Social Media in Service of Torture Survivors

This webinar, from June 17, 2015, features C.C. Strom and Beth Scudder, MA, of the Center for Victims of Torture. This webinar is part of the National Capacity Building (NCB) webinar series. NCB is a project of the Center for Victims of Torture.


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Wednesday, 17 June 2015


In this webinar, C.C. Strom and Beth Scudder share a case study of how the Center for Victims of Torture uses social media to support their work. This includes how to grow your Facebook fan base, how to evaluate social media platforms, how to report and track effectiveness, and how to use email newsletters and other email contacts effectively. We also share highlights of other Survivor of Torture programs’ use of social media, best practices, and tips for how to get started and keep momentum going.


By the end of this webinar, listeners will be able to:  

  1. Evaluate which social media platform(s) is best for them
  2. Have ideas of types of content to share
  3. Set a measurable goal for their social media use


C.C. Strom is the communications manager for the Center for Victims of Torture. C.C. is responsible for the marketing communications of CVT, including the website, email marketing, social media and newsletter. She serves as an internal communications consultant for the organization for videography, publications, presentations and photography. C.C.’s work often overlaps with development staff in supporting online fundraising campaigns and promoting events.

Prior to joining CVT in 2005, C.C. worked in small business development as a program manager. She’s a Luther College graduate with the dubious distinction of being a math major who transitioned to communications. During the summer and fall, you’ll often find her on the soccer sidelines watching her kids play.

Beth Scudder, MA,  is the Website & E-Learning Coordinator for the National Capacity Building Project at the Center for Victims of Torture. Beth is responsible for digitally curating and for marketing the website. Beth also facilitates NCB’s e-learning, including the Fundamentals of Providing Services to Torture Survivors course.  She assists with webinars and administers the Heal_Torture_Talk listserv.

Beth joined CVT in 2010.  Before then, she worked in educational technology, training, technical writing, and book publishing.  She has a BA in English and Communication from Macalester College and an MA in International Communication from American University’s School of International Service. She grew up in the Middle East and India.



  • Tagging - on many social media sites, naming or referencing another person or group in such a way that the name becomes a link to that person/group's social media presence. E.g. @healtorture
  • Hashtag - on social media sites such as Twitter, a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound (#) sign, used to identify messages on a specific topic. E.g. #June26 or #NoTorture
  • Promoted posts, boosted posts, and Facebook ads - three different ways on Facebook to increase post reach. This article explains the difference between the three. The author finds that boosted posts have the greatest reach at the lowest cost per person. Power editor ads have better click through rate and lower cost per person taking action. So if you are trying to gain visibility, boosted posts are superior. If you want people to take specific action like signing a petition or donating money, power editor ads are more effective. Per this article, promoted posts are not the best choice.
  • Alt text - a word or phrase that can be added to a web page to tell viewers the content of an image. This is important for accessibility, e.g. for the visually impaired, also for search engine optimization. Generally, alt text can be added to an image on a web page at the same time and through the same interface as adding the image itself.
  • SEO - search engine optimization. The process of affecting the visibility of a website in a search engine's unpaid results - often referred to as "natural", "organic", or "earned" results. 
  • Post Reach (Facebook) - the number of people who have seen your post. A post counts as having been seen when it is in someone's Facebook newsfeed.

Social media

Facebook engagement

Infographics makers

A group of CVT employees developed this comparative table of infographics and map-making tools.

Photo resources

While the best photos come from you or your staff, volunteers, or clients, sometimes we need photos from other sources. Here are some of our favorite sources:

Photo-sharing sites: 

  • - free; easy to search; credit to photographer required; large selection of images
  • - free; easy to search; no credit required; slightly smaller selection of images
  • - free; photos in topical "albums" but not searchable by keyword; no credit required; really odd images but definitely not standard stock photography!
  • - free; both easy to search and in "albums"; no credit required; very high quality
  • - free; photos in topical "albums" but not searchable by keyword; no credit required; limited selection but good "Africa" album, for example
  • - free; easy to search; credit to photographer generally required; wide variety of images that are mostly historical
  • - free but slightly more complex search: go to Flickr, in search box in upper right corner enter search term e.g. "refugee", on left hand side use drop-down menu to change "Any License" to "All Creative Commons"; credit to photographer required; very large selection
  • - very high quality and interesting variation; a selection of photos are emailed to you once a month; no credit requried 
  • - free; easy to search; no credit required; high quality

Photo search tools. These sites help you sift through the myriad photos available on the internet. You will want noncommercial or creative commons licenses for free photos: 


Mobile friendliness check:

Google Grants for Nonprofits

See the video and the Nonprofit Guide here:


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