I’ve mentioned it in our last marketing meeting, so here’s the complete write-up.
I have a big plan for improving the Fedora Project’s Instagram profile that involves many moving parts. It may or may not be possible to change one or many of those things, so I’ll need feedback on most of these points. Let’s start with an index of the changes and I’ll explain them one by one:
- Changing the profile’s bio;
- Creating introductory posts about the project and pinning them to the profile;
- Defining what profiles we should follow;
- Dedicating budget to invest in contracting SproutSocial for our profile.
1. Changing the profile’s bio
I’ll start with this one since I’m not sure if it is something that can be done by us.
This is the official feed for the Fedora Project, a global free software community sponsored by @redhatinc. #fedoraproject #community
In my personal opinion and in my small empirical research between people from my uni and some friends and family (I’d love to do a proper, large scale research, but I don’t have the time or the funds for it), all of them that have never heard about Fedora before, the current bio doesn’t say a lot about what the Project really is, like, what we really do and provide.
What I know is that our Facebook profile has two About Us sections, one with a similar but more detailed description (which also better details RedHat’s relation with the project), but other with a much clearer explanation of what Fedora (as in the distro, not the project) is.
Fedora is a Linux-based operating system that provides users with access to the latest free and open source software, in a stable, secure and easy to manage form. Fedora is the largest of many free software creations of the Fedora Project.
So I came up with a couple of questions:
Can we actually change anything about the bio itself?
If it is something we need to keep as is (for legal purposes, for example), that’s not a big deal
If we can change it, do we HAVE to mention RedHat’s sponsorship in the bio itself?
Since the bio is limited to only 150 characters, it would free up space to point more relevant information about what we do. If it is not an issue I suggest a change to include the RedHat sponsorship in more detail one of the pinned posts (that I’ll explain in detail in point 2), instead.
If both of these things aren’t an issue, I have built the following bio that I’d like to suggest:
The official feed for the Fedora Project, a #FreeSoftware community that develops #FedoraLinux, a leading edge, stable and secure OS based on #Linux.
Having it like this would accomplish the following:
- Better detail what we do, making clear that we develop a Linux distribution without the need for an average person to understand what a Linux distro is.
- Update our hashtags to more relevant ones, since:
#fedoraproject is barely used on Instagram, where #fedoralinux is much more common;
#community is widely used, but not much when it comes to FOSS, we’d be a small fish in an ocean when it comes to relevance;
#linux is heavily used and while ideally I’d go with #opensource instead of #freesoftware when it comes to relevance, both are good in terms of usage and the latter fit better within the character limit of the bio.
- Avoid confusion in our relation with RedHat, since the way it currently looks makes it seem like “we’re a small project that is part of the much larger RedHat” (words from one of the interviewees).
2. Creating introductory posts about the project and pinning them to the profile
A relatively new Instagram feature is the ability to pin posts to the top of the profile’s feed. We can use that to create up to three posts that will always stay on the top of the feed, and I suggest using that to create three introductory posts for those that never heard of Fedora before or those that just don’t know a lot about it.
My concept separates these into three topics, from left to right, all of them being carousel posts (posts with many images):
What the project is
This post would go into detail on our philosophy, the differences between the Fedora Project as a whole and Fedora Linux the distro and our relation with RedHat.
What “products” we offer
This one would show off the many editions (both official, emerging and spins) of our OS in a simple way.
A quick and simple install guide
This one is really underrated. Although most of our followers are already quite accustomed with Linux and surely knows how to install LFS with their eyes closed (/s), having a simple install guide would:
- Promote Fedora Media Writer;
- Teach less tech literate users both on how to flash a USB drive and how to reach their BIOS (which is usually the hardest part in the process);
- Have all of that information laid out in a simple way and in a familiar place, instead of having to hunt for an install guide, again, for less tech literate users.
- Potentially be a way to teach all users how to use the new Anaconda whenever it comes out. Having a version for current Anaconda is ideal until it actually gets updated though.
3. Defining what profiles we should follow
This one is a minor gripe, I admit, so it’s not that important.
One thing we can use our profile for is following other FOSS related projects as a way to promote them, so when people check what accounts we follow they get actual recommendations on FOSS projects, while what we currently have is a mix of contributors, FOSS related stuff and some seemingly random profiles.
4. Dedicating budget to invest in contracting SproutSocial for our profile
Ok, ending up big. This one is the most important and high risk high reward decisions we can take for our profile (specially since this would affect our workflow for all social media, not only for Instagram), so this is the part that needs feedback the most, specially from the Mindshare team, since we’d need the budget for implementing this.
SproutSocial is a paid social media management platform that would allow us many, many things for our social media, the most important for us being:
- Having SproutLink (using RedHat’s as an example of how it works) for our profile’s link, which would allow us to have links for all of our posts without obsolescence (AKA that “link in the bio” that isn’t there anymore because there’s already a newer post that took the bio’s link);
- Have a unified platform to organize, schedule and post to all social media;
- Analytics on our posts metrics for more than the 30 days Instagram offers;
The main problem is in the fact that it is paid, more precisely US$89/month (for the yearly plan, $99 for the monthly one). So we’d need a couple of things to implement that:
- The budget, obviously;
- The people to handle both the platform and the posts themselves (since the marketing team is quite small currently);
We could use LinkTree instead as a compromise for our links, which is a free (in cost) alternative, but which is way more limited in comparison. If we were to use it it’d be better to use it to aggregate the most essential links (getfedora.org, Docs, Magazine, Ask & Discussion, for example), and we’d get back to the issue we have of having to depend on our stories for sharing links to more specific things, like mailing list announcements, specific Magazine posts related to the feed posts, etc.
In the end I would still consider Sprout at least as a future social media management plan.