Using Social Media for PIPO

Social Media and Anonymity

In a world where people increasingly get information and connections online, we must adjust our outreach to accommodate this. But we need to work within the traditions and protect anonymity. Social media is built on public connections. Because of our traditions, we cannot utilize social media in this way. We therefore must use advertising to let people know we exist and are here to help.

We must A) set up accounts to hide any personal connections and B) utilize the platform(s) primarily for passive advertising.

(Social media can also be used for group support and connections, but this must only be done through private groups to which members must apply for entry.)

Why have a Facebook page?

Facebook is still the largest social media site. Facebook owns Instagram as well. These accounts can be linked so that you promote to both at the same time.  (The Greater Atlanta IG has had exceptional results with low-cost Facebook boosts (ads) over the past few years.)

The main purposes of the page are 1) to advertise the existence of OA and reach those who still suffer and 2) point people from there to OA Intergroup and websites for more information.

Accounts are set up using, first, a “personal” account (using a generic IG email, not someone’s personal email) and then a “business” account. The business account is what can be used for advertising (aka “boosting” a post).

Important Notes:

  • Anonymity must be protected by hiding “friends” and “likes”. The privacy and security settings are where these things should be changed for both the “personal account” and the “business account.”
  • The account can still “like” other OA pages such as and other OA intergroups, as well as re-post information from those official OA accounts. But care must be taken NOT to “like” other types of organizations or accounts so that we do not inadvertently endorse other groups or organizations.
  • Facebook’s terms of use prohibit direct language to “you” (as the suffering compulsive overeater). Unfortunately, this is the language used in most PIPO materials on World Service. Posts that are being boosted must use language that is indirect.  See full instructions, below.

Other Social Media Ideas

  • Tik Tok / Snapchat These rely primarily on short videos. Due to anonymity and our traditions, these cannot show a video of a member and we can’t use our own names.
  • Eventbrite: this platform is becoming a place where people search for activities. Hosting an event is free if you are not charging for tickets.
  • Meetup: some groups have used this platform successfully to help people find OA meetings. However, there is a fee.
    • Tip: if you use Meetup, do not set a meeting to “Private”. While this seems like a good idea (anonymity) what it actually does is hide the event from searches, which defeats the purpose.
  • LinkedIn: This platform has a higher advertising cost than Facebook and we cannot make professional linkages due to our traditions. If anyone has found a good way to use this, we’d welcome further information.
  • Search Engine Advertising: Search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo are places where small text advertisements can be placed. There is no break in anonymity to do so.