon pages without being a member. Just search for @AlAnonUKandEire on Instagram.
Twitter: You can view the Al-Anon feed without being a member. Just search for @AlAnonUKandEire on Twitter.

8. Can I post messages to my Al-Anon friends on the Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages? No. This page is meant for Public Information rather than sharing member to member.

9. Can I add photos to the Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages? No. However, we would encourage you to submit photos for the Untold Story Campaign as the more photos we get, the greater our impact. if you have a photo you think we could use please send it to pi@al-anonuk.org.uk marked “Untold Story”.

10. Can I send a private message to the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages? No, but if you have a question about Al-Anon please email enquiries@al-anonuk.org.uk and we will answer you.

11. Can I “comment” on the Al-Anon Facebook, Twitter and Instagram page? Yes you can on Facebook and Instagram, but the comments will not appear on the public page. Any comment you make on Twitter will be public, so if you’re worried about anonymity, we would encourage you not to do this.

12. How can I contribute to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter page? Please send any contributions, either personal or from your Group, to pi@al-anonuk.org.uk marked “social media”.

13. Where will the content for the channels come from? From a variety of places – firstly from the Untold Story campaign, but also from members’ shares, Al-Anon Today, old News & Views, our literature and from the World Service Office Facebook page.

14. There is a problem with Al-Anon’s social media channels. Who should I contact? Please email enquiries@al-anonuk.org.uk putting FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM or TWITTER in the subject line and stating what the problem is.

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