We all know that social media is an extremely important tool in relaying recycling messages to residents. Social media can provide an easy, effective and most importantly free forum to interact with residents and build an online presence.
The challenge comes in choosing which social media platforms to use. The list is endless, with new platforms springing up every day. Are Facebook and Twitter enough? Or should you get adventurous wiht platforms like Instagram, Pintrest and Tumblr? Where do you start.
Here at CVP, we have always recommended a walk before you run approach to social media. We still do.
Take time to focus on the larger social meda tools like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter before you dive into something "newer." Utilize everything these applications have to offer and make sure you are building a strong following and that you are successfully interacting with residents. Only once you have mastered these outlets and created a strong following do we suggest moving on to a "newer" and in some ways, more niche platforms like Instagram.
Instagram is a photo sharing application that lets you take photos, apply photo editing filters and share them with the instagram network. Photos can then be shared with your Facebook and Twitter followers. This app is currently targeted to mobile and social sharing and there are over 14 million users, growing at a rate of two million users per month.
Instagram is successful because it is all about the visual. Photo images are the best way to communicate with a population that mainly consists of visual creatures with low attention spans. You have to ability to make your message resonate with little to no text at all (although you can add captions if you want).
If you are ready to venture here, we suggest first creating an Instagram account for your personal use and getting comfortable with the platform. Then, when you feel ready, set up an account for your community, ideally tied to your Facebook for quick sharing. Take and post photos of "green" things in your community with you smart phone. You can also take snapshots of recycling do's and don'ts, recycling events and just about any environmental tip/ trick/ image you want to convey.
Just make sure your images are of good quality and that you interact with residents who comment on your photos. For example, if someone makes a comment or asks a question about a photo of a recycling bin, be sure to respond to them either by saying thank you, providing added information or answering their question.
It's also important to follow others in your industry and see if there are any Instagram "trends" happening. Follow SierraClub for some ideas. For local recycling organizations, you can be the trendsetter - have fun with it! Start posting photos and encourage other recycling organizations to join.
Be sure to check out this website for some good ideas on how to make an impression and really market yourself on Instagram.
We want to hear from you ... do you have any experience with Instagram? Do you think it's a good idea for the recycling community? Comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2014 CVP