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One Great Photo a Day – Lessons from Department of Interior’s Instagram Page

Recently, I’ve become obsessed with Department of Interior’s Instagram page.

To me, it’s one of the best examples of government social media and it’s super simple – one great photo of a National Park per day (taken by the Department or visitors of the park). Each photo will receive between 2,000 and 4,000 hearts and the account has over 45,000 followers.

There are three main reasons I think this works:

  • Great content – social media is really simple. Give people what they want. People love their national parks & love great photos about them
  • It’s consistent – you know what to expect as a participant and it’s simple as an agency – one great photo per day
  • Serves their mission – The mission of Interior is to protecting the America’s great outdoors. By engaging with citizens daily, it reminds us all the importance of protecting the outdoors (and funding the protection of the outdoors). It also increases tourism, attendance, and engagement with the parks.

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David B. Grinberg

Steve, in addition to Instagram, agencies appear to be posting more photos on Twitter.

However, photos should not be posted just for the sake of posting them. Social media staff need to think of themselves as photo journalists in this regard in order to maximize engagement and followerships. It’s possible that a dull or boring photo can be turn off to the same extent that an engaging photo is a turn on. Just something for folks to think about: be strategic.

Kudos to DOI, as we nature lovers really appreciate the beauty and serenity of photos from our National Parks.


Kim Truong

Compelling photos certainly make for great tourism promotion. When I had friends visiting me in Europe and we were deciding on which city to visit, she promptly logged onto Pinterest and Instagram to determine the attractiveness of our potential travel destinations.

Charles A. Ray

Not that I’m knocking Instagram, but you ‘can’ use Twitter to post photos – just one at a time. Twitter’s not dead yet.