Social Media

24 Jun


By Danielle Smith, MSW, MA, LSW

NASW Ohio Chapter Services Coordinator

Welcome to the new National Association of Social Workers- Ohio Chapter blog!  This blog was created to provide social workers with important information and perspectives on different issues affecting the profession.  The blog will be updated regularly by Ohio Chapter Board Members, staff, interns, and volunteers.  Please subscribe to our blog and check back frequently to see what new information is available.

For our first post, I thought I would highlight the use of ‘social media’ by NASW and how you as a social worker can use this relatively new medium in your life and practice.   The basic definition of social media is media that is used for social interaction.  Examples of social media are diverse: Blogging, Micro-Blogging, Social Networking, Wikis, Photo Sharing, and much more!   The potential of social media is staggering- it is more than just a way for teenagers to talk to their friends- it is changing the way that the world social workers operate in works.  Non-profits, government entities, politicians, and professional associations are all using social media to connect to donors, constituents, and members.  Social workers can utilize social media to benefit the agency for whom they work; their private practice; or to connect to other social workers regarding professional issues. 

Blogging and micro-blogging (like Twitter-You can follow us here.) are great ways to connect to the public.  As with any social media medium, be sure to exercise caution as to the content you are making available.  For a cautionary tale read this article- Bloggers beware: Teacher learns hard way to watch what she posts.   Always make sure that you are observing your agency’s policies and meeting confidentiality standards.    You can view NASW & ASWB’s Technology Standards here.

In the realm of social networking the most prominent websites are Facebook and LinkedIn.  On Facebook, the Ohio Chapter of NASW has a Fan page and several group pages.  (Have Facebook?- You can ‘like’ us here) Facebook is an excellent way to connect to other social workers and start discussions on important topics.  Facebook has allowed NASW to become more connected to its members by providing a place to immediately notify members of advocacy alerts, workshops and other events, and publication releases.   Facebook has especially been beneficial for non-profits that rely on donations from the public for funding.  For example, the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio created a short video encouraging donations and posted it on Facebook (and other social media sites) which resulted in a sharp increase in donations.  LinkedIn is for professionals to create a sort of online resume to connect to colleagues and friends.  The Ohio Chapter also has a group that you can join (here) where you can join discussions with other social workers. 

I have found all types of social media to be particularly effective when building awareness for an advocacy campaign.  As the next  state budget cycle  approaches it will be more important than ever to build the case to state legislators to preserve funding for social services.  Social media can help bring awareness to decision makers about the consequences of budget cuts.  You can blog, tweet, post videos and pictures, update your status on Facebook, and take countless other actions online to build public support for social services. 

So I hope that you will continue to follow the Ohio Chapter of NASW as we develop our social media and be inspired to jump in yourself.  If you have any questions please e-mail me at

One Response to “Social Media”

  1. naswohio at 3:02 pm #

    This article was forwarded to the Ohio Chapter for further reading on Social Media:

    A Psychotherapist’s Guide to Facebook and Twitter: Why Clinicians Should Give a Tweet!
    by Keely Kolmes, PsyD, May 2010

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