Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Curation Contributes to Amazing Instagram Account

According to Mashable one government agency, the Interior Department, has Instagram figured out. This image is of the super moon in late June. "Beautiful photo of the #Moon over #TurretArch in #Arches National Park last night." Take a look at their Instagram account and marvel at the images that document the natural beauty of the United States. Don't the images make you want to visit some of these places? And maybe submit a photo to their summer contest (2013)? Notice that the contest is posted on the White House blog. Interior has a news page, but I don't find a blog. The White House would probably have more followers anyway!

Huff Post calls it "an impressively well-curated Instagram account." Director of Digital Strategy Tim Fullerton  explained some of their practices to Mashable.

Their Instagram page has over 200,000 followers at present, another testimony to the power of the channel. And their social media concentration on Instagram suggests a good understanding of the channels available.

First posted July 1, 2013. Updated March 11, 2014.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Are Non-Profits Using Social Media Strategically?

I recently pinned an infographic with data about foundation use of social media platforms. It is interesting, but not surprising. Selected data from the infographic shows that:

Facebook is the most popular platform by a considerable margin. Note that blogging was not included as a platform even though my guess is that it is widely used.

The majority of foundation users of social media do not have a formal strategy.

That's unfortunate, because a majority think social media is useful in several respects.

A recent study of non-profit organizations showed similar results. Facebook, used by 82% of the responding non-profits, was far and away the most popular. Twitter came in second with only 54% of using the platform. This study asked about blogging and that found only 32% have blogs while 48% host online discussion forums, which is an interesting juxtaposition.

Two things strike me. The first is to wonder whether Facebook is most used for its strategic value or for its familiarity. If it is a platform favored by the target audience of the non-profit, that's good. If it's a platform with which non-profit marketers are themselves familiar, that makes the choice questionable.

The second is to wonder about the nature of use of social platforms. Facebook and Twitter are excellent for announcements--programs and events, for example. Relatively little use is being made of platforms which convey in-depth information--blogging and YouTube as two good examples.

Non-profits need to make the best use of their resources, which are often scarce. Non-strategic use of social media is certainly not a best practice.