Social Media is all about the Interaction
(You can download this job aid as a handy, one-page reference)
Imagine if the Statue of Liberty waved at you. Imagine if the Grand Canyon listened to your life story. Imagine if the Liberty Bell told you what you had to say was interesting.
When we speak on social media, visitors hear the voice of these powerful places, not interpreters. A simple acknowledgment of our visitors’ expression can have a deep impact. It can spark deep connection between visitors and the place.
When you ask a meaningful question in social media, it’s especially important to offer meaningful responses to show your visitors you care.
Responding and validating visitors’ expression helps show we – both the interpreters who build interpretive experiences and the resources themselves –
are truly curious about our visitors’ experiences.
There’s big and small ways to “wave back” at our visitors – here’s just a few:
Just a Simple Like or Reaction
Social Media platforms almost universally have a way to like or react to posts. Sometimes it’s a simple “thumbs up” or heart. Sometimes it’s an emoji reaction – from happiness to anger to sadness. Think of these simple reactions as the resource itself giving a “thumbs up” or sharing in a visitor’s emotional expression – positive or negative.
Be Their Megaphone
Beyond just a wave, we can amplify our visitors’ voices and let their expression shine. If a visitor shares a particularly striking photo, sharing it to your larger audience can be an amazingly validating feeling. If a visitor writes a powerful poem or makes an amazing music video that centers on your place, sharing it to your larger audience can make the visitors’ effort feel even more worth it. When sharing, make sure to give credit to the creator and if it seems appropriate – if what you’re sharing is particularly poignant or emotional – ask permission before you share.
Join their Conversation
Commenting back – adding your voice – is another of the simple but powerful ways to encourage visitors to share and validate their expression. These responses can run the gamut – from offering inspiring words, simply underlining that you heard their message, or even inserting a short resource story. Joining the conversation means coming back again and again. Once you’re in the conversation, you need to keep listening and contributing.