Boost the presence of Scouting on Instagram in your country with this simple technique
Make Scouting more visible. Increase the presence of Scouting-related content on Instagram, a youth-oriented photo-sharing service. Empower individual Scouts to become ambassadors of Scouting. Gain access to content that can be posted across other social media services. Appreciate Scouts for speaking about Scouting to their friends. And do all of that with one simple technique.
This is a story of how Junák - Czech Scouting started using Instagram to spread the word about Scouting without having to create their own content. And how well they did. As their official account now nears 10 000 followers, you will not find that many national Scout accounts around Europe that will do better than that. Does yours? See whether the “repost approach” might be good for you too!
Petr ‘Permi’ Vaněk, the Communications Commissioner at Junák - Czech Scouting, tells EuroScoutInfo: “In early 2015, a little bit more than 2 years ago, Czech Scouting had no official presence on Instagram. We had known for some time we wanted to make use of this service that is highly visual (good for Scouting!) and attracts young people (great for Scouting!) but we wanted to come up with a smart strategy that would make success inevitable. And we never found time to create that strategy. So we kept on postponing out entrance to Instagram. But then, with the upcoming national Rover Gathering and with the World Scout Jamboree on the horizon, we had to act. So we went for it, no strategy whatsoever. We decided to look for a few pictures by our members, posted on Instagram already, repost them to a wider audience, and see what happens. And it worked so much better than we could have imagined. Followers were happy, authors were excited and our Instagram presence was on fire.”
Today, 2 years later, the official @SKAUTcz account has posted over 700 pictures. Vast majority of them are reposts from personal accounts of individual Czech Scouts. As of now, the wait is still on for the first Scout to complain of their picture being used and circulated. Authors get highlighted and consequently appreciated with hundreds of “likes”. And, what is best, the number of pictures posted on Instagram using the national official Scout hashtag #skaut has reached 25 000 earlier this month. These pictures talk about Scouting to non-Scouts too, because they are posted by individual Scouts to their friends circles. The best pictures get re-used on Facebook or in national Scouting magazines. A few have even made it to postcards. This is how you can do it as well. And why.
INSTAGRAM “REPOST APPROACH” FOR NATIONAL SCOUT INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS
Purpose of the proposal:
- Strengthen the presence of Scouting on a major social network
- Encourage Scouts be ambassadors for Scouting
- Encourage Scouts to post about Scouting to their own followers (often non-Scouts)
- Get access to user-generated content (photos) that can be re-used on other platforms
How to do it in your National Scout Organization/Association:
- Create a (major) part of your official Instagram account content by reposting from individual Scouts’ profiles using the Repost for Instagram app
- Establish and promote a hashtag to be associated with any Scouting-related picture by anybody from your NSO/NSA on Instagram. You want to have something specific to your NSO/NSA. Maybe you have such a hashtag already, then you just starting using it also for the repost approach.
- Encourage followers to use that hashtag to tag all their Scouts-related pictures.
- Select best content using the hashtag for repost on your national Instagram account. Make sure full credit goes to the original author who gets mentioned in the picture itself and in the caption. Additionally use your own caption to build your message.
Advantages of the proposal:
- Scouts get very excited and feel appreciated when their pictures get reposted. They get hundreds of “likes” compared to the usual dozens on their own profiles. Their message gets out. They enjoy it.
- It is fully compatible with any other usage of your national Instagram account. You can still design your original pictures if you want to. Both approaches can be used simultaneously and are no threat to each other.
- It enables specific campaign support through temporarily highlighted additional hashtag that you can encourage your followers to use at specific times as a complementary hashtag to the one they should be always using in the first place (potential complementary hashtags might be: #jotajoti, #scoutcamp, #foundersday...)
- Admins of the national Instagram account decide what gets reposted. They can bear in mind things individual users might not. These might include a reasonably good balance of represented / portrayed regions, types of activities, genders, messages. You can still tell your story even using other people’s pictures!
By the way, even @worldscouting, the official account of WOSM on Instagram, started using this technique for part of its content a year ago. Successfully. No reason why your NSO/NSA should not try this too!
Do you have a good practice related to Scouting on social media or the Image of Scouting in general? Let the Communications Team of the European Scout Region know at email@example.com or in the brand new Let's talk about the IMAGE OF SCOUTING. And also work on it. [Europe] Facebook group. Thank you!