We will look at each of the verified Wikimedia Foundation social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, and discuss how they are used on a daily basis, including how they are used to support affiliates and the broader movement. We will discuss use of Commons images and licensing, neutral point of view and conflict of interest, most effective tactics and supporting events.
Learning (Workshop, use of laptops or mobile devices is encouraged.)
Affiliates will gain new skills in their use of the platforms, even if they don’t have their own accounts, by learning how to leverage the WMF accounts. Participants can connect as “social media ambassadors” to stay connected online. Best practices on use of images, and social media for events will be shared.
Jeff Elder started the session “How to connect the Movement with Social Media” by introducing himself as the Digital Communications Manager in the Communications Team of the Wikimedia Foundation.
Jeff started with pointing out that the verified accounts (e.g. @Wikipedia on Twitter, Facebook, etc.) belonged to the Movement. The idea of them was, as he said, to show the world what the Wikimedia movement is and what it does. Jeff gave some examples such as the blog post for “Wikipedia to the Moon” initiative by Wikimedia Deutschland, but also more simpler examples like a gif on Global Warming. Jeff explained that often such a simple gif was more worth than screens of text, a gif (or a picture) could already be a story. Wikimedia Commons was, he said, filled with fantastic photos for your social media activities.
The idea of Social Media accounts towards the Wikimedia communities was, Jeff said, to help people be more involved in (and help) the movement.
Jeff then showed the Social Media page on Meta (https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Social_media), which includes also the social media strategy of the Wikimedia Foundation. Jeff pointed out that they are not only active on Facebook and Twitter, but also on Instagram and Pinterest- which has huge potential. Communities of these platforms were more female than male. Jeff also said that many Wikimedians/Wikipedia wouldn’t share their projects and initiatives, so the social media accounts could help to do so.
Jeff elaborated then how to engage with him and the Communications team on Social Media:
Jeff’s mail (jelderwikimedia.org)
@jeffelder on Twitter
Mailing list Social-medialists.wikimedia.org (invitation for feedback, collaboration)
He said that the team shares, obviously, only photos under Creative Commons, but these may only be CC-0 and Public Domain due to the Terms of Services of the platforms.
Jeff asked the audience if they were using Instagram as a social media channel. One participant said that they were using it, but called it a “forgotten channel”. Someone else said that they were using Instagram for the Wiki Loves Earth, but the person perceived it as a waste of time without added value. Jeff said that the idea behind the Wikipedia account on Instagram is so that people can share what’s on Wikimedia Commons. Greg Varnum added that over time their aim is to increase the awareness of other projects. However, he explained, it is a question of balancing, as they wouldn’t want to minimize projects. He called it a learning process.
One participant asked about LinkedIn. Jeff replied that the HR team was using LinkedIn, but it was out of alignment with the core mission of the Foundation.
Regarding Pinterest, Jeff pointed out, it was an interesting platform, as it is allowed to enter into an Wikipedia in a different way. The social media channel on Pinterest was launched during the Women's History Month. Jeff said it was a cool way of saying, “I want to show you this person”.
One participant asked if it was possible to translate the posts on Facebook, or if they were intended to be English-only. Jeff answered that translations were possible and targeted sharing to specific languages. If posts are translated, Jeff explained, a human translation by volunteers are necessary, as they want to avoid automatic translations. Jeff added that, if there existed other social media platforms that might be more popular in some regions / countries, WMF offered help with setting up verified accounts (verified by WMF).
Jeff then introduced shortly some principles of communication using the social media accounts attached to Wikimedia/Wikipedia:
Do not endorse any products or political candidates
Do not engage in any dispute with other accounts
Do not post sarcasm, “snarky” or unfriendly tones
Do not retweet or repost anything that contains any of the above
Do not post media that is not either owned or co-owned by the Wikimedia Foundation (such as photos we take), in the public domain or licensed under CC0
Remember the “five pillars” of Wikipedia’s fundamental principles
One participant asked how to react to offensive, rude comments on Facebook. Another participant replied that calm, friendly tones can help not leaving the above mentioned principles. Jeff added that sometimes “hiding” the conversation from the troll (on Facebook) can help too.
After the presentation, the group discussed shortly some issues on verified accounts. Jeff concluded the session.