This is the second article in our two part series on important considerations for doulas using social media.  If you missed part one, you can find it here.

The company you keep: In social media, the groups you are part of, the pages you like, the posts you share, and even comments made by friends on your content contribute to the overall impression people have of you.  While we can’t control what others say or do, it’s important to be thoughtful about how you interact with other groups and people on social media. A good test is to ask yourself if you would share your support of this group or page, or this particular content with a potential client at your first meeting.  Would it negatively affect their impression of you or would it simply help them get to know you as person? Don’t feel pigeonholed in liking, sharing or participating in content only relevant to your doula practice.  Just like our clients, doulas have a wide range of interests and activities. Feel free to express your whole self in the same professional manner as you would when meeting with a new client family.

There is no privacy online:  Even a Facebook account set to “friends only” can have its content broadcast to a much broader audience with a few easy clicks. The “share” button at the bottom of posts is the easiest way for a friend to post the same content to their own timeline allowing all their friends to see it.  It’s also very easy to take a screenshot of a post which can then be saved and sent via social media or even email.  There are countless examples of social media posts that were not originally available to the public but then went “viral” resulting in lost jobs, damaged relationships, criminal charges, and lawsuits. While the implications for doulas are not likely to be this dramatic, keep in mind that social media has been created for easy sharing to broad audiences. This is exactly what makes social media such a useful marketing tool for doulas. Sharing news, research, and events (from reputable sources, of course) provides valuable information to your online network and will help keep you and your practice visible.

Follow The DONA Doula Chronicles for more tips, resources, research and more to help start and grow your doula practice. Is there a topic you’d like to see us cover? We’d love to hear from you at blog@dona.org.

          — Adrianne Gordon, CD(DONA)

Sources:

DONA International Code of Ethics – Birth Doulas: http://www.dona.org/PDF/Code%20of%20Ethics_Birth.pdf

DONA International Code of Ethics – Postpartum Doulas: http://www.dona.org/PDF/Code%20of%20Ethics_PP_5-08.pdf