|They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and in the modern world of social media, the old saying is truer than ever. Your followers and supporters want to know what’s going on with your organization, but they don’t want to spend a lot of time finding out. Well-chosen photos maximize the impact of your message by forming an instant impression and telling a story in a brief glance.Fortunately, the ever-changing technology offers new ways to take, keep, organize and share the pictures that show the world who you are and what you do.|
- Flickr™ has been around long enough to be known by nearly everyone traipsing about the Internet. Sign up for a free account and start uploading your pics. You can sort and categorize them to suit your needs, and you maintain control over which ones can be viewed publicly. Once online, the photos stored on Flickr can easily be grabbed or linked to illustrate other social media efforts, like blogs and Facebook™ updates. Perhaps the greatest advantage to storing your organization’s photos on Flickr is that they are then accessible to multiple staff members from any location.
If you need more storage, a pro account on Flickr™ is affordable. Or, check with TechSoup Canada for giveaway Flickr™ accounts. Encourage all of your staff members and volunteers to document events by providing portable camera cases that display your agency name and logo.
- The trip from real life to online image has never been quicker, thanks to the mobile app Instagram™. Just snap a pic with your iPhone, apply one of Instagram’s filters to make it perfect, and instantly upload it to your Flickr™, Facebook™ or Twitter™ account. Keep your organization’s friends in the know with up-to-the-minute photo updates. Don’t forget your universal charger to make sure you never miss a shot.
- Pinterest™, a relative newcomer in the social media world, offers free accounts and the ability to “pin” your photos (linked from a storage site like Flickr) to a “board,” which displays a themed array. Pinterest photos can be viewed by anyone visiting the site, and those so inspired can “re-pin” your photos to showcase them further. A clever way to let your supporters know about Pinterest: Send each one a photo of your agency’s work in a logo’d frame. Choose pictures that pack an emotional punch for Pinterest viewers and use silicone lens cloths to make sure your lens is clean prior to taking the shot.
- High-quality prints of your photos are just a click away on Shutterfly™, which acts as a photo storage site and a source for low-cost prints in multiple sizes. You can even create greeting cards and calendars with your photos—always a fundraising boon. After you’ve taken pictures, transfer the images from your camera to a computer using a compact multi-card reader.
- With just a little tech savvy and a flip cam in the hands of each staff member, your organization is ready to set up a YouTube channel and display your work in video. Considered a must-have by social marketing gurus, your YouTube videos can also easily be shared on Facebook™, Tumblr™, and other social sites where your followers congregate.
On the blog that accompanies the indispensable book, Social Media for Social Good: A How-To Guide for Nonprofits, author Heather Mansfield emphasizes the importance of YouTube and Flickr for building a strong social media presence. Your photos and videos share the important work you do with your closest friends and like-minded others from across the globe. Make every picture count.