Today I stumbled across a recent Nature Conservatory community engagement campaign: an Instagram photo scavenger hunt! This is certainly a brilliant campaign, and there is more than meets the eye.
Why this community engagement campaign rocks:
* Encourages people to connect with the nature around them
* Share these ‘moments of being’ via beautiful images
* If you go down the rabbit hole of ‘inspire me with gorgeous images please’, you can connect with other people via visually infused inspiration — evocative!
Ok, I’m not changing my business model to blog about Instagram all the time (just this week), but I think it’s worth pausing, to pay attention and learn from the creative and bold experiments put on by organizations like the Nature Conservatory. What they are doing is two-fold, integrating visually rich multi-media into their content creation strategy and leveraging social to spark participatory community engagement. Take note, when you integrate visuals (photos and video) into your content creation strategy, you have control over your brand look and message…and when you invite others to participate, you may offer some guidelines, but really, you let go and gives space for your audience to create and add their own flare. Advantages, you learn more about your audience, and if you listen, this is a powerful market research tool. Translation, knowing your audiences tells you how to talk to them, and also how to tinker your services and products so they work for them (which is the point, right?!). Bonus: you’re adding meaning and value to someone’s life by encouraging them to tap into their creativity and connect to the world and people around them. Cons…when you co-create with someone, you are not in full control of how things go. So, if giving up control makes you feel uncomfortable, well, welcome to the club.
Community engagement is a spectrum. It’s important to have clarity about your goals. For example, Video still stands out as a powerful and profound way to tell your story, and if it’s short, sweet and spectacular enough, your audience will become your ambassadors and share it with their networks. Videos let you add dimension to your message, illuminate perspectives about a cause and reveal how your company changes lives and adds meaning to our world. People love stories and when you have a video on your website or facebook page, people will stay longer, soak up your content and discover more about your work. But, if you’re looking to fuel a highly participatory (vs. interactive) community engagement campaign, then a photo-centric contest via an already existing platform may be your golden ticket. Social Media Guru Beth Kanter gets up close and personal with the possibilities in her recent blog about instagram.
Heads Up: the Nature Conservatory Scavenger Hunt Contest runs through August 31. If you “win”, your image will be featured on the Nature Conservatory’s Facebook and Tumbler Pages. Find out more + have fun!